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The August Bank Holiday weekend saw the christening of the 5th newbuild of a long line of vessels for Eamon McHugh and Family in Killybegs as the latest “ANTARTIC” joined the North West RSW fleet.

Eamon McHugh is a well-known pelagic fishing skipper, who has been fishing for some 40 years, working his way up from mate on the Paula to skipper his own vessels. 

Antarctic Fishing Company was established in 1987 with the purchase of first “Antarctic”. In 1997 a newly built “Antarctic” was commissioned later being replaced with the owners 3rd “Antarctic” in 2007. The new “Antarctic” will be fifth vessel in the ownership of Eamon McHugh and his family.

Teresa and Eamon McHugh has headed the family business for 25 years, since starting with the first “Antarctic”, brought from Eamons brother Kevin McHugh. Sons Eamon J and Gerard are also deeply involved in the family business, with Eamon J managing the shore side and Gerard fishing onboard present vessel as skipper.


The hull for “Antarctic” was built by Karstensen Shipyard Poland in Gdynia, and arrived in Skagen in January 2021. The vessel was handed over in July and undertook the long steam back to her home port. 

The vessel design, specification and arrangements is a result of an extensive and close cooperation between Owners and Yard, where all details have been tailor made to suit Eamon McHughs exact specifications. Main focus has been set on optimizing working, safety and comfort for the crew, optimizing catch handling- and storage facilities and optimizing of fuel consumption.

The new “Antarctic” is based on Karstensen Shipyards highly successful 63m hull model, which has proven characteristics in relation to sea keeping and fuel consumption. KS 63m hulls are in operation in all parts of northern Europe, with one already based in Killybegs, namely “Paula”. 

In order to reach above targets, the ship is fitted out with all the newest machinery and equipment, and suppliers have been chosen carefully to match specification and requirements. In particular it is noteworthy, that Killybegs based Sea Quest has supplied the full deck machinery / winch / crane package.

Likewise Killybegs-based KER Group has also been a main contributor to the new vessel, having supplied the full RSW-machinery and vacuum unloading packages. Barry Electronics, also of Killybegs, has supplied and installed the complete array of electronics for the new vessel.

These companies have long standing business relationships with Eamon McHugh. But this order represents a first complete supply to Karstensen Shipyard.

Continuing the practice of using local suppliers, the new Antactic is fitted with trawl gear from KT Nets and Swan Net Gundry. MMG supplied the gangways and the vessel insurance is with D&D.


The hull is built in steel with two continuous decks; main deck and shelter deck, and with long forecastle- and boat decks. Wheelhouse, boat deck, funnel and masts are built in aluminium.

Hull shape of round bilge construction with bulbous bow and stern skeg, flared stem and transom stern.

Below main deck the hull is subdivided into the following watertight compartments: Forepeak, bow thruster-/sonar room, insulated RSW-tank section with central RSW pump- and manifold room, engine room with main engine connected to reduction gearbox with ducted propeller and aftpeak with fuel- and lub oil tanks.

On main deck the hull is arranged with: Forepeak, electronics room, room for unloading (vacuum) system, trunks for RSW-tanks with centre corridor with RSW-units, accommodation section Starboard with workshop, exhaust and ventilation trunking and engine control room/switchboard room. All aft/Portside hydraulic room with steering gear.

Accommodation on main deck is arranged with 7 1-man and 2 1-officer crew cabins all with en-suite toilet/shower compartments, trim room and corridor and staircase.

In order to create best possible design for low noise, the accommodation is located as far away from the propeller as possible. In addition a number of constructive steps were made, in order to create a low noise level. During trails noise measurements showed levels well below any requirements and recommendations.

On shelter deck arrangement is: Store (1) forepeak, generator room and aft/under forecastle store (2). Abaft forecastle fish receiving deck, with centre deck house with water separator and hatches for the 8 RSW-tanks. In way of hatches, fore deck crane is mounted.

Abaft midship, full width superstructure. Superstructure is arranged with: Deck store, changing room with oil skin drying area, day- and mess room, galley with provision stores and corridor with staircases.

Abaft superstructure trawl deck with 2 net drums. On transom, 2 hydraulic operated stern gates with roller on top are recessed. In front of each stern gate, 3 hydraulic operated guiding poles are fitted. Above-deck tracks for midwater weights are also fitted.

After part of trawl deck Portside is arranged as trawl pumping deck, with fish pump, hose reels and tail-end block.

On forecastle deck, anchor winch in dedicated house, together with mooring equipment. Abaft of this, roll reduction tank and forecastle deck.

On boat deck, abaft midship, deck house in centre. Accommodation in deck house with skipper- and mates cabins and instrument room. Room for accommodation ventilation is also incorporated into the deck house. Portside funnel with exhaust and ventilation intakes.

All aft boat deck is full width with Starboard and Portside walkways forward. Integrated in aft ship construction and boat deck is the trawl gallow, which accommodates 2 main towing blocks as well as tail- and top line blocks. A net sounding winch is fitted on top of gallow. The Wheelhouse sits on on top of the deck house, with 360° view. The Funnel with deck for MOB-boat and –crane sits Portside.

Design principles for main engine / auxiliary arrangement are as follows:

On the reduction gearbox, a Power-Take-Off mounted with a shaft alternator, produces 1650 kWe. To supply additional electric power, the vessel is fitted with 2 auxiliary engines / gen-sets, producing 930 respectively 550 kWe. In addition a harbour set of 122 kW is fitted.

During heaving/shooting operations at fishing, when the winch system is in use, the gearbox PTO will be clutched in, and electric power will be supplied from the shaft alternator. When there is demand for full power on the winches, there will normally not be same demand for power on the main engine. Following the main engine will be power source for both propulsion and hydraulic system. 

During normal towing, the shaft alternator will/can be disengaged, and the electrical power will/can be supplied by either of the gen-sets.

The 2 gen-sets will be able to connect into main switchboard, controlled by the vessels DEIF Power-Management-System.

Electrical power system is fitted for sliding frequency (60-50 Hz), by means of frequency converters for 400/440 V and clean power static supply/converter for 230 V. This will allow main engine and propeller rpm to be reduced with 17%.

Speaking to The Skipper, Eamonn Mchugh said “ We are delighted with the new Antarctic and would like to thank all the companies involved for bringing this stunning vessel to fruition. Karstensen’s delivered exactly what we had envisaged and Killybegs suppliers showed they are world leaders in their field. 

The Skipper would like to wish the McHugh family & the crew of the new Antarctic every success and safe prospoerous fishing into the future.