45 years of Kaymac Marine: changes, challenges and triumphs

45 years of Kaymac Marine: changes, challenges and triumphs

What started as one man band is now celebrating its 45th anniversary as a giant of the specialist marine civil engineering world.  Kaymac Marine is one of Britain’s most prestigious civil and marine engineering contractors, but despite its numerous awards and esteemed reputation for competency, health and safety and accreditation, they have never forgotten that they’re a family business with family values.

“Our team is like one big family” says Managing Director Gareth Crees.  And it’s true – daughters Rhiannon manages business development, Jessica looks after QSHE Management Systems, Cousin Jonathan Colcombe is Project Manager, while Operations Director Jeff Lippiett’s son Gareth is the team’s Quantity Surveyor.  But it’s more than that – this is a company with respect, fairness and wellbeing at the very core of their work culture.  They take being family-run to a whole new level, and each member of staff is an appreciated cog in the machine that has become Kaymac Marine.

Kaymac Marine: how it started and how it’s going

Starting out in Swansea as a diving contractor in 1976, Kaymac Marine has had several transformations.  Keen to push themselves to learn new and more efficient methods and trial new technologies, the Kaymac team now have 3 main offices across the UK and are one of the leading specialists in their field anywhere in the UK.  They supply specialist services to companies, authorities and industries nationwide, including rail, water utility, local authorities, marine ports and harbours, nuclear power stations and environmental bodies including the Environment Agency and Natural Resource Wales.

Kaymac Marine’s team are rightly proud of the services they provide the marine sector today.  The industry has changed enormously, and they’ve had to adapt with the times to keep offering the high-quality services they’ve continually provided to their clients for 45 years. From nuclear decommissioning to ongoing coastal erosion, the aging of some famous and well-used waterways to the repair of iconic listed structures, there have been many challenges over the last four decades, but Kaymac’s dedication to being a fluid and proactive company has served them well, and they’re still on top of their game today. 

Top 5 things Kaymac are most proud of over four decades

  1.  Being a one-stop shop

Whatever your engineering needs, be it diving inspections, inland waterway engineering, temporary works application or complex marine engineering projects, Kaymac Marine are able to undertake your job.  Over the last four decades, they’ve perfected their craft so that they are able to undertake all elements of a difficult project in and around the waterline seamlessly, and whatever the issue (and usually they’re pretty big), Kaymac can provide a considered, timely and long-lasting solution for every industry.

  1. Great value engineering

Having a team of experts on hand for every job means that Kaymac’s engineering solutions are great value.  That’s why they’re the first call many large UK industries make when there’s an issue with structures over or under the waterline – using one company for each component of the problem means one team working together, one cohesive solution to the entire project, and one perfectly delivered project, first time! The team is so confident that they can continue to provide continuity in expert project delivery and best practices at a competitive rate, they offer a continual professional development training program to ensure their staff are best equipped to offer the safest and highest quality of work for their customers and ongoing future succession sustainability.

3. Diving apprenticeships

Kaymac has worked with local schools and colleges running a fully funded commercial diving apprenticeship scheme for over 20 years, recruiting students for work experience each year and employing one apprentice every 2 years. This has proved a great success, since its commencement, Kaymac has seen 10 successful apprentices through the scheme, with only 2 leaving to work offshore and the remaining 8 still with the firm to date.    Their first ever apprentice who commenced his studies in 1998 as a fresh-faced 17-year-old is still with the firm 22 years later, attesting to the fantastic opportunities that this firm are proud to keep offering young people in Britain.

  1. A perfect health and safety record

The company believes that the success of every project is planning, and by planning, they can prioritise safety gaps and allow for forward-thinking solutions to ensure the safety of staff and of the project and its surrounding environments.  This strategy has worked for them for 45 years – the commitment to health and safety has meant training competent, vigilant staff and employing the best industry practices so that each and every job that Kaymac have undertaken over the last 4 and a half decades, no matter how big or small, have been treated with the attention and caution that every respected company should strive for.

  1. Customer satisfaction

Despite the challenges that environmental change, environmental policy and even unexpected things such as the COVID-19 pandemic has put on the marine engineering industry, Kaymac have managed to overcome every hurdle and come out with a fantastic record for customer satisfaction.  Here’s what some of their long-standing clients have to say about their recent work:

Very good communication from the ECI stage of works meant we were able to discuss the feasibility of the designs by others and feedback in order to make the design work in a difficult environment. I have recommended Kaymac to the wider company for consideration on future tenders/projects.

Gareth Griffiths, Project Engineer, Hochtief

“We have used Kaymac for many years and built a wonderful working relationship with them. As an engineer myself I can confidently state that they provide NPTCBC with excellent value for money and the workmanship is always to a high standard. Another aspect unique to Kaymac is the level and quality of communications between us – they seem to share our goals. We find them always to be very helpful and professional, and dedicated to the outcome of each project. I would recommend Kaymac very highly.”

Carl Price of Neath Port Talbot CBC

“Kaymac have always provided an excellent, economic, efficient and effective service. They have delivered quality workmanship, safely, to programme and within available budget. They were easy to work with on site and the final account was settled amicably, with no disputes. I will look forward to working with them again.”

Gordon Randlesome, BSc(Hons), C.Eng, MICE., Principal Engineer, Swansea Council.

“We have had an excellent working relationship with Kaymac for over 23 years, the team highly experienced in Marine Civil Engineering operations; they are able to manage jobs on flexible working hours and have excellent attention to detail. We are always happy with the service and professional approach.”

Ian Russ, Project Engineer, The Bristol Port Company

‘This was a first for DCWW to deliver such a challenging scheme in a remote location which had a very high risk in all aspects. Fantastic workforce, professional approach to every aspect of the scheme, Very impressed with their H & S, communication and performance on site.  As this was a unique scheme there were a few lesson learnt during the works. A few issues with design change, but resolved in a timely manner. Delivered on programme-excellent team work with all involved; I would defiantly use in the near future’.  

Keith Daniels, Project Coordinator, Dŵr Cymru/Welsh Water

As they celebrate 45 years in business, Kaymac continues to drive the company forward with a strong working ethos while retaining small family values. Kaymac’s commitment to customer service, quality of engineering work and the invaluable importance placed on the relationship with the customer and their needs is the driving force of the company.  The team at Kaymac Marine wish to thank those team members who have worked with them over the last 45 years as they have been instrumental in achieving 45 years of continuing success.