Category: Member Profile

Member Profile: Marc Lawrence, Van Ameyde McAuslands Surveyors

In 2019 international surveyors Van Ameyde acquired the UK based McAuslands to widen it’s market, Marc Lawrence tells us how this looks today.


Who are Van Ameyde McAuslands? / Brief History

Established in 1888 McAuslands is one of the oldest marine survey outfits in the country. With its Head Office in Hull it initially served the interests of ship owners and their third party insurers (P&I Clubs) and this group still provides the majority of the work today. It took almost 100 years before we expanded from one to two offices but today we have offices throughout the UK and overseas too. Since we became a part of the VA Group in 2019 we can now boast over 100 surveyors and consultants located on all five major continents.


What is your personal commercial background and what is your role at VAM?

I started my maritime career upon leaving school working on Salvage vessels and tugs. Then moved on to superyachts working as a chief engineer and then gained my master’s qualification and spent 5 years as master of a 60m motor yacht. I later moved into the wind farm industry working on CTVs and Tugs as Master working throughout Europe.


What first attracted you to the Maritime Industry?

The marine industry is within my blood being brought up on tugs on the River Thames. My family have always operated commercial vessels and at every opportunity I would find myself on board getting involved. Maritime is my life.


Have there been any memorable moments in your career that stick-out?

My most memorable moment would be being asked to take command of the 60m Motor Yacht I worked on based in the Mediterranean. This was a big step up for me at the time and was a real tipping point within my career.


What is your role within VA McAuslands?

My role at McAuslands is Senior Marine Surveyor and Consultant, besides this I also act as Harbour Master for two ports in North Devon! My current role is very diverse, ranging from MCA code examiner for Small Craft, to Full condition surveys and Hull and Machinery investigations of large Cargo ships.


What is the most interesting task from within your current work scope?

The most interesting part of my job is simply the fact that no two days are ever the same. One day I might be performing a Workboat Survey, or be inspecting a damaged shipping container (CTU) and the next day I am on board a ship that has run aground.


What are your hobbies outside of work?

I live in Lymington, close to the New Forrest. I love the outdoors and when not working on boats, I enjoy days out on the Solent with my family.


Do you see any challenges for vessel and cargo surveyors on the horizon?

Adapting to changes in technology and investing in their own futures,  we have not just followed, but have also led this drive trying to keep fresh and current. There is a shortage of well-skilled and competent surveyors within the <50 age category, we need to start training younger blood so that the sector’s surveyor pool has the correct experience necessary to serve the industry’s demands in the most efficient and professional manner.


Do you have any tips for anyone looking to become involved in Surveying?

Yes, you need to be aware before you begin that Surveyors need to be extremely flexible. You might be working at 3am on a cold and wet Sunday morning, in a place that you would normally rather avoid! Your day can change with one phone call or email, an urgent request for attendance is part of a Surveyors duty, you need to be totally adaptable and have the support and understanding of your family and friends. There is a lot of good information available via the IIMS:

Member Profile: Vicky & Simon Jinks, SeaRegs Training

Vicky and Simon Jinks gives us an overview of SeaRegs Training and the projection for the family-run maritime training centers located in the south of England.


Who are SeaRegs Training?

SeaRegs Training are a provider of maritime training and consultancy. We specialise in small commercial vessels, workboats, port operations, inland passenger and superyacht sectors. We specialise in the complicated regulatory gap around commercial, Code and Class vessels from 0 up to 3000GT.


Who are the team behind SeaRegs?
SeaRegs is owned and managed by Vicky and Simon Jinks. Simon Jinks says, ‘The strength of SeaRegs is the quality of their team of enthusiastic, knowledgeable and passionate instructors, backed up with a solid shoreside team ensuring everything runs like clockwork’.


What is your background and how long have you been providing Marine Training?
Vicky and Simon have been involved in Maritime training since the late 1980’s. In fact they met in Southampton when Vicky was running the office and administration of one training centre and Simon was running the vessels and operations of another centre, but both operating on the same site. This was in 1993.

Originally, Vicky trained as a commercial Skipper and progressed into instructing before majoring on managing the office and finance. For ten years she worked at World Sailing, the world governing body of sailing, helping to organise Olympic sailing, training for developing countries and the rules and regulations attached to sailing worldwide.

Today Vicky oversees the day to day running of SeaRegs, especially as Simon is often on the road teaching. She has an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the Small Vessel Codes and Maritime Regulation concerning maritime training and NOE’s and is often called up by companies seeking advice.

Simon has instructed and worked in classrooms and on the water on power and sail vessels, running vessels, instructing and auditing on vessels and systems in most of Europe, Africa, US, Asia and Australia and NZ for his whole working life. He also trains and examines instructors for various Governing and International bodies worldwide.

