AWARDS 2022 | Best Large Trawler – Baldvin Njalsson – Skipasýn
This very substantial trawler was created by famed Icelandic naval architecture firm Skipasyn for a very experienced and prominent local owner.
Obviously designed and built to operate safely and efficiently in the turbulent North Atlantic, this factory trawler is equipped with everything needed to perform that task. She is a true fishing machine, and it is exciting to see such magnificent vessels being built after such a long drought.
“The vessel boasts the most efficient propulsion system for a trawler of its size along with a unique hull form that makes installation of a large five-metre propeller possible,” Sævar Birgisson, CEO of Skipasýn, told Baird Maritime. “It has the notable ‘deep keel’ hull form that ensures turbulence-free water flow to the propeller as well as a low location and turbulence-free flow around the echosounders. The powerful propulsion system delivers excellent performance with a carefully designed and selected arrangement of a main engine, a gearbox, a propeller, and a nozzle.”
Birgisson claims the design work on Baldvin Njalsson did not present any significant difficulty, allowing Skipasyn to develop and adjust the hull design features that were already proven and tested on earlier designs.
“We learned a lot about Spanish shipyards and how they operate, as this is also our first vessel to be built in Spain.”
Birgisson also shares a similar view as others that energy savings and the use of alternative fuels are important trends in naval architecture.
“In 2022, construction was started on two of our newest designs, a 58-metre trawler and a 70-metre oceanographic research vessel for Iceland,” said Birgisson. “We can therefore say business is good, same as it was in the past few years. We never look too far into the future, but we are always optimistic.”
As for Iceland’s own fishing industry, companies’ expansions through mergers are becoming more common.
“We see the medium-size fishing vessel fleet shrinking while fleet renewal is more dominant in the larger- and the smaller-sized vessel fleets,” Birgisson told Baird Maritime. “Improvements in efficiency and in fishing equipment have led to a reduction in the numbers of required vessels, and this can mean the fleet will be reduced to around a third of its current.”
Birgisson said that for the workboats aside from fishing vessels, the expansion has been mainly in connection with vessels used for fish farming, transport, and catamarans for general use.
“For the Icelandic shipbuilding industry, the focus remains on the construction of smaller FRP boats, typically those no more than 15 metres in length,” he adds.