Author: Kerrie Forster

Member Profile: Euan Carruthers, You & Sea

With an international water based training career covering the UK, Australia, Egypt, Greece, Turkey, Tenerife and Nigeria, Euan tells us more about himself and his business – You and Sea.

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Our company ambition is simple: “Provide a reliable, trustworthy training centre that provides high quality training that both commercial and leisure users need and can rely on. “

Who are You & Sea and where are you based?

We are an RYA & SQA Training centre providing motorboat and powerboat training to commercial companies and leisure boaters. We are based in Rhu Marina on the Clyde and attract students from all over the world. In addition, we regularly run courses all over Scotland and the North of England.

When did the company start?

The company was formed in early 2014, with the objective to fill a gap in the commercial motorboat training sector in Scotland.

Where did your interest for boating start?

From an early age, I have spent most of my life around boats in some form or other whether providing safety boat cover for the local sailing club, crewing on the family yachts, or instructing on RYA courses across most of the RYA Schemes. I developed a real interest around the year 2000 when I was actively involved with local regattas and at that point I decided that being an instructor was the career for me.

What has your career been up to now?

I qualified as a Dinghy instructor in 2003 and haven’t looked back. From 2004 to 2011 I worked overseas as a Watersports instructor, with the last 2 years of that time running RYA Centres as Chief Instructor. After I met Nathalie, now my wife, I decided that ‘living out of a suitcase’ in the Mediterranean was over and it was time to settle down back in Scotland. I fell into commercial motorboat instructing almost by chance, but I very glad I did, it’s an incredibly rewarding job and one of the main reasons that I set up You & Sea. Since 2011, I have been working solidly as a commercial instructor running all levels of courses in Motor, Radar, Navigation, Sea Survival, Power and Sail – and since 2017 also Instructor training.

What courses do you offer?

You & Sea offer all levels of RYA Shorebased, Motor Cruising, Powerboating, and instructor training. Early in 2020 we took over MCA Boatmaster training from another company, this was one area that we had identified a few years ago that was missing from the commercial training courses available to Scottish based companies. We are now actively running 5 & 6 day prep courses all over Scotland for Tier 1 & Tier 2 Boatmaster Candidates followed by top up training which is carried out through Zoom. The most recent addition to our course portfolio is that we have recently become an SQA Approved Centre for the 5 Day Radar and Electronic Chartplotter course, which will become a requirement shortly for skippers and crew operating under Workboat Code 2.

What is your favourite course to teach?

That is a tricky question to answer but my favourite course is probably a 50/50 tie between Yachtmaster Theory and Radar. I enjoy the challenges of the Yachtmaster Theory course because although it’s a tough course to pick-up from a student’s perspective, it is very rewarding when they do get it. I really enjoy Radar training whether it’s teaching the 1 day RYA course or the 5 Day SQA course because I think people have an opinion that being a good radar operator is incredibly difficult or realistically unachievable, again it is very rewarding when candidates realise they can do it and that operating a radar with the multi-function displays on the vessels nowadays is a much more user-friendly operation than previous systems.

What can we expect from You & See in the future?

It is my plan to continue to build on the solid foundation of commercial training that we offer already and develop our Boatmaster, Master 200gt and SQA training further. We already have lots of customers outside Scotland, from the UK & overseas and we will continue to develop this audience. Aided by the increasing emphasis on video conferencing and blended learning, now that people have got used to this concept – we will continue to develop more online courses. We will also continue and promote the development of personalised courses for independent commercial operators.

Do you see any challenges for the Workboat industry in regard to training?

One area that I have always believed is a problem is that there a lack of training centers offering high quality courses for commercial companies in the north of England and Scotland. As someone working towards Master 200gt myself, I found it really hard to locate a company who would run the required courses for smaller student numbers. This is one of the main reasons why I set up my own training company and built the company up to be able to offer these courses.

 If You & Sea has a motto, what is it / would it be?

Yes we do, it’s another clear one: “Experienced, Expert, Approachable.”

