A Croatian shipyard will build two new Yarmouth to Lymington ferries.
The ferries, set to cost about $18.7m, are due on the route before the summer season of 2008.
The new design came from a working party made up of staff from the route, managers and representatives from Hart Fenton Naval Architects.
It is said the models demonstrated the flexibility of the new vessels to carry a greater and more varied traffic load within a footprint that was only marginally larger than the current vessels and with the same draft.
The ferry company said tenders were sought throughout August from a number of British and European shipyards, which had the capacity to build the new ships and were able to offer delivery in the first half of 2008.
Source: Isle of Wight Couty Press