Twin-rigger delivered by Macduff shipyards to Buckie skipper

Caledonia III built by Macduff Shipyards Twin-rigger Caledonia III has been built by Macduff Shipyards for Buckie skipper Steven Clark

A twin-rigger delivered by Macduff Shipyards to skipper Steven Clark has made a strong start, fishing on grounds mainly from Orkney west as far as the Butt of Lewis, reports Dave Moore.

Steven Clark has spent his whole fishing career working from Buckie, and the new Caledonia III is the third trawler he has owned with the BCK-35 registration. He commented that the fully shelterdecked new vessel represents a big step from the previous vessel

“While Caledonia II would have continued to serve me well, it is important to look to the future. Stocks are in good shape, consumer demand is strong and mate and son-in-law Jonny Roe is keen and strongly motivated, so now was the time to reinvest,” he said.

Caledonia III is everything I expected plus a fair bit more. We expect to fish the new boat along similar lines to the previous one, working four- to six-day trips for most of the year from Scrabster, and grabbing a couple of days here and there whenever the weather permits during the winter months. Macduff Shipyards have done their job to the full, now the onus is on us to do similar prove the capabilities of the new boat.”

The hull was developed in conjunction with Macduff Ship Design Ltd. using computer based CFD technology to minimise overall resistance and ensure a clean flow of water to the propeller to maximise propulsion efficiency. Macduff Profilers, a division of the shipyard, supplied the steel kit from cutting information supplied by Macduff Ship Design Limited. The steel kit was fabricated in Macduff Shipyards modern hall at Buckie, at the same time as all engine room and deck machinery was installed prior to launching.

Caledonia III measures 19 metres overall, with a 7.20 metre beam and a moulded depth of 4.10 metres Fuel capacity is 20,200 litres and 10,000 litres of fresh water are carried. The new trawler features a fairly conventional arrangement, divided below main deck level into forepeak, fishroom, engine room and accommodation cabin. At main deck level a watertight bulkhead forward of the catch reception hopper creates a separate winch room and a compartment containing a Geneglace 1t/day ice-machine and refrigeration equipment is located forward on the port side.

Macduff Shipyards produced most of Caledonia III’s deck equipment, including the three-drum trawl winch. Rated with a 23.80 tonne core pull, the winch is fitted with a Hägglunds CA140 compact drive motor. The winch drums are spooled with 275 fathoms of 20mm diameter compact trawl wire. The outer warps run across the top of the shelterdeck to sheaves at the aft corners of the wheelhouse and to hanging blocks on the aft gantry. The middle warp runs under the wheelhouse floor before leading upwards to pass over a roller built into the transom rail above a secure track for the centre weight.

Two pairs of 5.60-tonne split net drums are arranged on the quarter in line with the transom shooting and hauling hatches, the lower edges of which are fitted with free turning large diameter rollers. Thistle Marine Ltd. supplied the MKB7 short post crane with tilting 24-inch powerblock fitted on the trawl gantry.

The codends are lifted aboard forward on the starboard side by a 5-tonne gilson over an hydraulically operated hatch and a large capacity reception hopper fitted with a sprinker system. Once dropped into the hopper, the catch is fed onto a table leading aft for sorting and gutting. Gutted fish pass through one of the two fish washers before being given a final hand wash, after which the filled baskets are moved forward for weighing and labelling using a VCU Catch Management system positioned forward to port. Similar to the catch arrangements that worked well on Steven Clark’s previous vessel, this system is designed to deliver optimum levels of catch quality, particularly for megrim and cod which bruise easily.

Although Caledonia III is not expected to target prawns on a regular basis, a rectangular two-basket chilled prawn dip tank is positioned forward near the twin washers.

The fishroom has a working capacity of around 650 stacker boxes supplied by Box Pool Solutions. Stacks of boxes pulled forward to the deck hatch by a small hydraulic winch are lifted ashore from the fishroom using a Thistlelift MFB 8 stiff boom landing crane and 1-tonne landing winch.

