Vessel Type: Beam Trawler
Margaret of Ladram
One of the newer trawlers in the Waterdance fleet, beam trawler Margaret of Ladram works lighter modern trawl gear with mesh sizes tuned to filter out juvenile fish and to avoid sand and rocks that older types of gear used to collect.
Skipper Adam Cowan-Dickie and his crew are searching primarily for sole, monk, turbot, and he stresses that top-quality fish is what they want, so tows are kept to an hour and up to an hour and forty minutes as short tows contribute heavily to maintaining quality.
The 30 metre Margaret of Ladram has a 7.50 metre beam and was built in Holland in 1998. It joined the UK registry in 2015 from the Belgian flag. Margaret of Ladram works four trips a month, each of six to seven days, sometimes with the trip split to landing the catch after a few days. The crew of nine work a two trips at sea and one trio ashore rotation.
Skipper Adam Cowan-Dickie is one of Brixham’s most experienced skippers with a reputation behind him for consistent results and for running a tight ship.
‘It’s a dream of a boat,’ he said. ‘It’s well balanced and built to do the job – the best sea boat I’ve been aboard.’
Over more than twenty years he has skippered a number of Brixham trawlers, mainly larger boats, and took over Margaret of Ladram when it was flagged to the UK from Belgium. He is quick to stress that there’s much more to a successful boat than the skipper. He is certain that Margaret of Ladram has the ideal combination of a company behind it that provides all the support needed, the presence of ship’s husband Duane Barwood, who ensures that everything is in place to get them back to sea quickly, and a first-class crew including mate and relief skipper Sean Beck.
‘This an experienced crew here,’ he said. ‘Some of them have been with me a long time on previous boats and came with me to this one. We are all good friends and I can rely on them. With the crew, the support from the company and Duane’s role as shore manager, I’m just here for the ride as all this makes my job so much easier.’
Margaret of Ladram is also something of a family affair, as three of his sons are members of Margaret of Ladram’s crew. Zack has been on board for a while, Rhys is the latest addition and Rico is already working towards his skipper’s ticket. Daughter Roxanne is the only one who hasn’t been to sea, choosing a practical line of work as a plumber, while the other two boys chose rugby over fishing. Tom plays for the Cornish Pirates and Luke for the Exeter Chiefs as well as being part of the England team, although they have also been to sea for a taste of fishing.
‘My wife Dionne is the rock of the family, bringing up the children mostly on her own,’ he said. ‘Without her I’d have achieved nothing and she’s the one who has enabled me to go to sea.’
METHOD: Beam Trawler
CALL SIGN: 2EWU9
REGISTERED PORT: Exeter
HOME PORT: Brixham
PORT LETTERS: E198
OVERALL LENGTH: 29.86
YEAR OF BUILD: 1998
COUNTRY OF BUILD: Netherlands
DATE OF ENTRY INTO SERVICE: 07/09/2015
SKIPPER: Adam Cowan-Dickie
CREW SIZE: 7
AREA FISHED: Area 7 / SW Approaches
FISH CAUGHT: Dover Sole, Plaice, Monkfish, Gurnard, Ray, Pout, Cuttlefish. other mixed fish