New Fraserburgh pair teamFaithful and Crystal River are the first dedicated pair team to be built at Macduff Shipyards for more than thirty years

It’s almost forty years since Macduff Shipyards last built a dedicated pair trawler team, but have this year handed over a pair of identical new trawlers to their Fraserburgh owners which operate exclusively as a pair.

When Solitaire and Sonia Jane were completed at Macduff in the 1980s, there was still a demand for wooden hulls for this class of vessel, but now owners Stewart Buchan and David Cardno have taken delivery of steel-hulled new trawlers that have been built with the same design and hull form as Good Hope FR-891, which Macduff delivered in 2019.

Aiming for delivery dates as close together as possible for Stewart Buchan’s Faithful FR-129 and David Cardno’s Crystal River FR-178, Macduff shipyards split the construction of the two 26.50 metre by 7.80 metre breadth trawlers between its facilities. Faithful has been built in the Macduff main fabrication hall and Crystal River in the Buckie hall. To assist with the build schedule, many of the steel units for Crystal River were also built in Macduff before being shipped by sea to Buckie for assembly.

With every industry sector affected by the pandemic, shipbuilding has been no exception, particularly coping with delays that put delivery of the two new trawlers a couple of months apart. Fruitful was delivered this summer, joined by Crystal River to make its first landing in September.

“The pandemic has delayed the building schedule for both vessels and subsequently made delivery at the same time challenging. However, the yard managed to delivery both vessels within three months and would like to sincerely thank both Stewart and David for their patience,” a spokesman for the yard said.

There is a great deal of Macduff input throughout the two identical trawlers, from the deck equipment to the catch handling systems, and partner company Macduff Ship Design also played a central role in these builds. The chosen hull form was developed using CFD technology, assisted by the Wolfson Unit in Southampton, to optimise the design to reduce resistance and fuel consumption, while also allowing for a 1150 box fishroom capacity. Macduff Ship Design faired the design lines, analysed the stability, draughted a full set of structural plans and produced a computer ‘kit’ of steel parts required to build the hull.

The kit was nested, and CNC machine profiled by another company within the group, Macduff Profilers, with the Lloyds Grade A shipbuilding plate parts delivered to the fabrication halls for assembly. As usual, the wheelhouse and masts were built from marine grade aluminium to minimise weight.

The yard designed and installed a tailor-made hydraulic deck machinery package, so Faithful and Crystal River each have a large triple barrel winch powered by a Hagglunds CA210 drive, a pair split net drums, a bagging net drum, one small gear handling winch, a codend winch and a dedicated anchor windlass. Thistle Marine supplied both the MFB8 landing crane and MBK13 powerblock crane, both mounted on a slew ring base.

Primary hydraulic power is provided by a single Denison hydraulic pump driven from a dedicated 330hp Cummins QSL9-M auxiliary engine, and secondary hydraulic power is provided by a separate Denison hydraulic pump driven from a power take-off mounted on the main gearbox. A 280hp hydraulic bow thruster is also fitted. The hydraulic system, designed by the yard, is cooled via a Blokland box cooler and Bowman heat exchanger.

Propulsion consists of a 2500mm fixed pitch propeller inside a high lift nozzle supplied by Wärtsilä, turned by a 750hp at 1600-1800rpm Caterpillar C32 main engine through a Masson Marine W7400 reversible gearbox with 9.077:1 reduction.

The yard has now fitted seven vessels with this propulsion package in recent years, and this shown itself to be both robust and adaptable with the wide operating speed range of the C32 main engine providing flexibility to achieve full power from a fixed pitch propeller both in both steaming and trawling modes of operation. On sea trials the pair each achieved 9.0 knots at only 50% engine load, and 10.7 knots at 100% load.

Faithful and Crystal River each have a triple rudder system and steering gear supplied by Scan Steering.

Cooling systems for all engines and hydraulics onboard are served by box coolers supplied by Blokland Non-Ferro.

Tank capacities are for 24 tonnes of fresh water and for 24,398 litres of fuel. Accommodation on board each vessel is for a crew of six to eight.

Electrical power onboard is provided by two Mitsubishi generator sets supplied by Macduff Diesels Limited, each with a rating of 98ekW and of sufficient size to run the vessels’ power independently, providing complete redundancy.

The electrical systems onboard were designed and fitted by R.D. Downie who also fabricated the vessels switchboard and control panels for all the pumps and motor starters. In addition to this R.D. Downie also provided the fire, bilge and gas alarm systems on board along with the navigation light panel and assisted with the installation of the navigation equipment.

The fish processing decks features a tailor-made catch handling system built by the yard to the owners’ requirements. Two separate compartments are formed within the fish processing area which both contain a 2.550-tonne ice makers and associated plant. The Geneglace icemakers and refrigeration systems were supplied and fitted by Premier Refrigeration.

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