Monitoring software to improve freight ferry efficiency

Malcolm Latarche

Malcolm Latarche · 12 June 2019


Remote monitoring and reporting platform specialist Reygar, has announced that cross-Solent ferry operator, Red Funnel, is installing the BareFLEET monitoring system on Red Kestrel - Red Funnel’s first dedicated ro-ro freight ferry.

BareFLEET is a cloud-based monitoring platform that couples the latest remote data collection technology with advanced vessel performance monitoring software. It will enable the ferry operator to better support the Island’s freight requirements by providing data to optimise vessel performance, monitor fuel use, and cut vessel downtime.

Red Kestrel was designed to increase the freight capacity of Red Funnel’s Southampton to East Cowes route, which currently handles 53% of all freight movements across the Solent. At 74m in length, she provides 265 lane metres of roll-on/roll-off freight capacity, allowing for 12 HGVs and 12 passengers.

Red Kestrel’s hull shape and propulsion package were chosen with the aim of increasing fuel efficiency and minimising the ferry’s environmental footprint. In order to ensure that Red Funnel are able to optimise fuel use, BareFLEET will monitor the health of the vessel’s two engines and Rolls Royce Aquamaster thrusters, identify the most efficient cruising speed, and report on opportunities for maintenance that will further increase fuel efficiency, such as hull cleaning and engine tuning.

Chris Huxley-Reynard, Engineering Director, Reygar said, “BareFLEET’s automatic reporting offers an opportunity for Red Funnel to make the move into preventative, rather than reactive, maintenance. The real-time health and performance data BareFLEET collects from Red Kestrel’s engines and other critical equipment will allow the firm to catch and rectify problems early. Informed by this data, they will be able to prioritise maintenance tasks for periods of scheduled downtime, maximising the vessel’s availability for Red Funnel’s customers.”

Mark Slawson, Operations Director of Red Funnel, said, “The BareFLEET system is an essential part of ensuring we meet our commitment to minimising the ferry’s environmental footprint. Red Kestrel is the first of our fleet to install BareFLEET, and we are looking forward to seeing the benefits of the system for other Red Funnel vessels in future”.

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