Chris Jakeman, Managing Director of ‘B. Marshall Marine’ one of the Association latest members gives us an insight into the background of the company.
An introduction to Chris Jakeman
I grew up in County Durham, followed an Apprenticeship as a Multi-Skilled Maintenance Technician and have always has a passion for Engineering from a young age. I worked in the manufacturing sector for many years before having anything to do with boats. This included Machine building, chemical products, ice cream manufacture and finally 8 years at Tetley tea finishing as Manufacturing Engineering manager.
Who are B. Marshall Marine?
B Marshall Marine was formed in December 2010 to design & build the Dive Support Vessel; Curtis Marshall. Tony Curtis approached Barry Marshall with the idea of the the vessel that included an integrated chamber, this was good timing for Barry Marshall – he had recently built the ‘Marshall Art’ a steel hull Motor Yacht. The Marshall Art was built in-house with assistance from myself on the electrical and mechanical side, which is where I first came involved with the company. Following completion of the Curtis Marshall in 2015 we decided to Operate the vessel for SADS diving, unfortunately we didn’t seem to have enough work for it. After a quiet first year and with much persistence, the Curtis Marshall has gone from strength to strength and has completed many various diving, survey & ROV projects.
What have been some of the highlights for B. Marshall Marine from the last few years?
1) Our first Survey Project working with AquaGeo and SAND Geophysics, we modified the Curtis Marshall to incorporate 8 metre towing booms to support a shipwreck hunting project for a wealthy client.
2) Our first Oil & Gas project with Bibby Offshore working on the Hejre jacket, 143 miles from the Danish coast. This led to another project in 2020 with the now ‘Rever Offshore’ decommissioning the ‘LOGGS Complex’ oil rig.
3) I also really enjoyed the Rooswijk project, working with ‘MSDS Marine’ and ‘Dutch Heritage’ on an Archaeological diving project for a 17th Century shipwreck on the Goodwin sands. This led to another project direct with Dutch Heritage in 2019. The ‘Koperplatenwrak’ shipwreck from 1512 is the oldest wreck discovered, it involved salvaging 8 tonnes of copper plate and various items of significant historical interest.
You are currently training some seafarers using the Workboat Apprenticeship, what is your experience with this?
So far very good, we’ve taken on two apprentices through 54 North Maritime training with the support from the Worshipful company of shipwrights. They’ve had all of the basic training to enable them to go to sea and would have had more if wasn’t for that pesky Covid. The two lads are learning the ropes and will hopefully be two full time employees in just over a years time.
How did you enter the Maritime Industry (and Workboats) personally?
As previously described, I assisted Barry Marshall with the build of the ‘Marshall Art’ from 2005 to 2010 on a personal basis working every Saturday where possible. This meant reading many books and regulations in order to apply my engineering knowledge to the boat building environment, something that I got very interested in. This led to the four year project of building the ‘Curtis Marshall’, part time occupation for the first 3 years and finally I decided to jump ship from Tetley tea and joined B. Marshall Marine full time for the final year to finish the Curtis Marshall ready for its launch in April 2015.
What are your interests outside of work?
I don’t have a huge amount of time for many hobbies at the moment as we’ve formed another company ‘Marshall Jakeman Marine Ltd’ to convert & run the Marshall Art as a Survey boat. When I do have chance to rest, I enjoy spending time with my Wife and four Children. The Youngest is only 18 months so he keeps us on our toes! I enjoy personal fitness, CrossFit is my main passion apart from boats. I get good working out, competing and staying fit & healthy. Occasionally I still find time to play the Guitar and sing too.