Leading Journal of the Irish & UK Fishing Industries

New Sparkling Star

The new Ullapool registered Sparkling Star UL 290 for skipper James Corbett from Kinlochbervie and Don Fishing company was lifted into the water at Parkols Teesside yard in mid February.

This is the second new vessel for Kinlochbervie skippers within the last 4 months with the Loch Inchard III being delivered from C Toms in Polruan in December 2021.

After completing engine trials off the Tees, Sparkling Star steamed North, arriving into to Fraserburgh on 10th March to take on their fishing gear from Faithlie Trawls and undertake full fishing trials before heading further North through the Pentland Firth to begin fishing.

The Sparkling Star, was built at Parkols, to an S C McAllister design, is a replacement for James’s previous 19m vessel of the same name that was also designed by S C McAllister and built by Parkol’s in Whitby.

This vessel has now been renamed Leah Faye WK290 and moved to the East coast where she will be skippered by David Watson from the Eyemouth area. James said that he ‘was delighted with the previous vessel built at Parkols, having more than 4 trouble free years, so it made sense to come back to Parkols in Whitby for his new build’.

The vessel is insured through Sunderland Marine. James plans to work a routine of 14 day trips alternating skipper duties with his son Ryan, mainly to the West and North of Scotland probably landing every 4-5 days in either Kinlochbervie or Scrabster.

The hull of this vessel is similar to several others that have been delivered recently by Parkols, having a transom stern, bulbous bow and full length shelter deck, but, Sparkling Star has a double chine hull instead of the round bilge construction that many others have.

The new vessel is 27.8 metres overall length with a registered length of 23.95m, a beam of 8 metres a draught of 5.2 metres.  Her main engine, supplied by Padmos in the Netherlands, is a Mitsubishi S12R-(z3) MPTAW developing 588KW at 1400 RPM.

This is linked to a Heimdal HG5S 2PCRF  gearbox with a reduction of 11.43 to 1 to drive a Heimdal K-600 2.9m diameter 4 bladed variable pitch propeller housed in a streamlined high efficiency nozzle.  Just aft of the nozzle is a triple bladed rudder, this is becoming more common on new builds for Scotland, it is controlled by a Scan steering MT1600 system.

The nozzle and triple rudder were both designed and built by Parkols. Forward , to assist with manoeuvring there is a700mm diameter Kort KT170 bow thruster giving a thrust of 1.36 ton.

The main Heimdal gearbox is has two power take offs each capable of delivering 298kw to drive the two main hydraulic pumps rated at 170KW at 1500rpm at 210bar. These are used mainly for the winches and net drums when hauling and shooting. There are also two electrically driven hydraulic pumps for use when towing.

The main engine and gear box are set well down in the engine room but with good access, either side are the two wing fuel tanks with auxiliary engines on top of them. Beta Marine supplied the two Cummins auxiliary engines rated at 150KW, each drives a 180kw electric generator to supply electric power for the vessel.

The engine room is fitted with three electrically driven Azcue CA-80-5A Centrifugal self-priming pumps that can deliver 44 cubic metres per hour. Two of these are for deck wash and one for the main bilge pump, but one of the deck wash pumps is set up so that it can also be used as a bilge pump if necessary.

There are two more Azcue VRX pumps on deck used for deck sump pumps in the fish processing area. All these pumps are designed for operation by the crew with stop / start buttons at deck level.

The vessel can carry 35,000 litres of fuel in four tanks, two wing tanks in the engine room and another two under the aft end of the fishroom floor, 25,000 litres of fresh water in three tanks, two below the forward end of the fishroom floor and another in right forward in the bow.

At engine room level the vessel is of traditional layout, being divided by three watertight bulkheads into, from aft, the accommodation, the engine room, then the fish room and the forepeak tank.  At the main deck level, it has an athwartships, steel casing midships to house the galley mess deck, washrooms and changing areas. Aft of this is a steel shelter deck shelter and gallows arrangement to house the various net drums, forward of the accommodation deckhouse is the catch handling area and right forward a compartment to house the centre trawl winch.

Atop the shelter deck the spacious aluminium wheelhouse has been ‘pushed’ forward slightly to leave plenty of room aft for working the gear and machinery aft. Forward of the wheelhouse, starboard side is a large catch reception hatch with a gilson frame above it, at its base, a 6.5 ton (mid drum) Pullmaster gilson winch  for lifting the cod end onboard.

