Built for the Hakvoort family in Urk, the first new beam trawler for more than ten years was delivered last week and is due to leave the Maaskant yard in Stellendam after the weekend to be prepared for its first trip.
Willeke UK-46 has a long back story and its hull was built in Poland in the early 2000s, one of the same series as the BR-14 and the GO-22, which was the last beamer delivered by Maaskant.
Although the yard made efforts to find a use for the hull over the years, with options to convert it to a twin-rigger/fly-shooter, or for an offshore industry application, none of these came to anything and the last in the series remained at the yard since 2006.
Negotiations began more than a year ago, and a contract was signed in April last year to complete the vessel. Work began once the equipment ordered had been delivered and fitting out took five months.
Willeke UK-46 has a 41 metre overall length, with a 9 metre beam. The owners took the decision from the outset not to rig the new trawler for pulse fishing, but to stick to conventional beam trawling.
Although the design is largely the same as previous beam trawlers in the same series, before the long break, it features new technology, such as LED lighting throughout and modern coatings for the fishroom and hull. Another break in tradition is the 1999hp main engine, the first time that a Maaskant beamer has been fitted with an ABC engine, driving a 3600mm propeller via a Reintjes gearbox.
The winch is a classic Maaskant beam trawl winch with a 240hp electric drive, but built by the yard’s parent company Damen. VCU supplied the UK-46’s catch handling system.