Grindavík fishing company Thorbjörn hf has placed an order with the Armón shipyard for a 58 metre, 13.60 metre fresher trawler, with a scheduled delivery date in early 2024.
The first newbuild for Thorbjörn since 1967, the new trawler is a Skipasýn design, with the vessel’s arrangement developed in co-operation with Thorbjörn staff. Skipasýn was also instrumental in concluding the contract with Astilleros Armón.
Minimising fuel consumption and the vessel’s environmental impact are central to the design. The newbuild will have a 2400kW main engine driving a 5-metre propeller with significantly slower revolutions than has been usual with older fishing vessels in this size bracket.
The new trawler is expected to be among the most energy-efficient in the Icelandic fleet. It is designed to operate as a twin-rigger and to be equipped electric winches. Working and living conditions have also been high on the agenda during the design process, with each crew member having a personal cabin and hygiene facilities. The design also takes into account options for conversion to a freezer trawler at a later date if required.
According to Thorbjörn hf, the chief difference when compared to the company’s older trawlers will be in the catch handling arrangements, with automatic grading and with catches boxed in tubs on the catch-handling deck. An automated lift then delivers the filled and iced tubs to the fishroom, where an automated system fitted on runners places them in position.The same system is used for discharging catches.
While it’s more than fifty years since Thorbjörn last built a new trawler, there have been numerous fishing vessels that have operated for the company, with a number acquired as a result of mergers, or simply direct purchases, including the recent acquisitions of factory trawler Tómas Thorvaldsson (ex-Sisimiut) from Greenland and fresher trawler Sturla from the Westman Islands. The company also operates longliners – and the arrival of the new fresher trawler in 2024 means more changes to the Thorbjörn fleet can be expected.