To the port side is a Rapp landing crane rated at 1000kg at 8m. Ahead of the wheelhouse is the large landing hatch, just forward of this hatch is the housing for the hanging block sheave leading the middle trawl warp aft and under the wheelhouse to the central hanging sheave on the aft gantry. To the port side is a large access hatch and ladder for crew access to and from the shelter deck. Either side of the wheelhouse there are deep pounds for storing gear in.

Aft of the wheelhouse is more the business end of the vessel. Immediately aft are the port and starboard Rapp TWS 23 split winches with heavy duty level wind spooling and direct leads to the Fleming fairleads hanging blocks in the gallows.

On the starboard side there is a neat, recessed housing for stowing the anchor in. The centre split winch is the same as the port and starboard winches but is fitted right forward on the main deck with the centre warp being led aft under the wheelhouse to the centre hanging block below the aft gantry. The three winches are spooled with 650 fathoms of 22mm steel core wire supplied by Jackson Trawls of Peterhead. Just aft of these winches is the access hatch to the aft main deck, alongside this, attached to the handrail is a Quicksling man overboard rescue device, ideally placed, being easily accessible to all the areas of open deck where the crew will be working at sea.

Further aft, either side of this hatch are two single 2metre diameter Rapp hydraulics net drums with an 8 ton core pull to take the vessels Faithlie Trawls 140ft hopper nets with over 4 metres of working space between them and the guide rollers at the aft end of the shelterdeck. The controls for these net drums are on the shelter deck, right aft on each side of the vessel enclosed in stainless steel boxes. From here the operator has full view of the nets coming out of the water and of the two net drums.  Straddling this deck is a gantry with the trawl gallows at each side, a Rapp RPBC14 crane with a wide sheaved power block aid with handling the trawl gear.

The exhausts are led up the port leg of the gantry along with ventilation shafts, similarly the port side houses further ventilation shafts and the engine room escape hatch. This gives direct access to the engine room from the topside of the shelterdeck for equipment and drums of oil etc need to be passed down. On top of the gantry, each side of the crane base are two small, lightweight, bagging net drums. It is becoming more common for this class of vessel to haul the bag of the trawl using a leachline/lazy deckie rope attached half way down the bag onto a small secondary netdrum rather than haul the whole net onto the main netdrum every haul.

Moving down to the extensive, wood sheathed, aft main deck, there are two Rapp split net drums each with a core pull of 14 tons to handle the two 300ft wide mouthed fish scraper nets and the two 240ft disc scraper nets. These net drums are set close to the forward watertight bulkhead and have about 5-6 metres of deck space between them and the stern roller. Between the two stern net hatches is a plastic sheathed ramp to house the centre clump weight, just forward of this are the controls for the two split net drums, again with a good view of the nets and net drums.  Aft of each of these net drums, mounted overhead are two Pullmaster Pl5 tugger winches with a core pull of 2.1ton, to help with gear handling on the main deck.

The trawl gear package of 6 nets, sweeps and bridles and the Thyboron 86 inch Type 11 Icelandic style trawl doors were all supplied by Faithlie Trawls in Fraserburgh. The Sparkling Star carries a wide variety of gear allowing him to change his fishing activity and fishing area to suit what species are on the ground and which are fetching best prices on the market.

Once the gear is hauled the codend is hauled forward to the Gilson gantry,  emptied through the hatch in the shelter deck and into a large reception hopper that could hold in the region of 150-200 boxes if needed. There are many angled baffles in this hopper to prevent excess movement of the catch and guide it down to the small hatch onto the end of the conveyor all helping to keep the catch in pristine condition.

This conveyor runs across the vessel just ahead of the main accommodation deckhouse with multiple sections and fish washers just ahead of it for the different selections of fish. Any of these compartments, once the catch is washed, can be released by the crew onto a second conveyor that takes the catch directly into the fishroom where it is received on a deep selection tray. From here it is weighed, iced and boxed.

The conveyors and fish washing system was supplied by Seagate Fabrication LTD of Peterhead. The main processing conveyor is fitted further forward than usual from the bulkhead to give space for a row of fish boxes to select some of the prime fish such as megrims and monks into to be individually washed before being sent below to the fishroom.

