Person portrait

There and Back Again – behind Mathis Shipyard

By Erik Brandt Jensen, sø
Wanderlust became homesickness and own yard next to the Limfjord .

Overlooking the waters of the Limfjord is a recipe for success over some 40 years. And it’s a maritime success rate in several directions. Eg . Record sentence in both regattas around Funen and Zealand , introduction of fiberglass in the Danish boat market , age record for acting Danish pilot boat , filled slipways and repair centers and positive bottom line.

The latter is the result of the shipyard owner Niels Mathiensen sense to live within our means , but it is not exactly because he’s been stingy with tackling challenges through life – on the contrary .

He is as yard man responds to the now-defunct Aalborg Shipyard , but back then years ago he found that life was too short to settle down as a shipbuilder with companion letter in hand . So he chose the dragon on the battlefield instead of learning more about the world and to build ships.


And it was a bit of an adventurous journey Niels Mathiesen, who was found to California, as the first place , he would soak up . It was at the time as being clearly the leading place in the world in terms of burst in fiberglass, and of course it was the pleasure boat market that drove the development of the place .

“I ended up first in Newport Beach, where I got a foothold in the industry, and where I met some really talented types ,” says Niels Mathiesen .

“It was usually people who were super experts in their fields . It could be anything from aluminum welding to the casting of carbon or fiberglass materials . And was therefore no one could afford to concentrate on learning and specialize in because the market in general was so large . One of them , I got to know , was actually involved in the building of the space shuttle . It says little about the proficiency level . “


But Mathiesen sucked now little care of it all , so to speak , and he learned to build the entire boats. The knowledge he went into the back pocket for something so exotic for a Danish shipyard man as Taiwan.

” Yes, there was this opportunity , and I struck so to , and it was then indeed something completely different, as they say. ” laughs Niels Mathiesen .

” But having said that, I would then like to add that it get away from mother’s skirts and out and learn something under foreign skies actually should be a mandatory exercise for all – even if it costs a year or two of a course . “

” It gave at least me a lot of invaluable knowledge and learning , and I learned I actually even speak a kapabelt Mandarin. Not that I can remember so much of it today , my Chinese knows I still trudged on , “he continues.

“It was ever yachts that was the main one, but we built such . also quite a few patrol boats for the Americans, which was used during the Vietnam War . But whatever , it was quite typical that if you went and built a secret design , so could any competitor a week or two after presenting an exact copy . There were not that safe that could keep a set of construction documents from being copied and sold . “

Besides his stay in Taiwan went Niels Mathiesen also a move to Israel , where he continued to build patrol vessels for a while, but as he points out , it’s not so important where fare. or what tackling in. However, it is important to dare to grips with something other than the beaten path. If you are then ready to grow with the tasks and as a person.

He even took at some time a look in your wallet and found that it could probably stand to try the dream of being independent at home by . And it was the start of Mathis Shipyard – and include an introduction of glass and carbon fiber as a building material at home .

Built for Users

” It was not plastics it all, ” he stressed.

” We have always built in both wood and molding materials , and of our first orders were then actually a series of very sturdy rope in both the wood for the then KGH who used them along the coast of Greenland . “

” But it was an important small series for us because we could get production systematized and built the boats identical, similar, alike. As I said some powerful sizes with no particularly strong fenders that could stand for the must. There will not always sailed right Gelinde of Greenland , and the boats had to go anywhere keep as long as possible before they were in the shipyard … ” ‘

Series Production

Series production is indeed on the whole good for business and it has thankfully given a boatyard as Mathis Boatyard the same models , yachts people are going for. And those are the boatyard and shipyard director deliver in.

Although he never learned to draw a line on a piece of paper – that is, officially – as Niels Mathiesen becoming a 30-40 designs in his personal portfolio. And five pieces of different types does he have in his personal ” stable ” of both .

“Yes, I ‘re bitten by a mad sailor , and although it does not get quite as much as before, so moving the bay and the lake ever in one. And it was also in one of my own boats , I was skipper on as we set several records of both Around Funen and Zealand Tour – back then, there was something about the size of fields.

In the commercial boat since the series connection also had a few major tasks for Mathis Shipyard. Among other things, a series FRB both Esvagt and a series of five fast patrol vessels for the Swedish Coast Guard . In addition, some very compact devices that are loaded with electronic equipment.

When the opportunity presents itself …

The largest commercial vessels are a few pilot boats and the emergency units to Coastal Rescue of Morten Stage class. And those repairs is also still on when the opportunity presents itself. Prize Pig , according to Niels Mathiesen even pilot boat Skaw Pilot II approaching its position as the oldest ( well ) functioning of its kind in the country.

The small barge Krone 2 from Dannebrog has also built ( and maintains continuous) , and although it is now near two years ago that delivered the last commercial construction , then Niels Mathiesen not given up hope to get to the dish again . But he clearly points out – he does not dump the selling price support price to win an order. And so it may be hard to Moeve past some of the competitors’ offerings.

100 boats per year

So it’s most repairs and maintenance that springs to mind when visiting the yard. And here is , in turn, enough to make even if you were able to squeeze more work into .

” In the most press is here probably a 35 man in real work – plus the many different suppliers we work with , but so many are not stuck inside the moment although , there is plenty .

” Yes, we are generally the inside with a 12-15 boats at a time, and the incision is well on a 100 pieces per year ,” says Niels Mathiesen .

” We have set a lot of (large ) Norwegian boats that get a winter overhaul with us, and right now we have also both from both the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands in – simply because the owners want us as a shipyard . For Norwegians , related it also related to both cost and time factor. A task we are three weeks out well easily double the time for the triple price up there, ” he smiles.