Margaret Katie’s new lease of life

Margaret Katie’s new lease of life Margaret Katie’s wheelhouse with the new Scanmar installation

Built in 1988, the French-built, Baudouin-powered Margaret Katie has been in Ireland for some years and was acquired just last autumn by skipper/owner Noel ‘Owenie’ O’Sullivan, who immediately set about a major upgrade project of renewal and refurbishment of the trawler/seiner.

This meant a long period in Killybegs with work undertaken by Mooney Boats, SeaQuest and Austin Kelly of Foyle Electronics, resulting in a complete rewiring of the 24 metre vessel, an engine overhaul with new turbos installed, the installation of SeaQuest winches and refurbishment of the wheelhouse and galley interiors.

Now back at sea since May and fishing under Noel’s command using single trawl set up for whitefish, supplied by Swan Net Gundry and Jackson Trawls, in combination with 3m2 semi-pelagic Type 12A Thyboron Trawldoors, Margaret Katie was dry-docked recently for a pre-arranged overhaul in Bere Island at Castletownbere, Co. Cork for several more jobs on the to-do list.

One of these was the installation of the Scanmar Hydrophone and Scanbas365 system by technicians George Youngson and Billy Watt who travelled over from Peterhead.

“A fishing vessel is only as good as the tools you give it to do its job” was Noel O’Sullivan’s simple comment. “Diesel’s too expensive to be second-guessing with trawl monitoring systems. Scanmar removes that guesswork.”

As the range of Scanmar equipment was being installed on board Margaret Katie, Noel O’Sullivan commented that he and Scanmar’s equipment go back a long way as he has used it for practically his entire fishing career, most recently on his brother Paddy’s Dillon Owen where he was relief skipper and also previously on the first Sarah David.

​“When you look around the fleet of any harbour you can almost always tell which boats are doing well – the ones that are using Scanmar. I don’t just mean that as a throwaway compliment to Scanmar, but I genuinely believe that. I have always been confident when I’m starting out on a fishing trip on a vessel that has Scanmar systems on board,” he said.

With the whole job completed in less than a day, Margaret Katie was now ready for sea again after being fitted with a new hydrophone and steel cone housing, new trawl door housing for door sensors, single distance door-to-door sensors, a catch sensor, headline sensor and a ScanBas365 system with WDR receiver unit and configuration unit.

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