Export orders continue to advance Wight Shipyard Co’s reputation as a world-leading fast ferry builder with a multiple vessel contract from Mexico’s largest ferry operator.

Until now Ultramar has built all its high-speed ferries in the United States and the order for two 37 metre ferries, the first British vessels to be built for Mexico in living memory, is more positive news for the Isle of Wight shipyard following a highly successful 2017.

Wight Shipyard Co wins second export order with two fast ferries for Mexico 

At the end of August last year, Red Funnel confirmed an order for a second 41-meter high-speed passenger ferry, followed soon after when Scotland’s Jacobite Cruises placed an order for a 21-metre day cruise catamaran for Loch Ness. More recently, a contract was inked for a 39-metre 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 Germán Orozco, Chief Executive of Ultramar

Designed by Incat Crowther, the Ultramar twins 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 centreline 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 centre 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, can be removed without slipping the vessel or damaging the superstructure or hull. 

Principal particulars:

 Builder  Wight Shipyard Co
 Designer  Incat Crowther
 Length Overall  37.00m
 Length waterline  36.70m
 Beam  8.75m
 Draft:     2.10m
 Passengers  459
 Speed  24 knots @75 per cent MCR


 Main engines  Two MTU 12V4000 M63 marine diesel engines, each 1500 kW @1800 rpm
 Emissions  IMO Tier II
 Gearboxes  Two ZF 5055, rated 2.731:1
 Propulsion  Two fixed pitch propellers

Source: Wight Shipyard