Our entire company ethos would fall flat if we did not have good experience of the courses that we are running, because of that I am very fussy about who I employ as Instructors. For example for our commercial students; I like to think that we, as a company, are experts in the sense that we understand the commercial market, know the courses inside out and know what its like to be a commercial Seafarer. Lastly, we are approachable – I have always tried to employ instructors who have empathy with their students and are happy to go the extra mile to help them and their companies.

Member Profile: George Moore – Specialist Marine Consultants

We talk to George Moore, Business Development Manager at corporate member’s Specialist Marine Consultants;

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Who are Specialist Marine Consultants and how did they originate?

SMC, or Specialist Marine Consultants, are a specialist service provider to the marine and offshore energy sectors. We began by delivering Vessel Inspections and QHSE services to Oil & Gas Clients back in 2006, however we now primarily operate within the offshore wind sector. We operate globally, providing a range of niche services across all project phases.

How many people are working for SMC today?

At SMC we operate a 15-person head office team, with a further 180 personnel located on projects all around the world.

When did you join the company and what was your previous experience?

Ive been with the company almost 4-years now, joining in early 2017.

Unlike our project teams, who all hold marine backgrounds, I was brought in from a different sector, having previously worked in finance and marketing roles.

At SMC we maintain a diverse management team as we feel that this approach can lead to innovations and new ways of thinking, ultimately providing a stronger and broader support structure for our projects. Of course, the core of our business is built up of experienced specialists, but we have also taken great care in recent years to train and develop people – I suppose I am a current example of this.

What is your role within the company today?

I work as Business Development Manager at SMC. I have responsibility for all Sales & Marketing functions within the business, and primarily I am tasked with engaging  with client’s operational and procurement teams, managing the bidding process as we compete for work in both emerging and established markets. 

What services do SMC offer?

We offer a range of services and pride ourselves on the quality of service that we deliver. We are proud to have established ourselves as a renowned and proven provider of safe, quality turnkey solutions. Our primary services include:

  • Marine Consultancy
  • Vessel Inspection (eCMID, OVID, MISW, On/Off-Hire Suitability Survey, Bespoke Inspections, etc.)
  • Marine Coordination
  • Statutory Inspection
  • Structural Inspection and Maintenance Above Water (inc. a range of solutions)
  • Temporary Staff Services

Where are the main areas of work location?

We have operational offices in the UK, the EU and South-East Asia, but we deliver services globally. The UK, Germany and Taiwan remain our most significant sources of revenue, which is understandable due to their leading commitments to offshore wind.

As a company, we intend to continue to operate in both established and emerging markets. We recently won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category, which was a great achievement for SMC and really emphasised our success in overseas trading. There are a lot of exciting works planned for the coming years and we’re really looking forward to the continued growth of the offshore wind industry on a global scale.

Do you offer any services outside of Offshore Wind?

Yes – absolutely!

Although the bulk of our work is in offshore wind, we continue to provide support to a range of sectors, including marine, nuclear, oil & gas and utilities.

What is your favourite part of your job?

Definitely the variety.

At SMC I have been given exposure to a range of industries all over the world. As I am relatively new to the industry, there has been so much to learn, which has been a real treat. I have also been tasked with establishing our business in new markets, and early phase missions to the likes of Taiwan and the United States have been a brilliant experience.

In my role I have to maintain knowledge of SMC operations, client operations and industry direction – which in this relatively green and exciting industry is rarely a chore.

Do you have any frequent challenges related to the Workboat industry?

2020, and in particular the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, has brought about a number of challenges which we have all had to adapt to over course of the year – we hope that these aren’t so much a frequent challenge, but that they become an anomaly by the time we leave 2021 and move into 2022. Time will tell.

Less unforeseeable challenges do still remain, however. We see plenty of opportunity for improvement and optimisations.

To give a specific example, fuelling logistics within some offshore wind projects could be improved. We see the use of road trucks for fuelling somewhat an inhibitor to efficiency. The loss of time as boats queue to refuel could be mitigated by investing in fuelling infrastructure.

Do you have any advice for Workboat Operators?

At SMC, we sit in a somewhat privileged position, in that we have such a broad exposure to the industry, with our services sitting across the supply chain and through to project developers and owners.

