Specialist Swedish service

Swede Ship Marine (SSM) provides wide ranging newbuilding and vessel repair services across three yards along Sweden’s west coast: Djupvik Shipyard, Swede Ship Composite and Swede Ship Yachtservice. With a long heritage behind it – Djupvik Shipyard has been a working yard for nearly 120 years – the company has progressed from small wooden fishing boats, through aluminium boats in the 1950s, to composite vessels beginning in the 1980s. Such a wealth of experience has positioned its yards at the forefront of specialist vessel services.

President of SSM, Bo Axelsson, talks more about the company’s facilities: “Djupvik Yard is located north of Gothenburg and is the main yard where we build and repair aluminium ships. Swede Ship Composite is located an another hour north of Djupvik and carries out newbuilding of boats in composite materials – and is quite good at it, to be honest- as well as possessing extensive repair equipment. Swede Ship Yachtservice is a smaller yard located at the entrance of Gothenburg harbour providing repair and maintenance for vessels, and its core speciality is engine maintenance.”

In addition to the many one-off contracts it receives, SSM has also forged long-term relationship with high profile organisations that reflect the quality of service it provides. Both the Swedish and Norwegian Sea Rescue Societies make use of SSM for the construction of new vessels, as does the UAE Navy, local ship-owners and even private owners. The three yards have repaired and maintained vessels for many of the same clients as well as the Swedish Navy, which remains one of SSM’s largest clients. “Repairs are more defined by geography, attracting local customers, whereas newbuilds can bring in more national and international interests,” Bo adds.

Currently the biggest project under SSM’s responsibility is a 45-knot vessel offshore patrol vessel. At 26 metres and 70 tonnes it is a small but powerful model that the company hopes it can use as a blueprint design for other customers. It is currently also working on a series of 14m full carbon sandwich rescue boats for the Norwegian Sea Rescue Society. SSM is a high quality company providing boats that are tailored to each project’s requirements, every vessel containing a range of installations that boost its capabilities.

“Our newbuild customers always expect very high specifications and specialised equipment that ensures, when it is in operation, the vessel can multi-task,” says Bo. “That is the challenge: you can always implement a lot of functionalities but it’s a thin line between useful and useless, because if you add too many features then maybe the speed isn’t as good as it needs to be or you no longer have the towing capacity required. SSM is definitely not alone in the market with such products but we hope that, with our good reputation and excellent feedback, there are plenty of opportunities to continue selling.”

Given that, including the previously mentioned projects, the yards are working at close to capacity at the moment, it would seem Bo’s hopes have been realised. Over the last 18 months the market has been good to SSM with a steady steam of both newbuild and repair contracts keeping it afloat but, as an ambitious company, it is always seeking out new work to push the capacity of its yards. In particular, having worked largely on vessels between 25 and 30 metres lately, it now wants to expand the number of constructions on boats smaller and larger. The 14-metre sea rescue boat is just one example of this.

“Hopefully the future will be as good as recent years have been,” says Bo with a positive outlook. “In terms of expanding, SSM is very product-orientated and therefore not looking into growing our infrastructure as such. Instead there is a constant focus on developing new products and keep our customers enthusiastic, working with them to create attractive and functional designs, building on the basics of our existing platforms.

“If need be we will of course look into expanding our infrastructure and production capabilities side. Currently there are certain areas that we have considered improving, or at least co-operating with partners to share a portion of the work, and that’s a decision that needs to be taken at some point. Sometimes it is smarter to tackle an issue ourselves and sometimes it is intelligent to utilise the benefits of a partnership. That’s where we stand today. Our success in the past means there is a lot to do now but of course the most important thing is to maintain a steady flow of good building and repair projects.”

45 knot offshore patrol vessel
Many high profile clients
Wide ranging specialist skills