Hot plasma splits steel as Honfleur build begins
As the piercing blue plasma stream sliced through the sheet of steel, Honfleur took shape for the very first time. Brittany Ferries' new ship already exists as a complete digital model. But the moment when the first steel is cut and a ship starts to become real is always hugely significant.
Two cuts of just a few metres each were made simultaneously. Once fully tailored by the powerful robotised cutter, this 10mm-thick sheet of steel will form the top of a water tank deep amidships. Honfleur's passengers will never see it. But it will be welded into one of the vast blocks which will be placed on the shipyard's slipway to form Honfleur's foundations when her keel is laid in August: another milestone in a ship's construction. Eventually, around 10,000 tonnes of steel will be cut in this way to create Honfleur's structure, and every slice and weld has already been planned.