There would be benefit in the facilitation of workshops that invite workboat operators, their clients and any other relevant parties to discuss project mechanisms and operations in their entirety. I think sometimes it is easy to act within a bubble, and that a greater visibility of “the bigger picture” could lead to optimisations, or at least the easing of any frictions that may exist. Communication is one of the greatest tools in ensuring that projects are delivered safely and on time – it could only be a positive thing in my view, supporting the development of productive working relationships.

Guide to Brexit for the Workboat Industry

Following two workshops held during the Transition Period between the Workboat Association, UK Department for Transport and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency – the following guide has been created for stakeholders of the Workboat Industry.

In the coming months before the end of 2020, independent agreements with foreign countries and their maritime administrations may happen, until this information is formally announced it is advised that all UK Workboat Industry stakeholders read and understand this guide and where available / relevant; follow the links for further official Government information.

Member Profile: Neil Brockman – Cormorant Cruises

Neil informs us about his career and his new business as owner of Cormorant Cruises, based in Cornwall.

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What is your background?

I grew up within a family committed to the RNLI in a small town in Cornwall, when I was old enough I followed my family’s footsteps and became a volunteer myself. At the age of 26 I became the fulltime Coxswain of our local lifeboat having previously spent some time as the Skipper of a fishing trawler. After 30 years’ service in the RNLI I made a move into the Workboat sector as a Master to have a change and embrace a new sector within the maritime industry.

What services do you currently offer?

I am a freelance Workboat Master and Fishing vessel Skipper, I also have a small commercial workboat of my own in my hometown of Mousehole in Cornwall which I operate in Summer as a local tour vessel including sights and stories on local wildlife, geology and history for both residents and holiday makers.

What has been the main driver for you to join the Workboat Association?

I have many friends who are members of the WA and I am fully supportive of industry collaborating to join efforts together, especially when it comes to training and safety. As I haven’t owned my company/vessel for long I find it is extremely valuable to have the support of others with experience around me.

Can you name a few highlights from your career?

In 2007 the RNLI took me to Shanghai with two other Coxswains to train employees of the Chinese Government on operating, handling and maintaining high-speed rescue craft; as they redeveloped their own Marine Rescue service. I spent over a month there, learning lots myself about the local culture and a different perspective on small vessel operations, I met some really great people – it’s a time I will never forget.

What are the current projects/vessels you are working on?

Now my own vessel is laid-up for winter, when I return home she will be taken out of the water where she will stay until next season. Currently I am working in the Netherlands for Acta Marine on board a vessel working on the Fryslân Wind Farm construction project. I enjoy the flexibility of my work and the changes in scenery and work scopes.

Do you have any advice to other self-employed workboat Masters or single vessel owners?

My father always told me “Look after your boat, [whoever’s boat you are working on] and your boat will look after you”. Keep enthused about training on board, I have first-hand witnessed many times the outcomes of when emergency preparedness is not taken seriously; You have to expect the unexpected when working at sea.

How has your background in the RNLI affected your work today?

Working for the RNLI gave me a professional and serious understanding about the risks of working and enjoying recreation at sea. You cannot be complacent as conditions and situations vary everyday and they can also change with the ‘click of a switch’. Although my ties with the RNLI are no longer operationally active, I remain dutiful to the cause and hold the highest respect for all those volunteering their time and risking their lives in the effort to save others. I, to this day believe that all mariners could learn a great deal from the eyes of someone who has served in a Marine Rescue Service, of which the RNLI is one of the best.

Member Profile: Ernst-Jan Kouveld, ORCA Crew Services

Ernst-Jan, Area Manager at South-Netherlands based Crew Services provider (and sponsors of the Workboat Association’s 25th Anniversary Drinks Reception) – ORCA Crew Services – tells us a little more about the ORCA team, their offering and objectives in this month’s Member Profile.

(Pictured here on the left with two of his colleagues. Attendees of the 2020 AGM may well recognise Rob Vermeulen, centre)

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What is the history of ORCA Crew Services BV.?

