Skipper James Anderson and his crew arrived in Scalloway this morning with their newly-lengthened whitefish boat Alison Kay (LK 57).
They steamed overnight from Kartensens Shipyard in Skagen, Denmark, where a new 3.5m hull section was inserted.
The wheelhouse has been raised by a metre and moved aft and new gear stores have been constructed on the main and trawl decks. There is also a new cabin below the wheelhouse.
Mr Anderson said he and the crew were delighted with how the boat handled on the trip across the North Sea.
“She’s a bit faster and much more stable with the reduced draught and extra length,” he said.
“We’re really pleased with the quality of the work that has been done and are looking forward to getting her out to sea fishing.”
Mr Anderson said the crew would spend tomorrow getting the gear back onboard and intended to head off possibly on Friday.
The investment in the Alison Kay is the latest to be made in the Shetland whitefish sector, following the arrival of the new Guardian Angell last year.
Two new whitefish boats are also under construction. Parkol Marine Engineering of Whitby is building a 27m seiner/trawler for the Resilient Fishing Company Ltd.
She is scheduled to be delivered to skipper Arthur Polson and partners Edward Jamieson, John Montgomery and John Irvine in the summer.
The Whalsay company has just sold its current vessel, the Resilient (LK 195), to Tomas Whelahan of Clogherhead in County Louth.
Meanwhile, the Tranquility Fishing Company Ltd, also of Whalsay, has ordered a new 27.5m vessel from the Danish shipyard Vestvæflet ApS. Due for delivery in March 2018, she is to replace the current 26.6m seine-netter Tranquility (LK 63).
Shetland Fishermen’s Association executive officer Simon Collins said the investments marked a return of confidence to the whitefish fleet following three years of record landings in Shetland.
He said: “Despite the scale of the task we have to make the landings obligation work, crews are determined to build a future for themselves.”