Paul has been involved with marine for as long as he can remember! He’s worked on every kind of vessel imaginable, having surveyed and managed dozens of refits. He became involved in repair services following the pandemic. He saw that repair services came more to the forefront of marine interior services felt it was a natural step to become involved. Paul is the Commercial Director, Marine Interiors for SD Marine. We spoke with him about why marine repairs are on the rise in the cruise ship interiors industry and how SD Marine play a role in that sector.
Why are cruise brands investing in marine interiors repairs?
All of the cruise lines took a massive financial hit due to enforced inactivity during the pandemic. Many cruise companies went to the wall and there have been dozens of good ships that have sadly gone to the scrapyards in Turkey and India. Now there is a big drive within the industry for a more sustainable approach and, whereas before areas on a ship that may have become tired looking would have been replaced, there is now an onus on looking at the option to repair instead.
What is SD Marine’s role in the industry?
There isn’t really a short answer to that question, as we have a long and proud history – SD was first established as a family-run business in 1973, originally specializing in the supply and fit of sealants under the name S&D Sealants. We have since become one of the largest sealant specialists in the UK with eight offices across England, Scotland and Wales with over 120 sealants and cosmetic repairs specialists nationwide. In 2019 S&D added SD Marine Interiors to its stable, offering our hard surface and cosmetic repairs expertise to the marine industry. We have quickly established a reputation for reliability and efficiency, with a passion for providing the best service for our clients. All of our technicians are employed directly by us, which enables us to assemble the right team for the job quickly and efficiently.
What are the latest trends and patterns in the marine interiors repairs sector?
Each repair project is a lesson for us and we are constantly monitoring our methods and materials. We understand the need for costs trimming and the how sustainability and ecological responsibility are hugely important. Cruise companies, their designers and fleet managers are using the ‘Cradle to Cradle’ ethos as their handbook. ‘Cradle-to-cradle’ advocates the maximum reuse of resources, and proposes eliminating the concept of waste. We want to be a part of this approach, and our team spend a lot of time researching effective and cost-efficient repair techniques.
How do SD Marine bring their onsite learnings into practice?
We have a dedicated research, test and demonstration centre at our headquarters in South Wales. Many of the repair techniques that we carry out, both shore-based and in the marine sector, have been time tested and well-proven, but we try and bring as many materials as possible to our centre and work on establishing the best and most durable repairs available.
Who uses this research, test and demonstration centre?
All of our technicians are dedicated employees – we have people with years and years of experience in their field. They will all spend time, either teaching or learning, in our RTD Centre working on materials research and technique development. We hold stock of everything that could possibly be needed on a repair project, as well as tools and access equipment. We can assemble a well-equipped and skilled team at short notice and expedite to where every they may be needed. We use software that enables us and the client to communicate efficiently in understanding each repair that we carry out.