Operators of one of only a few beam trawlers under the Danish flag, Erik and René Kloster found themselves struggling for fishroom space as there is nothing unusual about a 35 to 40 tonne trip on plaice.
St Anthony L-510 is a large beam trawler, built at Maaskant Shipyards in 1999 for Colne Shipping with a 42.35 metre length overall and an 8.50 metre beam. But in spite of its size, big catches turned out to be a problem as the grading equipment and the awkward fishroom layout restricted the fishroom capacity to only 900 boxes, which also has implications for the discard regulations.
To fix St Anthony’s fishroom problems, Erik and René Kloster decided to take their trawler to Holland and it docked in Harlingen at the end of February to be met by a team from VCU TCD, the technical arm of the Urk Fishermen’s Co-operative.
The TCD team virtually rebuilt St Anthony’s auxiliary engine room to shift the bulkhead between it and the fishroom four frames along. This meant unmounting everything in the engine room and remounting pumps, compressors, generators, electrical cabinets and a great deal of pipework once the new bulkhead had been welded into place – all in a space three metres smaller than it had been
The result is that St Anthony now has fishroom capacity for 1600 boxes, and at the same time Erik and René Kloster decided to invest in a gutting machine for plaice that has been integrated into the handling system on the catch processing deck, resulting in a handling system capable of handling a higher volume of fish in a short time while also incorporating facilities to process and handle discards.
In addition to the fishroom/engine room refit, VCU TCD and a group of flexible sub-contractors also carried out extra work on the St Anthony. The starboard derrick was replaced and a new swivel was fitted. The Sumwings, the blocks, the sea water piping in the engine room and main engine fuel pumps were all overhauled, while St Anthony sailed from Harlingen eight weeks after its arrival with a new coat of paint from top to bottom.