Danish design, Irish build

Danish design, Irish build Clogerhead prawn freezer trawler Stella Nova was completed by Mooney Boats at Killybegs

Mooney Boats in Killybegs have delivered a new Vestværft-desiged multi-rig prawn (langoustine) trawler to Niall and Seamus Connolly’s Clogerhead-based Supreme Fishing Company, and the new Stella Nova is a sister vessel to the Patrick C which was delivered three years ago, reports Dave Moor

The successful operation of Patrick C prompted the owners to order a second vessel, which is skippered by Cornelis Schaap and Darren O’Brien. Stella Nova is expected to concentrate on prawns off the west of Ireland, with catches frozen at sea for export to European markets. Alternative target species are squid and cuttlefish, also to be frozen at sea.

Patrick C has proven to be a very efficient vessel, hence the decision to come back to Mooney Boats. Stella Nova fully justifies this decision, both in terms of build quality and level of finish, both of which are to the highest standards,” Niall Connolly said. “We have every confidence that the boat will prove well suited to our requirements in years to come. It is also extremely satisfying that such a state-of-the-art vessel was again delivered in Ireland thanks to the unstinting co-operation of local companies.”

The new Stella Nova replaces an older vessel of the same name that was also built to a Vestværft design in 2006, now sold to Niall Deasy in Union Hall and renamed Emerald Isle.

Stella Nova has a 23.99m overall length, a 7.40m beam and depth to the shelterdeck of 5.85m. The steel hull was built by the PTS Shipyard at Szczecin, Poland, before being towed to Killybegs in late July 2017 for machinery installation and full-internal fit-out by Mooney Boats. This work was carried out in close liaison with other leading specialist companies in Ireland, including Killybegs based EK Marine and KER Group, Padmos, Kilmore Quay and Galway marine electrician Pat Maguire.

Stella Nova’s hull is subdivided into five watertight compartments; forepeak, tank section with deep fuel tanks to port and starboard of the bow thruster compartment, insulated freezer and refrigerated holds, engineroom, and aft peak housing fuel, lube and hydraulic oil tanks as well as a daily service tank and the compartment for the Wills Ridley double ram steering gear.

The only noticeable external differences between Stella Nova and Patrick C are that the new trawler’s wheelhouse is position 50cm further forward and there is a net pound on the fore side of the wheelhouse, while there are also differences in the internal layout.

Stella Nova’s remotely controlled deck machinery and load sensing hydraulic system is from Killybegs company EK Marine, with a tailor-made package that includes two EKM 15t split trawl winches forward atop the shelterdeck for the outer warps, each with a drum capacity of 750 fathoms of 20mm wire. The third trawl winch is mounted on the centreline abaft the wheelhouse, in line with the centre block on the trawl gantry, directly above the secure clump box at the transom.

Controlled by a Scantrol autotrawl, the two-speed split trawl winches are fitted with Hagglunds compact motors to provide a maximum power to weight ratio. Proportional control allows for fine control of winch speed and variations in wire speed. The three split trawl winches, together with the other deck machinery and bow thruster, are remotely controlled electronically from the aft facing fishing console in the wheelhouse.

Twin and quad rig

Stella Nova tows twin and quad-rig prawn gear supplied by Pepe Trawls of Howth, continuing the company’s long-standing association with the vessel’s owners. The 35 fathom twin rig scraper nets are rigged on 8 and 10 inch diameter discs, and the 23 fathom quad rig nets are rigged on 2 and 6 inch discs.

Nordsøtrawl of Thyborøn supplied a pair of 100ft twin-rig prawn hopper nets rigged on 12 and 14 inch discs.

The gear is spread with a 72 inch pair of Thyborøn Type 11 doors and 1000kg roller clump. In order to minimise hull discolouration associated with standard trawl wires, Stella Nova’s split trawl winches are spooled with stainless steel wire. The 3 xx 750 fathom lengths of 20mm diameter (outer) and 22mm diameter (middle) wires were sourced from var Laar Visserijketting.

EK Marine’s load-sensing hydraulics give the benefit of greater efficiency, by supplying oil to a specific item of deck machinery only when required, rather than having hydraulic oil circulating constantly. Noise levels are also reduced by only supplying selected items of equipment at any one time. The capability of working at medium or high pressure allows for increased capacity of equipment.

