He studied for Maritime Officer and he sailed the oceans, but not for long. Almost five years ago he swapped sailing for flying. He leaves his hometown in The Netherlands and his social life for about 4 or 5 months a year to prepare and organise ship deliveries as Senior Consultant Ship Management at TOS.
‘When I’m in The Netherlands (smiling), I’m coordinating the vessels which are underway, making quotes for our sales manager and organising the operational preparations for upcoming ship deliveries. We arrange the crew and all required communication equipment, reflag the vessel if the client or voyage requires this, make a voyage plan and if necessary an anti-piracy plan’, says Dennis van der Waal. When all preparations are done he leaves his desk and flies together with the ship delivery crew to the vessel approximately a week before departure.
Ship Delivery Projects Dennis
On site Dennis takes over the vessel from the former owner, a broker or – in case of a new built vessel – the yard. Van der Waal: ‘It is my job to organise the departure in the most efficient and safe way. It is my task to make sure that all the necessary preparations like surveys, storage and adjustments are done in such a way that all parties involved, from suppliers to the captain, the chief engineer and the rest of the delivery crew, can do their work at the right time and in the right way. I’m like the spider in the web arranging all activities from A to Z. The client doesn’t need to worry about anything. He will receive a report on a daily basis to keep him informed. After ‘pushing off the vessel’ I fly home again or sometimes I fly to another ship delivery project.’
Hong Kong, Singapore or Dubai
On a regular basis he flies to Hong Kong, Singapore or Dubai for three days or sometimes three weeks preparation time. Van der Waal: ‘Many times I have visited a yard in China that is accessible only after a 2,5 hours voyage with a fast ferry, in the middle of nowhere, just surrounded by rice fields. Amazing! It takes a day to sail to Hong Kong to store and prepare the vessel for the rest of the voyage.’
How Dennis survived Curacao
Dennis has travelled the world for over 100 ship deliveries. Enjoying cosmopolitan cities, braving windy port areas or uninhabited places. Working from sunrise to sunset to get the job done. His answer on the question ‘Which ship delivery job has stuck to you?’ brings back good memories: FRPD 309 on Curacao.
Van der Waal: ‘Some deliveries are just special. Not only for the weather, that was a bonus, but in this case especially for the way the cooperation between the crew and the client worked out. The FRPD 309 is, nicely said, an old dredging lady. Because of her age unexpected problems were larger and more difficult. But together we overcame the obstacles and we celebrated the departure.