With its delivery delayed by six months due to delays completing the hull in Poland, things were getting tight for Rav and its owners, and hopes of being able to catch its 5847 tonne blue whiting quota were beginning to fade as the opening of the North Sea herring fishery was also approaching.
While the christening of a new fishing vessel is always a great day for company and the locality around it, as it would have been for the Trøndelag community which is Rav’s home, to save time and get the new vessel to sea in time, the owners opted to have the christening ceremony at the Karstensen yard in Skagen a couple of weeks before delivery.
‘There was no time to lose,’ said mate and co-owner Petter Hepsø when Rav was still alongside in Skagen in April, explaining that for the Norwegian fleet the season off western Ireland normally ends by the beginning of April. With the paint barely dry, Rav steamed up to Hirtshals to spool warps and then across to Egersund to pick up its trawl gear, before heading west.
It wasn’t long before Rav was on the way back, with 2250 tonnes of blue whiting, landed at the Triple Nine Vedde factory in Norway, and immediately headed out for a second trip. This ended with a landing at the Pelagia fishmeal plant in Måløy, pumping ashore 2400 tonnes of blue whiting – making this a full capacity trip with only a few spare cubic metres left in the RSW tanks.
‘The fishing wasn’t easy,’ Petter Hepsø said, ‘The blue whiting were dispersed and it took time to get enough for a good haul.
All the same, Rav managed two impressive landings, considering only a few weeks before it was still in the process of being fitted out at Skagen. Rav continued hunting blue whiting past the usual end of the season, going from south-west of Ireland to waters west of the Western Isles and then northwards, before calling it a day and heading for Hirtshals to put the purse seine gear on board for the herring season.
There is plenty of new thinking and new technology that has gone into Rav’s design and construction. The 79.75 metre, 15.50 metre beam pelagic vessel is built for trawling and purse seining for the traditional species the Norwegian fleet targets; mackerel, herring and blue whiting, and has 2415m3 of RSW capacity, chilled by a twin 1525kW Johnson Controls RSW system to bring catches to processing plants ashore in peak condition.
The yard’s design incorporates an enclosed foredeck that increases safety levels for the crew and increases the vessel’s freeboard significantly compared to conventional pelagic vessels.
Rav’s owners chose an all-electric deck equipment package from Rapp (MacGregor) and should have been the first in the Norwegian fleet to be fitted with an electric purse seine hauler from Triplex MacGregor, in in the event, the delay in construction meant that Strand Senior was delivered with the first electric net hauler a few weeks ahead of Rav.
The electric winch systems on board re-route energy to the ship’s systems when shooting away, and the electric deck equipment reduces both energy consumption and noise levels on board.