Twin and quad rig trawls are worked from two sets of split net drums under the trawl gantry. The side plates of the net drums are manufactured from Hardox plate to deliver maximum strength as well as reducing material thickness and weight. Two 5t Gilson winches are mounted on the underside of the trawl gantry. The starboard unit, mounted directly above the hydraulically operated reception hopper, is used to take the codends aboard.

EK Marine also supplied the fixed boom landing crane (1t @ 7m) fitted forward on the port side. Mooney Boats Ltd supplied and fitted a Guerra knuckle boom marine crane short post model MC40.55A2 which is used as power block crane on top of the gantry aft. The crane is fitted with a winch and radio remote control and a Thistle 24” W power block head.

Catch handling

Catches are taken in over the stern where an hydraulically operated hatch at the starboard aft corner of the shelterdeck leads to an elongated stainless steel reception hopper. From here, prawns are transferred to an elevated conveyor belt before being carried forward to a sorting table for selection into baskets.

The selected prawns go through either of the two washers, and from there via dip tanks to a work area centrally against the bulkhead of the forepeak, in which flat pack cardboard packaging is conveniently stored. Prawns are finger packed into 3kg cartons that make up 9kg master cartons. These are then placed on racked on racks in the 9m3 blast freezer compartment located on the port side of the main deck, in which  up to 500kgs of prawns can be blast frozen from +15°C to – 25° in approximately six hours before being transferred to freezer hold.

Space is available for a second blast freezer to be fitted, which would double Stella Nova’s handling capacity. The entire catch-handling system was fabricated by DCI Stainless, in conjunction with Mooney Boats.

KER Group supplied and installed three freezing and refrigeration systems on Stella Nova, together with a 2.50t Buus flake ice machine.

The 50m3 freezer hold is positioned aft of a 55m3 refrigerated fishroom. Fan evaporator units deliver a temperature of -25°C in the blast freezer compartment on the main deck, and -20°C in the freezer hold forward. Conventional stainless steel pipework is attached to the deck head in the refrigerated hold.

Mitsubishi power

Stella Nova’s aft engine room is laid out with Mitsubishi engines delivered by Padmos in Killybegs, while the Padmos workshops in Holland machined the tail shaft and stern tube.

The Mitsubishi S6R2-T2MPTK-3 Tier II complaint main engine develops 423kW and is coupled to a Reintjes WAF 474L 7.476:1 reduction gearbox to turn a 2500mm diameter fixed-pitch propeller in a high efficiency nozzle. This combination results in a maximum propeller speed of 180rpm and one of around 140rpm when typically towing with the main engine running at 1050rpm.

A 335kW Mitsubishi S6B3-T2MPTAW-15 auxiliary engine powers the deck machinery hydraulics through a Technodrive gearbox running three 90kW load sensing hydraulic pumps. A Stamford 120kVA alternator is driven off the front end of this auxiliary engine. A second 120kVA Stamford generator is driven by a Mitsubishi 6D16-T auxiliary engine. The full electrical installation on Stella Nova was carried out in house by Mooney Boats. A 30kVA Whisper harbour genset based on an air-cooled Mitsubishi S4S is fitted in the forepeak and provides power while in harbour. This generator is also used to run the emergency fire pump on the vessel and emergency power supply.

Wheelhouse array

Stella Nova has wheelhouse electronics supplied by Galway Marine, with fishfinding handled by Hondex HE-1500di and Simrad EQ-80 dual frequency (50/200kHz/28/75kHz) colour sounders. Position data is derived from the Koden 920 and 913 GPS receivers and heading provided by a Furuno SC50 satellite compass. Positioning data received is interfaced to a Olex dual screen 3D seabed mapping and 2 Sodena plotting systems supporting a combination of tidal data, CMAP charts, AIS and ARPA tracking.

The Koden MDC 7000 and 2941 radars are interfaced to a Koden KAT 100 Class A AIS transceiver and with ARPA, provide tracking both within the radars themselves as well as the plotting systems. The digital autopilot is a Simrad AP70.

Communications and safety equipment includes Sailor and Furuno MF/HF GMDSS radio telephones, Sailor 6222 DSC and Icom ICM423 VHFs, 2 x Icom 1600e handheld GMDSS VHFs and ICS Navtex.

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