Freezer trawler converted to fresher at Polish yard
Fresher trawler Helga María AK is now on the way home from Poland after an extensive refit that was carried out at the Alkor shipyard in Gdansk. The steaming time back to Iceland is expected to take around five days, so Helga María can be expected to dock in Reykjavík in the middle of the week, according to HB Grandi.
HB Grandi’s management took the decision to convert Helga María from a freezer to a fresher trawler, and an agreement was made with the Alkor yard for the project, with the ship delivered at the end of June to be refitted.
According to HB Grandi’s marine superintendent Gísli Jónmundsson, who has overseen the work being done in Poland on the company’s behalf, the changes are extensive and although the ship has just left Poland, it will still be a while before it is back fishing as the new factory deck has yet to be fitted by staff from 3X Technology and other contractors will also be involved.
Although it has been an extensive refit, Gísli Jónmundsson said that the largest element of this has been the conversion of the refrigerated fishroom into a chiller fishroom.
‘The fishroom has been extended, as the compressor space was no longer needed and two side tanks were also removed. The fishroom hatch has been moved to one side, the whole fishroom was fitted out and a new chiller system has been installed. The catch handling deck was stripped out back to bare metal. Everything was sandblasted and new cladding fitted all round. The fish reception pounds have been cladded in stainless steel and a new partition, also in stainless steel, has been fitted. The crew get a complete new oilskin store fully equipped as a coffee room and with washing facilities. The main deck from the stern ramp to the the old fishroom hatch was renewed, with the hatches shifted to one side and part of the galley had to be sacrificed to make this possible, so a new galley was fitted and the mess area given a facelift.’
‘The ice gallows were removed and the frame of the gallows were strengthened for the towing blocks. The ramp was also renewed and new steel plates fitted where necessary, with both the stern gate and the fish hatch replaced with new. The water tanks were sandblasted and painted, as was the rest of the ship that has been painted from the top of the mast to the keel. All of the low pressure pipework was taken down, sandblasted and painted, while the high pressure pipes on deck were all replaced with new,’ Gísli Jónmundsson said, and much more that is not listed here, although it is worth mentioning that all of the crew accommodation has been given attention. All of the wheelhouse windows were also removed, the window frames sandblasted and painted before the windows were replaced.