Seawork 2014 delivers the goods

Seawork, the commercial marine exhibition and conference, concluded its 17th annual three-day run at the ABP Port of Southampton, UK, on Thursday 12 June. This year over 7,350 visitors from 53 countries attended the exhibition to do business in this important driver of economic progress.

Jerry Howe, General Manager TR Marine Poole commented, "Seawork Southampton, being the largest European commercial marine exhibition held in a working port, is the perfect place to network with exhibitors and meet new customers.

With the numbers up 15% for 2014 the exhibition has been the place to be and a welcome return by TR Marine. The Marine sector for TR Fastenings has grown from strength to strength supporting the National Boat Shows and now Seawork again.

We have generated over 50 genuine news leads of business from customers old & new this year showing just how interested business’s are in TR Marine and what it has to offer."

Steady Growth

Seawork has again shown around 12% growth in exhibitor numbers. This is due to the fact that the commercial marine and workboat sector has maintained steady progress though the economic downturn. Much of the business of building and maintaining our coastal and marine infrastructure must be kept up and is often the subject of increased government spending to stimulate growth.

Business done – on the wind

Marine renewables is undergoing a period of change, with the offshore wind industry once again generating a great deal of business at Seawork. Some of the highlights of the exhibition included the signing of an agreement between Burgess Marine and Mainprize Offshore initially to build two 25m wind farm support vessels. Brightlingsea-based CTruk held a naming ceremony of its 20T Multi-Purpose Catamaran Ocean Warrior, the second CTruk 20T MPC for owner Scott Wharton of Ocean Transit Services, and Cowes-based South Boats IOW handed over its 24m wind farm service vessel, Seacat Ranger, to Seacat Services. In addition, Alicat Workboats delivered a 23m crew transfer vessel to Dalby Offshore and Tidal Transit took ownership of its fourth Personnel Transport Vessel, Kitty Petra, from the Spanish Mercurio Shipyard.

And off the wind

Red7 Marine of Essex chose Seawork for the official christening of its new 250 tonne, 250m Euro jack-up barge from Dutch exhibitor Ravestein, and Fender Innovations, also from the Netherlands, confirmed its selection as official fender supplier to the RNLI for its new Shannon Class lifeboats.

Erith-based Kort Propulsion signed an order for 28 tug boats for the Egyptian Army and UK Dredging took over its new, bespoke-built 19C aluminium survey craft, which it had specified at Seawork 2013, from Wales-based Robust Boats.

Devon and Cornwall Police took delivery of its 8m Ribcraft, which will be used for a variety of police activities, including diver rescue, missing persons search and intelligence-led crime detection.

Southern region companies benefit

Seawork once again delivered the goods for companies in the southern region. Portsmouth-based Meercat Workboats confirmed an order for an 18m multi-purpose vessel from Saudi Arabia. The vessel, which retains its road-transportable capability, is the first to be class approved with Bureau Veritas and it is anticipated that it will be at Seawork 2015.

Dorset-based Dometic UK was selected by fellow exhibitor Safehaven Marine to provide air conditioning systems for several notable new builds, including a unit for the first catamaran in Safehaven’s four-boat contract with the Polish navy. Fareham-based PSP Worldwide Logistics confirmed that it had already doubled the number of wind farm boats it transports with more on the way,

Seawork 2014 was the first year of exhibiting for Hayling Island-based Marathon Leisure, one of the UK and Ireland's largest Marine Equipment Distributors. Over three days of Seawork, the Marathon Leisure stand saw great interest from potential clients, showing enthusiasm for the various ranges of professional specialist product on display.

Company Director Tim Millinder said: “We have seen great success at our first year exhibiting at Seawork and are delighted with the potential client relationships that have been established. It has been very beneficial for us to both exhibit and attend Seawork 2014, it’s been a fantastic exhibition.”

Seawork welcomes Italian Admirals

A delegation of four admirals from the Italian Navy, led by Vice Admiral Steffano Tortora, attended Seawork on opening day. Asked for his impressions of the exhibition, he commented: “It’s a very interesting and stimulating exhibition and we’re very grateful to have been invited by the Ministry of Defence.

“What we have seen here is that there are solutions already available for existing problems and it has confirmed that there is no longer a line between naval and other marine operations and there is no need for us to re-invent the wheel.”

As a result of meetings held at Seawork, four exhibitors have been invited to Rome for follow-up meetings.

Alex Roberts of Nauti-Craft PTY, who had travelled from Australia to exhibit at Seawork, was surprised and delighted when the delegation paused to see video footage of the 8m, 1/3 scale, prototype vessel featuring a breakthrough in marine suspension technology, showing its paces: “It is the forerunner to our full 24m WFSV. We are at Seawork to talk to – and team up with - European boatbuilders and suppliers to put the programme into action.”

Colonel Nakong Maurice Jan Didier, Head of Marine Force in the Cameroon Armed Forces also visited Seawork, looking for ideas on diving equipment, patrol boats and general marine-related activities. Seawork was the first commercial exhibition he had ever attended which incorporated military opportunities and he was so impressed with what he saw, he didn’t leave until after the exhibition had closed.

Innovation Showcase winners

The Seawork Innovations Showcase, sponsored by Barker Brettell and Smith & Williamson, culminated in the presentation of the Innovation Awards at Seawork by BBC TV South’s Paul Clifton.

The overall winner was MarShip UK with the EDI Lub Oil Purifier, an innovation that can extend the life of engine oil by up to four times and which also won the Marine Engineering category.

Director Peter Weide said he was very proud of the company’s achievements. “It gives us more kudos. The company has been going for four years and we’re starting to become established. After our success at Seawork, we are now a company with a product that’s won an award at an international commercial marine exhibition.”

Innovation Award category winners were:

Training: MYMIC (Marina Safety Simulation Training)

Propulsion: E P Barrus (180HP Diesel Outboard Motor)

Diving & Underwater Technology: Atlantas Marine (Dextera subsea manipulator)

Safety – CQC – Fibrelight Stretcher

The recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award was Jack Gaston, whose first article on tugs appeared in 1965. A regular contributor to Maritime Journal, Jack’s interest in tugs towing “has been - and will remain - all consuming.”

The Seawork Maritime Professional of the Year Award was presented to Luke Webster of PM Shipping.

Charlie Foll, MD, of award-winner Atlantas Marine Ltd, commented: “Winning this Award throws a spotlight on this unique new product. Best described as an underwater Swiss Army knife for ROV’s, it is a multi use, variable speed tool with 3 jaw grab and multiple tool head options.”

Ben Shepherd, Business Development Manager, of CQC said: “The Award for the Fibrelight Stretcher offers us a great method for advertising it over the coming months.”


The concurrent Seawork Conferences were targeted at specific interest groups on topical subjects and proved very successful.

Over 100 workboat and equipment manufacturers attended the MOD Procurement briefing; the Maritime & Coastguard Agency sessions were very popular with over 70 delegates attending to find out about the New Workboat Brown Code and Carriage of Cargo. A large UKTI Networking event attracted an audience of 80, keen to discover how to enter the Brazilian market from five visiting Brazilian businessmen. In addition, there were well-attended sessions on Whole Body Vibration, Grant Funded R&D using academic institutions and running vessels on Glycerine. The final day was devoted to training and offshore wind power with enthusiastic audiences listening to specialist presentations.

Next year’s dates

Seawork 2015, the 18th annual event, will be held 16-18 June Seawork 2015.


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