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Tuesday, October 26, 2021 

Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam has successfully delivered a 38m Beam Trawler to Belgium-based Rederij Long Ships at a ceremony in Zeebrugge, where the new vessel was christened 'Z91 Franson'.

The Z91 Franson introduces a brand-new design, the BT3808, which features the maximum tonnage and length permitted by the Belgian Maritime Inspectorate. Designed with optimised propulsion, the new Beam Trawler provides a high level of comfort and is outfitted with proven technology.

The hull was launched into the water in Poland during the pandemic and was then transported to Stellendam in the Netherlands for further outfitting. Rederij Long Ships owner Eddie Cattoor said: “I am proud of our Franson. With this modern ship we can fight against all the difficult periods that the fishing industry experiences. And what is certainly important, this beautiful ship will enable us to attract young talent again. This is vital because they are the future of the Flemish fisheries. They will definitely experience job satisfaction, given this safe, efficient and ergonomic new fishing vessel. Franson meets all the modern and contemporary requirements and this is coupled with the best accommodation for the crew, who have to work hard for many days at sea.”

This latest addition to the company’s fleet will replace the vessel Z90 Francine. It will be used to fish year-round in the waters of the North Sea and the Skagerrak and, in the summer, the Bay of Biscay.

John van der Maas, Damen Project Manager, said: “The new BT3808 is a well thought out evolution of our earlier, proven designs and therefore ready for the future.”

Damen Maaskant Commercial Manager Jeroen van den Berg added: “We are sincerely grateful for the pleasant cooperation with the Cattoor family and everyone else who has contributed to this success.”

Since 1948, Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam has built more than 250 Beam Trawlers over the years. The last such vessel was the UK-46 Willeke built for Dutch company Hakvoort Brothers in 2018, which, at the time of delivery, was the first new Beam Trawler to take to the North Sea in 12 years.

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