In his past, he spent time working as a marine journalist, testing vessels, equipment and LSA and gaining insight into regulation and standards. Due to this background and his long-standing commitment to UK Sea Survival Instructor Training for the RYA; has led him to representing and commenting for various ISO committees on lifejacket and liferaft standards.

Simon went on to train and appraise instructors for the Yachtmaster scheme for both power & sail vessels and various navigational trainings for the RYA for around a decade, overseeing a thousand or so training centers and many thousands of instructors worldwide.

During this time he rewrote the Safety Management System requirements for training and was involved in maritime law surrounding small commercial vessels, regulation and standards. He left the RYA in 2010 to move to Devon where he started SeaRegs. Initially  SeaRegs was a company providing Safety Management assistance and course/syllabus development. This led to SeaRegs writing the maritime small vessel syllabus for Korea and helping with the development of syllabus and instructor training in both China and Turkey.

Nowadays, his specialisation is in SMS auditing, maritime law, ColRegs and exam preparation training. Simon has written four books, edited countless more and has two new books currently ‘on the go’ for a well-known publisher. He was awarded a fellowship of the Royal Institute of Navigation for ‘services to small craft safety and training’, and is an Associate Fellow of the Nautical Institute.


What are the core courses within your offering?

Our core courses are those surrounding the small commercial vessels, we specialise in the complicated regulatory gap concerning Code vessels and Class or Convention vessels, usually up to 500/3000GT CoCs.


How did the Coronavirus effect your business/operations?
The Coronavirus has its challenges and is still having a massive impact, we are still (June 2021) on half-numbers in the classroom and on our boats. However, it made us stronger, more resilient and fitter for the way ahead. We had to adjust to a new way of working, we worked closely with the MCA to ensure training courses remained available throughout the early stages of the pandemic via blended and online learning.


Have there been any highlights over the years to note?

  • Staying together and working as a team for all this time….!
  • To be honest, our highlights come at the end of every course we run, we monitor feedback closely to ensure we are consistently performing for our students. Every minute of effort we put into our business is paid back to us when we read the positive feedback we have received, also when we see students that have grasped enthusiastically the subject we are teaching and asking really interesting and relevant questions.


Are there any new developments within SeaRegs Training?
We have a new training base in London, 15 minutes walk from City Airport, where we run a host of STCW, MCA, RYA, SQA courses and preps. Around the country we also offer Boatmaster, Workboat Crewmember and Port Operative apprenticeships. In fact, one of our apprentices Scarlett Barnett-Smith has just won the Workboat Association John Percival Award 2o21 for best industry trainee.


What are your company objectives?

Sound advice, Solid training.
SeaRegs are passionate about providing the best training and outcomes for their students. We keep it simple, enjoyable, straightforward, back it up with good practical resource and train and use the best instructors.


Do you see any challenges coming up within Maritime Training (specifically small commercial vessels)?
1) Yes, I think any rewrite of codes and regulation will have to be carefully done so that it does not overly affect existing vessels – which will find it hard to apply some sweeping regulation (either due to cost or vessel design).

2) I think the industry needs a body representing the small commercial seafarer. They often work in small groups, but nowadays make up the greatest part of the marine industry. At present they have no say and only the owners of vessels have bodies to represent them.

Members Profile: Nigel Roberts, Everard Insurance Brokers

Nigel Roberts is Head of Marine at Everard Insurance Brokers, but who are Everards’ and where have they come from? Nigel tells us more…


Who are Everard Insurance Brokers?

Based at Greenhithe on the Thames ‘Everard and Sons Ltd.’ were once one of the biggest names in British and European coastal shipping, with a fleet of over 450 owned, managed and chartered craft, including sailing, steam and motor ships (plus tugs and harbour craft). It had its own repair and rebuilding facilities, Everard coasters traded to Europe and sometimes beyond. In addition to the fleet of steam motor-driven dry cargo craft and tankers, Everard also had a significant tug fleet.

Although the placing of fleet insurance and dealing with the London P&I Club calls had carried on for many years, following changes in the laws concerning insurance broking in 1996 the company name was changed to Everard Insurance Brokers Ltd. It became part of one of the UK’s leading independent brokers ‘James Hallam Limited’ in 2018 as the Group’s specialist Marine Broking Trading Division, where it retains its strong brand name and expertise.

What is your position in the company and what are you responsible for?

I head up Everard Insurance Brokers and am responsible for management and running of our two teams; ‘Marine Trades’ which handles all types of Marine Commercial Combined and property business and ‘Marine Shipping’ which provides high levels of service to our Shipowner clients by providing Hull & Machinery, Protection and Indemnity and associated marine protections.


