DISCOVER Magazine #7

Tom van der Heijden. Senior Outfitter, Gorinchem

Published in category: People

“The Queen’s Birthday is a public holiday in the Netherlands, but I didn’t have a day off this year because we were so busy building three FCS 2610s.

As a senior outfitter, I had a hand in turning the hull into a real ship: welding, aligning the engine, laying the floors, installing the pumps – the whole process, up to and including delivery to the client.

We often need to make modifications to the first ships in a new series. The details still have to be hammered out and each time, we learn a lot in the process. All these things make my job at the shipyard very interesting. No two days are alike. Personally, I am not really into shipping and yet I’ve been working for Damen for ten years now. It’s a well- structured company and I get good support here.

For example, when we had to work weekend overtime on the FCS 2610, the coordinators came round several times to see how things were going and to talk to the outfitters. The atmosphere is friendly and light-hearted. We work hard, but there’s always time for a laugh.”

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