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New vessel heralds bright new future for Scottish fishing family

When a new trawler is launched, it is a symbol of so much more than its physical self. And the Sparkling Star was no different.

We launched the first trawler commissioned by James Corbett, backed by the Don Fishing Company, at our Whitby quayside back in November 2017.

As you’d expect, given her significance for this family, there was much ceremony about the occasion. James and his extended network of family and friends travelled down from the north of Scotland in full kilt regalia for the blessing by a minister from the Mission to Seafarers, a symbolic champagne bottle breaking by wife Roma, and after-party.

A new beginning for James

The Sparkling Star marks the fulfilment of a lifelong aspiration for James. The seasoned skipper purchased the boat in partnership with Peterhead-based fish wholesale and vessel management company, Don Fishing.

“I’m from a fishing village in the North of Scotland called Kinlochbervie and have worked on the deck and as a skipper of various boats for more than 30 years,” James said.

“Ever since I started out, I’ve dreamed of owning my own boat, and the completion of the Sparkling Star marked the culmination of all that – making my family first generation owners.”

A real workhorse

The twin rig trawler has been put through her paces since her launch, spending on average 25 days at sea off the west coast of Scotland each month, fishing for ground stocks such as monkfish. “We’ve had a hard winter but the Sparkling Star hardly ever stops. She’s a real workhorse and has performed perfectly,” said James. “She’s more than lived up to our expectations, we couldn’t be happier.”

The vessel’s bespoke round bilge hull design, created by Parkol’s own marine architect, aims for maximum performance in the water and increased fuel efficiency. James said: “The hull travels through the water so smoothly and steams really well, the boat is faster and even more economical than we had hoped. It’s particularly noticeable when we’re towing.”

And it’s not just the Sparkling Star’s performance that has impressed James, the vessel’s cleverly designed high-spec interior has also proved a big hit with the six-man crew. “The design is absolutely spot on, it’s every bit as good if not better than we expected. The crew have plenty of space, it’s like a home from home. They can shower and do their laundry every day, it’s so comfortable,” James said.

“The industry is really booming and the fish stocks are the best I’ve known since I’ve been skippering,” he added. “Thanks to the Sparkling Star we’re up about 15 to 20 per cent this year.”

Unprecedented times

We at Parkol are also benefiting from exceptionally positive conditions within the fishing industry. We are experiencing unprecedented demand as the result of a ‘once-in-a- generation opportunity’ for the UK fisheries.

Andrew Oliver, our Director and Engineering Manager, said: “Plentiful fish stocks, good market prices and post-Brexit optimism that the UK may regain at least some control of its waters as a result of the ongoing exit negotiations with Europe, are contributing to these favourable conditions.

“We’ve more than doubled our production to service the orders coming in thick and fast from fishing fleets across the UK and Ireland, of which the Sparkling Star was an example.

“The fishing industry is more buoyant than we’ve ever witnessed at the moment and people are feeling very confident.

“While the industry has had many knockbacks in the past and uncertainty remains over the outcome of our Brexit negotiations with Europe, we’re finding that UK trawler owners are approaching the situation with determination to make the best of things, whatever the eventual outcome.

About the Sparkling Star, he added: “It’s always a proud and symbolic moment when a new trawler takes to the water. It denotes real positivity and hope, and this boat was extra-special for the Corbett family.

“I’m thrilled to hear she is surpassing all expectations for James and his crew.”

If you would like to discover more about the tailored shipbuilding services we offer, contact us via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (01947) 602669.







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