Brixham scalloper van Dijck has been through a few tough years, but has come through them with style. Now a major refit has been completed, which is expected to give the veteran beamer another twenty years of life.
Skipper Drew McLeod said that it has been a long four months since van Dijck left for Stellendam at the beginning of February, and was back in Brixham on the 5th of July.
Once at the Maaskant yard in Stellendam, things happened quickly as the old wheelhouse was lifted off – carefully leaving the skipper’s chair in position, surrounded by a protective plywood box – and the shipyard team set to work on the fishroom and hull.
The new wheelhouse was built by aluminium fabricator Mostacon, located on the same industrial site as the Maaskant yard where van Dijck’s refit was carried out.
The refit is more than a new wheelhouse, as the accommodation has been renewed throughout and extended to make the old oilskin store part of the spacious galley/mess area. The cabin below has been refurbished completely, and the fishroom has also been completely refitted, after taking it back to bare metal – and beyond.
‘We went through the tanks and into the engine room, and cut the back off the winch casing and back to the side bulkheads. There were big holes in the sides, and they just kept getting bigger and bigger,’ Drew McLeod said as he was back in Brixham, preparing to get back to sea for the first time in four months.
In fact, more than 30 square metres of plating was replaced as the hull steelwork was stripped out, not only taking out badly weathered metal, but also steel that could have lasted a few more years, on the principle that it’s as well to do it all in one go as to have to come back to it later. The result is a far more comfortable new vessel that has plenty of life in it.
The wheelhouse is slightly smaller than before, and the corners are now occupied by consoles.The control position is now at a central position overlooking the deck, as previously this had been on the starboard side – which provided a good view over one side of the deck, but meant working with restricted visibility to port.
‘We fitted the same electronics again and Wetec did the re-installation. The wheelhouse is smaller now, but all the electrics are now hidden, but with easy access to everything inside the consoles,’ he said.
‘The fitting out was all done by IJtama and they did a fantastic job. Pauw at IJtama has fitted out something like 250 boats over the years and he did a perfect job. He just gets it right first time.’
The new galley is larger and lighter, with 400mm portholes replacing the original ones that were half the size, plus there’s a new toilet and shower room aft. There are two new galley tables providing plenty of space for the crew between time on deck, and the accommodation is air-conditioned throughout.
‘We haven’t needed to try out the heating yet,’ he said.
‘You can’t fault the work that Tom de Vette and the team at Maaskant have done. Everything’s to the same high standard everywhere, with no corners cut anywhere. This is why we come to Maaskant – they do a first class job. We haven’t shied away from spending what was needed to ensure the boat’s longevity and everything that needed doing has been done. Now we’re good for another twenty years.’
Go to the July issue of Hook & Net for the full story of van Dijck’s refit, and much more…