The order, placed by Ultramar, the largest ferry operator in Mexico, consists of 2x 37m fast ferries which will be transported to Cancun at the beginning of July.
Peter Morton, CEO of Wight Shipyard Co, says:
“Working with Ultramar is a good match for WSC, our standards and attention to detail are of paramount importance to produce not only an on-time build, but one of superior quality.
“Ultramar provide both commuter and holiday destination vessels and the level of fitout is far higher than normal commuter boats. Stages for lives bands, multi coloured LED lighting above and below the waterline and very powerful sound systems were a first for us”.
Peter pointed out that the critical issues for these newbuilds were timely delivery and the weight saving target that needed to be achieved. Fuel costs are high in Mexico and are of paramount importance to Ultramar. The vessels were designed by Incat Crowther, which has a long-standing relationship with Ultramar and WSC whose previous export order to Austria was also an Incat Crowther Design.
Ultramar said that one of the main reasons for choosing WSC for the build was that the yard has a strong reputation for delivering on time, something it said has struggled with in the past. These builds will also have been completed in the short turnaround time of 10 months.
Both vessels have the capacity to accommodate 459 passengers over 3 decks, with bright airy mid deck seats, accessed from a central staircase in the main cabin and two external staircases leading to a top deck with seating for 122 passengers.
The ferries will be operating between Cancun and Isla Mujeres primarily, however they will also be capable of supporting the Playa del Carmen to Cozumel route which requires vessels to have a much higher free board due to sea conditions and specific docking restrictions.
Mauricio Orozco from Ultramar says:
“WSC has exceeded our expectations in both finish and performance.
“The whole team are a delight to work with. They are such a professional team with each manager an expert in their field. There is a need for more vessels and there is no question that WSC will be building them. Previously all our boats were built in the USA”.