33-metre newbuild workboat contract with Damen embedded in deal
Netherlands-based tug & workboat company Herman Senior has acquired all shares of ST Marine Support, a provider of quality maritime and offshore services. The acquisition includes ST’s three existing vessels and their upcoming newbuild, a Damen Multi Cat 3313SD, which is expected to be delivered at the end of March this year. With the formal handover completed on 23 February, the acquisition has come into effect retroactively as of 1 January 2023.
With this agreement ST Marine Support becomes part of the Herman Senior group of companies, integrating both fleets. Erwin van Dodewaard, Commercial Manager and Co-owner of Herman Sr says: “We are proud to have been given the opportunity to acquire ST Marine Support by owners Vasco Tammes and Rienk Switijnk. Knowing each other quite well, we got into informal talks about 13 months ago, over a beer. Vasco and Rienk have built a great company over the years with three robust and strong Multi Cat workboats that operate at the top of their market segments, especially in Dredging. They and their team have a lot of experience and their clear, no-nonsense way of handling projects aligns neatly with our own way of working. We feel proud to continue their legacy under the Herman Senior flag. This acquisition is a big move forward for our company and quite a special step for our family. We look forward to welcoming the new boats and their crew into our fleet and serving customers with them.“
Vasco Tammes, Co-owner of ST Marine Support, adds: “When Erwin and his brother Chris came to us with this idea, this possibility, it sparked a flame in us: the idea to, maybe, do something else after 16 years of being in the workboat business. Of course, we love our company and the industry, so we took our time to think it over. The talks and collaboration with Herman Senior were good, with mutual understanding and respect. Our companies are quite alike in scope and attitude. So, with this agreement we know that two beautiful, carefully built, specialist companies become one greater entity; and in good hands. We wish Herman Senior and the Van Dodewaard family all the best and safe voyages!”
Fleet – a perfect fit
This acquisition marks the expansion of Herman Senior’s fleet from 8 to 12 vessels, including the new Damen Multi Cat 3313SD currently under construction. The expanded company will serve customers on three continents – South America, Europe and Asia – and these 4 extra workboats strengthen its presence both there and in the wider in the maritime industry.
Interestingly, Herman Sr continues to operate a 100% Damen fleet of Shoalbusters and Multicats, as ST Marine Support also had Damen workboats, i.e. the three Multi Cats Odin (Damen MC3013), Nero (Damen MC3013) and 35-metre Auxilia (Damen MC3515), all outfitted with strong cranes and winches.
According to Herman Sr, the market is currently very favourable for these types of vessels. There’s currently a shortage of workboats due to the large amount of projects that pull much of the available assets off the global market. At the same time, the cost of building new ships has skyrocketed, making that an unattractive option.
Van Dodewaard: “The vessels from ST Marine Support are a perfect fit with the Herman Senior fleet. We are confident that this move will help us serve our customers even better with equipment that we already know inside out, making for a seamless transition. Last, and this is a good moment to say this loud and clear, the success of our company is due to our experienced staff, both on board and on shore. We have dedicated crews per vessel, which ensures quality and consistency in project execution. Also, most people at our office come from a maritime background and many were sailors themselves. Their skills added with our combined assets make Herman Senior a partner that customers can trust to do the job. That being said, we look forward to all the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.”