The power of listening

Published in category: Markets

Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam

IN THE SHIPBUILDING BUSINESS SINCE 1948, AND PART OF DAMEN SHIPYARDS GROUP SINCE 1984, DAMEN MAASKANT SHIPYARDS STELLENDAM HAS ITS ROOTS IN THE FISHERIES INDUSTRY. THE YARD’S ACTIVITIES INCLUDE NEW BUILDING AND VESSEL REFITS IN ADDITION TO DEVELOPING SPECIALIST EQUIPMENT SUCH AS WINCHES.

While the yard delivered an array of new build designs last year, the common theme throughout was one of committed client focus. “The year’s highlights include 7-Stars,” says Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam Director Frits van Dongen. “This was the final delivery of a five-vessel order of seismic research vessels for Rederij Groen – a company with which we have a very close and productive relationship.”

Design modifications
“The next contract involved the complete modification of a Stan Launch into a custom-made mooring launch. This was followed closely by the Merel-G, a Damen FCS 2610 adapted for offshore oil and gas standby capabilities – in fact, the vessel represents the first time that this has been done.”

Rounding off the year was a very special vessel indeed: the YE-118 Noordland. This cutting edge shellfish dredger is designed to harvest razor shells – a challenging procedure due to the animal’s buried position in the seabed and its extremely brittle shell. “The Noordland really is a good example of the tailor-made solutions we specialise in. You cannot build a vessel like that without having very close cooperation with the client as well as the fishing industry.”

Defining the team
Maaskant’s 2015 portfolio signifies the importance of an open mind when it comes to ship design: “We work together with our customers to make their ideas a reality. The solutions we deliver come from close cooperation between client and yard. In this process, listening is just as important as talking. There are many so-called innovations on the market these days, but the real proof of the pudding is in the eating.”

With Damen Maaskant in the spotlight, it’s difficult not to talk about the people-power present at the yard. “There’s great stability here,” states Mr Van Dongen. “A large proportion of the team has been here for more than 25 years, but they are not stuck in the mud by any means. There’s new guys coming in – some of whom are third generation employees. And we also offer training programmes and skills development. That’s the way we keep moving forward.”