VESSEL REVIEW | Zenith – New crabber will catch King Crab and Snow Crab in the Barents Sea


Russia’s JSC Arcticservice recently took delivery of the new crabber Zenith from a shipyard in Turkey.

Built to a new design from Skipsteknisk, the vessel will catch, process and freeze King Crab and Snow Crab in the Barents Sea, where the owner has its quotas.

The Murmansk-based JSC Arcticservice intends to build a series of vessels of the same design at Krasnoe Sormovo Shipyard in Russia, but the first was built at Tersan Shipyard in Turkey.

Zenith has primary dimensions of 62 by 15 metres, and will be operated by a crew of 38, enabling a production capacity of up to 60 tonnes of crab per day.

This is the first newbuild, bespoke crabber boat designed for the catching and processing (slaughtering, cooking and freezing) of crabs for Russia.

“The operating company is a consortium, with much experience catching crab in the Barents Sea,” Bjørn-Oscar Kløvning, Skipsteknisk Sales Manager – Offshore Vessels, told Baird Maritime.

“They provided us with a pretty detailed specification of requirements stating speed, weather conditions, capacities like DWT (carrying capacity), catch rates per day of the various species, processing and freezing capacities, upon which we based our design and specifications.

“We have had a very good collaboration with the owner, which has deep knowledge in such vessels and how they operate, which has been crucial and has eased the development process.

“There are always challenges in developing new designs for new markets and common for all is to implement/incorporate everything into a “small box” and still make it a good working platform for the client.”

The new vessels will replace 40-year-old crabbers that were modified US supply vessels. The new series will be much more efficient, have much bigger loading-, processing- and freezing capacity, and will be a far safer working platform for its crew.

“We gained valuable and quite deep knowledge in this field, in catching methods for different species, their catching gears, operations on deck and of course the onboard processing and freezing,” added Kløvning. “This knowledge will of course be used for future crabber designs.”

Zenith features diesel mechanical single screw propulsion, comprising a 720rpm main engine with a 1,700kW shaft alternator connected to the gearbox, providing a maximum output to the propeller of 2,550 kW. The propeller has a variable rpm, and variable frequency of between 50 and 60 Hz.

For added manoeuvrability, she also features a 600kW tunnel thruster in the bow and a 450kW tunnel thruster aft, and is equipped with a 1,000kWe auxiliary engine.

The vessel is arranged with a waste heat recovery system, utilising waste heat from the engine’s cooling water and exhaust gases.

In principle, the deck machinery is of a similar set-up and function to JSC Arcticservice’s existing vessels, but comprises far more efficient and modern equipment, whereby the safety of the crew is also significantly improved.

The processing plant has a capacity of up to 40 tonnes per day of King Crab, making Zenith the most modern and efficient factory in the world’s crabber fleet today.

More news, opinion and vessel reviews in this month’s Fishing and Aquaculture Week.

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