When did you begin in Marine Insurance and when did you start with Everard?

I first started in the world of Marine insurance back in 1977 within the policy department (literally sticking clauses into policies) of Glanvil Enthoven, a respected international insurance broker who were for-the-time a large company. With the exception of a break during the late 1990s where I worked in the UK Commercial Insurance markets, I have been employed within the London/Lloyd’s International arena for the entire time of my career. I started here as Head of Marine earlier in 2021 having previously held Managing Director and Deputy CEO posts in other Marine Brokers.

What attracted you to the Marine Insurance sector?

There is an often repeated saying between insurance practitioners that “no one ever leaves school/Collage/university with a burning desire to get involved in insure”. This however, isn’t necessarily true anymore as several universities offer Insurance qualifications. For me on leaving College I had decided that I wanted a job in the City rather than follow my peers into a more traditional Trade. Having a father who was a reinsurance broker helped me get interviews with both Banks and Insurance Brokers. I chose broking because at interview with the banks they explained that my career path and salary would follow a pre-established route. Whereas in broking I was simply told “it depends how good you are!” I have very occasionally wondered if I made the right decision!

The attraction to me of Marine insurance is that it is so incredibly diverse and it affects everyone’s lives, even if they have never been to sea. Imports and Exports are the life blood of most economies. Marine insurance protects the loss of or damage to those cargoes. The ships that carry it, the tugs that handle those ships, the yards that build and repair ships. The Ports and Terminals that cargo comes ashore through, the boats that built those Ports and so on…. Chartering Operations, Ship management companies, Naval Architects, Freight Forwarding and Haulage, pleasure, leisure, ferries and civil services all fall into the sphere of marine insurance.

What sets Everard Marine Insurance apart from it’s competitors?

As a company our unique shipowning history is something that definitely sets us apart, it is something we are very proud of. As individuals we each have a wealth of marine insurance experience from decades of working with clients both the UK and International markets. With our exclusive scheme arrangements and bespoke client solutions we feel that we can provide our clients with something different from other insurance providers. We draw the line at providing “cheap” cover, at the expense of quality. We aim to provide our clients with better cover year on year.


Do you ever ‘get your feet wet’?!

Yes, indeed. I hold an RYA level 2 Multihull sailing and have spent over 25 years around almost all types of small craft and vessels around the world from the Galapagos to the Far East as a fully trained and certified Rescue Diver.

What other hobbies do you have?

Skiing, hiking, mountain biking, scuba diving, I have run marathons and competed in triathlons up to Olympic distance.


What are the current challenges faced by the Marine Insurance sector?

Over the last couple of years we have seen a serious contraction in the number of Marine Insurers available (we call it capacity) and, although it may be hard for many readers to believe, this has been due to a steady decline in Marine insurance premiums over several decades. In fact premiums had fallen to such levels where many insurers have found writing the business is no longer sustainable when set against the claims they were incurring and have permanently withdrawn from the market. We are now in what is known as a ‘hard market’ with premium raises being seen across the whole spectrum of marine businesses as the much reduced (capacity) market attempts to achieve some sort of equilibrium.

How do people start a career in Marine Insurance?

There are many ways to enter the Marine Insurance Industry however, it is recommended that candidates perform some research to determine which aspect of the business they might wish to enter, be it: broking, underwriting, claims handling in either Lloyd’s or an insurance company. If one has a legal degree. then specialist marine insurance lawyers or departments are also a consideration. In the current economic climate, entry into the industry for school-leavers and graduates can prove difficult as most employers want some sort of pre-knowledge or experience, the first option is to seek work-experience, which many companies are willing to offer. They may not advertise it though! So candidates must ask them directly. Graduate and Apprentice schemes are also offered by insurers and brokers, Recruitment Agencies are an option however, one must bear in mind that some previous experience will be required, Agencies charge a fee to the employers and employers are unlikely to want to pay those fees for someone without experience. If one has contacts within the insurance industry, it is recommended to use them – personal introductions are always advantageous.

Finally to recap, get some experience in your chosen field of marine insurance. Employers may see several CV’s per day, so make sure that your CV is good quality and any relevant experience you have has been suitably highlighted!

Everard Insurance Brokers is a trading name of James Hallam Limited who are Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

Members Profile: Alec Laing, ACL Shipbrokers

Meet Alec, a UK based Workboat Shipbroker. Alec began his Shipbrokers career following service in the Parachute Regiment, today he is a well-known name in the sector.


When and why did you start ACL Shipbrokers?

I started ACL Shipbrokers five years ago, with the objective of offering owners and operators a more bespoke shipbroking service, particularly in the workboat and port tug sectors.


What was your career before this?

