For season 2015 we had in place our brand new, purpose-built vessel for St Kilda trips. The Redbay Stormforce 1650 is much larger than our previous boat, and makes for a more comfortable trip.
- Comfortable aircraft-style seats indoors in the heated cabin
- Outdoor seating on the aft deck
- Toilet facilities
The Enchanted Isle is a “Stormforce 1650” and was built by Redbay Boats in Northern Ireland. Redbay have been building boats on the North East Antrim coast for over 35 years and are one of the finest manufactures of fibreglass boats in the UK. The Stormforce 1650 has evolved from Redbay’s renowned range of ‘Stormforce Ribs’ and is the largest boat they produce. A lot of other boats of this type are designed by boat builders but lack the input of a naval architect in the design stages. But the 1650 hull was designed by Joe McCollam of McCollam Marine who specialises in fast craft design. She was two years in the design and build process, but very much worth the wait.
At 55 feet long and with a beam of 16 feet she is one of the largest day trip boats running to St Kilda. She was custom built specifically for transporting passengers from the Isle of Harris out to St Kilda. This is a voyage of 45 nautical miles out into the Atlantic from the Sound of Harris and our vessel’s ability for exceptional sea keeping at speed, while retaining passenger comfort, is unsurpassed. It is one of the main reasons we chose the Stormforce1650 hull for the St Kilda trips: it is a best-in-class vessel.
She has been designed to allow for the maximum seating in the air-conditioned cabin, with very comfortable aircraft-style seating arranged in pairs down each side of the cabin. Visibility from within the cabin is excellent through the large windows, this is particularly beneficial when alongside the colossal cliffs and sea stacs of St Kilda.
She has full galley and toilet facilities with hot & cold running water and a large aft deck with outside seating, allowing plenty vantage points for all passengers. The Enchanted Isle has a large stern platform which is easily accessed by stepping down from the main deck. This has been purposely designed with the benefit of our experience, to allow for easy and safe embarking and disembarking of passengers. At the helm position there is a full array of state of the art Garmin marine electronic equipment to maximise safety whilst at sea and, with the safety of passengers being paramount, there is also a video camera to keep a watchful eye on any that are out on the aft deck enjoying the uninterrupted views and fresh sea air. The vessel is coded to MCA category 2 for 60 miles offshore and as such, carries a full complement of safety equipment and life saving appliances and undergoes stringent annual inspections.
Power is supplied by a pair of very efficient 500 hp Cummins engines, giving her a top speed of 27 knots and a comfortable cruising speed of 22 knots, making the Enchanted Isle the fastest, greenest and most economical day trip boat operating from Harris.