Nick introduces himself to us and explains more about small vessel brokerage.
Can you introduce yourself and Century Marine Services
I was born in Kent, UK before spending my early life travelling to follow my Father’s career in ship management to warmer climates! I returned to the UK to attend University, studying law and now once more reside back in Ashford, Kent. Aside from my maritime interest, I am a keen portrait photographer and through this I also give instruction on photography. On the other end of the adrenaline spectrum, I am also a keen Skydiver and have completed approximately 350 solo jumps in the UK and abroad. I am a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers and have been working at Century Marine Services for the last 7 years.
Century Marine Services are shipbrokers specialising in Workboats, Tugs, Barges and all commercial vessels up to and including Offshore Industry vessel size. Established by Steve Dougal in 2001 and based in Hythe, Kent; we provide vessel chartering, new-build and second-hand sales and valuation services. Hythe has an important and foundational history in shipping as the home to Sir Francis Pettit Smith who was one of the inventors of the screw propeller. He was the driving force behind the construction of the world’s first screw-propelled steamship, SS Archimedes.
What is your speciality?
Before joining Century Marine Services I worked as a Towage and Salvage broker. Through this and my experience with Century Marine, Tugs, Workboats and Small Commercial Vessels have become my expertise, although my particular area of interest is workboats. Sale and Purchase is our core business but we also specialise in Chartering , Towage and Valuation services.
Has there been any stand-out moments in your career so far?
As a salvage Broker, I was one of the first to get a call regarding the capsizing of Costa Concordia moments after it happened. This is an event that will stick with me forever, the ultimate result of which is well known to everyone. On a more celebratory note, selling my first new-build vessel was a special moment, It was a really fantastic process to be a part of and to see the vessel go from enquiry and concept to a delivered vessel.
What does a day in your life look like?
Normally it would be at our HQ in Hythe, which is roughly a 25 minute commute for me, though as with many at the moment I am working from home! My day is very communication based, speaking with active clients, colleagues and project stakeholders, also responding to interest from potential new clients. I really enjoy the networking and seeing the sheer variety that the nature of this business puts on the table. Through Covid, most networking is online and by phone, so face to face networking opportunities are impossible. The announcement of the UK’s new strategy to return to normality and overcoming coronavirus leaves me feeling optimistic and enthusiastic, looking forward to when I can have those face to face meetings again. Ultimately we are assisting clients with activities that we do on a daily basis but they only do infrequently, helping them through this complex process is something I enjoy doing.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I would like to have grown our Workboat and small commercial vessel services to a healthy global level, hopefully furthering the already high sector speciality of Century Marine Services Ltd.