Seine netter Stella Polaris UK-22 has been through a big refit before, when owner Pauw Romkes acquired the former Marliona D-59 back in 2005. Fifteen years on the decision was taken to embark on another extensive refit and the boat has been alongside in Urk since arriving there in March. Earlier this month, Pauw Romkes was back at sea for UK-22’s first trip following the long refit.
Opting for a major refit as a quicker and less costly option than ordering a newbuild, Gaastmeer Design were brought in to carry out the design work. The process began with UK-22 calling in IJmuiden to be lifted out of the water and for the entire hull to be digitally scanned, providing the basic data for the designers and the team at VCU to work on.
The result is a modern fly-shooter, with a remodelled bow section, and a wheelhouse and superstructure that incorporates the accommodation, which also freed up more space at main deck level where there had previously been cabins.
Everything above the main deck has been stripped off and replaced, while the hull was split into on the slipway at the Balk Shipyard, where a new 2.50 metre middle section was inserted. As the bow section has been re-designed, the UK-22’s 30.50 metre overall length is less than a metre more than it had been, even though it has been lengthened, providing more fishroom space.
The new bow section also incorporates a new auxiliary engine to power the hydraulics for the seine winches, now mounted in their own compartment.
All of the steelwork for the lengthening, new superstructure and the new wheelhouse was carried out by VCU, with sandblasting and painting carried out by Straalbedrijf Flevoland.
VCU’s TCD workshops prefabricated the new aluminium wheelhouse superstructure, as well as handling all of the steelwork, designing and installing the catch handling arrangement, supplying new Ósey Urk net drums and overhauling the existing seine winches.
The only remaining piece of original equipment in UK-22’s engine room, the Deutz main engine, was rebuilt by IJmuiden company LBR before the refit work began in Urk.
Piet Brouwer Electrotechnology took care of the full electrical system and engineering, as well as the design, panel construction, installation and commissioning. The delivered products include a Marble Automation alarm system, an LED lighting package and a fire detection system.
L. Post & zn saw to fitting out the new accommodation, galley, messroom and fishhold, and SB Installatietechniek handled the plumbing systems on board.
The hydraulics and piping were completed by Luteijn Hydraulics
De Boer Marine delivered and installed the complete package of electronics in UK-22’s wheelhouse.
The Romkes family has a long history of fishing from Urk, and they were also the pioneers of seine netting in Holland, having first started to use this method in 1981 when they built a boat specifically as a seine netter. Back in the 1980s, Pauw Romkes and his brother Albert – who recently took delivery of the new UK-24 – were the first to spend their winters fly-shooting in the Channel.