The new 37m chain ferry, designed by the Southampton based naval architects Burness Corlett Three Quays, is due to enter service on the busy River Medina in early 2017 and will replace the existing vessel that has served the island for over 40 years.

Mainstay Marine Solutions in Pembrokeshire has been appointed as builder for the new Isle of Wight Cowes Chain Ferry, also affectionately known as the Floating Bridge.

BCTQ will continue to work closely with the Isle of Wight Council and Mainstay Marine Solutions to help oversee the build of the ferry and provide technical support through to the commissioning trials.

The new £3.2 million ferry will have an increased capacity and will allow both foot passengers and vehicles to board simultaneously to help reduce the loading time.

The design incorporates an upper and lower deck for passengers to access during the crossing and features panoramic windows to optimise light and viewing of the river and harbour.

This will be the sixth generation of Floating Bridge to provide the important link established between East and West Cowes over the last hundred years.

BCTQ have both styled and engineered the vessel with an aim to fulfil the islands expectations of what has become an icon of the Cowes waterfront.