Our ‘Where are they now?’ feature provides brief histories, including build details, of a varied selection of fishing vessels from years gone by. Some of these vessels continue to perform successfully today, under different names to the ones they were previously photographed under.
Catherine R Armstrong BH 44
The 44ft Catherine R Armstrong BH 44 was built by Alexander Noble & Sons Ltd at Girvan in 1958, for Amble skipper Arthur Armstrong. Featuring Noble’s trademark, immaculately varnished larch planking; Catherine R Armstrong was rigged for fly-shooting, with a belt driven seine-net winch and coiler positioned forward of the wheelhouse.
Powered by a 71kW Gardner 5L3 engine, Catherine R Armstrong seine-netted from Amble for two years until moving the relatively short distance across the Scottish border to Eyemouth, where new owner John Grant renamed the boat Border Lassie BH 44.
When skipper John Grant took delivery of the bigger Star of Bethlehem LH 400 from Gerrards of Arbroath in 1962, Border Lassie stayed in Berwickshire after being bought by the Burnmouth partnership of Norman and Jim Dougal, Norman Lindores, and Jimmy and Andrew Gillie.
After Norman Dougal took delivery of the distinctive white-hulled seiner Good Hope LH 116 in 1969, his brother Jim continued to skipper Border Lassie for more than 20 years, during which time the vessel was rigged for prawn-trawling.
Border Lassie was bought by Dunbar skipper Scott Davies in 1993, where a new 94kW Gardner engine was installed two years later. The following year, the vessel was bought by Alan Ford of Workington, where it was subsequently fitted with a new wheelhouse and rigged for scallop dredging.
Cassamanda SH 128
Cassamanda SH 128 arrived at Scarborough in 1978 after skipper Dave Bevan purchased the trawler from Skagen, Denmark.
Of 73ft LOA, the timber-hulled boat was built at Strandby in 1967 as Sailor, for the well-known Danish company that made Sailor radios.
At the time when Scarborough was home to a sizeable fleet of modern whitefish trawlers, Cassamanda fished the North Sea as far north as Shetland, occasionally landing into Lerwick, Scalloway and Peterhead, as well as her home port.
Cassamanda was re-registered H 17 in 1986 when owned by the Kaiser Burton Fishing company in Hull. In 1989, a further ownership change saw the Caterpillar-engined boat move to Buckie after being bought by Charles Eckersley of Buckie Seafoods – renamed Moray Explorer BCK 68.
Initially used for prawn and whitefish-trawling from Buckie, Moray Explorer was subsequently rigged for scallop dredging, working in the Moray Firth and through the Pentland Firth to the North Minch.
Gary Watt of Burray took Moray Explorer to Orkney in 1998, where the vessel was de-registered in 2002 for use as a diving boat.
Challenge FR 77
Sigbjorn Iversen built Challenge FR 77 at Flekkefjord, Norway, in 1971 as a versatile purser/trawler/seiner for Fraserburgh skipper Willie Tait.
Of 86.9ft LOA and 79.6ft registered length, the open-decked Challenge initially featured a Caterpillar 421kW main engine, dry hold and whaleback. Three CSW tanks were added in 1974, when Challenge was lengthened 20ft.
Another Fraserburgh partnership, headed by skipper George Tait, purchased Challenge in 1978. One year later, three additional tanks were inserted at the same time as a full RSW system was installed. A shelterdeck was also fitted during this vessel refurbishment, during which the wheelhouse was also raised.
After an 838kW Caterpillar main engine had been installed in 1980, Challenge was modernised again in 1987, when lengthened by a further 24ft, at the same time as a new wheelhouse was added and whaleback fitted.
When skipper George Tait bought Zephyr from Shetland in 1996, Challenge was sold to another Fraserburgh skipper, Brian Tait to replace Fairwind FR 397 after being renamed Ocean Star FR 894.
Ocean Star became Sparkling Star PD 137 in 2000 when bought by Peterhead skipper John Buchan. Four years later, during which time Sparkling Star paired with Shemara PD 314 (ex Brendelen bought in 2000 to replace Diligent PD 314). Sparkling Star was then sold to Sweden, where the vessel had the distinction of being the last of the smaller class of midwater pair-trawler.