The boat that was cut in half

Scarborough trawler Allegiance , in two halves as she undergoes work at Parkol Engineering in Whitby, to cut the ship in half, and extend it. submitted pic from Fred Normandale in News

Scarborough trawler Allegiance , in two halves as she undergoes work at Parkol Engineering in Whitby, to cut the ship in half, and extend it. submitted pic from Fred Normandale in News

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FACED with a huge bill of almost £2 million for a larger vessel, a Scarborough fisherman came up with a novel solution at a fraction of the cost.

Danny Normandale, the 39-year-old son of former trawler skipper Fred, had the 60ft Allegiance cut in half and extended by up to 86ft – more than doubling its fish hold capacity.

It was originally built in 1987 for Fred, and another local skipper Tom Sheader, who is currently based in Peterhead.

Fred said the work was completed at Whitby-based Parkol Marine and it had already set sail for its Scottish base. He said: “They’ve done a first class job.

“We’ve had an extra 6ft on the stern because there wasn’t much clearance on the net drum. There’s extra capacity in the fish hold and a bulbous barrel on the front.”

He added that the capacity had been increased from 550 to around 1,200 boxes of fish.

He said: “All we’ve got to be able to do is catch it.

“It’s made the boat safer. My son spends a lot of his time in Shetland and Norwegian waters. The new boat is totally different – she reels and moves through the water a lot slower and much more confidently. Danny’s delighted with it.”

He said it would have cost £1.75 million to have a new vessel built and the work had cost around £300,000 – with an additional £50,000 for the necessary licence for the extra capacity.

“It is about one fifth of the cost of having a new one built.”

Fred said that Danny had chosen to be based at Peterhead so that he did not waste too many days at sea – fishermen are limited to a certain number of days at sea every year – travelling to the northern fishing grounds. He added that it was good that his son had carried on the family tradition and he had always been interested in the trade. He said: “He went fishing with me when he was six and by the time he was 10 he was spending all his summer holidays at sea. He lives for it – it’s all he ever wanted to do.”

The state-or-the-art extension work was carried out Parkol Marine, beside the Upper Harbour on the banks of the River Esk in Whitby, and was something which had never been done in the town before.

Its new hull sections and bulbous bow were built some of the 28 employees in the Whitby workshop.

Speaking at the time the work was being carried out Danny said: “It takes about two days just to get to the fishing grounds and we’re spending £700 on fuel each trip. This will double our fish hold capacity, giving us an extra two days at sea.”

In addition lengthening the hull is also expected to significantly increase Allegiance’s steam speed and fuel economy – meaning fewer trips to and from the fishing grounds and a decrease in expenses.

Jim Morrison, a director at the boatyard, said: “Everything has gone very well, it all went according to plan. We’ve now got future enquiries about doing this sort of work again.”