The latest twin-rig trawler to join Fraserburgh fleet has the distinction of being the UK’s first Tier III-compliant build. Here is a snippet of our look at the Excel BF 110…

The crew, suited and booted, at the launch party for the vessel, with skippers Derek Watt (third from left) and Phil Watt (third from right).

“It’s all very impressive – we’ve got a beautiful boat,” skipper Derek Watt told Fishing News at the Scottish Skipper Expo, having brought his new vessel home to Fraserburgh just two days earlier.

Built at Macduff Shipyards’ Macduff premises, the 19.99m twin-rigger Excel BF 110, for father and son team Derek and Phil Watt, will primarily target prawns on the North Sea grounds.

Licensing paperwork was finalised in time for a shakedown trip in the third week of May, and the new vessel landed her first full trip on 4 June, with the first box of monkfish ashore raising £1,000 for charity.

The Filipino flag joined the Saltire and the Lion Rampant during the launch, reflecting the inclusion of the crew in the design of the
new build, and accommodation upgraded to reflect the fact that this is very much a ‘home from home’ for the crew, who work trips of up
to eight months before returning to their families.

The new Excel replaces the Watt family’s previous vessel of the same name, which was built by Macduff Shipyards in 2010.

Two generations of the Watt family with the crew in the galley. Left to right: Phil Watt, who will be taking the vessel for two trips out of three, crewmen Jonathan Yrabon, Allan Soyoso, Jimmy Solis, Ryan Astillero and Eric Abel, and Phil’s grandfather John Watt. Crewman Jonathan Yrabon, who has been fishing with the Watt family for 11 years, said: “The living conditions here are so great our wives at home think we are now on cruise ships!

This is now the fifth Excel that the family have built, four of them at Macduff Shipyards. The first Excel was a Forbes build.

Their latest vessel is built to a new design, developed between Macduff Shipyards and local naval architecture and consultancy firm Macduff Ship Design.

At the owners’ request, the vessel has an overall length of just below 20m, but as there was no requirement for the registered length to be under- ticket size, the bow could be optimised for maximum efficiency, and is of similar design to that some of the yard’s larger designs, including the Venture IV and the Zenith.

The design of the Excel began in early 2021, with the contract signed that spring. Derek and Phil Watt aimed to build a modern trawler, a little larger than their previous vessel, to offer improved comfort for the crew, along with more speed for steaming to the grounds and better fuel efficiency whilst towing.

They were keen to stick to a similar internal layout to their existing vessel, its working arrangement having been well proven over the years.

Read the rest of this article in full in the latest issue of Fishing News, click here to purchase this issue from just £2.50 here or subscribe to Fishing News from just £1.00 an issue here


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