(Relation)ship building with Astrid Fiske and Karstensen Shipyard

When Astrid Fiske needed a reliable and highly fuel-efficient new trawler, they again specified a complete propulsion package from Wärtsilä.

When you’re fishing in all weathers in the notoriously treacherous North Sea, you need a vessel that you can rely on. The need for long-term reliability is just one reason why Astrid Fiske specified Wärtsilä propulsion equipment for their new pelagic fishing vessel the Astrid Marie. Together with the Karstensen Shipyard, the three companies have developed a long-term working relationship that is based as much on technology as it is on trust.

The Johansson family from Rörö, Sweden have been fishing the waters of the North Sea for three generations with their company Astrid Fiske AB. Leif Johansson, an 86-year-old industry veteran, is still active in the company and his sons Börje and Tomas work as skippers on the company’s fishing vessels. The third generation – Kristian, Johannes and Daniel – have also been part of the company for the past 10–15 years and have joined their fathers out at sea. When the time came to add to the Astrid Fiske fleet with another, bigger fishing vessel, the family turned to their long-term partner Karstensen Shipyard.

Building ships – and trusted relationships

The Karstensen Shipyard builds high-quality fishing vessels for ship owners in northern Europe. The company operates from two locations: the hulls are constructed at their own shipyard in Gdynia, Poland, with the bare hulls then towed to Skagen, Denmark for final outfitting and commissioning. Karstensen have their own very popular ship design and their loyal customers frequently come back for repeat new-builds or repairs. Their relationship with Wärtsilä, which goes back around 25 years, is also a solid one – over half of the 15 ships currently on their order books will be equipped with Wärtsilä main engines and propulsion packages.

“The working relationship between Wärtsilä and Karstensen is very strong,” says Jens Karlsson General Manager, Sales, Denmark, Wartsila Marine Power. “We have maintained the same project team on the Wärtsilä side for the last eight orders, so everyone at the shipyard knows us very well. We’re pleased to be able to offer this continuity of care because it supports our aim to deliver more than just technology with every project.””

“Wärtsilä propulsion equipment is reliable and lasts a long time. Working out on rough seas means we need to have equipment that we can rely on and Wärtsilä certainly delivers on that score, which is why we always choose it for our newest fishing vessels.

- Kristian Johansson, Astrid Fiske AB.



Plenty more fish in the sea for Astrid Fiske

Fishing in the extreme conditions often encountered on the North Sea requires equipment that you can rely on, so when it came to designing the 63.85 m pelagic trawler Astrid Marie, it was the shipowner who specified Wärtsilä equipment. For the past 30 years Astrid Fiske has used Wärtsilä as their primary supplier of main engines, so they knew they’d get the reliability and excellent fuel efficiency needed, delivered on time and on budget with high levels of service. The new vessel, primarily intended for fishing herring, mackerel and blue whiting, was constructed by Karstensen and delivered in February 2021.

“Wärtsilä delivered a complete propulsion package for the Astrid Marie,” explains Karlsson. “The vessel has a Wärtsilä 6L32 variable-speed main engine driving a Wärtsilä controllable pitch propeller through a Wärtsilä gearbox equipped with a power take-off (PTO) driven shaft generator. We also supplied a range of auxiliary equipment, including a propulsion remote control system. The shaft generator can produce electricity onboard when the main engine is operating, which as well as saving fuel oil allows the main engine to be loaded more efficiently within its optimal operating field.”” 

“Working with Wärtsilä is a straightforward business to us – not only is their equipment always of a reliably high quality, but they are also a good team of people that make cooperation seamless and always deliver on time.

- Kent Damgaard, Karstensens Skibsværft A/S.



Highs and lows – quality and fuel consumption

“Astrid Fiske chose Wärtsilä equipment because of its quality and fuel efficiency,” shares Karlsson. “Technology needs to be reliable when working in extreme conditions, and fuel costs are cut directly from profits so high efficiency is a must. The propulsion package also plays an important role in influencing other essential aspects of the fishing vessel’s performance – for example, providing the required bollard pull for towing the trawl as well as minimising vibration and noise.”

Since the Astrid Marie was delivered in February this year, Astrid Fiske have already put in a new order with Karstensen for another vessel, again equipped with a complete Wärtsilä propulsion package including Wärtsilä’s newest engine, the Wärtsilä 31. At 91.80 m, this pelagic trawler will be one of the biggest fishing vessels in northern Europe and serves to demonstrate the trust the company places in both Wärtsilä and the Karstensen shipyard. “While we will always deliver high-quality equipment at the right price, our long-term relationship with both Astrid Fiske and Karstensen shows it is as much about our people as it is about our technology,” concludes Karlsson.” 

To find out more about Wärtsilä’s propulsion solutions visit: https://www.wartsila.com/marine/build/propulsors-and-gears

Written by
Amanda Thurman