The new £30M Victoria of Wight hybrid ferry reached a milestone over the Bank Holiday weekend with its first paying passengers on board. Mike Simpson, Marine Design Consultancy Technical Director (left) and Principal Naval Architect, David Wing (right) are pictured above with Wightlink’s Project Director, John Burrows during trials.
The vessel had completed a 3,000 mile trip from Cemre shipyard before undertaking a range of speed and manoeuvring exercises in the Solent. She is now being prepared for service including loading supplies, installing signage and outfitting food and drink outlets.
Designed by Houlder as Wightlink’s flagship, the new 89.7m ferry will transport 1170 people and 178 cars. Thanks to some ingenious energy efficient design features the Victoria of Wight has a lower carbon footprint than other vessels of a similar size. The vessel is a diesel-electric hybrid ship operating on marine gas oil (MGO) and the latest battery technology. The engines have been supplied by Wartsila and the batteries are by Corvus Energy. The battery packs are designed to smooth out power demands so the engines run closer to optimum efficiency. The design also utilises a range of other energy reduction innovations such as LED motion sensitive lighting and heating that uses waste from the engines.
As well as designing the vessel, Houlder has acted as Wightlink’s owner representative and technical advisor throughout the project. This role included ongoing plan approval of the shipyard’s detailed designs and drawings, making regular site visits to inspect progress of vessel production and is currently supporting the final testing and trials phases of activity.
David Wing commented “Seeing the Victoria of Wight hybrid ferry in its home port, overseeing berthing trials and witnessing preparations for the first paying customers is the culmination of lots of hard work for Houlder and, of course, the wider project team. We are delighted to be nearing the project completion and can’t wait to see the Victoria of Wight in service.”