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Damen: From fishing trawler to an Explorer vessel

Posted on June 28, 2023

The Scintilla Maris was a 45.6-metre beam trawler launched in 1988. The beam trawler was the first of eight sisterships built by the Damen Maaskant in Stellendam, which has over 75 years’ experience of building fishing vessels, research vessels and offshore vessels. The new owner wanted a new build Explorer vessel in existing hull, because of the exceptional quality of the hull: design, engineering and construction.

New build in an existing hull

“We’re used to working with demanding commercial clients who require a high degree of flexibility,” says Eric Moerkerk, Managing Director Damen Maaskant. “Owners and their reps are always here in the
yard during construction requesting changes and we’re able to react to their needs. This is the nature of the shipbuilding business today and that flexibility means we’re well prepared to handle conversion projects like Scintilla Maris.”

In 2019 Damen Maaskant began a full conversion by stripping back the hull to bare metal and removing the interior, decking and propulsion. All modifications had to be approved by RIN in order to comply with class requirements.

The original trawler was rated at 570GT and an early priority was to bring the volume below the 500GT threshold, principally by creating more semi-open areas. For example: steps leading down to water level on both sides of the ship.

The Explorer vessel will be able to accommodate ten guests on the lower deck in four double cabins and a huge owner’s suite amidships underneath the original hatch into the fish hold. The maindeck features multiple interior, exterior and semi-open areas for relaxation.

By far the biggest upgrade is the hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system. Stricter emission regulations meant the initial intention to keep the original 4,400-hp Deutz MWM diesel engine, which was in excellent condition, had to be abandoned. The electric motor is coupled to a ZF Marine reduction box and receives power from  three Volvo D16 IMO III gensets (586kW @ 1800rpm).  A harbor generator has been installed as well.

Maritiem Elektro Zeeland (MEZ), a tried and trusted local partner of Damen Maaskant, is the engineering firm responsible for integrating all the electrical installations, including the propulsion, power management, automation, navigation, communication, entertainment and lighting systems. The hybrid system based on an AC and DC (back-up) grid can be monitored remotely and basically provides four sailing modes battery mode with limited power and hybrid mode with one, two or three diesel generators that are always running at constant loads.


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