After growing up and studying in Scotland, I served as an Officer in the Parachute Regiment for eight years. A large part of this service was on operations overseas. This gave me a lot of hands-on experience working under pressure which taught me to think on my feet and be adaptable. It also gave me an insight into geopolitics and the importance of world trade.

I had developed an interest in shipbroking and when an opportunity presented itself to work with DSB Offshore, a very well-respected broking house in London, I jumped at it. This was a great introduction to the industry, during which time I passed my Chartered Shipbroking exams and built the foundations of my career over the following seven years.


Can you remember your first experience with boats?

I have always had a passion for the sea taking every opportunity to get onboard vessels of any size, whether sailing as a youngster or volunteering for waterborne operations in the military. Today, whenever possible, I attend all vessel inspections to increase my knowledge of the way they operate. I still get a thrill being out on the water.


What are your specialisms?

As a company, Sale & Purchase of workboats, new and second hand, is our bread and butter. These range from marine construction and aquaculture boats to diving support vessels, both in the UK and on a worldwide basis. We also have a thriving Charter business where we assist owners in finding work for their vessels, both time charter and bareboat, and provide charter solutions to end clients on a project-by-project basis.

With discretion and integrity at the core of our approach, we are increasingly acting for clients as a trusted member of their team; assisting with organising independent surveys, deliveries and towage, amongst other services, often in far-flung parts of the world. This flexible and economic service is proving a real differentiator for us.


Where do you operate from and where have you worked?

We have our registered office in London, but I have been operating from a home office in Edinburgh for many years; efficient use of technology allows me to keep an eye on the business whilst being out and about gathering market intelligence and being of more value to my clients. I am happiest out on the road inspecting vessels and visiting clients anywhere I am required.


Have there been any ‘stand-out’ projects?

We were asked last year by a close Canadian client to search for a specific size and type of multipurpose workboat. After conducting very thorough research, I inspected a vessel with them in the Caribbean. Having priced up all delivery options, however, and based on our deep knowledge of the market, we ended up securing a very competitive newbuild vessel out of Europe. Our innovative approach resulted in the client getting exactly what he sought with an extremely attractive delivery cost – he was so pleased he also bought a sister vessel!

In another memorable engagement, we assisted the owners in selling a flattop barge from the South Coast of the UK to a Buyer on the Thames. We arranged the pre-purchase survey for buyers, the tow from the South Coast to the mouth of the Thames, and the taking over of the tow by a Thames-based tug. I also joined the crew for the tow up the Thames to the barge’s new home, which was a real highlight, as I was involved in every step of the process.

Our aim is to make our clients’ lives easier, not just offering them exactly what they are looking for based on our extensive market knowledge, but facilitating the whole transaction smoothly.


How do you see the global environmental and decarbonisation objectives affecting vessel markets over the next few years?

These will undoubtedly have a big impact on our sector. Managing vessels with a 30 to 40-year lifespan against such a rapidly changing regulatory and technological backdrop is a huge challenge. This is especially true in vessels such as workboats which can lack space in the engine room to retrofit mitigating solutions. Consequentially, residual values are likely to suffer.

As such we are doing a lot of work with clients to review their fleets’ efficiency and structure, helping them to future proof their businesses.


Do you see the European shipbuilding and manufacturing market remaining competitive against lower prices coming from distant competitors?

The global pandemic has made us pause and think about how and where we source goods from, including vessels. Home grown solutions are coming to the fore, with local production increasingly as prized as the lowest cost supply from abroad.

ESG considerations are also going to be more important in the supply of newbuild vessels over the coming years which may well play a more significant role than pure price alone.

Members Profile: Dan Zamai, S. Walsh and Sons

Dan recently started with S. Walsh and Sons, bringing to them both Thames experience and experience from the workboat sector in his homeland – Australia!


Who are S. Walsh and Sons and what are your specialisms?

S Walsh and Sons is a leading provider in rail, road, and river freight transport solutions in London, UK. We have a versatile fleet which operates in muck-away, aggregate delivery and civil construction operations.


When did you start with S. Walsh and What is your role?

My current role at S. Walsh is Marine Fleet Engineer. In broad terms, this involves the upkeep of all vessels whether it be certification, maintenance, dry docking, and reparations. I started the role in January 2021 having moved over from another barge and tug company in London.


Where did your interest with boating begin?
Growing up on the coast of Australia, I have always had a strong connection to the sea with many days spent surfing, fishing, or diving. Our family always had boats so my induction into boating began from a young age and I became particularly interested in work boats and their capabilities from early on. Over the years, my passion for the work boat industry has only grown and I am still as interested now as I was as a kid.