ORCA Crew Services BV was founded in September 2017 by a group of like-minded professionals with large experience in Maritime and Offshore recruitment services.

With 3 x branch offices and several dedicated agencies ORCA can provide bespoke turnkey recruitment solutions to their clients worldwide.

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When did you join the company?

I personally joined ORCA on January 1st 2018, recently after the company was established and have enjoyed everyday since – we have a great team and I really like the interaction with our clients.

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What is your background?

It has been varied, but always in Maritime Industry Services, for over 15 years now. I have experience as a Ships Agent, working for Shipowners and Ship Management Companies and of course; Crewing Agencies.

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What services do ORCA currently offer and what is your specialism?

We provide a range of Crewing related services to our customers, these include (but are not limited to);

  • Crew Management / Organisation
  • Recruitment, placement and research
  • Payroll Solutions
  • Ship Delivery Solutions
  • Permanent and temporary Staffing
  • Training Solutions
  • Logistical Services

I am the Manager of the Netherlands so I have a good oversight of many of these services in my sector, key to my role would be client engagement and working to provide them with high quality and professional solutions.

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What are the objectives of ORCA?

ORCA’s objectives quite simply are; maintaining the high-level of services we deliver to our clients and gaining market share with innovative solutions.

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Has there been any significant highlights since the conception of ORCA Crew Services?

A major milestone has been the signing of some large framework agreements within the more well-known Offshore Wind Contractors, we are glad to supply the entire project spread from Hopper dredgers to Multicats and from Offshore Construction Vessels to Crew Transfer Vessels.

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What was the main driver for ORCA to join the Workboat Association in 2019?

Amongst our clients many are Workboat Association members, so it is always beneficial hearing the challenges and best practices they are experiencing in the market. By being a member it is actually mutually-beneficial, we learn at the same time as our clients so we can continue to remain current with expectations and best practice whilst also giving back to the industry with help from our membership and sponsorship of the Association.

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What are the greatest crewing challenges that you experience in the Workboat industry currently?

At moment, despite any ‘normally’ perceived challenges (which we are experienced to manage and advise on), it has to be “How the COVID-19 crisis restricts travelling” especially from and to the Middle East in order to carry out crew changes, we see Shipping Companies unable to relieve crew on board >6 months.

How do you think Brexit may affect your business?

It is our motto to turn challenges into opportunities, we have a broad range of payroll facilities – we anticipate that their will be hurdles regarding the forthcoming Brexit but due to our wide offering we believe we are suited to be able to offer continuity with little disruption.

We do realize that obvious routine will become more bureaucratic once the Brexit enters into effect but until the final exit negotiations are complete it is not fully known the exact details that will affect UK Crewing, we continue to keep a close eye on this and we are ready to assist once the decision is made.

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Member Profile: Stuart Finlayson – Outreach Offshore

Stuart is the General Manager of new members: Outreach Offshore Ltd. In this month’s article he informs us about the company, its offering and some quick win ways to increase workboat lifting equipment safety.

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“Joining the Workboat Association is an exciting move for Outreach Offshore – we would like to share our experience within the workboat sector for health and safety improvements.”

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What is the history of Outreach Offshore Ltd.?


Outreach Offshore Limited, formally a division of Outreach Ltd is renowned as a leading supplier of hydraulic handling, lifting and access equipment within the wind, oil and gas, shipbuilding, aquaculture and marine industries. Products sold by Outreach Offshore Limited are universally recognised as being of the highest quality. Each product is carefully matched to the intended application and fully engineered. This ensures compliance with all relevant codes and standards. This also ensures the result contributes to maximum benefits to the client, whilst managing a budget.


When did you join the company?

I joined the company 5 years ago when it was part of Outreach Ltd. At the time, the main goal was to build and enhance the Outreach offshore division of the company. After the business was demerged I became the lead of the newly formed Outreach Offshore business. The focus of this new business venture was to service the specialist sectors in marine, oil and gas, wind energy and shipbuilding.


What is your background?

