Ferry design team presented to HRH Countess of Wessex

The Houlder designed Victoria of Wight hybrid ferry was officially named by HRH the Countess of Wessex, Thursday 20th September. Mike Simpson (Technical Director, Marine Design Consultancy), David Edwards (Principal Marine Engineer) and David Wing (Principal Naval Architect) attended the ceremony and were presented to the Countess during a tour of the vessel.

Houlder was responsible for the concept ferry design and production of the vessel’s Technical Requirements document. The brief specified an energy efficient ferry with a reduced carbon footprint compared to other vessels of a similar size. Houlder’s understanding of green technology helped Wightlink develop the vessel as a diesel-electric hybrid operating on Marine Gas Oil (MGO) and batteries.

The vessel also has a number of other ingenious energy saving features such as LED motion sensitive lighting, elevators that put power back into the ship’s electrical system and heating that uses waste heat from the engines. Its battery packs are designed to smooth out power demands so the engines run closer to optimum efficiency. Power storage also allows operation on a reduced number of generators, reducing emissions and operating noise, importantly, giving fewer disruptions for local residents.

When the ferry design was finalised, Houlder provided technical support during the shipyard competition. Once Cemre shipyard, Yalova Turkey was named as winner, Wightlink selected Houlder as owner representative and technical advisor. This role included ongoing plan approval on the Shipyard’s detailed design and drawings. Throughout the Victoria of Wight build, Houlder engineers made regular site visits to inspect progress of vessel production and to ensure the quality, standards and shipbuilding progress meet Wightlink standards.

The Victoria of Wight is part of Wightlink’s Investing for the Future programme. This also includes a range of other improvements to our service such as new two-tier boarding ramps at Portsmouth and Fishbourne, designed to ease loading and unloading and to reduce the vessels turnaround time in port.

David Wing commented “Seeing the Victoria of Wight hybrid ferry in its home port, overseeing final trials and attending the naming ceremony is the culmination of lots of hard work for Houlder and, of course, the wider project team. We are delighted to be see the Victoria of Wight in service.”

John Burrows, Wightlink’s Chief Executive previously commented on Houlder’s role “The Houlder team has consistently delivered to a high standard and, importantly, helped us innovate to the long term benefit of our passengers and the communities we serve.”

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