Vestmannaey heads new trawler series

Vestmannaey docks in the Westman Islands for the first time. Photo: Síldarvinnslan/Guðmundur Alfreðson Vestmannaey docks in the Westman Islands for the first time. Photo credit: Síldarvinnslan/Guðmundur Alfreðson

The first of a series of seven new trawlers for Icelandic owners, Vestmannaey VE-54, has docked in its home port for the first time, ahead of the remaining six trawlers for four different companies.

Built for Bergur-Huginn by Vard Aukra in Norway, Vestmannaey is expected to be followed shortly by sister vessel Bergey, and then a further five for fishing companies Skinney-Thinganes, Útgerðarfélag Akureyringa and Gjögur.

The 28.90 metre trawlers are unusually broad with a 12 metre beam, and each is powered by a pair of 294kW Yanmar main engines driving twin 2000mm diameter Finnøy propellers.This innovative approach to fishing vessel design is expected to provide all the towing power these trawlers require.

The new thinking doesn’t stop there as this new series is fitted out with the latest in permanent magnet electric winches from Norwegian supplier Seaonics, with Scantrol autotrawl control systems.

According to skipper Birgir Thór Sverrisson who sailed the new trawler home from Norway, Vestmannaey is a very quiet ship and the engines can hardly be heard.

“It’s a fantastic ship in every way and very well equipped,” he said, commenting that it is a big step from the old Vestmannaey the new trawler replaces.

“There are much better facilities compared to the old Vestmannaey. That includes the working areas in the wheelhouse and the catch handling deck, and there are big changes there.”

The new Vestmannaey won’t be fishing right away, as the catch handling systems have yet to be fitted, and Birgir Thór Sverrisson expects the new trawler to be ready for sea at the end of August or in early September.

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