I’ve had many roles within the oil & gas, wind energy and shipbuilding industries over the past 39 years, with experience in multiple complex projects. I have always aimed to provide the best solution for clients while maintaining excellent quality – I have made a good career based on developing active customer relationships supported by our extensive technical knowledge, we are fully equipped to assist in all aspects of your [lifting] equipment needs for your project.


What services do you currently offer?

Outreach Offshore Limited supply and install bespoke hydraulic lifting solutions including R.O.V LARS systems, control cabins, specialist tether winches alongside handling and access equipment for offshore and onshore activities. This includes marine cranes manufactured by the PALFINGER Group.

Ancillary activities include importation, installation, load testing, repair, servicing, commissioning, demonstration, operator training, production, and testing. Alongside this extensive list, we also provide engineering design services to meet the needs of any project.

Outreach Offshore Limited is committed to providing the correct support and services for your project. We like to take a proactive approach with our products in which we will examine, maintain and provide crane parts packages or just parts support post-purchase. This is included with our comprehensive support and service packages.


What are the objectives of Outreach Offshore?

Outreach Offshore’s primary objectives are to provide our clients with lifting solutions that meet their standards and provide reliability in service by supplying quality equipment that is reliable and fits the needs of our client’s operational capability. However, conversely, we also understand that in the current economic climate we find ourselves in means that budgets are very important in the overall success of a project. This is why we use our extensive knowledge and understanding of the marine sector to engage with our clients to enable the most cost-effective and compatible solution which can also be delivered in a suitable time-frame to keep up with project deadlines.


What has been the main driver for you to join the Workboat Association?

To gain opportunity within the industry that enables us to showcase our capabilities. We offer world-class service and products that are specifically manufactured for this key sector. As the main Palfinger dealer in the UK, we feel that these products will fit well within the industry due to the fact that they are engineered to a very high quality and standard whilst providing lightweight, structural capabilities. The workboat sector would benefit from this continued innovation as well as their stringent safety standards. Similarly, Outreach Offshore would like to share our experience within the workboat sector for health and safety improvements.


Could you give us some quick-win advice to those responsible for cranes on Workboats?


Good technical support is essential to enable the correct choice of crane specific to each workboats capability. Choosing the correct crane duty and operational capability is fundamental to vessel safety and stability. This includes taking into consideration, significant wave height (Hs), over boarding requirements, power requirements and corrosion protection which is all based on the conditions in which the crane will be subject to daily.

Secondly, it is vital that the crane operators are fully trained by an accredited provider to ensure health and safety awareness while operating equipment is fully understood. This ensures peace of mind that the health and safety and well-being are managed while operating a complex piece of equipment. Each piece of equipment has differing skills needs to maintain and operate it, Outreach Offshore offer ALLMI accredited training courses specifically tailored to suit each customer’s requirements.

Lastly, it is greatly important that maintenance requirements are met on-time and correctly to ensure that cranes remain in good condition, this provides to ensure longevity, minimise risk and increase reliability. To promote this always use a reputable company to supply technical service and parts backup, this is vital to minimise downtime of machinery and keep systems running.


Do you have any unique offerings for the Workboat Industry?

Outreach Offshore Limited has extensive knowledge in sectors that are directly serviced by the workboat industry. This knowledge and experience of environmental requirements allow us to provide the best solutions possible for our workboat clientele.

Alongside this, over the past year Outreach Offshore Limited has been developing our unique Mini eLARS System. Small ROVs are increasingly being used within the workboat industry for inspection/intervention, seabed mapping and maintenance work. From this, we have identified a health and safety requirement to aid with the deployment and retrieval of these small ROV vehicles. We have spent over a year developing a solution made to safely launch and recover vehicles in a controlled condition, removing manual handling risks to the operator through innovation. This system is fully electric, which negates the requirement for hydraulic control and again matches environmental needs to remove the potential for oil spillages into the sea. The system integrates our MK8 tether winch which is 90% made of polypropylene.

Joining the Workboat Association is an exciting move for Outreach Offshore, as we aim to contribute with our knowledge and experience of supplying an engineered lifting solution that matches each individual task. We see the workboat association as an ideal platform to showcase our world-class equipment but also further develop our ability to provide our products and services into an evolving and diverse sector that we see through health and safety needs as standards develop.

