Arbroath Harbour rang to the sound of thunderous applause on Friday as crowds gathered to watch the launch of a brand new commercial boat.
‘Endurance’ was launched from the slipway at MacKay’s Boatbuilder as hundreds thronged the harbourside to get a view of the scarlet catamaran which will be used to fish for lobster.
Owner Neil Pattison (39) was pleasantly surprised by the public response. He said: “I was very surprised there was that many people there. I expected a small crowd, but I didn’t expect half as many as that!
“It is a nice feeling to know that we were producing something that attracted a crowd like that. It’s not something that happens every day.
“It was the first vessel to be launched off the slipway in about 30 years, I’m sure someone said it was 1989 since the last launch.
“I’ve been brought up with the fishing industry, I’ve done the creel fishing, clam dredging, and trawling for prawns and fish. I’ve also skippered my own creel boat for the last seven years during the summer months, so this is in addition to that.”
A twin-hulled catamaran, ‘Endurance’, is 10 metres long and five wide and is based on a proven design by Gemini Workboats and produced by Peterhead firm Anderson Marine.
All that remains is for the engines to be commissioned which will happen in the next six weeks and Neil expects ‘Endurance’ to be ready for the sea in two or three months.
The whole project has so far been 18 months in the making. Neil explained: “I signed the contract with Anderson Marine a year past January and they started in August or September and we took delivery on December 7. My father and I have been working on it ever since.
“I’m a production engineer for a local company and it has given me a few skills and I’m pretty good at problem solving. I’ve not had too many problems I couldn’t solve. My father and I have bought vessels in the past that have needed a lot of work and we’ve re-engined them, added new decking or a wheel house and we’ve done work with fibre glass.”