Taking versatility to a new levelAustral Fisheries went back to Båtbygg in Norway for its new multipurpose Cape Arkona. Photo: Båtbygg

A unique new fishing vessel built to operate primarily as a longliner for Patagonian toothfish has been delivered by Båtbygg in Norway to Austral Fisheries. Cape Arkona also has capacity for pelagic trawling and for fishing with traps.

The Skipskompetanse-designed, 66.90 metre LOA, 15 metre breadth Cape Arkona has been completed at Båtbygg on a hull constructed at Marine Projects in Gdansk. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the decision was taken not to hold a christening ceremony or celebration, and the latest addition to the Austral Fisheries fleet departed in early July from the yard in Måløy for its 45-day delivery trip to Fremantle in Western Australia.

While Cape Arkona’s primary role is longlining for toothfish in the Southern Ocean, the owners came to the design process with a requirement to be able to pelagic trawl for icefish, and also to include a setup for handling traps. The company has already experimented with trapping for toothfish, and this provides an alternative to longlining that prevents cetacean predation as well as opening possibilities for fishing for toothfish year-round, as the current season is limited to the winter while seabirds are not breeding.

The longline setup is a 70,000-hook system with equipment supplied by BFG Fiskevegn, with a line hauler, hook separator and magazine system, as well as the baiting machine and lines. The line is shot through an opening built into Cape Arkona’s stern, so that lines are deployed into the water below the surface to eliminate bird strikes, although there is still a requirement to operate with Torry lines to deter seabirds.

The pot hauler is from Fremantle Hydraulics and the electric trawl winch system on board is from Rapp Hydema.

Cape Arkona’s factory deck is from Westmek, with freezers and a refrigeration system from Teknotherm providing a 50-tonne per day freezing capacity, with catches stored in the 1154 cubic metre refrigerated hold.

The design of any multifunctional vessel sets challenges, not least when there is a requirement for both active and passive fishing methods in the same hull.

To optimise Cape Arkona for its different operating profiles, an engine room with an innovative father-and-son system has been designed, including a Brunvoll gearbox and propeller.

Cape Arkona’s 1825kW Caterpillar 3516C and 1250kW 3512C deliver power to a custom-built Brunvoll gearbox, driving a variable speed, controllable pitch CP95/4 P propeller, with a pair of shaft generators able to provide power to the ship’s systems, frequency-modulated to provide a steady 60hZ supply at any speed.

One of the two shaft generators connected to the same gear can be run as an electric propulsion motor / PTI. This allows power to be adapted to actual consumption, reducing running time and optimising load profile on main engines while reducing fuel consumption and providing a very robust and redundant solution. To further reduce consumption and increase safety, a peak shaving battery installation from Elmarin/Corvus has been fitted, which also acts as blackout prevention. The batteries also absorb regenerated electricity from trawl winches and re-distribute this on board as needed.

A number of companies within the Måløy Maritime Group (MMG) have been involved in Cape Arkona’s build. These include the Båtbygg yard and designer Skipskompetanse, as well as Isovent, which  installed the ventilation and insulation, and electronics specialist Ocean Electronics, which supplied the largely Furuno wheelhouse installation, with banks of 22 27- and 55-inch monitors.

The sounders are Furuno FCV-30 and Simrad ES-80 sets, and the current log is a Furuno CI-68. The chart plotter is a MaxSea Time Zero and the radars FAR-2218 and FAR 2238S are from Furuno.

The communications setup is for Sea Area 3, with two Furuno Inmarsat C Felcom -18 systems, Sailor Fleet Broadband 250, a Sailor Iridium 4300 and a Sailor 6150 Mini Satcom-C.

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