Where has your career taken you so far?
I started my first job on the water at age 13 working in the commercial fishing industry as a mate in New South Wales, Australia. At 22 I moved up to the Far North Queensland working as Relief Master and Chief Engineer on a multipurpose workboat. This involved various commercial projects including repairing weather stations 600nm offshore in the Coral Sea. After meeting my British partner on one of these projects, I moved to London where I started my UK career as Deputy Fleet Superintendent for a similar company working on the Tideway Tunnel Project. Our role was the towing and pushing of craft along the Thames delivering aggregate and transporting muck on the western sector.


Many people who work on the Thames say it is an extremely special place to work, can you support this?
The Thames can be such a busy place and there is so much variety. With a tidal range of 7m and tugs pushing and towing 1600t barges through navigational nightmares, such as bridges, piers, traffic, and varying tidal streams. It is a testament to the skills and knowledge acquired that the lighterman of the river have honed over 507 years. If you aren’t watching your air draft, you are watching your under keel clearance with 7 knots of tide. There is also a strong wildlife presence from a variety of water birds, seals and even the stray pilot whale.


Do you have a favourite vessel from the fleet?
This is a hard decision between the SWS Endurance (Damen Multicat) and the SWS Endeavour (Concordia Damen pusher tug CS874). However, I think the winner must be the SWS Endeavour which was launched at the end of 2020 to the highest standard. It has two Caterpillar C18 engines which operate two Twin Disc Veth Azimuth stern Drives. This is the first pusher tug on the river to have ASD propulsion. The ASD system has shown 100% control during difficult maneuvers with barges up to 2600t. The finish of the accommodation is akin to a modern hotel room with superior amenities to maximise comfort for long voyages on the vessel. The vessel also has an elevator wheelhouse which has an eye height limit of 13m.


What projects are you working on today?
S. Walsh are currently working on three main projects on the Thames, this includes muck away from Silvertown to East tilbury operating 2x1500t barges with another one of our pusher tugs (13.3m/elevating wheel house). The second contract is delivering aggregate from Dagenham to Fulham with 500t barges and a 1203 Damen stan tug 1205.

The last project is one that I believe has shown London how the river can supply a much more efficient way of aggregates and muck away with large volumes. Currently the project has moved 4 million tonnes of aggregate and taken 250,000 trucks off the road. Walsh have a number of sections on the project which use a small Damen pushy Cat, Damen Multi cat 1908 (2019) and a brand-new Concordia Damen pusher tug with the first ASD operated pusher vessel on the river Thames.


How do you think the Thames Maritime Community will change over the next few years to meet the UK’s Clean Maritime targets?

S. Walsh is now looking into a new renewable fuel source known as HVO which will replace the 10ppm low sulphur diesel. We also like to keep out fleet to a modern level with more efficient main engines and generators as they are built to highest emission standards. I know there has been hype into hybrid or fully electric engines and propulsion system on the Thames so we hope to see the technology be adequate for the everyday activities the river provides.


Do you see new opportunities on the Thames for helping reduce (greater) London’s emissions?
I see the Thames playing a critical part in the reduction of emissions throughout greater London. Already The tideway Tunnel project has shown how many trucks can be taken off the road. With already existing waste removal contracts by Cory Energy, parcel delivery for DHL and soon to be Sainsbury deliveries all by river. The Thames can be the key link to keeping one of the worlds most connected city, environmentally friendly.

Members Profile: Mel Lewis, Mainstay Marine

Mel Lewis is the Sales and Marketing Director at Mainstay Marine shipyard, a <40m vessel facility based in Pembroke Dock, West Wales.


“My most memorable projects are perhaps topped off by having the pleasure of showing Sir Michael Palin aboard the small survey workboat we designed and built for British Antarctic Survey and sits in a davit aboard RSS Sir David Attenborough. Named Erebus, Sir Michael was impressed with the capabilities of such a small vessel and signed my copy of his book ‘Erebus’.”

Who are Mainstay Marine?

Mainstay operates from Pembroke Dock in West Wales and offers services in three key areas:

1) Bespoke design, build, maintenance, refit and repair of workboats up to 40m, mainly in steel and aluminium;

2) Specialist marine engineering, fabrication and refurbishment services to the defence and renewable energy sector; and

3) Maintenance and repair of quay-side infrastructure.

How long have you been working for Mainstay Marine and what does your role include?

I have been with the company since January 2012, having previously worked for 23 years testing and evaluating military aircraft. I joined as Technical Director responsible for the in-house design and technical solutions department, using my knowledge and experience in the aircraft industry to enhance our offerings. In reality, it was more about listening and understanding the complex challenges the marine world presents and working with each customer to deliver solutions to meet their requirements. In 2019 I moved into the role of Sales and Marketing Director, seeking opportunities aligned to our company strategy and vision for the future. I work with an excellent team in the preparation of bids for all new build vessels and renewable energy device fabrications projects, as well as supporting vessel maintenance and repair services bid work. Attendance at Seawork, Aquaculture and numerous other sector events is, of course, a mandatory pleasure, being able to meet up with potential clients and visit our suppliers to catch up on the year past.

