The new Börkur under being finished at Karstensens Shipayard in Skagen,Denmark

The new Börkur under being finished at Karstensens Shipayard in Skagen,Denmark

The new Börkur, which is under construction at Karstensens Skibsværft in Skagen in Denmark, went on a test drive recently.

Grétar Örn Sigfinnsson, operations manager of Síldarvinnslan, Hjörvar Hjálmarsson, skipper and Leifur Þormóðsson, coxswain, went on the trip, as well as Karl Jóhann Birgisson and Hörður Erlendsson, engineers who have been out in Skagen and monitored the ship’s construction on behalf of Síldarvinnslan.

According to Grétar, the test trip went extremely well in all respects. “Everyone was in the clouds. This is a really cool ship and the best we’ve seen. All the construction work is great, and nothing is spared. It is very good to work with the Danes and Karl Jóhann and Hörður play an important role in the construction and are in regular contact with us at home,” says Grétar.

Captain Hjörvar Hjálmarsson agreed with Grétar. “I think these ships, Börkur and the sister ship Vilhelm Þorsteinsson, are the coolest ships that have come to Iceland.

“All of their construction is of exceptional quality and they are loaded with equipment to a greater extent than people have known. During the test drive, the main engines underwent two stress tests and, among other things, pumped seawater into all trains and cooling systems.

“There were 28 people onboard and each had a role to play.

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“The ship went 15.5 miles per hour on one engine and 18.8mph on both. There are over 9,000 horsepower and the power is incredible.

“It took, for example, only one minute and eight seconds for the ship to go from 5mph to 15mph. We benefit from cooperation with Samherjamenn but their ship, Vilhelm Þorsteinsson, will be ready before Börkur.

“I understand that Vilhelm will probably be delivered around 20 March but Börkur could be ready in late April or early May.

“This shipyard is a model company and if something needs to be changed or added, it is no problem.

“The ship looks really big. It is 90.2 metres long and 16.7 meters wide. The cargo space is over 3,500 cubic metres so it can carry about 3,400 tonnes ashore. This is truly Stóri-Börkur.

“Hopefully we will get one blue whiting trip before Fishermen’s Day to learn about the boat. This is all really exciting,” says Hjörvar.

Karl Jóhann Birgisson has been following the construction work on Börkur in Skagen since the beginning of October, and the engineers, Jóhann Pétur Gíslason and Hörður Erlendsson, have stayed with him alternately.

Karl Jóhann says that all work on the ship is being carried out systematically.

“Now, for example, the interior of the ship is about to be painted and a group of 46 people will take part in that work. The painting work is expected to take six weeks. All work is well done and of course it is important for the shipyard that the ship is finished as soon as possible.

“As I have said before, we enjoy the fact that construction work on the sister ship Vilhelm Þorsteinsson is ahead, so nothing comes as a surprise with construction work in Börkur. I expect to stay here in Skagen until the end and my work here will end with the delivery of the ship,” says Karl Jóhann.


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