Red Ensign Approved : Another World’s First For Solarglide Blackout Blinds Destined for Ships Sailing in UK Waters.

Solarglide blackout Blinds

Solarglide Red Ensign Approved blackout blinds. ©Solarglide 2024


What Is Red Ensign Approval/ MED Approval And Why Is It Needed?

In recent years, there has been two prominent marine approvals that have become extremely important to the Maritime Industry – especially within the passenger ship sector (Mainly Cruiseliners & Ferries). The two approvals are Red Ensign Approval and MED (Marine Equipment Directive) Approval.

Many shipping companies seek Type Approved products on their vessels, this is something that is still very prominent in the Maritime Industry for decades. However Red Ensign and MED approval takes the safety testing one level further, testing against standards IMO RES MSC.307 (88) – (2010 FTP Code) Part 7 and IMO MSC.1/Circ.1456 (Module B). These approvals are ultimately helping to make UK & European cruiseliners and ferries even safer in the event of a major incident or fire breaking out onboard.

So, what’s the difference between the two approvals? MED Approval is a crucial certification for marine equipment used on ships sailing within European waters. Red Ensign Approval is the same, but is used for ships sailing within UK waters. These approvals ensure that marine equipment meets specific safety and performance standards, promoting an extremely high level of safety at sea. Red Ensign criteria sets out performance and testing standards for marine equipment onboard UK ships in accordance with strict UK conformity assessment procedures. The Red Ensign mark is the UK conformity mark for marine equipment and proves that the subject product conforms to all assessment procedures. In addition, both Red Ensign and MED Approvals are also aimed at preventing pollution within the marine environment.

Red Ensign Approved Solarglide blackout Blinds product photography. © 20224

Red Ensign Approved Solarglide blackout Blinds. Solarglide © 2024

Although the Red Ensign Approval process for privacy blinds was a long one, Solarglide actioned the project so they could provide a blinds solution that fitted the criteria for a new UK Ferry being launched in 2024. The criteria for the ferry were simple, everything onboard must have Red Ensign Approval otherwise it can’t be used . As always, Solarglide stepped up to the challenge. Solarglide were the first marine solar screen company in the world to gain Type approval in late 90’s, and they are now the first company globally to launch a privacy blind that carries the prestigious Red Ensign Approval mark. (Valid until January 2029)

The Ferry Project

Red Ensign Approved Solarglide Marine blackout Blinds showcased onboard

Red Ensign Approved Solarglide Marine blackout blinds Solarglide © 2024


Solarglide provided the ‘ship survey‘, Red Ensign approval attainment, manufacture, and onboard installation for this project. The Cal Mac ferry based out of Scotland will only operate solely within UK waters.

Solarglide manufactured 40 Red Ensign compliant blackout screens for deck 6 & deck 7 crew cabins; these screens came with a sidewinder chain to allow them to be set at multiple levels on the window and side channels to block out up to >99% of light transmission when in the closed position. All blind profiles powder coated in a light grey finish combined with 609 Loutre MED approved blackout fabric in a slightly darker Shade. These screens, whilst robust and hard-wearing look extremely sophisticated and blend well with the contemporary onboard interiors.

Blackout Blinds are essential for crew quarters as they block out high levels of light and allow crew that are between shifts to relax without solar irritation from low lying glare. They also allow the cabins to remain cool during the summer months by repelling heat and solar glare outwards from the cabin windows. Privacy is vital for crew and passengers travelling on UK waters.

solarglide Marine Blackout blinds

Red Ensign Approved Blackout Blinds from Solarglide © 2024


Solarglide Limited is an international maritime blinds manufacturer providing manual and motorised blinds and window shading solutions for yachts and super yachts. Yacht builders, charterers and yacht owners select Solarglide, providing high quality products and solutions, great customer service and reliable on time deliveries. Find out more at /  or Contact : [email protected]