In a sign of growing optimism within the Belgian fishing fleet, on Thursday 8th of October, Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam held a keel-laying ceremony in Poland for two new beam trawlers for two separate clients – Rederij Devan and Rederij Long Ships.

The new beam trawler for Rederij Devan will be named the Z21 Avanti, while its sister-ship for Rederij Long Ships is to be christened Z91 Franson. When Rederij Devan owner Steve Depaepe began looking for a future solution for his fishing business back in 2018, talks with Maaskant resulted in the realisation that one highly efficient vessel would be more profitable than the two less efficient boats that he currently operates. For Rederij Long Ships owner Eddie Cattoor, the decision to invest in a new fishing vessel was based on numerous factors. “We had been looking forward to a new vessel for some time, and now the time is ripe. Fish prices and quotas are satisfactory, the oil price is reasonable and our current vessel is ready for replacement. In short, a good time to invest.”

The vessels are based on Maaskant’s BT3808 design. The BT3808, with specifications that include the maximum permitted length and gross tonnage set by the Belgian Maritime Inspectorate, is a perfect fit for these experienced operators. The basic design has been modified in cooperation with SIP Marine to reduce fuel consumption and increase bollard pull.

“For both the Belgian and Dutch fishing fleets, becoming more efficient through innovation is an important issue,” commented Maaskant’s commercial manager Jeroen van den Berg. “To remain competitive, they need to minimise their operating costs in every way possible, and at Maaskant we continuously revaluate every aspect of the design and fitting out of our fishing boat designs to deliver just that. The updated Damen BT3808 beam trawler in particular offers owners and operators many advantages in today’s challenging commercial fishing environment.”

Damen Shipyards Group

Damen Shipyards Group operates 36 shipbuilding and repair yards, employing 11,000 people worldwide. Damen has delivered more than 6,500 vessels in more than 100 countries and delivers around 175 vessels annually to customers worldwide. Based on its unique, standardised ship-design concept Damen is able to guarantee consistent quality.

Our vision is to become the most sustainable and digital shipbuilder in the world. To achieve this, the focus is on going ‘back to the core’: on standardisation and series construction; the traits that have made Damen great and that are essential to make shipping greener and more connected.

Damen’s focus on standardisation, modular construction and keeping vessels in stock leads to short delivery times, low ‘total cost of ownership’, high resale values and reliable performance. Furthermore, Damen vessels are based on thorough R&D and proven technology.

Damen offers a wide range of products, including tugs, workboats, naval and patrol vessels, high speed craft, cargo vessels, dredgers, vessels for the offshore industry, ferries, pontoons and superyachts.

For nearly all vessel types Damen offers a broad range of services, including maintenance, spare parts delivery, training and the transfer of (shipbuilding) know-how. Damen also offers a variety of marine components, such as nozzles, rudders, winches, anchors, anchor chains and steel works.

Damen Shiprepair & Conversion (DSC) has a worldwide network of eighteen repair and conversion yards of which twelve are located in North West Europe. Facilities at the yards include more than 50 floating (and covered) drydocks, including the longest, 420 x 80 metres, and the widest, 405 x 90 metres, as well as slopes, ship lifts and indoor halls. Projects range from the smallest simple repairs through Class’ maintenance to complex refits and the complete conversion of large offshore structures. DSC completes around 1,300 repair and maintenance jobs annually, both at yards as well as in ports and during voyage.