Trawlers share 30th birthday
Two of HB Grandi’s fresher trawlers, Ottó N Thorláksson RE-203 and Sturlaugur H Bödvarsson AK-10 see the thirtieth anniversaries of their first trips to sea this year. Both were built in Iceland. Ottó was delivered by the Stálvík yard in Gardabær for Bæjarútgerd Reykjavíkur (BÚR) at the beginning of June 1981, while Sturlaugur was built at the Thorgeir & Ellert yard at Akranes as the Sigurfari II SH-105 for Hjálmar Gunnarsson in Grundarfjördur and was handed over at the end of July that year.
Ottó N Thorláksson was named after the first president of the Icelandic Confederation of Labour (ASÍ) and the addition of the ship to the BÚR fleet was seen as a turning point at the time, and BÚR was one of the companies that subsequently became HB Grandi. This was the first vessel built for BÚR in Iceland, although it had built 13 trawlers prior to that overseas. Ottó was built with a new hull design that had been developed by Stálvík in co-operation with Swedish-based engineer Sigurdur Ingvarsson, based on the physiology of the sperm whale (búrhvalur in Icelandic). Since then, that hull design has been known as the BÚR pattern. The stern gear was also innovative at that time, with a larger propeller than was usual in ships of this size, but made to turn more slowly. In an interview with Jón Sveinsson, Stálvík’s former managing director with Morgunbladid in 2002, it emerged that the BÚR-pattern hulls performed exceptionally well in tank tests in Denmark, with 39% less water resistance than other hulls tested until then had shown.
Sturlaugur H Bödvarsson, or Sigurfari II as it was originally known, was the Thorgeir & Ellert yard’s 35th newbuild at Akranes. The trawler came to Haraldur Bödvarsson hf in the mid-1980s and had been bought to Akranes by the Fisheries Fund. Its ownership was then transferred to the HB Grandi fleet when Haraldur Bödvarsson hf and Grandi hf merged in 2004.