Fending off the competition

“When the company first began operations, its primary work was the building of fishing vessels for businesses in the North Sea,” states Carl Erik Kristensen, newbuild department manager of Hvide Sande Skib & Baadebyggeri (HSSB). “This work continued through until the late 1980s when the focus of the business shifted to building various workboats and service vessels for the windfarm industry and small sized ferries.”

Centrally located on Hvide Sande Harbour, HSSB was established in 1950 and in the six decades since has worked on a number of different vessel types from fishing cutters to modern service vessels. The company’s shipyard has slipway facilities consisting of 12 slipway carts with a capacity of up to 450 tonnes. Other production facilities include individual production halls for repairs and maintenance and new builds, a surface treatment hall, tents for covering tracks and its own 50 tonne mobile crane. Approved to make fibre glass repairs and new builds by the Danish Maritime Authority, HSSB also has a technical department that designs, develops and manages projects from concept drawings through to finished vessel.

“HSSB has built a number of different vessel types including tugs, trimarans, tankers and service boats for businesses across Europe in Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK,” Carl continues. “Typically the company looks to approach contracts where there is a need for fully classed augmentation services or where a big organisation is backing up a ship owner. It also has a strong track record of bidding on the tenders of some of Europe’s larger energy companies.”

During its time developing service vessels for the windfarm industry, HSSB has put a concerted effort into building comprehensive fender systems. This work led to the forming of a subsidiary company called Seasight Offshore Fender Systems. Developing fender systems utilised in the transfer of crew and goods to offshore windfarms in co-operation with some of the industry’s leading shipyards and ship owners, the company works to ensure its systems fulfil customers needs, providing the highest levels of safety and usability.

“Together with the co-operation of a prominent rubber supplier, HSSB decided to establish Seasight Offshore Fender Systems in order to focus on the development and sale of quality fenders,” Carl explains. “The special thing about these fenders is the incorporation of a measuring system that is used to record the force created by the boat when it docks at the facility. Using this measurement helps calculate the level of friction generated between the fender and the platform, thus allowing the company to ensure its fenders facilitate the safest possible transfer of personnel from vessel to facility. The data taken from the measuring system can then be taken and reproduced into documentation that can be used by the owner to prepare for future vessel dockings.

“HSSB carries out some of the fine element calculations on the fender systems. This means it can specifically design each fender to fit each individual vessel, making sure it is compatible with elements such as the boats umbilicals, its displacement levels and the shape of its hull. This allows the company to produce fenders that possess optimum grip and friction. What also makes the Seasight Offshore Fender Systems subsidiary unique is that it has been set up to actively seek work with other shipyards and ship owners, not just exclusively with HSSB.”

Equally important areas of the business are the repair and surface treatment departments. With its wide range of competencies and history of completing successful projects, HSSB’s repair and service department enables the shipyard to handle various activities, from servicing tall ships to working on unique special projects for individual ship owners. On hand to carry out this work are the department’s flexible and highly skilled employees, ready and able to perform multiple forms of repair, service and rebuilding work on every type of vessel for every kind of customer.

In the area of surface treatment, HSSB can handle all kinds of treatment on materials such as steel, aluminium, fibreglass and wood. With the ability to carry out sandblasting, metalizing and spray painting tasks, the department can also provide surface treatments in connection with the renovation of tall ships, the painting of containers and on all manner of construction equipment. All of the above mentioned work is expertly carried out while taking full responsibility and consideration to both the internal and external environment.

Operating in different markets HSSB has experienced its fair share of growth in the last several years, particularly within the offshore windfarm sector: “This is undoubtedly a rapidly growing market, however it still requires companies to put in a lot of work if they hope to make sales,” Carl says.

To this end HSSB continues to appear at, and get good feedback from, various conferences and exhibitions. The company recently appeared in Southampton at the Seasight International exhibition and will continue partaking in similar events as it looks to further cement itself in the marine industry: “Looking into the future it is the hope of everyone associated with HSSB that the boats it develops go on to make a significant difference in the market place and to achieve this the company will aim to continue with its steady production of these vessels in the years to come,” Carl concludes.

A builder of service vessels, ferries and workboats
Deeply involved in the offshore windfarm market
Designer and manufacturer of quality, bespoke fenders