HSC FastCat Ryde

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Name: HSC FastCat Ryde
Operator: 2000-2010: Wightlink
2010-present: Severn Link
Route: Ryde to Portsmouth: 2000-2010
Swansea to Ilfracombe: 2010-present
Builder: Kværner Fjellstrand (S), Pte. Ltd., Singapore
Launched: 1996
Maiden voyage: 1996
In service: 1996
Fate: In Service
General characteristics
Tonnage: 482
Length: 40 m
Beam: 10.10 m
Draught: 1.70m
Installed power: 4000kw
Speed: 34 knots
Capacity: 361 passengers
Crew: 4-5
Notes: [1]

HSC FastCat Ryde is a high speed catamaran ferry which operates between the Isle of Wight and mainland England. The vessel was originally built in Singapore for service in the Philippines as Water Jet 1. She was bought by Wightlink in 2000 and following an extensive refit entered service on the Ryde Pier to Portsmouth route since August 2000 along with her sister ship HSC FastCat Shanklin.[2]

From early Autumn 2009, Wightlink took delivery of two new vessels to operate the route, Wight Ryder I and Wight Ryder II.[3] Both the FastCat Shanklin and FastCat Ryde are being retained by Wightlink until Spring 2010 and will be drafted in as replacements as teething problems occur with the new vessels. They will then be sold on to new owners in Bristol.[4]

On 12 January 2010, the FastCat Ryde crashed crashed into Ryde Pier by landing heavily causing superficial damage to the vessel and a section of the pier. No one was injured in the crash and the vessel was sailed back empty to Portsmouth Harbour for a full investigation to be carried out.[5]


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