VESSEL REVIEW | Crystal Sea – Smart new multi-purpose fishing boat joins English fleet


British fisherman David Steven and his two sons David and Alec have recently taken delivery of the multi-purpose fishing vessel Crystal Sea. This newbuild replaces their previous fishing vessel of the same name, which was built in 2008, and is intended to fish off the southern coast of England targeting a wide range of catch.

Crystal Sea is a new design developed by Scotland-based Macduff Ship Design in cooperation with a local builder. The hull is a development from previous models with particular attention paid to reducing hull resistance and therefore improving fuel efficiency and running speed.

CFD technology was used at the first stage to measure the resistance of the new hull against the previous design and to identify areas where further improvements could be made. Following this the hull was then faired by Macduff Ship Design, which then used the virtual model to produce a detailed set of kit construction plans and assess the stability.

The kit was then cut in-house by Macduff Profilers, a division of Macduff Shipyards, and the vessel was fabricated, engineered and fully fit out in the yard’s main building hall at Macduff before carrying out sea trials in the Moray Firth.

The hull of Crystal Sea is built completely from steel, apart from the wheelhouse and masts, and features a double chine hull form, transom stern and soft nose bulbous bow which is faired gently into the main hull body.

The layout of the Crystal Sea is largely like some of the other recent newbuilds produced by the yard. Below deck features the cabins, engine room, fish hold and a large freshwater tank forward of the collision bulkhead. Above the deck is situated the aft shelter, galley/mess and side passage area, fish processing area and then a winch room forward where three split winches are sited.

A unique deck machinery package was fabricated by the yard for the Crystal Sea, comprising three split winches, two split net drums, two split sweep winches, two small gear handling winches and a dedicated anchor windlass. The hydraulic system was also designed and installed by the yard.

A pull master Gilson winch was supplied by MacGregor along with the fishing crane and landing crane. Main hydraulic power is provided by a dedicated engine, a Caterpillar C12 engine rated at 385 hp (285 kW) at 1,800 rpm. Secondary hydraulic power is provided by two electric motors each with an output of 45 kW.

The propulsion package is based on a setup that has become quite common in the yard’s recent newbuilds and features a Caterpillar C32 main engine rated at 660 hp (490 kW) at 1,800 rpm coupled to a Masson Marine gearbox with a reduction ratio of 9.077:1.

This drives a 2,500mm-diameter propeller fitted within a nozzle. The remaining stern gear elements were designed and manufactured by Macduff Engineering, a division of the yard, on CNC-operated machines. This is the fifth propulsion system of this design to be fitted by the yard and has been noted to perform very well, operating smoothly and quietly and taking advantage of the C32 engines flexibility which can help to extract full power whilst both steaming and trawling.

Two Beta Marine generators are fitted that are based on a Cummins 6BT5.9D2(M) engine with Mecc Alte alternators and each output a total of 81.6 kW of electrical power. The electrical system on board was designed and installed by RD Downie of Fraserburgh, which installed the system and built the switchboards in house.

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Crystal Sea
Type of vessel: Fishing vessel
Classification: MCA / SFIA
Port of registry: St Ives, UK
Flag: UK
Owner: Alec and David Stevens, UK
Designer: Macduff Ship Design, UK; Macduff Shipyards, UK
CAD software: Microstation; Maxsurf
Builder: Macduff Shipyards, UK
Hull construction material: Steel
Superstructure construction material: Aluminium
Deck construction material: Steel
Plate cutting: Macduff Profilers
Length overall: 24.50 metres
Length waterline: 22.95 metres
Length bp: 22.95 metres
Beam: 7.60 metres
Depth: 4.30 metres
Displacement: 348 tonnes
Gross tonnage: 247 tonnes
Net tonnage: 119 tonnes
Capacity: 700 boxes
Main engine: Caterpillar C32, 660 hp (490 kW) @ 1,800 rpm
Gearbox: Masson Marine 9.077:1
Propulsion: 2500mm fixed pitch propeller in nozzle
Side thruster: Bow thruster
Maximum speed: 10.5 knots
Hydraulic equipment: Macduff Shipyards
Crane: Rapp Marine
Other deck equipment: 10t tow hook
Type of fuel: Diesel Oil
Fuel capacity: 22,500 litres
Freshwater capacity: 25,000 litres
Accommodation: 8 berths in 3 cabins, galley, mess,WC
Crew: 8

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