The order was placed at the Skipper Expo in Aberdeen in 2018, and with the trawler completed ahead of schedule, it put in a couple of trips before this year’s Expo in Aberdeen, and before the boat’s own formal naming ceremony takes place this month.
The 23.30 metre LOA, 7.50 metre beam Fruitful Bough PD-109 replaces a 19.90 metre boat of the same name, which is staying in Peterhead as Gracious PD-103 after being sold to David West.
‘Fishing trials went without a hitch, and provided a snapshot of the potential in terms of towing capabilities, fuel economy and quiet running. Doubtless considerably more challenging conditions are just around the corner, but I’m confident that Fruitful Bough will meet these head-on and prove to be a strong asset in years to come,’ Robert West said.
‘I’m absolutely delighted with the level of build quality and finish. A lot of people and companies have contributed to the end result, so sincere thanks to everyone for ensuring that Fruitful Bough has been completed ahead of the date promised when the order was placed.’
Fruitful Bough is following the pattern of fishing six- to seven-day trips before landing into Peterhead, with prawns being the main focus throughout the year, with Robert West sharing the wheelhouse with relief skipper Alistair Reid.
The layout on board is largely conventional, with forepeak, fishroom, engine room and cabins below the main deck. Accommodation is arranged with a single-berth skipper’s cabin, forward of seven bunks arranged on either side of the central compartment housing the Wills Ridley steering gear.
Under the full-length shelterdeck is a passageway, along the port side to link the forward catch-handling area to the quarter with individual heated oilskin storage lockers and bench seating. An additional bulkhead is fitted on the main deck to create a large dedicated forward winch room, with a compartment for the fishroom chiller system and a 2500kg Geneglace flake ice machine.
Fruitful Bough has a full package of deck machinery from EK Marine, which was custom-designed and features load sensing technology for efficient operation. This starts with a three-drum trawl winch located in the forward compartment, and this has a 33-tonne core pull as well as being fitted with two-speed motors. Each drum is loaded with 100 fathoms of 22mm Dyneema warp supplied by Jackson Trawls.
The port and starboard warps are tracked upward and across the shelterdeck top to the aft gantry, while the middle wire is offset slightly to starboard as it runs under the wheelhouse floor and out to a block on the gantry above the clump weight’s bay.
EK Marine also supplied a pair of double net drums lined up with the shooting and hauling hatches at the stern, and a 7.50-tonne gilson mounted forward on the lifting gantry over the hatch leading to the reception hopper on the catch handling deck below.
The 1.50t/7.80m kinked-boom crane mounted on the aft trawl gantry is fitted with a Thistle 24in W-sheave powerblock. A pair of general-purpose 3-tonne Rotzler gear-handling winches are fitted on either side of the crane, to give further options when working twin-rig trawls and dealing with boulders and debris.
Catches pass from the hopper along a sorting table for selection and gutting, with fish placed in elevated baskets and prawn tails go via chutes to baskets on the deck. The deck is fitted out with twin prawn/whitefish washers and a rectangular prawn dip tank, and baskets are held securely between a set of rails before being dropped down tot he fishroom. Boxes are weighed and labelled, using a VCU catch management system that incorporates Marel scales which transfer data direct to the wheelhouse computer.
The fishroom has a working capacity of around 800 boxes and 500 are normally loaded at the start of each trip. 5 tonnes of flake ice can be held in the ie locker, fed by the Geneglace icemaker above.
Fruitful Bough’s fishroom has a chiller system installed by Premier Refrigeration to both the forward and aft bulkheads, as well as the deck head. Copper chilling pipes fitted to the vertical bulkheads are protected by stainless steel sheeting. Stainless steel 22mm-diameter piping is mounted on the deckhead. The cooling plant is automatically controlled from the wheelhouse and set to the required temperature by a digital thermostat.
Catches are discharged using an EK Marine 1t/8m straight-boom crane fitted with a 1-tonne landing winch.