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Innovative fly-shooter/twinrigger Spes Nova UK-205 has been delivered by Maaskant Shipyards. Image: Damen

The latest Damen Shipyards Group fishing vessel, built at Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam has been named at a ceremony organised by leading fishing company Van der Zwan.

Spes Nova UK-205 was named by Nanou Beekman, Director of Fisheries and Rural Affairs at the Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality.

Spes Nova is an innovative fly-shooter/twinrigger, part of a newly-developed range of fishing vessels based on a Vripack Naval Architects design that sets new benchmarks. The original concept was borne of a collaboration between Vripack Naval Architects, Ekofish Group – a subsidiary of Van der Zwan – and Maaskant. This combination of expert marine design and extensive seagoing knowledge was a unique approach that led to an unconventional ‘future-proof’ solution.

Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam was chosen to construct two such vessels for delivery in 2019 and early 2020.


Spes Nova UK-205 was named by Director of Fisheries and Rural Affairs Nanou Beekman. Image: Damen

‘Damen was chosen thanks to its reputation for high-quality shipbuilding,’ said van der Zwan’s Gerard Zwijnenburg.

‘Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam also has an impeccable track record of vessel maintenance going back many years, so the project was certainly in good hands.’

The two new vessels are expected to set new performance standards in the Van der Zwan fleet, thanks to their innovative design. The UK-205 range features a new type of hull design to reduce pitching in head waves.

‘This is achieved by reducing reserve buoyancy in the bow above the waterline,’ explained John van der Maas, project manager at Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam.

‘An oncoming wave will lift the midbody, but will have less effect on the bow, which results in a softer motion. Rather than slamming into waves, the vessel splits them, reducing resistance and stress on the hull.’

In terms of propulsion, the UK-205 class of fishing vessels can be powered by diesel-electric or by conventional diesel propulsion, depending on the needs of each client.

‘The battery bank allows silent, emission-free running near populated areas, and also introduces the possibility of peak-shaving to help the vessels run at optimal energy efficiency,’ said Gerard Zwijnenburg, commenting on the logic behind Van der Zwan’s opting for a diesel-electric hybrid system in addition to a battery bank.

‘We’re thinking of the future.’

This potential for balancing and optimising energy use is complemented by an energy recovery source in the form of a 700-volt DC-bus connected to the battery bank. As the vessel’s winches shoot away the warps, the E-motors can work as generators to convert braking energy into battery power, a method very similar to that used in hybrid cars.
Along with the vessel’s capability to operate on two or three motors thanks to its inbuilt redundancy, these energy-optimising measures will help Van der Zwan cut operational costs without compromising quality of performance.

Spes Nova, the first Damen Maaskant vessel delivered to Van der Zwan, was put through classification tests in the third week of October, followed by North Sea fishing trials that same month, before returning to Stellendam for final touches in preparation for its naming in Scheveningen.