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MV Cenwulf – Past and Present

MV Cenwulf

© British Railways Board

Cenwulf © British Railways Board

Steel twin ‘Voith Schneider’ double ended “C Class” vessel built in 1973 at Robb Caledon Shipbuilders Ltd., Dundee, Scotland (Yard no. 561) for British Railways Board, London, England as a passenger and vehicle ferry

Technical Data

  • Length: 60.25 m (overall) 55.00 m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth: 15.68 m
  • Depth: 3.43 m
  • Draught: 2.280 m
  • Tonnage: 761 gross/401 net/183 dead-weight
  • Engines: 2 Oil Sa 8 – cylinder Paxman type 8RPHCM English Electric diesels
  • Propellers: 2 x Voith Schneider directional, one fore and diagonally one aft
  • Power: 992 kW/1348 Bhp
  • Speed: 10 knots
  • Capacity: 400 passengers, 76 cars, Lane Meters; 136
  • Call Sign: GTUQ
  • IMO Number: 7320021
  • Official Number: 360842
  • Port of Registry:¬†London/UK
  • Sister Ships: Caedmon, Cenred
  • Half Sister-Ships: Cuthred


June 1st 1973: Launched by Mrs Cobb, wife of Sealink’s Chief Commercial Manager (Irish and Estuarial).

October 1973: Cenwulf delivered to British Rail, London, England.

October 18th 1973: Commenced services between Lymington – Yarmouth.

Dennis Postcard  Colourmaster Postcard

Dennis Postcard (Left) and Colourmaster Postcard (Right)

Arthur Dixon Postcard

Arthur Dixon Postcard

1977: Modified to increase capacity with a second car deck which would lift into position 7ft above the existing deck

© Brian Fisher

© Brian Fisher (June 1983)

July 1984: Registered to Passtruck Shipping Co, England. As theses services were excluded from the sale of Sealink UK Ltd to Stena Line they continued under the Sea Containers banner

November 7th 1990: Sea Containers (ex Sealink) unveiled the new brand name and livery of Wightlink.

© Robert J Smith

© Robert J Smith (Portsmouth, 05/06/1994)


January 4th 2003 – January 5th 2003: Services between Portsmouth – Fishbourne.

© Robert J Smith

© Robert J Smith (Lymington, 12/07/2004)

November 19th 2008: Left Lymington for lay up at Portsmouth.

January 22nd 2009 – February 24th 2009: Services between Lymington – Yarmouth.

March 4th 2009: Laid up at Marchwood.

© The Ferryman

© The Ferryman (03/07/2009)

© Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler (Marchwood, 22/08/2009)

2010: Sold to Firma Smedegaarden, Esbjerg, Denmark for scrapping.

April 30th 2010 – May 3rd 2010: Towed from Southampton to Esbjerg.

© Dieter Streich

© Dieter Streich (Esbjerg, 06/06/2010)

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Ferryman, Brian Fisher, Robert J Smith, Dieter Streich and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)

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