While Saputi has been a reliable vessel for many years, in order to increase its cargo capacity, QFC retrofitted the ship in late 2012. Originally built in 1987, it was extended by 12 metres and is now almost 76 metres (250 feet) long. The size of the cargo hold was increased to 1,700 cubic metres in volume, which means that the vessel can carry up to 900 metric tonnes of turbot (Greenland halibut) or 650mt of northern shrimp.
The main freezing system was also replaced in the cargo hold, which has five freezers and can freeze up to 50 tonnes of catch per day. The freezers are now more environmentally friendly, after changing from a Freon based system to an Ammonia based system, making Saputi the first vessel in Atlantic Canada to do so and adopt the Montreal Protocol.
The last improvement to mention is that mid-water trawling is now possible after a winch upgrade. Combined, all of these upgrades mean that the ship can both carry more shrimp and turbot, as well as take longer trips. This is important because each landing period when the ship comes into port costs money, and extended travel times and improved efficiency lead to reduced costs for QFC.
Since the refit the crew has been enjoying larger quarters with plenty of space, TV, internet, a sauna and fitness facilities, all of which we believe contributes to the well-being and the retention of the staff.