What are your hobbies and interests?

With a background in electronics and programming, I am very interested in exploitation of new technology developments. I am a keen photographer, although these days mostly on the iPhone rather than an SLR, and more recently capturing life from the air using my new drone, so keep an eye out for some aerial shots appearing on Mainstay’s social media shortly! Lockdown has, of course, affected us all in one way or another but mostly working from home these days and seeing my camper van wasting away on the drive reminds me of the emerging opportunities of getting away to music festivals again.

When did your Maritime Career start and how?

I recall a few fishing expeditions during my teens, long-lining in Cardigan Bay with my brothers, but feeling somewhat seasick from the excitement! I chose to stay on firm ground and pursue a career in electronics as an apprentice with the MoD, at about the same time my brothers started their own company – Mustang Marine. My MoD career led me down a route that favoured life in the air, testing aircraft electronics systems etc., my only involvement with boats was to see the vessels during build when visiting my family during holidays. My wife and I had always talked about moving back home (Pembrokeshire) and in 2012 I secured the job here as Technical Director, which is when I really started my maritime career.

What are the strengths of Mainstay Marine?

Simply put, it is about people and processes! Yes, we have great facilities, but they are nothing without the robust processes by which our day-to-day operations are conducted, which is endorsed by our continued re-certification to ISO 9001, 14001 and 45001 standards. We have an exceptional workforce covering all disciplines necessary for the successful build, maintenance and repair of vessels and structures, with strong project management. Having an integrated design team enables us to offer our own solutions to client needs and to conduct the detailed design of vessel systems where structural design is procured externally. Our design capability covers all systems, including hydraulic and electrical aspects of the vessel and the associated electronics for control, monitoring and remote reporting.

What are the memorable projects you have been involved in?

We specialise in addressing the bespoke requirements of our clients and in doing so have been involved in the creation of many projects all with their unique features. The fabrication of the aluminium communications masts for the Type 26 frigates have demanded very high levels of precision, alignment and repeatability for which we have received excellent feedback on our abilities. The design and build of two sophisticated Fisheries Patrol Vessels for the Welsh Government, the abilities of our Marine Services team to turn-around vessels in a timely, professional and effective manner, such as the work carried out on CTV ‘Malltraeth Bay’ following severe damage suffered in Holyhead during storm Emma of 2018, and the building of the first tidal energy device to supply grid power all contribute to memorable achievements. Perhaps topped off by having the pleasure of showing Sir Michael Palin aboard the small survey workboat we designed and built for British Antarctic Survey and sits in a davit aboard RSS Sir David Attenborough. Named Erebus, Sir Michael was impressed with the capabilities of such a small vessel and signed my copy of his book ‘Erebus’. We are currently finalising fabrication of the main structure and PTO module of Bombora’s mWave wave energy converter and will be assembling the 75m x 20m, 850t device over the coming months ready for launch from our Ro-Ro slipway.

Are there any particular Ship Building considerations that need greater support in order to meet the Clean Maritime Plan: 2050 and the needs of the industry?

We believe we have the technology and capability to contribute to a reduced carbon footprint in the marine industry and welcome the opportunity to work with anyone wanting to explore our technology in the conversion of existing vessels or the design and build of new ones.

What are the future plans for Mainstay Marine?

Continuing to deliver excellent service for our customers and contributing to the successful transition to a carbon zero future for the maritime sector whilst securing long-term future employment for Mainstay employees. We have a collaboration agreement with a company specialising in the design and manufacture of electric propulsion systems utilising battery and hydrogen fuel cell technologies and are able to offer suitable solutions to reconfigure existing vessels and build new ones that are carbon zero from the propulsion perspective.

L-R: Welsh Fisheries vessel ‘Lady Megan’,
Sir Michael Palin and the BAS survey workboat ‘Erebus’.

Members Profile: Nick Price, Century Marine Services

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.

Member Profile: Jimmy Duggan, Tidal Transit

Having joined Tidal Transit in 2020, Jimmy tells us about transitioning into Maritime Industry as a secondary career and the latest news from Tidal Transit.


Who are Tidal Transit and what is their history?

Tidal Transit is a Norfolk based CTV operator established in 2011 with a fleet of 6 x CTVs operating in the UK and overseas. We are very proud of our >88% operational fleet utilisation rate since new and a 98.7% fleet technical availability since its beginning.

What is your role within the company and when did you start?

