Wight Shipyard deliver in fast ferry sector

Industry Database

UK shipbuilder, Wight Shipyard Co has completed its third and largest vessel for MBNA Thames Clippers. The 38 metre Venus Clipper, the first Hunt Class Mk3, has been built to a ten-month build schedule.

Wight Shipyard completed its first two vessels for MBNA Thames Clippers in August 2017, the 35 metre low wash catamarans Mercury Clipper and Jupiter Clipper.

MBNA Thames Clippers’ latest newbuild needs to transport passengers between numerous floating piers at not less than 25 knots at full load draft. Designed by Australia’s One2three Naval Architects the vessel’s catamaran hull form uses twin symmetric hulls for frequent and repeated berthing at London’s floating piers, with particular attention paid to potential contact with obstructions in the water and harsh weather conditions.

Venus Clipper is classed by Class Lloyds Register / DNVGL and has the notation DNVGL +1A1 HSLC Passenger R4 HSC (A) EO meeting the delegated survey requirements for capacity and seating for a minimum of 220 passengers, with space for two wheelchairs.

With a high emphasis on safety, the vessel is equipped with two Zodiac 151-person open reversible life rafts, fitted in forward position with two RFD Ferryman 30 and 85-person open, reversible life rafts in aft position. Both yard and operator had to complete a safety evacuation test as a standard requirement for a first-in-class vessel. The drill required at least 110 passengers safely disembarked onto lift rafts within 17 minutes, which it passed with flying colours achieving evacuation in just 12 minutes.

The wheelhouse has all round vision for safe navigation in confined waters and frequent berthing. The fitout includes forward control and monitoring console incorporating all engine and waterjet controls, alarms and navigation equipment, monitoring panel and electrical panels.

Sean Collins, Managing Director, MBNA Thames Clippers said; “MBNA Thames Clippers are very pleased to receive our third build by Wight Shipyard Co, bringing our total fleet to 19 vessels.  Venus Clipper was delivered on time and on budget, to full specification and with an exceptional standard of British workmanship.  It was especially gratifying that there was continuity with the personnel involved in our previous two builds, that enabled the main construction stage to be delivered with a seamless process.  The end result came in under its designed weight, which contributes to Venus Clipper being our most efficient vessel to date.”

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