When a new trawler is launched, it is a symbol of so much more than its physical self.
Posted on 23rd November 2017 at 11:46
Earlier this month, we were privileged to be part of the ‘birth’ of the Sparkling Star, the first brand new trawler Pearson Electrical has wired for Parkol Marine Engineering as part of our exciting contract with them.
There was much ceremony about the occasion, at Parkol’s Whitby shipyard. It featured the vessel’s new owner and his family, down from the north of Scotland, in full kilt regalia; a blessing by a minister from the Mission to Seafarers north of the border and the symbolic breaking of a bottle of champagne on the vessel’s Hull by the new owner’s wife, Roma Corbett.
And little wonder, really, when you consider how much of an icon of hope a new trawler like this actually is.
The Sparkling Star is one of a number of vessels in the pipeline to be manufactured by Parkol in the next couple of years. Hence why they’ve commissioned us to support them with the electrical wiring, repair and maintenance of the boats.
According to Andrew Oliver, Parkol Director and Engineering Manager, the company is experiencing unprecedented demand is the result of ‘once-in-a-generation opportunity’ for the UK fisheries.
He says that plentiful fish stocks, good market prices and post-Brexit optimism that the UK may regain at least some control of its waters as a result of the ongoing exit negotiations with Europe, are contributing to these favourable conditions.
And this is great news for both Parkol and Pearson Electrical, as they have commissioned us to support the electrical wiring, maintenance and refitting work on a second vessel, to help them keep pace with this demand.
In fact, Parkol is currently running at four new trawler builds per year – twice its usual number, so much so that it has opened second manufacturing base in Middlesbrough.
The orders are coming from fishing fleets across the UK and Ireland, and this latest vessel was commissioned by the Sparkling Star Partnership, operating out of Ullapool in the north of Scotland.
“The fishing industry is very buoyant at the moment,” said Andrew.
“There’s really no let-up, and people are still feeling very confident and wanting to order boats.
“While the fishing industry has had many knock-backs in the past and there is always concern that our fisheries may once again be used as a bargaining tool in Europe, we’re finding that UK trawler owners are largely optimistic about getting a good deal from the Brexit negotiations.”
“I think they’re taking the view that it can’t get any worse than it was before, and at least Brexit is a step forward, so they are ploughing on regardless.”
Parkol is one of only two major trawler manufacturers in the UK, and Andrew added that trawler launches like this one, which took place on Saturday, are always special.
“It’s always a proud and symbolic moment when a new trawler takes to the water,” he added. “It denotes real positivity and hope.”
A dream-come-true for its new owners
Meanwhile, for new owner James Corbett, the Sparkling Star marks the fulfilment of a lifelong aspiration.
The seasoned skipper has purchased the boat in partnership with Peterhead-based fish wholesale and vessel management company, Don Fishing Company. For him, this is literally a dream come true, and there was a real sense of occasion around the launch, as his extended family attended, in full Scottish national dress.
“I’m from a fishing village in the North of Scotland called Kinlochbervie and have worked on the deck and latterly as a skipper of various boats for the past 30 years,” said James.
“Ever since I started out, I’ve dreamed of owning my own boat, and the completion of the Sparkling Star marks the culmination of all that – making my family first generation owners.”
The Sparkling Star will now have its masts fitted over the next few weeks, ready for James to sail it north at the end of November, and straight into commission, fishing for ground stocks such as monkfish off Scotland’s north-west coast.
“The industry is really booming back home and the fish stocks are the best I’ve known since I’ve been skippering,” he added.
Our privilege to be part of something special
For Pearson Electrical, the Sparkling Star is also representative of a uniquely positive time for our company, which has seen us grow five-fold in the past three years. Parkol has commissioned us for a second trawler and we are now starting work on wiring the next vessel in the run – the Summer Rose Trawler, destined for Oban, also in the north of Scotland.
Our Owner & MD Mark Pearson added: “The Sparkling Star’s launch was a fantastic occasion and a special moment for Pearson Electrical as a company.
“It’s our privilege to be part of both a historically positive time in the UK fishing industry, and the unfolding story of Parkol, which is one of the most respected trawler manufacturers in the UK.
“Our companies have real synergy – both in terms of our marine experience and connections, and the way we operate, as hands-on family businesses. It really is our privilege to be involved in the increased workload they’re experiencing.”
A perfect match
The fit between Parkol and Pearson Electrical is a very natural one, as both of our companies have built up a lifetime of experience in the marine industry. Parkol service UK coastal fishing fleets from the North and Scotland, including Shetland and Orkney, right down as far as Penzance in Cornwall.
They both build and maintain the boats that make up these fleets. Such is their reputation that trawler owners will travel 36 hours from the North and 60 hours up from the South, to have them service their boats.
As well as new boat construction and maintenance, they are known for innovation, including fitting custom-designed propulsion equipment that can reduce fuel costs by up to 20 per cent.
They have been repeatedly recognised in the industry – winning ‘Fishing Vessel of the Year in the annual Fishing News awards for the past two years running.
At the same time, we have built up 30 years’ specialist experience in the marine, industrial and hazardous area sectors, and the ISO accreditations we have achieved with the help of funding from the Green Port Hull growth initiative have unlocked the door to some of our biggest framework agreements ever over the past 12 months. In addition to the contract with Parkol, we have signed deals with A2SEA, which transports the wind turbines manufactured by Hull’s Siemens plant out to North Sea wind farms, and another with RTS Wind Recruitment, to support them in servicing the turbines.
If you would like to discover more about the expertise we have to offer, and the range of businesses we work with, www.pearson-electrical.com or get in touch with us via 01964 631382, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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