Rederij Doeksen have contracted Damen Shiprepair Harlingen to carry out the conversion of their 47.15-metre long freight catamaran Noord-Nederland. The conversion work will provide Rederij Doeksen with increased capacity to manage seasonal fluctuations in freight demands.

Rederij Doeksen operates a fleet of passenger ferries that run services between the Dutch mainland and the picturesque Wadden Sea islands of Terschelling and Vlieland. The fleet is complemented by the Noord-Nederland, which serves as a cargo and refuse freighter for the same routes.

The Noord-Nederland has been a member of Rederij Doeksen’s fleet since 2002; a date that signifies an important step in the division of freight and passenger transport for the company. “The separate transport of passengers, cargo and rubbish marked a big improvement,” says Rederij Doeksen Director Paul Melles. “This vessel conversion is a continuation of this development.”

After the conversion, the Noord-Nederland’s increased capacity will allow Rederij Doeksen to respond more effectively to seasonal fluctuations in freight as well as provide project-based services for construction projects on the islands.

Regional stimulus
“We were looking for an experienced and well-equipped yard to carry out this substantial conversion,” continues Mr Melles. “We found all that we were looking for in Damen Shiprepair Harlingen.”

“What’s more, this contract stimulates the local shipbuilding industry and boosts employment in the north of the country. Especially since Damen Shiprepair Harlingen will be calling on the services of regional companies such as Barkmeijer Stroobos [section fabrication], Piet Brouwer [electronics] and Boldert Revisie en Onderhoud [overhaul and maintenance].”

20 metres longer
Frank Seinen, Damen Shiprepair Harlingen Director, is happy with the cooperation: “We are pleased of the trust that Rederij Doeksen places in us for the regular maintenance of their ships – which has now resulted in this exciting conversion project.”

Damen Shiprepair Harlingen has already commenced preparations for the conversion process. A major part of their work will be lengthening the vessel’s hull by about 20 metres. This is scheduled for January 2017; when the yard will cut the ship in half and insert a new mid-section. After this procedure, the vessel will measure 67.25 meters in length.

Rederij Doeksen have also specified new engines, new rudders and an additional bow thruster. Completion of the work is expected in late February 2017.