Champagne corks will be popping at Seawork 2018 as Aberdeenshire-based Macduff Ship Design celebrates 25 years since its inception.

Macduff Ship Design Ltd. was founded in 1993 by Donald Cameron formerly of the renowned James N. Miller shipyard and a consortium of local Macduff business men. From then until now the company has grown steadily, seeing much change in the industry and adapting to new demands in the commercial sector.

Initially the company was heavily involved in the British fishing industry, primarily carrying out stability investigations on existing vessels and, in close conjunction with Macduff Shipyards, assisting with new vessel design and vessel conversion work. However, very soon the company’s expertise as designers took off. From 1995 until around 2003 Macduff designed approximately 55 different fishing vessels, ranging from between eight and 41 metres in length, which were built in shipyards across the UK and in Spain, Holland, Portugal, Croatia and Canada.

Around 2003, the fishing industry was in decline due to regulations and restrictions on the catch as well as decommissioning of vessels reducing fleet size, so Macduff Ship Design decided to concentrate its efforts into the commercial workboat markets. This was an area where the company had done some work with local owners and operators and recognised a demand and the potential for the transfer of knowledge into this market. This proved to be a good decision, launching a fleet of new workboat designs and paving the way for further collaborations between Macduff and international shipyards such as Tor Marine in Turkey, which Macduff still works closely with. The company’s current design repertoire includes a re-emerging fishing vessel sector as well as tugs of all shapes and sizes, pilot and patrol vessels, general workboats, line handlers, fish farm vessels, ferries and many other varying designs.

With increasing demands on its services and the need for expansion both in terms of space and staffing, the company decided that it was time to upgrade its office from an ex-fisherman’s cottage in Macduff to more purpose-built premises. In 2008 plans were drawn up for the current office, situated just around the corner from the original premises and still within Macduff Harbour.

Six years later, the company has expanded, now employing 10 personnel, having recruited four new graduates and opened a new branch dedicated to vessel surveying, Macduff Marine Surveyors.

Notable projects in the company’s recent years have included a 36.5m Moorings Maintenance Vessel for the Port of London Authority, part of Macduff’s ‘Multi-Mac’ range, a multi-vessel contract for Tor Marine shipyard for operations in Saudi Arabia, and a series of multi-purpose fish-farming vessels for Inverlussa Marine Services in the UK. These projects have provided their own unique challenges with the wide variety in vessel designs and owner’s requirements from simple workboats to large high speed patrol boats to ASD tugs, all of which the company has successfully met in its trademark fashion. The UK fishing industry is also now in a period of improved fortunes, leading to a demand for new designs for the next generation of owners wishing to make their vessels more efficient and with better seakeeping and stability characteristics.

The company plans to hold an informal drinks reception on its Seawork Stand from 15:30 on Tuesday the 3rd of July.

Visit Macduff Ship Design at Seawork International 2018 on stand PO77.