.Above the conveyor are 4 individual washing stations with small hoses to allow the crew to thoroughly wash the prime fish. Just ahead of the main fish washer is large landing hatch where the catch is lifted ashore by the Rapp crane on the shelterdeck.  Further forward on the main deck to port is a watertight compartment housing the 2.5 ton per day Geneglace Ice machine from premier Refrigeration in Fraserburgh and the electric hydraulic power pack for the fish handling conveyor systems. Also in this compartment is the access hatch for the crew to the fishroom allowing for a fixed ladder rather than the more normal removable ladder inside the main landing hatch.

This is both safer and makes for easier access for the crew.  Right forward in the stem is the centre split winch in its own watertight compartment with the warp leading upwards to run aft above the shelter deck. To the starboard side, ahead of the fish reception hopper is a small store with a chest freezer in.

Down below is the fishroom, that will hold in the region of 1000 boxes, fibreglass lined by Patsy Bruce of Fraserburgh and with a refrigeration system by Premier refrigeration also in Fraserburgh. Just ahead of the fish room ladder is the ice storage with a direct feed from the ice machine above.

The fish are delivered to the fishroom from the main fish washer through a 300mm diameter stainless steel pipe onto a deep tray on the starboard side. Here it is selected, weighed using the Marel M1100 scales and stored in iced boxes. Just ahead of the hatch mounted on the deckhead is a small tugger winch to haul the tiers of full boxes forward to beneath the hatch ready to be lifted ashore by the Rapp crane mounted on the shelterdeck

At the port end of the processing conveyor is a large hatch and ladder for crew access to the upper shelter deck, just aft of this is the doorway leading to the main accommodation area. Immediately through this doorway there is heated storage for the crew’s boots and wet gear, and adequate hanging space for all their oilskins and lifejackets.

To the left of the doorway are the controls for the various electric deck wash pumps and bilge pumps, easily accessed from the working deck.  Opposite this there is a handy small tool storage compartment where Scanmar sensors are also housed and charged. The main engine room access is also off the area as well and right aft is a toilet and wash hand basin for use when working on deck. The main accommodation is also accessed from this area.

On entering the ‘clean’ area there is a stairway to the wheelhouse with a washing machine, tumble drier and small fridge below. The galley and mess deck is on the starboard side. The one large mess table is in Parkols usual corian in a dark grey colour, the work surfaces in the galley are in the same material but in a much lighter colour. The galley is fitted out with a 4 plate electric hob, a deep fat frier and rice cooker all covered by a full width overhead extractor fan. Other is plenty of cupboard storage, a built-in eye level oven and microwave and a boiling water tap at the sink.

The galley and the cabins below are all fully air conditioned. Beside the galley, in the accommodation unit there is a second toilet and shower, past this leads aft to the stairwell down to the sleeping accommodation This consists of a skipper’s berth and two large cabins. One to port with 6 bunks and the other to starboard with another three bunks, all with 240 volt sockets and USB charging points,  with more than adequate cupboard storage for the crew. In between the two large cabins is a compact steering compartment housing the Scan Steering gear.

Above the galley and mess deck is the spacious wheelhouse fitted out with two Norsap monogrammed wheelhouse chairs and an impressive array of electronics all from McMinn Marine of Fraserburgh.

These consist of two radars, a JRC 5312 and a Koden Mdc 2540, a JRC broadband sounder, an Olex plotter and two Sodena plotters, two JRC satellite compasses, and a Scanmar net monitoring system, all linked to ten 28” monitors low level monitors and nine 24” high level monitors through a 16 way HDMI matrix system. This allows the skipper to choose what he displays of which screen depending on whether the vessel is fishing or steaming. There is also three Sailor 6215 VHF sets, a Navitron auto pilot, an Intellian Satellite TV and a VSat, a sailor Lt3100 sat phone. For monitoring all round the vessel there is a 16 camera CCTV system, including an underwater propellor camera, which can be displayed as one or multiple cameras on any of the LCD screens.

The wheelhouse is laid out with two wheelhouse chairs with a communications console between them, a small ‘office’ space for the sat phone and e log computer,  engine controls, autopilot and steering control stations at either side and at the aft console where the winch controls are. There are several repeater screens around this console and a Rapp Pentagon auto trawl system for controlling the three winches.