Video: Keel laid for new Steam Packet battery hybrid ferry

A keel-laying ceremony has been held in South Korea to mark the beginning of the formal construction of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company’s (IoMSPC) new flagship ferry, Manxman.

The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company

The keel-laying ceremony for the diesel-electric ferry took place at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD) in Ulsan on Christmas Eve.

The milestone event saw the first block of the ship lowered into the building dock and a coin placed under the keel.

View on Youtube.

The 132-meter-long roll-on/roll-off passenger (RoPax) vessel Manxman, which is due to replace the Ben-my-Chree when it comes into service in 2023, will be able to carry 949 passengers and have 495 square meters of additional space for freight and vehicles.

“The laying of the keel is one of the most significant dates in that ship’s life and, in effect, marks her birth,” Brian Thomson, Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Managing Director, said.

“Not only was it wonderful to mark such a significant landmark and hold a ceremony respecting maritime custom but it also signifies that after years of careful planning, along with plate and panel work and block construction in recent months, the construction of Manxman can now begin in earnest.”

Photo: The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company


On 31 July 2020, IoMSPC board of directors signed a contract with Hyundai Mipo Dockyard for the construction of the ferry, following a tender procedure.

IoMSPC also selected design & engineering consultancy Houlder to act as a technical advisor in the design and build of the ship.

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In December that year, the company revealed the name of the newbuild, Manxman. The ship will be flagged with the Isle of Man Ship Registry.

In early 2021, Finnish technology group Wärtsilä was selected to supply a range of solutions for the new diesel-electric hybrid RoPax.

The South Korean yard held a steel cutting ceremony for the ferry in August this year.