All the spread with Storm doors
Expensive doors can turn out to be the cheapest doors, according to Vónin’s Søren Havmand. He explained that the company’s Storm demersal doors were designed without even thinking about the cost, as the design team set out their criteria.
“We wanted a door that would fish – that’s the main thing. But we also looked at the problems our customers have, and in Greenland and Canada it’s damage. So we wanted a door that would be extremely strong,” he said.
“We also wanted a door that would stand up again quickly. When you’re fishing in ice and have to stop, your doors can drop down, and they need to stand up again pretty fast, instead of having to haul and shoot again. On top of that, we wanted a door that would shoot away easily. It was also a long process, and we wanted to be sure that we had it right,” he said.
“The first pair went on board Akamalik two years ago. Normally we reckon that if a pair of doors lasts 12 to 15 months in Greenland, then that’s good. But Akamalik has been using these doors for 24 months and they expect to use them to the end of the year, so that will make 28 months. That’s exceptional, and doubling the working lifetime means that these doors are a pretty good investment.”
As well as Akamalik, Polar Nanoq has been fishing on redfish and Greenland halibut with 9m2 Storm doors with its single rig gear in East Greenland, and has an 11m2 pair for West Greenland, which is a purely Greenland halibut fishery.
Norwegian factory vessel Granit took a 16m2 pair of Storm doors as part of a full gear package for triple rigging for shrimp, which has worked perfectly from day one – but there have been a few obstacles with the gear for roundfish.
“The 11m2 doors replaced another 12m2 set, but even these are too big, so now we are making them a set of 10m2 doors,” he said, adding that this is a very new problem.
“People often want to go for bigger gear, but if you don’t scale up the doors as well, then you don’t get the benefit of it. So doors that are too small has always been an issue – and I have always recommended that you go for the bigger doors. But the efficiency of the Storm doors is so great that this has presented a new problem, as these doors are so efficient. These doors have been more effective than we had expected with whitefish gear and higher towing speeds,” Søren Havmand admitted. “Doors that are a little too big has never been a problem before now, but now we have to be cautious in not going too big.”
“It has been a long process, but what we have is a very efficient door that’s also fairly heavy, but still pretty light on the ground, so maintenance of shoes isn’t a problem and these aren’t doors that you need to have on deck every week. It’s not a semi-pelagic door, but you can lift them so they are just touching the bottom,” he said, adding that the efficiency of the Storm doors means that in deep water relatively little wire is needed.
“At 1000 metres, they are using 1.6 to 1.7 times the depth, but what we have seen is that while you get the excellent spread you want in deep water, especially on shrimp, normally this gear spread reduces as you go shallower. But with these doors the same spread is maintained all the way into shallow water.”
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