Twin-rig trawls

Faithlie Trawls supplied Caledonia III with two letterbox-style 200-foot trawls rigged on 6- and 8-inch diameter discs. The nets are specifically designed to catch target species such as megrim and monkfish. Faithlie Trawls also supplied a pair of 180-foot standard scraper nets rigged on a combination of 6- and 8-inch ground gear. Both sets of sturdily built twin-rig gear, which have been shown to keep their shape long-term and therefore keep maintenance to a minimum, are similar to ones that performed successfully on Caledonia II.

The trawls are towed on sweeps made up of 60 fathoms of 28mm diameter six-strand combination warp and 15 fathoms of 20mm diameter wire rubber legs, together with short lengths of chain strategically positioned to indicate if the gear is in contact with the bottom as expected, with a 1000kg roller clump supplied by Macduff Shipyards and a set of Thyborøn Type 11 trawl doors.

Caledonia III has an electronically controlled Caterpillar C18 ACERT main engine supplied by Finning UK. This develops (447kW and delivers power solely to propulsion, driving a 2000mm diameter four-bladed fixed pitch Wärtsilä propeller inside a high-trust, low-drag Wärtsilä nozzle, via a Reintjes gearbox with a  7.409:1 reduction.

The stern gear package, including a triple rudder, was designed by the shipyard and manufactured by Macduff Precision Engineering on CNC machines. Sea trials showed an average top speed of 9.5 knots and economical towing performance.

A 182kW Mitsubishi 6D24TC variable-speed auxiliary engine is mounted on the port tank top. In addition to supplying the vessel’s main hydraulic system through a clutched pump connected directly to the engine’s flywheel, this auxiliary engine also drives a 48kW Mecce Alte 415/3/50 generator. A similarly rated generator is driven by a Mitsubishi S4KT engine. A back-up hydraulic net retrieve system in the form of a clutched Dongi PTO unit is driven off the front end of the main engine.


Woodsons of Aberdeen supplied the electronics package fitted in Caledonia III’s wheelhouse, with an array of eight 19-inch Neovo and two 24-inch X type glass front screens, with an 8x8-way matrix display selection switch, ahead of a central console and two control positions. An aft wheelhouse trawl console overlooks the deck from the starboard quarter, providing an uninterrupted view as the codends are brought forward to be emptied.

A Hondex HE-7300Di dual frequency (50/200kHz) sounder is the primary fishfinder, with ground hardness output interfaced to the dual screen 3D Olex plotter. There are also two Sodena Easywin plotters - supporting a combination of Tide T8 charts, AIS and ARPA tracking, with position data derived from two Furuno GP39 GPS receivers and vessel heading provided a Hemisphere satellite compass. Two Koden radars provide ARPA and AIS tracking as well as through the plotters.

A Scanmar Scanmate double distance net system is used to monitor the trawl gear, and date from three Scanmar SS4 sensors mounted on the doors and roller, operating via a ScanMate bridge system, provides constant numerical and graphical updates of the openings of the two nets relative to the roller and how the central weight is positioned in relation to the trawl doors. This allows the position of the middle clump to be adjusted as required. Scanmar also supplied a headline flow sensor, enabling Steven Clarke to constantly monitor the symmetry of his gear.

The autopilot is a Navitron NT 921MK II digital set. A secondary jog steering lever, along with a duplicate set of Kolbelt engine controls, is positioned at the trawl console, as well as aft on the shelterdeck near the controls for the powerblock crane.

Satellite communications on board, including the Ecatch Elog system relaying information from the VCU Catch Management System, are handled by an eSEA 60Ka internet system an de-SEA 60 Satellite TV system.

Woodsons also installed an extensive CCTV systemI. Images from eleven HD cameras, together with an underwater video camera monitoring the propeller and triple rudder,  provide comprehensive coverage across the quarter and trawl gantry, catch-handling area, winch, engine and fish rooms, in addition to fore and aft aerial views from the top to the radar mast.


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