While we might be more known for our asbestos removal services, we also offer services to the marine industry and have done for 30 years. Today, it seems like quite a different offering, but it didn’t start out that way.
Our first marine-based venture began when, as a company specialising in asbestos removal, we were asked to remove asbestos on a ship and following the project’s successful completion, the Shield of 30 years ago was then asked to reconfigure the holds of four Japanese cargo ships with a new panel system.
Dave Pearce, now Marine Director and RINA Member since 2011, joined the business at around that time and began to grow our Marine portfolio. Now our Marine team is dotted around the country’s coast with a variety of skills we can send worldwide aboard vessels of all shapes, sizes and ages.
Our work began with ferries across the southwest, Newcastle and Southampton. To accommodate this work, our Southampton office was established. In the early days, projects were focused on working ships, involving long trips in small vans to Newcastle, Dover, France and Ireland, fitting air conditioning units in awkward places, fixing perforated panels; the team was always at the ready for quick turnaround jobs.
Within the last decade our Marine team’s work has diversified. In 2010 we were tasked with designing bespoke bulkheads on ships in Portsmouth, Devonport and Scotland saving our client £14,000 each year. In the same year, we got involved with making some of the rowing boats used in the Woodvale Challenge – a colossal transatlantic row. Using the team’s skills and the Woodvale pattern, the marine team made three polyester fibre glass rowing boats and one carbon fibre rowing boat from scratch, which were used in the epic challenge, each carrying four rowers across the Atlantic ocean.
Other work has included designing fire protection work and exhaust insulations on charter ships. Additionally, we have introduced IHM surveys to our marine offering. In the past five years, work has expanded to superyachts as far as the Southern Atlantic Ocean and cruise ships needing galley refits while on their tours. Adding flooring work to the marine bow, we are now supplying carpets in Scotland, and are one of the few licensed marine resin deck installers in the country.
In each case, our team designs individual solutions to the client’s unique issue. Our drive comes from the desire to offer support with a good service and support the industry. Dave Peace says: ‘The success of our marine offering is due to its people, communication and diversification of the service. In the last two years, growth has doubled and is continuing.’
The Marine team has recently enjoyed the success of attending Seawork International – a growing industry show based around working boats – for the last two years and plan on returning next year to meet some pals and to show their wares.