Leading Journal of the Irish & UK Fishing Industries

Seraphim PD170

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Parkol’s new 21m twin-rig trawler

The new MFV Seraphim  PD 170  for father and son Andrew and Joshua Buchan of Lighthouse Fishing Company,  in partnership with P and J Johnstone (Peterhead) has recently been delivered from Parkol Marine in Whitby.

The vessel was built at Parkol’s Teesside yard and taken to Whitby for final completion. She is designed by Ian Paton of  S C McAllister and Company, built of steel, a round bilge hull, with bulbous bow, soft nose stem, a Z transom,  Aluminium wheelhouse and masts, and full-length shelterdeck.

The name ‘Seraphim’ has a biblical derivative meaning ‘the of the highest order of angels’, the port number is taken from Andrew’s first vessel MFV Pleiades PD170. The boat was lifted into the water in Teesside on 29 August in a launch ceremony attended by Andrew, Joshua and family. On October 27th, the vessel left Whitby to sail North to Peterhead to take on their trawl gear and complete fishing trials before joining the NE twin rig fleet on the North Sea fishing grounds.

For the first few months, both Andrew and Joshua will sail on the vessel, then they will alternate skipper duties on a trip on trip-off basis, usually working 7-8 day trips in the North Sea targeting both prawns and fish. The boat is rigged for targeting prawns and fish but allowances have been made to ensure that they can easily change to pair seining/ pair trawling if necessary.

MFV Seraphim has an overall length of 21.29 metres, a waterline length of 16.4 metres, a moulded beam of 7.7metres and a gross tonnage of 193 tonnes.

Below deck, Seraphim is subdivided by three watertight bulkheads into: aft accommodation with steering gear, engine room, fish room and forepeak tank/ bow thruster compartment.

The main deck is of traditional layout with the winch right forward, then moving aft into the fish handling section. This is then followed by the accommodation unit and right aft is the trawl deck. The three-barrelled main winch is a Thistle Marine model TW25 is fitted well forward under the shelterdeck in a weathertight compartment.

The clutches and guide on gear are designed for local manual operation but the brakes can be controlled locally or by electro-hydraulic through a switch on the wheelhouse panel, this can also control the haul in the pay out function of the winches. The three warps are led upwards and over the shelterdeck to the hanging blocks aft.

The winches are spooled with warp supplied by Karl Thomson in Buckie.  Around the inside of the hull, within the winch room there are numerous steel shelves and brackets for storing spare gear etc.  Right over at the starboard side there are two small pounds for storage of mooring ropes each with a ‘porthole’ style hatch directly above for passing the ropes up onto the shelterdeck.

The forward access onto the shelterdeck is from within this compartment by way of a ladder and watertight hatch on the port side. Just ahead of the winch, there is a flush watertight hatch leading into the forepeak which gives access to the bow thruster supplied by Kort Propulsion and the water tank within the bulbous bow.

At main deck level, aft of the winch room is the main fish handling area of the boat. On the starboard side is a large fish reception hopper fitted with a full-length, half-height dividing baffle, each side with its own water supply. The catch is fed aft through the hydraulically operated hatch onto a large conveyor belt running across the vessel. Running alongside the main conveyor belt for the catch is a smaller, 150mm wide conveyor for the crew to dump their trash from the catch on, this leads right across the boat and out through a hatch on the port side. This separate conveyor belt ensures that the retained catch is kept clear of ‘guts’ and debris.

The main conveyer also discharges any debris left on it through the same hatch. Aft of the conveyor is the raised section of composite grating for the crew to stand with space for 8 crew to stand, if necessary, usually it will only be five crewmembers. Directly ahead of the gutting conveyor belt is an extensive fish handling and washing system. This set-up has 8 low down, hopper/ washer sections for the main species of fish, these can each discharge its selection through a rope-operated sliding hatch into a chute leading to the fishroom when required.

Above this section is a second row of bins to other species, these can be released into the washer below when they are ready to go to the fishroom. In between each of these is a chute style of hopper leading the selected catch forward into baskets that each fit into a housing at the fore side of the washer.  It is expected that this section will be used for the whole prawns that will be passed into one two prawn washers that are just forward of the main fish handling system. They will then be moved to a chilled dip tank alongside the washers before being passed down into the fishroom below.

At each crew station along the conveyor there is a built-in knife storage tube, a holder for stowing the crews drinks bottles safely and a small rectangular tube set into the aft side of the conveyor for the crew to put the tailed prawns into. A channel from these leads right along under the conveyor and into a prawn washer the port side. Once washed they will be treated similarly to the whole prawns, into the chill tanks then down into the fishroom. As Andrew and Joshua plan to target both fish and prawns they wanted the fish handling system to be capable of coping with large hauls of fish as well as prawns without any alterations to the set up. The entire fish handling system was built and fitted by Seagate Fabrication Ltd in Peterhead.