I am the Operations and QHSE Manager,  I started my current appointment on 2 November 2020.

What does a day in life look like?

No two days are alike, however my days are kept incredibly busy managing the Quality, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems within the organisation – reporting any non-conformance found to the Directors.

What is your background?

I have recently retired from the British Army after serving 37 years.  I joined the 1st Battalion Irish Guards as a 17 year old and have served all over the world, with many highlights including operations in Northern Ireland, Kosovo and Iraq.  I was also lucky enough to be serving in Berlin the night the Berlin Wall came down; that was an overwhelming experience and filled with mixed emotions for the German population on both side of the  wall. 

What skills do you bring from your Military Career to Tidal Transit?

Whilst in the Army, I gained a vast amount of experience in Training, Logistics, HR and Management up to a Senior level, all of which do and will prove invaluable in my new position. 

Do you have any advice for potential secondary career movers?

Be clear about why you want to leave your current job so that you don’t ‘jump out of the frying pan and into the fire’. Don’t under sell yourself and have a strong CV that is supported by a well written covering letter.  Know your transferable skills and how they can benefit your new employer.  Don’t be afraid to look outside your comfort zone, I have no Seafarer of Offshore Industry experience, however I was looking for new and different opportunities and challenges – Tidal Transit and the Offshore Contracting Industry offers both

Are there any developments or new focuses for Tidal Transit?

Tidal Transit has recently formed a new joint venture with Louis Dreyfus Armateurs called ‘LD Tide’ to own and operate CTVs in France, LD Tide has ordered 3 x hybrid CTVs due for delivery in 2022. In addition to this Tidal Transit is working on several innovative access solutions focused on the Offshore Wind sector, news on this will circulate closer to the time!

Leo Hambro [Commercial Director] has mentioned before that “Tidal Transit would like to be the operator of the world’s first fully electric CTV”, can you tell us more about this?

Leo’s vision for a greener maritime future is rubbing off on all of Team Tidal, current plans are for retrofitting CTVs with full electric propulsion for nearshore windfarms. The distance is limited by current battery technology range but our involvement in projects such as ‘Ørsted’s offshore charging buoy’ may allow further offshore locations to be serviced sooner rather than later.

Where do you see Tidal Transit in 5 years?

In 2020 the company increased its fleet by 50%. In 2021 the company adds a further 3 x new builds to the fleet through its JV with LDA. In another 5 years we will hopefully see not only an increase in fleet size – but a diversifying fleet offering, via different vessel sizes and propulsion types, including full electric!

Member profile: David McGuire and Chris Dunn, Malin Marine Services

This month David and Chris tell us about their roles at Clyde based Malin Marine Services and the business’s ambitions to take the 200+ year old routes sailing into the future.


“…we look to utilise the established expertise within the team, coupled with cutting edge technology and techniques….”

Who are Malin Marine Services, Where are they based and when did they start?

The Malin Group represents a family of marine focused business units, each built on our core values of integrity, excellence, creativity and impartiality. We can trace our roots as far back as the mid -18th century with involvement in shipping and ship delivery through the successful years of ship construction and trade on the River Clyde in Glasgow.

More recently, we have grown and diversified – and over the last 15 years we have given life to a number of additional, specialist companies, cementing our place as one of the most comprehensive providers of end to end marine solutions in the world. These range from Malin Abram, heavy lift specialists, Malin Marine Equipment and Malin Marine Services, to Malin Newbuild who specialise in the fabrication and outfit of complex marine equipment, structures and vessels including a full range of pontoons and workboats (16, 17, 18, 18.3m and multicat variants), as well as a hydrogen bunker and transport ship. We also have Malin Augustea, a joint venture with an internationally renowned tug and barge owner; this partnership will bring a converted semi-submersible barge, one of the largest in Europe, to Glasgow later this year. That’s not to mention our vision for the Scottish Marine Technology Park (SMTP), which once complete will include a large fabrication facility and a deep-water jetty with a 1,100 tonne ship hoist – the largest of its kind in Europe. The Group represents an innovative, vibrant company, but one based on a solid heritage and understanding of the history and needs of the market.

What are your roles within the company?

Chris is a Principal Naval Architect, with David a Sales Engineer.

Chris provides technical guidance to many of the projects across the group, in particular acting as a link between the business units. This critical role is to ensure, as an organisation, we best utilise the diverse technical talent found across our colleagues. He is spearheading company efforts to develop expertise in high efficiency, low emission marine vessel systems and as a result Malin has launched a range of concept designs for hybrid, full electric and hydrogen powered workboats over the last few months.  Chris is project lead on several of the disruptive innovation projects currently underway at Malin, in particular the conversion of one of the largest semi-submersible barges in Europe that will be mobilising to its new home on the River Clyde later in the year.

