Grand design

Parkol Marine Engineering is a British repair and construction yard based in Whitby. It was founded in 1988 as a family-run trawler repair business and has since grown to encompass 35 people including engineers and office staff. In 1997 a floating dock was purchased from The Netherlands and marked the company’s move into newbuildings, the first of which was a ten-metre vessel called Jacquelin Ann. Today the yard possesses two work sheds,two newbuild berths for boats up to 25 by eight metres, and a dry dock of 42 by 10.5 metre capacity. The yard’s primary business remains repair and conversion but construction activity has steadily increased, with the yard currently engaged in two newbuild projects.

Director Jim Morrison talks about one of these two projects: “The 26 metre trawler Our Lass III is the fourth boat we have built for Lockers. The first two were 18.25 metre vessels called Rebecca and Our Lass built in 1999 and 2000 respectively, with the latter being replaced by the 21.5 metre Our Lass II in 2007. Our Lass III is a dual-purpose boat designed for trawling, sailing to whitefish farms, and pair seining with another boat. Construction of the boat began on September 1st 2012 and is due for launch on August 11th 2013.”

Our Lass II features an S6R2 propulsion unit, SLBA3 electric/hydraulic auxiliary engine, and a 6016 genset. Its 25,000 litre fuel capacity will be partially carried in double bottom fuel tanks located beneath the floor of the fishroom for the purpose of safety and space optimisation, enabling the boat to carry up to 1150 boxes. Onboard equipment, supplied by Rapp Ecosse, include a pair of two by 12 tonne net drums, five tonne bagging winch, three 15 tonne split trawl winches, and a third winch with large-diameter flange for pair seining. The project marks the latest significant achievement in the close relationship between Parkol and Lockers, two of Whitby’s foremost marine companies, and Parkol is hopeful of soon receiving a second order for a sister vessel.

Director Ian Paton talks about the highly unusual second build project currently being worked on: “The 27 metre motor yacht is based on a 1950s American harbour tug, meaning it has a very distinctive and charismatic style. It has required some very heavy engineering and innovative approaches to successfully construct due to its very unique properties. It possesses a 670 horsepower engine for Blackstone, for example, a British manufacturer that doesn’t produce engines any more but was chosen for the engine’s low 750RPM and quieter operation.

“Another example is the bathing platform. Tugs don’t have bathing platforms but the owner wanted a swivel-out bathing platform that will emerge from the side of the hull so we had to model and engineer that into the limits posed by the American harbour tug design. Unlike tugs the motor yacht also has anchor pockets that required modifications to hide discreetly. I had an expression: that we reserve the right to continually improve. Since beginning this 27 metre, though, my motto is now that the impossible takes just a little bit longer. Yacht owners often expect the impossible and until now many of those examples we would have said were impossible, so it’s been a real learning experience.”

The owner of the boat is Whitby Motor Yachts, another local company, who approached Parkol with the idea five years ago. Three years were spent on the concept to meet the many and unique specifications of the project before building began in 2010. Since then work has progressed slowly, with the pace dictated by Whitby Motor Yachts and Parkol appreciating it as a reliable source of work during quiet periods. Extensive testing has been carried out during the last two years as well, including tank testing to optimise its seakeeping as the yacht is expected to travel the Atlantic Ocean. The end is in sight, however, with completion now expected for summer 2013.

Whilst these two projects represent the growing success of Parkol as a construction yard, it continues to maintain a healthy business in repair and conversion. Two boats, the Allegiance and Valhalla, were recently cut in half and lengthened; each was completed on time and in budget, with Parkol subsequently cementing its reputation as experts in the lengthening process. “We haven’t had many new orders over the last two years but have kept going with some serious refit work as well as retrofitting boats to improve their fuel efficiency,” Ian adds.

Jim ends with a confident outlook on the future: “I see us having work for the next couple of years at least, and not many companies can say that right now. We want to carry on with our repair and construction work, of course, but are always looking at means of improving our skills and services. We have been successful so far because of our workforce: the majority of the lads here are ‘hand picked’ from the area and we are proud to say that it is because of them that Parkol has been such a success.”

Parkol Marine Engineering
26m trawler build
Unique 27m motor yacht
Highly skilled staff