Barrow’s DOCKSPEC engineer gives nautical advice

A marine engineer from Barrow puts his expertise at the service of maritime volunteers

Glen Jones, a marine engineer who has worked around the world on some of the largest ships afloat, has moved his business to the North East and pledged his expertise and support to a local nautical charity.

Originally from the shipbuilding town of Barrow in Furness, Glen studied his qualifications to progress from apprentice to chief engineer at South Shields Marine College, a career spanning over 30 years in the maritime industry. His coast-to-coast career has taken him through voyages on the high seas, onshore internships in Singapore, Cyprus and most recently Dubai, where he worked for Drydocks World Dubai as repair of ships and platforms.

Now based in North Tyneside, his new business venture DOCKSPEC Marine provides global hands-on expertise to the marine, offshore and renewable energy sectors. It also provides inspections, financial specifications and expert advice to the underwriting and claims adjusting industries.

Glen started the company in 2019 while working for a major international cruise line. While berthing an Oasis-class cruise ship, he identified a gap in the market, particularly in terms of his dry-docking experience and providing specifications for the scope of work required. The company name is derived from these two key activities – DOCKSPEC.

Since then, his business has seen growth in both commercial and private spheres, with most projects being reactive, involving traveling around the world at short notice to resolve operational and technical issues; or to support shipping companies as the owners’ authorized representative. Glen is supported by his team of Global Alliance colleagues, located in major shipping hubs around the world.

Glen moved to the North East, believing the local area is about to experience a new wave of marine engineering requirements, particularly in the renewable energy sector. As he explains, wherever wind farms are located, the infrastructure to support them is also close at hand.

“When we look at huge offshore wind farms, the ancillary industry that supports them is generally not appreciated. Crew transfer and smaller work boats are used to move maintenance crews to site, from flat Jack-up forms are used to install the turbine structures, and they also require large support vessels to undertake integrity and operational projects”.

“These vessels and rigs need insurance audits or industry-recognized inspections, dry-docking and periods of routine or emergency maintenance; and while I appreciate the pleasure to be available 24/7 for deployment anywhere in the world sometimes it’s good to pick up what’s on your own doorstep or even in my hometown of Barrow where the Walney wind farm”.

Research on his area led him to Northumbria’s nautical charity unit, The Maritime Volunteer Service, which operates two small vessels on the Tyne.

“Seeing the work these volunteers were doing on the river, I wanted to get involved in helping the community. I thought it would be beneficial to help them with their vessel’s compliance and specifications to keep them in seaworthy, safe and immediately operational Working with a small boat has many similarities to working with cruise liners or huge support vessels and if my advice keeps them afloat safely while helping others , so that’s a huge motivation to get involved,” Glen said.

John McDonald, Deputy Northumbrian Unit Chief, was pleased that Glen offered DOCKSPEC Marine support to the MVS.

“We are all volunteers with a wide variety of experience in the nautical world, ranging from people with no experience and wanting to learn more to former members of the Royal Navy and Merchant Navy. Having a qualified marine engineer for us giving advice is priceless, and we look forward to learning from Glen’s experience working with vessels all over the world.”

Alongside the core business of global marine and offshore lifecycle support, DOCKSPEC now offers a service for other small private boat owners who require pre-purchase, condition assessments, damage or insurance reports.

“Every ship, regardless of size, has similarities and I would like to pass on my knowledge gained on major projects at the highest level to anyone who can benefit from my experience. Last year, in the space of 24 hours I was aboard a family owned 24m historic lightening barge and shortly after midnight docking a 362m Oasis class passenger vessel Whether you are a sailor once a month , commercial vessel operator or volunteers doing great work like MVS, I am always on hand to help and advice with the aim of keeping you safe afloat.” said Glen.

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