Mashfords boat yard at Cremyll, near Plymouth, is making good progress on a new-build steel scalloper for a Cornish fisherman, reports Martin Johns.

Above: The nearly completed framework of the new scalloper’s bulbous bow in position on her ballast keel.

The 11.99m vessel is being built to a new Denis Swire design for Mylor skipper Chris Vinnicombe, of the Amethyst Fishing Company.

A new build cradle has been constructed in the boat yard to allow the building of modern proportioned fishing vessels. This cradle utilises a rail on each of the yard’s 100t undercover slipways, effectively creating a third undercover slipway while allowing continued use of the two existing ones.

A heavy 350mm x 250mm ballast keel weighing 5t was first laid, on which the 6mm-thick frames were assembled, as well as the 5000-litre integral fuel tanks either side of the engine room. The new boat will have a beam close to 6m and a draught of approximately 3m.

Steel is being supplied ready-cut in kit form by Dutch company Snytech, and with the frames now complete, work will soon start on the 6mm shell plating once the first SeaFish inspection has been completed.

Engineer Jim Moore converted the boat’s drawings to CAD data to enable automated cutting of the steel work.

The new scalloper will be powered by a keel-cooled Volvo Penta D13 MH engine coupled to a ZF 6:1 reduction gearbox, both supplied by local agents Marine Engineering (Looe) Ltd.

All stern gear aft of the gearbox will be supplied by C & O Engineering of Abbotskerswell and will include a four-bladed propeller turning inside a 1,600mm propulsion nozzle to provide additional thrust.

Of forward wheelhouse design, the boat will be rigged to tow either six or seven dredges aside from derricks pivoted off a mid-ships A-frame.

Between the wheelhouse and A-frame will be fitted a super heavy duty Spencer Carter two-drum trawl winch specifically designed to cope with the rigours of scalloping.

Six Rotzler Gilson winches (three each side) will handle topping, dredge emptying and pull-down duties. The hydraulic system has been carefully designed to ensure all winches can operate at full power regardless what other hydraulic functions are in use at the time.

The vessel will be built to a sail-away stage, after which she will be taken to her home port of Mylor near Falmouth for her final fit-out prior to returning to Mashfords for the fitting of a laid wooden deck.

Once completed, the new boat will become the third Denis Swire-designed steel scalloper in skipper Vinnicombe’s fleet, the others being the 11.4m Lily Grace FH 444, built as Girl Debra E 444 by AJ Marine at Padstow in 1989, and the 9.9m Amethyst FH 664, built by Riverside Fabrications near Falmouth in 1998.

In addition, Chris Vinnicombe has also recently purchased the under-10m Dragon Marine-built scalloper Flourish N 56 from Kilkeel. Flourish is currently undergoing a full refit in Falmouth and will soon be renamed Rebecca V.

Chris Vinnicombe’s great belief in utilising local companies and craftsmen is reflected in the fact that the vast majority of the contractors involved in the building of his new vessel are based in Cornwall or Devon, within around 60 miles of his Mylor base.

The new build marks a return to boat-building by Mashfords after a break of 42 years since they built the 15m wooden potter Tenacious for Dartmouth skipper Fred Hutchings in 1975, a boat which is still going strong in Salcombe under the command of skipper Jon Dornom.

Other recent visitors to the yard include Exmouth skipper Harry Green’s 12m scalloper Betty G II E 316, in for a re-paint, anti-fouling and a change of anodes, and Sam Jago’s locally-based wooden crabber/netter, Bosloe PH 122, built by Mashfords in 1966, which was in for routine maintenance and a re-paint.

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