Damen Shipyards are one of the Workboat Association’s longest corporate supporters, UK sales manager ‘Frederik van der Linde’ tells us about his role and interest in the maritime industry.
Who are Damen and what does your daily role include?
Damen Shipyards Group operates 36 shipbuilding and repair yards, employing 12,000 people worldwide. Damen has delivered more than 6,500 vessels in more than 100 countries and delivers around 175 vessels annually to customers worldwide. Quite a mouthful!
The North Sea workboat market is of great importance to Damen. In the last 12 months or so we sold around 15 vessels to UK clients adding to a total of more than 300. These vessels are of a wide range of maritime sectors, including dredging, offshore, towage, aquaculture and coastal operations; meaning my role as UK Sales Manager is very exciting!
My goal is to help clients with their operational needs. Obviously I’m focusing on new built vessels but I’m also a point of contact who can guide clients within the Damen organisation. Supporting in second hand tonnage, charter opportunities, services, spare parts. Basically everything which is related to shipbuilding and operating vessels. We as Damen do a lot and it’s my task to explore opportunities in the UK.
What attracted you to a career in the maritime world?
I’m born and raised in Gorinchem in Holland (where the Damen HQ is located), family holidays were mostly on the family owned Tjalk; a traditional flat-bottomed, Dutch sailing ship. The house I grew up in was next to the busy Merwede River. My family works in the maritime industry as well. We talk about boats a lot. Perhaps this was one of the reasons to start a study in economics instead of naval architecture or anything directly related to the maritime industry. To complete my study in 2011, I worked for 6 months at a repair yard in Barcelona (MB’92). They are specialised to maintain, repair and convert superyachts. It was there that I decided to start my professional career in the maritime industry.
As I was born and raised in Gorinchem, it was a relatively easy choice to contact Damen first. Moreover, Damen is such big company offering so many opportunities to their employees and therefore a great learning school. I enjoy working for Damen every day.
Are you looking to expand your career with Damen?
Yes, actually I’m currently writing my thesis about a concept design suitable for North Sea operations in the Oil & Gas industry. I started an evening study nearly 4 years ago to become a fully qualified Naval Architect. My aim is to finish this study before the years ends. Hopefully clients will benefit from this, by me being both commercially and technically skilled.
Is there any part of the workboat industry or a vessel type that you really like the most?
That’s a difficult question as there are so many workboats within the Damen portfolio. I like the Damen Hardinxveld portfolio. Vessels like Shoalbusters, MultiCats and one-off projects. Strong and powerful workboats, suitable for a large variety of tasks.
Is there anything that the Workboat Association members could help you with?
I enjoy working with the UK market, so I hope this continues for many more years – the WA really helps me interact with this audience. I mostly enjoy the engagement and discussions which help me really understand what the market is looking for and where the trends appear to be moving.
Will we see you at this year’s AGM?