Starlight Ferries


Starlight Ferries was formed to prove the concept of a passenger service running earlier and later than Wightlink. Our Pilot Stage was planned to run from May to October 2016. This would help us all understand what sort of ferry service people actually want. We considered carefully the times and prices; and we also offer charters for parties, and so on...

The venture was started by John Dexter with the help of Alice Macnab and the team at BigBizIT. Pete Lemonius has owned and run Needles Pleasure Cruises for ten years. Pete operates the ferry using his ex-lifeboat, Mersey Rose.

We used ‘Rewards Based Crowdfunding’ to get the service started. Helped by predominantly local people who have contributed in lots of £100, £500 or £1,000. The cash was needed in order to pay Pete Lemonius for the use of his boat. Other expenses were kept to a minimum.

During the Pilot Stage, ticket costs could be set against contributions. E.g. if a crowdfunder put in £100 they could travel 'free' on five journeys, priced at £20.

Happily, we raised enough to be confident that our costs were covered for the Summer.

With little or no available budget for marketing or advertising, we still managed to leaflet every home in Yarmouth; display posters and/or timetables in most Yarmouth businesses; engage with over 600 people on Facebook, and process 70% of the crossings with our online booking system. We also contacted many other West Wight businesses and sent them timetables.

We had good media coverage too, printed and broadcast. We used Facebook, Twitter and our website extensively and kindly received support from other websites and pages, both commercial and social. 

During the period there has been a gradual growth in passenger numbers, but not nearly enough to suggest that a long-term operation would be viable. So the purpose of the pilot project has been realised: we have shown that there is insufficient demand for this type of service and it is therefore sensible to terminate earlier than planned. 

Unused contributions will be returned to our crowdfunders pro rata and we have informed them all accordingly. They also have the option to donate their remaining share to the RNLI.
Starlight Ferries will remain open for evening charters booked in advance.

If you would like more information or have any suggestions for a Winter service or charter opportunities, please just use the CONTACT page to get in touch.

Our final scheduled sailing is Friday 12th August 2016 in the evening .

Call : 01983 760309 or Email us

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Alma Place
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A new foot passenger Ferry Service between Yarmouth, Isle of Wight and Lymington. Offering Early and Late crossings (before and after the Wightlink service). Community based with rewards based crowdfunding we are helping to keep West Wight connected to the New Forest and linking to trains to and from London.

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