The first of a new generation of beam trawlers for the Belgian fleet is a step closer to completion after being delivered to the Damen Maaskant yard in Stellendam for outfitting.
Ordered by Rederij Long Ships, founded in 1934 by current owner Eddie Cattoor’s grandfather, Franson Z-91 will replace the company’s present beam trawler, Francine Z-90.
The 38-metre Franson has been towed to the Stellendam yard from its builder in Gdansk for the later stages of outfitting. Built to a new BT3808 design, Franson features the maximum tonnage and length permitted by the Belgian Maritime Inspectorate. Maaskant’s design team have optimised the vessel in order to realise a 12% increase in bollard pull while trawling.
‘I expect a lot from Franson. First and foremost to bring in food from the open sea,’ Eddie Cattoor said, as he took the opportunity to thank the Gdansk yard’s personnel for their efforts through a tough winter.
‘She will also play an economically important role, contributing to the Flemish economy and employment in the ports and fish trade – and especially in creating a livelihood for our Flemish fishermen. They will experience job satisfaction on board Franson, a safe, efficient and ergonomic ship. A ship that meets all modern and contemporary requirements and that will be further completed with the best accommodation for the crew, who have to work hard for many days at sea.’
Franson is expected to operate year-round on the Belgian fleet’s traditional fishing grounds in the North Sea and the Skagerak and, during the summer in the Bay of Biscay.