Mounted on the port shelterdeck side is a pressure washer to ensure efficient washing down of the fish handling areas. Just ahead of this on the port side is a weathertight machinery space, in this is the power washer pump, the Geneglace F100M 2.5ton per day ice making machine. This feeds directly into an ice locker in the fishroom below. Alongside the ice machine is the fishroom refrigeration system, both this and the ice maker were supplied and fitted by Premier Refrigeration Ltd in Fraserburgh.

Also in this compartment is the electrically driven hydraulic power pack for the catch conveyor and fish hopper hatches. The access to the fishroom from the deck is through a small hatch fitted into the large fishroom hatch used for landing.  The fishroom is expected to hold in the region of 700 boxes, it has the ice locker on the port side below where the ice make is situated on the deck. To starboard there are several bins for receiving the catch from the fish handling set up on deck and the catch weighing station. Overhead is the array of stainless-steel pipes for the fishroom chilling and an electric winch for moving tiers of full boxes.  On the port side aft of the fish handling deck is the access to the accommodation unit.

On the port side of the accommodation unit, with direct access to the fish handling deck, is the combined changing room and washroom. Along the side of the shelter deck are the crew lockers, each with individual hanging space for oilskins and lifejackets and shelves suitable for stowage of gloves, boots and hard hats. Right aft is the ladder with hatch above for crew access to the shelter deck.

On the inboard side from aft there is the main engine room access, and toilet compartment, as well as the access to the galley and accommodation. Forward of this is a hand wash basin for the crew coming off deck. On entering the accommodation compartment, there is a well-fitted toilet and shower, then moving across the stairway to the wheelhouse complete with dimmable low-level LED strip lighting up each side.

Opposite this on the aft side is the doorway giving access into the cabin stairway, fitted with similar lighting to that going up to the wheelhouse. Straight ahead is the spacious galley and mess deck. The galley is fitted with an integrated full-height fridge freezer. Fitted into this is a 4 burner induction hob with a selection of low-leve cupboard units. To the fore side is a large mess deck table, again in white Corian, with settee-style padded seating around three sides.

Down below, aft, in the accommodation there is a five-berth cabin to starboard and on the port side a three-berth cabin with ensuite toilet and shower. All the berths have padded headboards and are fitted with 240volt sockets and USB ports. Dividing the two cabins is the steering compartment housing the AS Scan hydraulic steering gear with access hatches for maintenance on three sides.

The engine room is below the galley and mess deck with main access from the port side crew changing room.  The engine room is compact, this is a boat with a waterline length of 16.4 metres,  but the layout has been well thought out to make all the engines, pumps, switchboards etc easily accessible for routine maintenance.  The Mitsubishi  S6R2-T2MPTAW3M main engine and the Masson Marine MMW7400 gearbox are set deep in the hull with fuel tanks either side of it.  The main engine is rated at 460KW at 1350rpm.

The gearbox drives a SIP Marine fixed pitch, 2.4metre diameter, four bladed propellor housed in in a nozzle that was fabricated by Parkol. Mounted on top of the port fuel tanks are two Cummins 6BT5.9DM engines to provide electrical power for the vessel, while on the starboard fuel tanks there is a Cummins QSL9 driving the hydraulics.

There is five electrically operated Azcue pumps, three for bilge pumping duties and two dedicated to deck wash. The exhaust is led through a trunking up through the accommodation and vented out through the top of the wheelhouse.  To try to ensure the engine room gets supplies of clean air a large filter has been fitted to the main intake aft of the wheelhouse. This will help to keep the whole wheelhouse clean as well.

Right aft the main deck level are the two large diameter split net drums supplied by Thistle Marine. Both net drums have been supplied with a moveable centre flange to enable them to accommodate the large hopper fish nets if the vessel was to move to pair trawl at any time. The net drums are controlled locally with the controls fitted neatly in the centre under the twin rig roller runway.

Access to this deck is by a stairway from the shelterdeck aft of the wheelhouse. For twin rig Andrew will be using two by 200ft wide bosomed scraper trawls mounted on groundgear of 6inch and 8inch discs and two ‘off roaders’ at 180ft with ground gear of 8inch and 10 inch discs. All the nets have been made by Westbro supplies. The trawls will be spread by a set of 3 square metre foil type doors with a centre roller clump.

Directly above the net drums on top of the shelterdeck are several pounds for spare gear. Above this is the sturdy trawl gantry with the Thistlelift MFB – 8 link boom crane mounted on top. The controls for the powerblock are conveniently located at the starboard side of the transom.  The gear will be hauled by the net drums with the Thistle power block used to assist with ‘bagging when taking the codend onboard.





Ian Paton


Thistle  Marine winches –

Karl Thompson Warp


Seagate Fabrication

Premier Refrigeration


Seafield Navigation


Westbro Trawls