Meet the Apprentice: David Carter – Williams Shipping

David studied as an apprentice at Whitby Fishing School/ 54′ North Maritime Training

  • Name: David Carter
  • Gender: Male
  • Age: 25
  • Company: Williams Shipping
  • Interests outside of work: Rugby, Running and Paddle Boarding

What Apprenticeship did you undertake and when?

Actually, contrary to my position on Workboats; I completed a Fishing Apprenticeship at Whitby Fishing School in 2012. The Workboat Crewmember Apprenticeship was not yet finalised at that time, this was the closest Apprenticeship to my ambitions on Workboats. Since that time the Whitby Fishing School started 54′ North Maritime Training and through this arm they now offer the Workboat Crewmember Apprenticeship.


Where are you now
and what role do you hold?

I am now working as a Master for Williams Shipping on board small Mulitcats ranging between 14 < 20 metres LOA


What are your ambitions for career?

I would eventually like to be Master of a large Multicat, something around 30 meters plus, this ambition gives be good focus and drive to succeed.

[There’s a good business case for Williams Shipping!]


What is your favourite part of your job currently?

My favourite part about my job is definitely the variety – no day is ever the same, it never gets boring. I would not like a job where you did the same thing all the time, this would be too repetitive for me and it would not challenge me in the right way to keep me motivated.


Do you have any advice for others interested in possibly becoming an Apprentice in the Workboat Industry?

If you want to do well in this industry, you really have to enjoy your job and be prepared to work hard, being part of the crew on board a workboat is not something that you can just turn up, do your hours, then go home. You have to be part of a team, they depend on you, and so does the boat. The better you treat the boat and your equipment – the better it treats you. Time and effort put in to your work definitely helps you to achieve great results and creates a good working atmosphere that you can enjoy and be proud of.

WA Members Short Film Competition

Winners Announcement!!

A jury was nominated by the WA Training Workgroup to score the entries to this year’s Video Competition, we are pleased to announce the following winners who will all receive gift packs in reward!;

Congratulations to the three winners!!

Do you enjoy making videos and would like to show us your work place?

The Workboat Association is creating a short film to showcase our industry, the association and career opportunities, and we want you to be the the moviemakers!

Entries for the competition can be submitted during September and October and prizes will be awarded for winners of the following categories;

  • Best video
  • Most interesting work scope
  • Best in sector: Towing, Energy Sector, Aquaculture and Marine Civils
  • Inspiring Story or Script

We are interested for short films showing your work location, whether it is on board a vessel, in a Port, in the office or traveling! Films can either be silent or narrated, real-time or sped-up and can tell a story of what life working in the Workboat Industry means for you or it could simply show part of an operation you are engaged with.

*But, we do ask you to remember any workplace media policies and to respect the privacy of others, please make sure you have permission from the workplace and those featured in the video before sharing.

Maximum video length: 2 minutes per video, unlimited number of videos per entry.

Entries will be judged by the Training Workgroup, all entries will be checked and authorised by the vessel owner/member before inclusion in the WA Short Film.

To submit an entry or for more details on how to submit an entry please contact Kerrie Forster via: k.forster@workboatassociation.org

Good luck!

Norman Finlay MBE. “The Grandfather of the Workboat Industry”

It is with deepest sadness we mourn the passing of the Workboat Association’s Life President: Norman Finlay MBE. Wednesday 5th August 2020, University Hospital Southampton, age 84.

Following a career at sea and then as Superintendent of a dredger fleet, Mr Finlay became involved with workboats early in his career, and went on to become one of the main driving forces behind the establishment and development of the UK Workboat sector of the Merchant Navy in the 1970s, playing his part in the rapid development of the industry and in the technical advancements made.

He continued to work in the industry ever since, running his own Surveying business he became President of the SCMS and through this network became the key player in the development of the original Workboat Code with the MCA (then the MSA) in the early 1990s and the revisions ever since. This project became the forming of the Workboat Association in 1994, of which Mr Finlay took the role as Secretary until 2011, then Life President.

