The Natalie (WT275), a 7.95m catamaran owned by Mayo fisherman Ciaran Quinn, underwent a major overhaul recently, reports Pauric Gallagher. Ciaran bought his vessel in 2008, and it was the first Sutton catamaran to come to Ireland; since then several more have been bought and are currently fishing around the Irish coast.

The extensive overhaul on Natalie was carried out in the most part by Ciaran and his trusty crewman, Dariuz, with assistance from Bernard Barr of McDonald Boats, who helped Ciaran with replacing and fibreglassing the deck, and bonding the trim tabs to the hull. Bernard is well-known throughout the industry for his craftsmanship and attention to detail while working with fibreglass on vessels, and his work on Natalie is second-to-none.

Once the old deck was removed, and before the new deck was fitted, the vessel’s hydraulics system was removed by Ciaran, the control valves were replaced with a single four-bank control in the wheelhouse and the single pump removed and replaced with a twin pump system. All pipework was checked and replaced where needed. 

As an experienced steel fabricator and welder, Ciaran carried out all the metal work himself and fabricated a new pot hauler and gantry before fitting them on Natalie.

New trim tabs were added to give lift to the Natalie’s stern which usually sat low in the water when underway. This addition added an extra1.5 knots advantage on the boat’s original speed and even when steaming with pots on board, the vessel still maintains this speed, resulting in better fuel consumption.

Two new winches were also fitted either side of the wheelhouse, giving Ciaran the option for trawling in the future. Other works included new floors in the forward compartments, renewal of the keel bands, refurbishing the propellers and, once antifouled, a new set of anodes was fitted.

Catamarans have become first choice for a number of Irish fishermen because of their unrivalled stability and expansive deck space. Ciaran usually fishes pots for lobsters in Clew Bay with his vessel and, like all catamarans, the Natalie’s extensive deck area provides more than adequate space for fishing or for carrying its fair share of pots when shifting to new fishing grounds.