Armon returns to UK fishing marketNew crabber Frank Henry on sea trials before leaving Armon’s Navia yard

With the delivery of vivier crabber Frank Henry to its owners in southern England, Astilleros Armon celebrates the 26th vessel built at the yard for the UK and Irish fishing fleets, reports Phil Lockley.

Now in operation after being delivered earlier this summer, Frank Henry DH-181 joins Edward Henry DH-100, which was built at the same yard almost twenty years ago.

“We are very pleased to deliver this vessel to a repeat owner. As it is common for Armon, this boat has been designed and built to meet all requirements from the owner. This marks over two dozen fishing vessels built by Astilleros Armon for owners in Britain and Ireland and we hope to continue this trend in the future,” said the yard’s commercial director Ricardo Garcia.

“The owners are delighted with the vessel,” he added.

Frank Henry has a 22 metre overall length with a 7.30 metre beam and a 3.95 metre moulded depth, has been designed by Astilleros Armon and built at its Navia yard.

It has 45 cubic metres of vivier tank capacity, and a deck layout based on the owner’s ideas and long experience of crab fishing. The deck hardware is a two-tonne Britannia SW slave hauler.

The owners opted for a company local to them to supply the electronics. The package of equipment is mainly from Furuno, plus a Navitron autopilot, Sailor VHF sets and a Thrane Satphone were installed by Globe Marine..

The main engine is a 660hp Caterpillar C32 driving an 1800mm, four-bladed CPP propeller via a ZF gearbox with a reduction of 6:1. The gearbox comes with a PTO. Auxiliary engines are a pair of 100kW Caterpillar C7.1s powering 125kVa alternators.

According to Astilleros Armon’s UK and Ireland agent Terry Ekers, the arrival of Frank Henry has attracted a great deal of interest from the shellfish fleet and further orders are already being discussed.

Frank Henry is a tribute to the yard, and that extends to all vessels built by Astilleros Armon. Two very important facts are that the Frank Henry was completed on time – in truth its launch was a couple of weeks before the contract date. Secondly, the final price was exactly the price quoted. Fishermen cannot expect to sign a contract on one day to be given a higher bill on completion of the build. Such practice does not happen with Astilleros Armon,” he said, adding that he has been the yard’s agent for three decades and has seen many fishing vessels, workboats and small ships leave its yards.

“I never stop admiring the quality of the build.”

He commented that with the downturn in newbuilds for the European fishing market some years ago, he had decided to retire.

“But it wasn’t long before I returned to work. A significant increase in new builds is now taking place and Astilleros Armon remain a shipyard that a growing number of UK and Irish skippers may choose for a new build,” he said, predicting an upturn in confidence among UK and Irish fishermen.

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