In 2013 Mr Finlay was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award (pictured) at the Seawork Mercator Media Awards, followed suitably by the award of a MBE by her Majesty the Queen in 2018 for his services to the sector.

Norman Finlay receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award,
Seawork Mercator Media Awards 2013

Words by Kerrie Forster, CEO The Workboat Association.

My own connection with Norman came soon before the time he received his Lifetime Achievement Award at Seawork 2013, Norman was still actively surveying vessels all over the world at this point. He was tasked to visit a couple of vessels that my company owned in North Wales, the then Manager of our company was having serious problems getting authorisation for a visitor to access the site to see the vessels (even if it was on official duty). After arriving at the Port Norman calmly said “Leave it to me, I’ve been in this business a long time”, he drove away. 10 minutes later he was spotted walking in full PPE and with a Harbour Master’s escort across the other side of the Port towards the vessels: “first job done” he said as he smiled back and waved, ready to board the vessels.

Since playing a more active role in the Association, first as a Committee member, then as CEO, my relationship with Norman quickly grew into one of a mentor towards his under-grad. Norman wasn’t a person to waste time, car journeys or time spent in his home-office were made up reliving important historical lessons connected to the Offshore Contracting Industry, facts about why certain processes have to happen in particular ways, providing me with personal contacts and backgrounds to expand my network and of course a lot of dreaming about the good ol’days. This education has been very important to me.

Norman moved from Belfast to the River Mersey in his youth, his family back home also in the maritime industry at the famous Harland and Wolf Shipyard. When I informed him at the start of this year that the Association had sponsored an area of woodland [Storeton Woods, Bebington] close to the River Mersey, he paused, his tone lifted and he quickly started recalling lots of memories of spending his leisure time in and around the woods.

At Seawork last year myself and Norman hosted a “Workboat Industry FAQ” session with some Apprentices currently studying for a career on Workboats. He told them the story of how for many years he had managed the operation of a small workboat, permanently chained to a small pontoon, which he used in dredging projects to move the cutting heads around sites [as seen on a large painting in his office]. When the time came to take the workboat out of the water for survey, Norman explained “after 24hours of blood, sweat and tears trying to remove the chains and associated connections, it became obvious this was going to be a one-way process!”. A member of Damen Shipyards said to him “With some trialling, we might be able to fit some drive-legs directly onto the pontoon if you think it could be worth the investment?”, “Well” Norman said “soon after it was launched it was fitted with a small shelter, mainly to protect the controls; right there we had the World’s first Multicat”.

One of the Apprentices said to me after the event “Thank you so much for talking to me, I cannot believe I actually met the man who invented the Multicat!!”

 I am sure Norman would have been more modest!

To those that worked with him, Norman Finlay was a true Professional. To anybody who knew Norman, he was an honest Gentleman.

We offer our greatest sympathies to his Wife and Children; Alison, Fiona and Heather. All of whom have become a part of the Association and its members lives over the last 25 years.

Norman, as we watch you depart port for the last time, we lower our flags to half-mast in memory of a man that has supported so many of us to become who we are today. You’re leadership, encouragement and passion has been the driver that has set the foundations for our industry.

Fair winds and following seas.

Launch of: Carriage of Dangerous Goods on Workboats GPG

The carriage of Dangerous Goods on Workboats Good Practice Guide is printed and ready for distribution.

Those interested in purchasing copies of the guide can contact the Workboat Association now via: https://lnkd.in/dxEmCRk
(Hard copies available only)

“The carriage of Dangerous Goods on Workboats Good Practice Guide has been developed between the Industry and Regulators, providing a zero to hero knowledge on both the regulations and best practice associated with the transport of Dangerous Goods by sea on board Workboats.”


“Written with Seafarers, the vessel Management, stakeholders and end-Clients all in mind, this guide is set to be an unmissable tool from the education and training of those wishing to operate, work with or contract Workboats of any nature”

Kerrie Forster, Workboat Association CEO.

Costs per copy:

Members: £ 10 (plus postage)

Non-members: £ 12.50 (plus postage)

Orders of 20 copies or more receive 25% discount