In a sign of growing optimism within the Belgian fishing fleet, on Thursday 8th of October, Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam held a keel-laying ceremony in Poland for two new beam trawlers for two separate clients – Rederij Devan and Rederij Long Ships.
The new beam trawler for Rederij Devan will be named the Z21 Avanti, while its sister-ship for Rederij Long Ships is to be christened Z91 Franson. When Rederij Devan owner Steve Depaepe began looking for a future solution for his fishing business back in 2018, talks with Maaskant resulted in the realisation that one highly efficient vessel would be more profitable than the two less efficient boats that he currently operates. For Rederij Long Ships owner Eddie Cattoor, the decision to invest in a new fishing vessel was based on numerous factors. “We had been looking forward to a new vessel for some time, and now the time is ripe. Fish prices and quotas are satisfactory, the oil price is reasonable and our current vessel is ready for replacement. In short, a good time to invest.”
The vessels are based on Maaskant’s BT3808 design. The BT3808, with specifications that include the maximum permitted length and gross tonnage set by the Belgian Maritime Inspectorate, is a perfect fit for these experienced operators. The basic design has been modified in cooperation with SIP Marine to reduce fuel consumption and increase bollard pull.
“For both the Belgian and Dutch fishing fleets, becoming more efficient through innovation is an important issue,” commented Maaskant’s commercial manager Jeroen van den Berg. “To remain competitive, they need to minimise their operating costs in every way possible, and at Maaskant we continuously revaluate every aspect of the design and fitting out of our fishing boat designs to deliver just that. The updated Damen BT3808 beam trawler in particular offers owners and operators many advantages in today’s challenging commercial fishing environment.”