THE Red Jet 7 is expected to enter the water ahead of schedule.
Red Funnel's second state-of-the-art high-speed passenger ferry is rapidly taking shape at Wight Shipyard Co in East Cowes.
The £7 million, 41 metre vessel is expected to enter the water ahead of schedule in May 2018.
As with Red Jet 6, the new vessel's superstructure and hulls are completed separately.
Kevin George, Red Funnel chief executive, said: "We are delighted the construction of Red Jet 7 is progressing so well, which is testimony to the highly skilled workforce at Wight Shipyard. We expect the sea trials and crew training to commence in June 2018 ahead of her official naming ceremony in Cowes in July."
Once named, Red Jet 7 will join sister ship Red Jet 6 and the Australian-built Red Jet 4 on Red Funnel's Southampton-West Cowes route.
Red Jet 7 will increase passenger capacity by 51 per cent which means the Hi-Speed Red Jet service can carry up to 825 passengers per hour in each direction at peak times of the year.