Making waves

Spanning over 100 years the Dunston (Ship Repairs) name has a long tradition of providing excellence. Positioned on the Humber, UK, the company is the first port of call for many local, national, and international companies seeking expert ship repair and modification services. Its strategic position on the UK’s eastern seaboard places it close to the North Sea oil and gas installations, with Hull also acknowledged as one of the world’s most progressive shipping centres.

Over the years Dunston has successfully carried out all sorts of vessel modifications including lengthening,conversions, repairs, and extensive refurbishment. In the process the company has worked on a wealth of different vessel types such as offshore supply and standby, anchor handling,fishing vessels, passenger boats, patrol and high speed vessels, tugs and workboats, car and vehicle carriers, container vessels, coasters, dredgers, barges, and ferries.

This work is executed at Dunston’s well established dry dock and repairfacility based at William Wright Dock in Hull. Surrounding the site is a machinery workshop, plumbers workshop, engine cleaning bay, shipwright and joinery workshop, fabrication and welding hall, sheet metal workshop, carnage facilities, and various specialist equipment and machinery to support the company’s workforce. In addition Dunston has access to other local specialist marine services and materials.

All of this means that Dunston is able to guarantee a speedy turnaround with all work executed by a qualified and experienced workforce. The company offers a 24-hour service to ensure projects are completed on time and within budget. Last year contracts completed by Dunston included the docking of Fisheries Protection Vessels Jura, Minna and Hirta owned by Marine Scotland.

Over the last 15 years the company has completed over 20 refits for Marine Scotland, each time meeting the high standards of workmanship and service required. After three years work Dunston completed the conversion of a roll-on roll-off ferry into a state-of-the-art survey vessel for Gardline. Known as the Ocean Reliance, the scope of work carried out on the vessel included the addition of accommodation for 48 people, a new auxiliary engine room, new wiring, renewed pipework, and a full overhaul of the main engine room.

It is not only ship repair that Dunston lends its name and skills to though. The Group also includes Dunston (Electrical Services), which specialises in marine electrical services, and the latest third arm – Dunston (Ship Building). Launched last year in partnership with Rix Shipping, this new division is based at the Paull shipyard, and it marks a return to Dunston’s ship building past with the firm having stopped in 1994 to concentrate on ship repairs.

The new business was incorporated in response to a £5.1 million order for three state-of-the-art aluminium workboats from Rix Shipping for use in the renewable energy market. Built under licence from Alicat Workboats in Great Yarmouth, this contract has since increased to five vessels. Not only does Dunston have unrivalled facilities with which to build new ships, but these activities also neatly fit in with existing ship repair services giving it the opportunity to offer an end-to-end package.

As the first three boats for Rix near completion, Dunston has since secured its first refit work for the renewables sector for a vessel which has been working off the Swedish coast. With the renewables industry presenting a major opportunity for the business, the company is now waiting for the announcements that will spark this boom. This includes the east coast wind farm, which was given the go- ahead earlier this year, and will feature 35 turbines from Siemens.

It is hoped that the acceleration of the renewables industry will see huge volumes coming in and out of the Humber region, and as such transfer into business for local operators such as Dunston. This may present the company with the opportunity to invest further in its facilities, particularly the new Paull set-up which it plans to expand to allow it to make more boats at a time.

Whilst it may be strange that in order to move forwards a company has to return to its past, but in the case of Dunston reinstigating its ship building services this seems to be a sensible step in capitalising on the market. Most crucially though, the company has never strayed from its base shipping roots, which gives it the experience and market insight to stay the course.

Dunston (Ship Repairs)
Long heritage
New ship building division
Ongoing workboat contract