UK-based Meercat Workboats recently reported a move to new purpose-built premises and restructuring of its management team along with news of recent deliveries and an order.

In the company’s early days, a call of ‘coffee break’ resulted in four heads, similar to African Meerkats appearing from hatches, the name of the company was therefore born. Since then Seawork exhibitor Meercat Workboats has designed and built conventional and road-transportable workboats to customers including: port authorities, marine contractors, charter companies and fish farms.

The company has now moved from its original home in Portchester to Hythe Marine Park, Southampton, with space for 1,600m2 of: workshops, aluminium welding and steel fabrication bays, stores, offices and customer parking. On the management front, Mr Jason Coltman has returned to the business after a summer sabbatical and three new positions have been created. Mr Ric Haselhurst has become production manager, Mr Jim Mair the new technical manager and Mr Tim Baily occupying the post of project manager. All four are key stakeholders in the business under Mr Nicholas Warren CEO of parent company Burgess Marine.

Recent deliveries include: MC26 for the aquaculture sector; the 14m workboats MC27 and MC28; and MC29 an example of its 15m workboat. With the team pursuing prospects for house boats, pontoons and barges both locally and further afield they are clearly set for expansion.

A recent commission of note is hull number MC30, a 15m workboat for ABP at Southampton, an order that was won in what the company calls ‘a hard-fought pan-European public tender.’

Mr Warren commented: "The move is exactly what the business needs. Meercat is a growing business and we need a dedicated site and a dedicated management team. I’ve complete confidence in Jason, Ric, Jim and Tim as they lead the business going forward; they really are masters of their own destiny."

By Peter Barker