The readiness of Shetland yard, Malakoff

William Stoichevski

Cooke Aquaculture orders could be just the start for storied Shetland yard, Malakoff

The builder of two brand new fish-farm service vessels for Cooke Aquaculture Scotland has told SalmonBusiness that they have capacity to build, restore, repair or paint more aquaculture workboats despite their relative remoteness.

Malakoff Shipyard, with roots in the Shetland Islands going back 200 years, has just delivered the catamaran, Vaila Marie, a 14-metre workhorse that just launched from the slipway at Scalloway. Her sister ship is now being built, and the yard anticipates more orders.

Winning design: Cooke’s new vessels appear to be inspired by the Havra, seen here in a photo from Malakoff’s Web page

The vessel type is seven meters at the beam, testimony to the capacity of the new “boat shed” we are told about. The Vaila Marie will operate at Cooke’s picturesque Walls and Aith sites doing general farm duties and heavier mooring work.

The boat was designed “in-house” at Cooke under a company project manager. Cooke said it was a larger build based on other boats by Malakoff but with a crane more suited to the heavy mooring work it will do. When the vessel launched, it was adorned in fluttering Shetland and Canadian flags honouring operator and supplier.

Malakoff, however, has served the offshore energy and fisheries industries. When SalmonBusiness calls asking about the yard’s capacity to build aquaculture boats, a voice said, “We have a boat-building garage.”

The boat house
We’re transferred, and a friendly voice confirms the Vaila Marie’s a good-sized vessel.

“Yeah. That build’s about 45 tonnes.”

Have you built other aquaculture vessels?

“Yeah. Same kind of idea but different sizes.”

Would you build large, complex vessels?

“We’d look at it. It would be reviewed. Wouldn’t see a problem building feed vessels. We’re an engineering-based company, so all sorts of marine engineering works and even paint jobs at this new boat-building facility”.

You getting much business these days, apart from Cooke?

“There’s plenty of enquiries if you know what I mean. But, why don’t you talk to the boss, Ryan.”

No need. Some know a can-do shipyard when they talk to one.


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