A razor shell dredger from Maaskant

Delivered in November 2015, Noordland was completed with a remarkably short fitting-out period.

An innovative razor shell dredger delivered by Maaskant Shipyards in Stellendam combines an established hull design, used in many of the yard’s previous newbuilds, with some ground-breaking techniques for harvesting and handling that set the new Noordland YE-118 apart.


Razor shells are a delicate shellfish species that require extremely careful handling and being able to harvest an undamaged product is one of the challenges that has faced the sector. Razor shells are easily broken, which makes harvesting itself problematic, while a subsequent challenge is being able to keep these sensitive animals alive.


By combining their knowledge, experience and skills, Maaskant Shipyards and Noordland’s owners have developed a vessel that is capable of overcoming both these challenges.


​The new Noordland, has fishing gear specially designed for dredging razor shells. It comprises a 5.50t dredge that is lowered over the vessel’s port side from an A-frame. Once in position, the gear is pulled along the seabed at a speed of 0.3 knots. A water jet pump loosens the sand on the seabed and this loosened mixture of sand, water and razor shells is then pumped on board. The unique design of this pump takes into account the delicate structure of the product. KSB Nederland in Zwanenburg supplied the fishing pumps and pressure pump dredge.


A handling system has been developed, based on the owners’ extensive experience in this fishery, with the dredged razor shells sorted to remove broken or empty shells after which the selected shells are transferred to holding tubs located amidships. These thirty tubs receive a constant supply of fresh seawater via an independent pump system.


Local company W Bakker Machinefabriek in Yerseke supplied the shellfish transport and storage equipment for Noordland.FF72939


As well as the design and engineering, the yard’s project management team also contributed their knowledge to incorporate a ballast system into the Noordland’s design. Making the vessel more stable in rougher seas, this system will allow the owner to continue fishing even in wave heights of up to 2.50m.


In addition, building on systems used in the sand dredging sector, the 43m vessel’s fishing gear acts as a wave compensating system, which adds to the stability of the harvesting process as a whole.


“This is a very effective design in many aspects,” commented an enthusiastic Gerrie Maaskant, who is project manager at the Stellendam yard, speaking as sea trials were completed a week prior to the new vessel’s delivery to its owners.


“Compared to the owner’s previous vessel, production is increased due to the efficient fishing pump set-up. The equipment we have installed also leads to improved quality of the product as there are significantly less broken shell.”


Following steel fabrication in Poland, Noordland’s hull arrived at Maaskant Shipyards in Stellendam, part of the Damen group of shipyards,  in May 2015.


Delivered in November 2015, Noordland was completed with a remarkably short fitting-out period.


“We like to have short lines of communication with clients,” Gerrie Maaskant said. “This has made the construction of the Noordland a very efficient and cooperative process.”


The 43.19m LOA Noordland has a 9m beam and a depth of 3.30m. It has three Caterpillar C18 engines on board, two of them providing propulsive power to the twin 1100mm diameter Promarin propellers inside Damen Marine Components nozzles, via reduction gearboxes from Reintjes, who also supplied the Vulkan flexible couplings. The third Caterpillar C18 drives a Leroy Somer generator to provide electrical power. In addition, there is a Caterpillar C4.4DI-TA powering a second Leroy Somer generator.