David works across Malin Newbuild, Marine Services and Marine Equipment, acting as a central point of contact for current and potential clients. This role sees him responsible for cultivating new client relationships as well as servicing the needs of current clients.  He also acts as a crucial bridge between clients and our technical team, communicating client requirements and ensuring projects are delivered to spec, on time and within budget. This service continues throughout the client relationship, form enquiry, to project completion and to aftercare.

When did you start with Malin?

Chris joined Malin in early 2020, with David more recently moved to cover the new business units in Autumn 2020, having previously worked for one of our sister companies.

What are your backgrounds?

Chris – A Chartered Engineer and a Member of the Royal Institute of Naval Architects, he has over 25 years’ experience in the Shipbuilding and Offshore Wind sectors in the West of Scotland, gaining experience in many of the technical departments within the Upper Clyde shipyards during his 17 years with BAE Systems.

In 2011 he moved from his position as Technical Project Manager at BAE to the Spanish wind turbine manufacturer Gamesa Offshore Wind where he helped develop the turbine manufacture, transportation, assembly and logistics strategies for their offshore installations. He returned to shipbuilding as Chief Naval Architect at Ferguson Marine in 2014, leading the design department & drawing office and responsible for providing technical leadership and naval architectural support to the design, construction and repair of their marine vessels.

David – David entered the Strathclyde Academy and after obtaining his HNC, he moved into the studies of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering at Strathclyde University. While studying at Strathclyde, he participated in a Summer school programme at Harbin Institute of Technology in Weihai. Before achieving his BEng, David worked at the Malin group in back-to-back Summer Internships before being offered a full position in the sales team of Malin Newbuild.

What are the key focuses of the Malin Group?

As noted above, the Group spans a number of specialisms, providing end to end solutions for the market. As such, we can assist clients in developing designs, verifying or modifying extant designs, fabrication, delivery, finishing – really anything that is required to meet the objectives of the project.

Our key focuses however flow from our values – a commitment to expertise and excellence, combined with impartiality, ensuring that our clients’ needs are at the forefront of all that we do. We are passionate about providing innovative, yet effective solutions and in harnessing the latest technologies to progress practice but also have a positive impact from a sustainability perspective. A great example of this is the recent fleet of vessels developed to challenge existent designs, with a view to offer more efficient and sustainable models. The range, covering hybrid, electric and hydrogen solutions – we look to utilise the established expertise within the team, coupled with cutting edge technology and techniques.

Are there any growth predictions for the company?

The company have already significantly grown and will continue to do so, as we strive to develop our areas of specialism and offering. A key element of this will be the delivery of the SMTP, which not only offers the opportunity to create significant numbers of employment opportunities but also to redefine what it means to work in this industry for this and future generations. It will also be the home to our new barge offering, as well as providing a hub from which to design, fabrication and launch new vessels.

What will be benefit to the Workboat Industry to these changes?

Malin is successfully working across the marine sector, spanning sustainable vessel design, semi-and fully automated fabrication techniques, advanced mechanical handling systems and emission reduction solutions.  This wealth of expertise and experience – combined with the vision to create a new, state-of-the-art fabrication facility on the banks of the Clyde will deliver the expertise necessary to develop a high-quality workboat factory; and one that will be capable of producing the next generation of green, affordable, efficient and effective workboats.

How can the Workboat Association help Malin Marine Services with its future?

The Workboat Association is a cornerstone of the marine sector, and membership enables us to keep in touch with industry colleagues.  The newsletters and publications not only give us invaluable insight into the main issues of the day but will also provide a fantastic platform for us to communicate results of our case studies, demonstrator projects and technological developments.  Most importantly however, the association will hopefully provide us with the opportunity to establish and develop meaningful partnerships going forward, ones which will enable us together to continually develop practice, alongside new greener, more efficient solutions.

Will you invite us to visit the new Technology Park once it is completed (and COVID allows?!)

Of course! This innovative facility will offer a common marine facility, with opportunities across marine manufacture, ship repair, renewables, marine electrical and marine service provision, teamed with an impressive infrastructure and variety of amenities. Together, this will form an impressive cluster, enabling like-minded, complimentary companies to thrive on a common, innovative space – so all visitors and collaborators will be welcomed!

Innovation will be welcomed at the park – our open approach to the development of the space, combined with a commitment to creativity, opens up an array of opportunities to create a research and development hub, with the appropriate infrastructure to nurture and develop technological innovation. Scotland has a strong heritage as a maritime leader, and the SMTP aims to continue this trusted tradition through the creation of an innovation culture and community. And we can’t wait to show this off, get others involved and share the opportunities it delivers.

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.


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.