MARCH 21, 2018 — Building on its export successes last year, the U.K.’s Wight Shipyard has landed an order to build two 37 m, high-speed ferries “across the pond” for Mexico’s Ultramar, the country’s largest ferry operator.
It’s a notable win for the Isle of Wight-based aluminum shipbuilder because up until now Ultramar has built all of its high-speed ferries in the United States.
At the end of August last year, Red Funnel confirmed an order for a second 41m high speed passenger ferry, followed soon after when Scotland’s Jacobite Cruises placed an order for a 21m day cruise catamaran for Loch Ness. More recently, a contract was inked for a 39m high-speed craft for passenger services between Vienna and Bratislava.
“This order for Ultramar really is very satisfying as it continues our move into international markets,” says Wight Shipyard CEO Peter Morton. “Our reputation for high quality ferries is spreading and we are delighted to be awarded the contract to build our largest ferries yet. Ultramar operates a fleet of ferries between Cancún, Isla Mujeres and Cozumel ports in the Quintana Roo Peninsula.
“Ultramar is also hosting the annual conference of ferry industry body Interferry to be held this year in Cancún during October, so we are looking forward to joining with them at this important event,” he says.
“We are very proud to start a relationship with Wight Shipyard Co and we are certain that it will be a long and happy one for all,” says Ultramar CEO Germán Orozco.
Designed by Incat Crowther, the Ultramar ferries will each provide accommodation for 459 passengers over three decks. Passengers will board the new craft on the main deck forward and aft, where a bright and airy cabin is capable of seating up to 169 passengers.
A kiosk providing a range of snacks and refreshments will be provided on the centerline in the middle of this cabin. On the external foredeck seating is provided for 24 passengers while located aft is a generous luggage space area and toilet block.
Above, the mid deck is accessed from a center staircase in the main cabin. External seating will be provided for 120 passengers while aft of the elevated wheelhouse interior seating is available for 24 passengers.
Two external staircases aft lead to a roof deck where 122 seated passengers can enjoy commanding sea views. In the hulls, the engine rooms are designed to provide crews with maximum access with all machinery arranged in the same space. The engine rooms are designed so the engines, two MTU 12V4000 M63 marine diesels, each rated at 1,500 kW at 1,800 rev/min, can be removed without slipping the vessel or damaging the superstructure or hull.