Killybegs yard delivers Shetland trawler Ocean Challenge has been completed by Mooney Boats for the Hughson family in Shetland

Despite the obstacles of lockdowns in Ireland disrupting the yard’s schedule, Mooney Boats in Killybegs has delivered its largest newbuild to date for owners in Shetland.

Built for the Hughson family, the Vestværft-designed Ocean Challenge has been completed by Mooney Boats on a hull fabricated in Poland. In spite of the challenges that 2020 has placed in everyone’s way, Ocean Challenge’s delivery is just a matter of weeks behind its original delivery date.

“We quickly found ways to adapt due to the vessel owners being unable to travel to the shipyard. To overcome this Mooney Boats’ design team began sophisticated 3D design drawings of various layouts which were sent digitally to vessel owners to review and walk around proposed designs on their mobile devices such as iPad and laptops,” commented Alan Hennigan at Mooney Boats.

“From the success of these 3D design drawings, we were later tasked with designing the fish processing system, a first for the shipyard. Using the latest 3D software, the yard digitally designed and rendered the fish processing deck for approval by the owners in Shetland.”

Ocean Challenge is fitted out in Mooney Boats’s style, with LED strip lighting around the accommodation areas. Each of the seven cabins has its own flatscreen TV, and there’s a 55-inch television in the mess, which is separated from the galley area by a glass partition. The accommodation has underfloor heating throughout.

The 28.50 metre LOA by 8.70 metre trawler has an ABC 6 DZC main engine powering a Heimdal HG600S 3PTOF gearbox and a Heimdal 3000mm diameter propeller. Auxiliary power is provided by a pair of 218kW Caterpillar 9.3 DITA units, backed up by a Caterpillar 4.4 DIT air-cooled harbour set.

Ocean Challenge is expected to operate mainly on whitefish on fishing grounds around Shetland and West of Scotland, working a 14-day rotation to switch skipper and crew, and with a planned three landings to take place within each 14-day spell.

Trawl gear is prepared locally, and Ocean Challenge fishes with a pair of Thyborøn Type 12 doors and a 2300 roller clump. The doors and clump carry Scanmar SS4 double distance and angle sensors, and the trawl are rigged with HC4 trawl sounder and HC4 flow sensors, relaying data to the Scanbas 365 Bridge System in Ocean Challenge’s wheelhouse.

The SS4 sensors on the doors relay the pitch and roll of the doors, as well as the door spread and indicating if the clump is ahead, behind or in line with the doors.

The headline-mounted trawl sounder provides headline height and the footrope’s seabed clearance, as well as relaying data on the density of fish in the mouth of the trawl, displayed with both a 0-9 numerical density and a colour code system.

Leslie and Stephen Hughson expect to use the trawl sounder on their portside trawl, although it can easily be switched, alongside the flow sensor.

“This will be my third vessel in a row with Scanmar and I can honestly say I’ve never had a single problem with it – the intricacies of trawl technology requires a top quality system,” Leslie Hughson said, commenting that the trawl electronics have contributed to his success with previous trawlers Ocean Way and Fair Way.

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