When planning a newbuilding, interaction between concerned partners is essential to producing a vessel with optimal functionality. When leading expertise in design, shipbuilding, equipment, and operation is brought together, this process is enhanced, and the owner’s role is key to this. The owner’s requirements and understanding of operational requirements set the parameters that lead to development in design as well as equipment.
“Most fishing vessel owners are genuinely interested in new technology, and not least in the environment. Combined with the fact that there has been relatively good economy in fishing, owners have taken advantage of this by investing in new technology for their newbuildings. In addition, it is worth noting that many of the owners themselves are skippers on board, and therefore clearly see the benefit and gain from the investments in their own everyday work,” said Egil Sandvik, managing director of Salt Ship Design.
This independent design company, based at Stord in western Norway, has for years worked to improve the performance of new vessels through innovation and well recognised solutions. Environment, sustainability, and safety get the top focus.
“Fishing vessel owners often have an extra motivation to think about the environment, seeking sustainable solutions that result in healthy, clean seas and optimal conditions for the catch. Financially, both investments and not least the savings it can entail from operating expenses have a direct impact on the owner’s wallet to a much greater extent than if you build a vessel to be chartered or resold. With the current quota system, the income from fishing is to a great extent set, so reducing costs is a matter of efficient operation,” he said, adding that fishing vessel owners are very concerned about each vessel’s seakeeping and other qualities, closely linked to hull design, propulsion, and manoeuvring efficiency, and not least noise. There is a strong focus on everything concerning the environment, emissions and fuel economies, and for the fishing vessel owner fuel economy is a vital aspect.
“Good collaboration with equipment suppliers provides great opportunities, and it’s a necessity that suppliers have both commitment and knowledge of the industry. Salt Ship Design and Brunvoll have collaborated on several development projects for a number of ship owners over the years. Our experience is that Brunvoll’s commitment and knowledge of the market are genuine, and this is essential for being involved in developing good products for the industry,” Egil Sandvik said.
Brunvoll’s Sales Manager Arne Tennøy shares this perception of the fishing vessel owners’ significant role in promoting development, and commented that he greatly appreciates being surrounded by so many talented players with great competence and willingness to invest.
Important to have the best solutions
Aas Mekaniske Verksted specialises in the design and construction of live fish carriers. Ronny Uren, Technical Purchaser at the yard, emphasises suppliers’ agility and ability to adapt to the customer.
Aas Mek. has for many years had a good collaboration with Brunvoll as a local supplier, and experiences and knowledge in development processes are constantly exchanged between the parties. Aas Mek. designs and builds the vessels themselves, providing a deeper perspective to the collaboration.
“We are now in close dialogue with Brunvoll about new solutions for control and automation systems,” he said, commenting that he believes involving external parties early in the process is positive and gives confidence in new products that are launched.
“For us, it is important that renewal takes place strategically, so that new product portfolios are established to last, since we would like to use them in series of vessels that are built over time.”
Savings with customised reduction gear
Recently delivered pelagic vessel Odd Lundberg, owned by Norwegian fishing company of the same name, built with a strong focus on optimal working conditions, safety and comfort for the crew.
“We are very proud of our vessel,” said Mats Lundberg, Odd Lundberg’s skipper.
“The performance and the new technology means that we can save time and fuel when we are at sea, and this means more time at home with our families and friends. When using new technology, it is not unlikely to meet some challenges in the beginning to find out how the systems work and how to use them most efficiently, but we are very satisfied with the new vessel, everything has worked very well.”
A collaboration between the owner, the shipyard, the engine manufacturer and Brunvoll resulted in an effective and sustainable solution for propulsion and manoeuvring, based on the vessel’s operating profile. The propulsion system which includes a two step gearbox has been proven to provide significant savings.
“We have used step two of the system to a much greater extent than first expected. We also experimented with the plant during trawling, and to our surprise we experienced that trawling using step two and the 50-60 Hz floating frequency resulted in our fuel consumption decreasing by 100-130 litres per hour. With 12-20 hours spent in that condition per day for much of the year, such savings are very positive,” Mats Lundberg said.
“From our operational experience this first year and a half, we probably spend 70-80% of the time in step two and use step one if we are very busy or are trawling in bad weather. All in all, we are very satisfied with the system and the flexibility it gives us.”
Good processes provide the best solutions
Ervik Havfiske is Norway’s largest longline fishing company and is one of the world’s largest longline operators. Stig Ervik started himself as a fisherman, and today he is president of Ervik Havfiske Holding AS. He stresses the importance of collaboration around finding the best solutions in the process of developing a new vessel.
“We appreciate receiving suggestions for solutions, whether it is an electric motor, hydraulic system, or control systems, and that suppliers base recommendations for the best solutions adapted to our needs on their own expertise and experience. Furthermore, we work together to achieve the optimum layout leading to a good solution that we are confident in, and which is delivered as the result of a positive process,” Stig Ervik said.
Ervik Havfiske has many vessels with Brunvoll propulsion and manoeuvring systems, and he highlights the value of collaboration in achieving these results. He also sees it as a great advantage to have propulsion, manoeuvring and control systems from the same supplier.
“We have always used Norwegian suppliers where we could, and when we continue to order from the same supplier after almost 25 years, it goes without saying that we are thoroughly satisfied. The quality and follow-up have been superb,” he said.
“There is some excellent development taking place in the industry. A lot has happened, especially in the field of digitalisation. Now we can connect to each vessel online no matter where in the world it is and see if everything is in order and investigate problems if they arise.”
Demands lead to development
Brunvoll’s Arne Tennøy believes that part of the company’s success in the fishing sector has been its ability to deliver system solutions based on products that are optimised for the different operating conditions that fishing vessels encounter.
“Although fishing vessels are relatively small in comparison to other sea-going vessels, they have a widely varying operational profile, requiring some of the most advanced propulsion systems. Demanding operations under rough conditions place great demands on safety and comfort on board. Efficient operation and reduced costs directly affect profitability,” Arne Tennøy commented.
This close interaction with the fishing sector has for years given Brunvoll first-hand knowledge of the challenges the industry faces, which have contributed to the company’s ability to provide customised systems.
“From a supplier’s point of view, we are very aware of how crucial it is that the shipowner is interested in the best solutions. This is the key to a fruitful development and improvement of functions that benefit the shipowner and contribute to product development and innovation with us,” Arne Tennøy said.