Rados Converts Tuna Purse Seiner Into Stern Trawler 'Alaska I'

Rados International Corporation, Naval architects and marine engineers of San Pedro, Calif., has announced completion of a new design to convert existing tuna purse seiner fishing vessels into mid-water stern trawlers.

Under a contract with the Fishing Company of Alaska, Rados was recently commissioned to convert the 214-foot M/V Fenicio, ex-Bold Phoenician, ex-Maria Elena, originally designed and construction supervised by Rados, and built in 1972 by San Diego Marine Construction Company as a tropical water, 1,100- ton-capacity tuna purseiner, into the Alaska I (shown above), a midwater stern trawler operating principally in the Gulf of Alaska.

With the primary philosophy of utilizing as much of the existing equipment and arrangements as possible in the conversion process, minimum structural modifications were implemented and much of the existing equipment overhauled for continued use.

The tall kingpost/mast with its associated crow's nest atop, long identified as a tuna purse seiner trademark, was removed along with other tuna fishing equipment such as booms, winches, ammonia refrigeration equipment and brine system.

After a complete modification to the stern section, including increased length, beam, and stern ramp alterations, new trawl handling facilities were erected and installed, including a stern gallow structure and an "A" frame structure, capable of handling 35 tons of fish. The addition of a hydraulic, stern wave gate, designed to prohibit the flooding of the work deck by trailing seas, was also incorporated. Alterations to the superstructure included reinforcement of the forward and side portions of the deckhouse to accommodate heavier Arctic Sea conditions, and reinforcement of decks and working platforms especially around the large trawl winch, provided by Kawasaki of Japan. It has a trawling strength of 35 tons.

With the addition of 10 new crew berths, four of which are just aft of the stack area on the boat deck, the total crew complement has been increased to 30.

Adjacent to the crew quarters on the starboard side of the boat deck, an aft-facing maneuvering and equipment control station was added, which houses all controls and monitoring for the machinery and trawling operations including net deployment, and acts as communications center for deck operations.

All hull modifications were designed and approved in accordance with the American Bureau of Shipbuilding Regulations.

As the catch is brought aboard and funneled through a hydraulic loading hatch to the wet deck or main deck, it is sorted, filleted, and cartoned before being conveyored to six large plate freezers supplied by Mycom of Japan. The freezers are capable of freezing 27 metric tons of fish per day at a temperature of - 3 5 C.

The catch is then transferred to ten of the existing cargo wells, and held at a temperature of —30 C. The vessel is capable of storing 513 tons of frozen, cartoned fish. The new liquid ammonia circulating refrigeration system includes three 100-hp Mycom Compressors, Model N62B, with associated condensers, receivers, ammonia pumps and accessories.

Originally designed with engine room and machinery spaces in the forward portion of the ship, the two forward fishwells both port and starboard, have been converted into a refrigeration machinery space and a hydraulic machinery space. The refrigeration machinery space housing compressors, condensers, receivers, chillers, pumps and accessories, is located on the port side while the hydraulic machinery space, housing the four Kawasaki/Japan 100 HP hydraulic pumps responsible for winch operations and hydraulic equipment through out the vessel, is located on the starboard side of the vessel. This arrangement provided for increased space and maintenance area around each major piece of equipment.

Extensive electronic ^instrumentation includes Furuno communication, navigation and fishing equipment supplied by Honor Marine of San Diego. For ship's communications, a new SSB radio-telephone and VHF/FM radio telephone were added. The new navigation equipment included two Model FR 1011 radar units, a Loran C, an electromagnetic log, a direction finder, two echosounders and a facsimile receiver. Additional electronic fishing equipment included two net recorders, a catch monitor, water temperature indicators and a color video sounder, Model FCV-121-ET.

The completed conversion was undertaken and directed by Marine Service Enterprise of Del Mar, Calif., and completed in May 1985.

After successful sea trials, the Alaska I departed for Arctic fishing grounds and is reported to be successfully fishing the Arctic waters.

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