As the Belgian fleet goes through a long overdue process of renewal with a number of new beam trawlers being delivered, the latest is Franson Z-91, built for Rederij Long Ships, a fishing company that goes back to 1934 and the present owner’s grandfather.
Designed by Daman Maaskant Shipyards, the 38-metre Franson is tailored to fit within the maximum tonnage and length limits set by the Belgian Maritime Inspectorate, and the BT3808 design incorporates optimised propulsion to provide a 12% bollard pull increase as well as economic operation.
Franson is also a big step forward in terms of comfort and working conditions.
‘I’m proud of our Franson. What is certainly important, this beautiful ship will enable us to attract young talent again. This is vital because they are the future of the Flemish fisheries. They will definitely experience job satisfaction, given this safe, efficient and ergonomic new fishing vessel,’ said owner Eddie Cattoor as Franson was christened following its handover, with the ceremony taking place on the quayside outside the Zeebrugge fish auction.
‘Franson meets all the modern and contemporary requirements and this is coupled with the best accommodation for the crew, who have to work hard for many days at sea.’
Franson was christened by godparents Shirley Cattoor and Chris Cocquyt and the new trawler replaces Francine Z-90.
The hull was launched in Gdansk during the pandemic, before being towed to Stellendam for further outfitting. Rederij Long Ships owner Eddie Cattoor was impressed that Damen Maaskant had managed to deliver the fishing vessel on time, given the challenges brought about by COVID-19.
The new beamer will operate year-round in the North Sea and Skagerrak, as well as fishing during the summer months in the Bay of Biscay.
‘The new BT3808 is a well thought out evolution of our earlier, proven designs and therefore ready for the future,’ commented Damen project manager John van der Maas.
The yard’s commercial manager, Jeroen van den Berg, agrees
‘We are sincerely grateful for the pleasant cooperation with the Cattoor family and everyone else who has contributed to this success,’ he said.