Wight Shipyard delivers iconic ferries for London.
Wight Shipyard Company have delivered to MBNA Thames Clippers the latest, most technically advanced and energy efficient fast ferries in the expanding London fleet; the 35 metre low wash catamarans Mercury Clipper and Jupiter Clipper.
Peter Morton, CEO of Wight Shipyard Co says, “The delivery of Jupiter Clipper follows the June launch of her twin sister, which also made the 200-nautical mile journey from the Wight Shipyard facility at East Cowes on the Isle of Wight to Trinity Buoy Wharf in east London in just ten hours. Both vessels arrived at their new home fully certified enabling them to enter passenger service within 48 hours of completing their respective delivery voyages.”
“The new boats have been designed and built to accommodate the unique tidal conditions of the River Thames, allowing them to navigate its shallow reaches and pass under London’s famous but sometimes low bridges. They offer London’s commuters and visitors a comfortable, relaxed and highly efficient way to get from A to B while taking in the sights of the Capital,” says Peter Morton.
Designed by Sydney based One2three Naval Architects, the role of the vessels is to provide rapid passenger transport services on the River Thames in Central London on various routes ranging from Putney in the west to Royal Woolwich Arsenal in the east.
The two new 172 capacity passenger vessels took 10 months to build and represent a £6.3 million investment in London’s port and transport infrastructure. With the order, MBNA Thames Clippers set the record for the largest fast ferry contract for a UK ship yard in over 20 years with non- government backed funding. Adding 14 per cent capacity to the company’s network, MBNA Thames Clippers now has the largest fast commercial passenger fleet operating solely in English waters.
Sean Collins, MBNA Thames Clippers’ co-founder and CEO says “We are excited to welcome Mercury Clipper and Jupiter Clipper to the fleet. It’s fantastic that we were able to build these ultra-high specification catamarans here in the UK. This build marks a significant investment in MBNA Thames Clippers and London’s river network and I’m proud of it enabling investment in our team too.
The two new Wight Shipyard low wash river vessels are catamarans with twin symmetric hulls of all welded construction. The hull structure is designed for frequent and repeated berthing at London’s floating piers with particular attention paid to potential contact with obstructions in the water in weather conditions that can reasonably be expected in the area of operation.
Marine grade high-gloss vinyl wrapping, rather than paint, has been applied on external surfaces of the superstructure for application of the MBNA Thames Clippers livery. As well as the aesthetic benefit wrapping offers there is also a weight-saving advantage with vinyl covering across the vessel being approximately two thirds the weight of required paint applications.
The wheelhouse is equipped with the latest in electronic, navigation and communication equipment to comply with the High Speed Craft Code.