‘We’re working on the development of 18, 24 and 30 metre Raptor designs now,’ said naval architect Alfreð Tulinius at Nautic Group.
The original concept was for a 24 metre trawler with a 9 metre beam, with space to accommodate a crew of nine and an endurance of around ten days – initially envisaged for the the Russian ‘Mosquito’ coastal fishing fleet.
This would be a trawler with a pair of net drums, capacity to pump pelagic catches over the stern, or else to drop demersal catches into a receiving bin before being taken to a 50m2 covered processing area and from there to a fishroom capable of holding seventy 660 litre tubs.
The streamlined lines that the design team came up with were what earned it the Raptor name.
However, this work in progress quickly became something significantly bigger as the interest in it came from unexpected directions – making it clear that it’s not only the Russian market that is looking for versatile options for coastal fishing vessels.
‘There’s a need for this size of trawler for the Russian fleet, but this is also needed in other parts of the world, so now we are focusing on these three designs,’ he said, adding that this is a flexible concept, initially envisaged as a cost-effective option.
‘We’re looking at tubs in the fishroom for both demersal and pelagic fishing. If you decide to go for tanks, then you’re going to need RSW and a vacuum pump system for discharging, so the costs add up quickly and it starts to get expensive,’ he said, but did not rule out that these options could also be included if required by the customer.
A key part of the design is to step away from the traditional single main engine and propeller, replacing accepted arrangement with a pair of azimuthing thrusters powered by electric motors mounted directly on the shafts, and with a bank of diesel engines meeting the energy requirements.
‘The cost of this is much the same as a single main engine arrangement, and the two thrusters mean that there’s no need for a rudder, although a skeg to protect the thrusters is part of the design. The advantages are that it’s possible to shorten the engine room, which makes better use of the space available on board, and the draft is also kept modest – a consideration for fishing in estuarine and coastal waters.
‘There’s certainly a need for this type and size of fishing vessel throughout Russia, especially for the Baltic, Black Sea and Sea of Azov, as well as in the Far Eastern region. and there are several hundred coastal fishing vessels that need to be replaced with more modern and efficient capacity,’ he said, commenting that this is something the Russian authorities are in favour of, with the expectation that subsidies will be made available for new vessels in the various classes with in the Mosquito fleet – and possibly a further incentive for renewal in the form of tax disadvantages for those who choose not to invest.
Behind the Raptor concept the thinking is also to be able to produce these vessels on a production line basis which keeps costs down, with a customer able to take delivery of a kit that can be assembled by a local yard.
‘We’re working on this with our partners within the Knarr group, particularly for the Russian market. The overall concept is to provide a complete package that includes catch reception ashore, handling and processing. It’s not enough to be able to catch your fish and deliver it, and particularly for the Russian market we’re looking at this as a complete chain from catching to the end of the production process, of which the Raptor design is just one element,’ Alfreð Tulinius said.