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Stark Bros launch new vessel for Lyttelton fleet

Thursday 20 October 2016

“Launching days are very special occasions – few and far between, but a good excuse for a celebration and an opportunity to showcase Stark Bros, our unique capabilities and skills,” Chief Executive Andrew Stark said.

 Over 350 attended the event, both inside the workshop and outside.

 But before launching the vessel the guests had a moment of silence in remembrance of the three crew, Paul Bennett, Terry Booth and Jared Husband, lost at sea on the company’s fishing vessel Jubilee, in 2015.

 “This tragedy remains heavy on our hearts, and today we pay special tribute to these three men and their families,” Stark said.

 He noted that the vessel took longer to build than expected.

 “Due to high ship repair workload in recent years the build time has stretched to just over three years. Yes, frustrating on occasions, but as many of our clients will appreciate, our principal activity is ship repair, we do not, and cannot afford to turn your work down.”

The extended build time served two purposes – providing work for staff when business was quiet and first class fishing vessels for the fishing company.

 “No other ship repair or boat building company in NZ operates this business model – we strongly believe that it makes us more effective in both boat building and in ship repair.”

He paid tribute to the exceptional lead that Cameron Stark showed in the design and build of this vessel, the company’s second new build since Frank Stark passed away in 2008.

 “While similar in looks to previous vessels from the “Stark Stable”, you will know that Cam is constantly questioning and seeking better results, so there are additions, subtractions, refinements and improvements.

“Indeed the results compared to our last new build – Legacy indicate a 10 per cent increase in speed, and a massive 25 per cent increase in bollard pull.

 “Combine this with significant fuel savings – and as Cam says - she is a honey!”

 He also paid tribute to Henry Bastion, the company’s build foreman who started with the company as an apprentice 13 years ago.

Henry had shown initiative, skill and determination, progressing through the ranks to lead this project.

“Henry is a thinker, but also a doer, he has learnt by doing – a top quality tradesman, he is not afraid to question why or how something is done, he also wants the best result from every project he is working on.

“While specifically mentioning Cam and Henry, rest assured this is a team effort – boat builders, welders, fitters, labourers, truck drivers, admin staff and management, collectively we can all be very pleased with the results of our efforts.”

 “Today we admire the result, clean, shiny, almost pristine - but as with any fishing boat, today is the only day this vessel should look like this – hopefully it will quickly smell of fish, and unfortunately will be scratched and have the odd bump – all in a hard day’s work for a fishing vessel and her skilful, hardworking crew.”

 Inshore fishing is hard work, both for the crew and ourselves as boat owners, he said.

 “The fish prices paid to the boats are simply not keeping up with inflation, the costs of compliance, quota access fees, deemed value penalties, and repairs and maintenance are constantly increasing, yet fish prices to the catcher remain relatively flat.”

Only with extremely hard work, support from the BNZ, a long term accounting perspective and the synergies with ship repair, could they continue to persevere, and to survive in the inshore fishing industry, he said.

 “This being said, trucking companies cannot survive with 40 year old trucks, and neither can the fishing industry, age will overtake the point of no return.”

“There is currently much talk, but limited action regards fleet replacement – bring it on, the inshore fishing industry’s survival depends on it – along with increased fish catch prices.”

The name Endeavour has strong historical links to Lyttelton, he explained.

 Banks Peninsula was first sighted by Europeans from Endeavour – during James Cook’s first voyage to New Zealand in 1770, with the replica ship visiting Lyttelton in April 2000.

Endeavour will be based in Lyttelton, and with a skipper and two crew will fish off the South Island’s East Coast for a range of inshore species.

It joins Frontier, Legacy, and Nessie J.

With a fuel efficient SCANIA coupled to a 9:1 reduction gearbox driving a 1800mm diameter variable pitch propeller, the additional capital investment is expected to give significant ongoing fuel savings.

 During its sea trials the vessel achieved in excess of 10 knots in timed running miles, and eight tonnes in static bollard pull.

It has an on-board salt water ice maker, computer controlled split hydraulic winches with auto scrolling, with a suite of electronics including Marport Trawl Catch Sensors to fish the varied conditions and fishing grounds particular to the South Island’s East Coast, fishing in depths from 10m to about 500m.

 Like the rest of the fleet, the vessel runs on BioDiesel - the blended supply is delivered wharf side by Green Fuels NZ Ltd – a locally owned and operated company.

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