Repair don’t replace during passenger ship refurbishments, says Magicman

Mark Henderson discusses the challenges of carrying out high-quality work on ships at sea

Repair don’t replace during passenger ship refurbishments, says Magicman


Mark Henderson is CEO of Magicman

By Alex Smith |

Carrying out work on vessels at sea poses a unique challenge for all maritime contractors. Extensive knowledge and experience of the realities of maritime operations are prerequisites for success, but it takes contractors years of work across a wide variety of projects to develop the necessary skillset.

One company that has taken the time to develop that expertise is Magicman. The hard surface and furniture repair specialist has built up a high level of experience onboard passenger ships of all kinds, says CEO Mark Henderson.

“Magicman technicians have been working on marine projects on ferries, river boats, cruise ships, expedition ships and luxury private craft for many years,” he says. “We are therefore experienced in all type of works and vessels and have developed a flexible attitude to ensure we meet the specific demands of individual clients.”

Acknowledging the uniquely challenging nature of marine operations, Henderson explains that only the most highly qualified Magicman technicians are used for projects onboard ships.

“Marine operations demand the highest of standards in both personal aptitude and technical skill – fortunately this is the norm at Magicman,” says Henderson. “Only senior technicians and those who demonstrate the requisite personal attributes are allowed on marine projects. Their behaviours and performance whilst carrying out land-based work carry great weight when we select marine teams, ensuring only the best people are put forward for a project.”

When a shipowner initially enquires about the possibility of a repair, Magicman begins by estimating the costs for the project and presenting them for approval. To create the estimate, Magicman must sometimes complete a pre-project survey but can also use photos of the damages. The estimate includes details of how many workers, materials and days will be required to complete the project, which means that if the contracted works are completed ahead of time, the Magicman team will carry out any further requirements onboard at no additional cost.

“Our aim is to work collaboratively with all clients worldwide,” says Henderson. “The varying nature and geographical position of the works we carry out means no two projects are the same, and close cooperation with the client is key. Flexibility is our byword, and Magicman teams can work day or night shifts, making themselves as invisible as possible to passengers while carrying out tasks. We request that the ship’s management team completes a post-project survey and that this is sent back to the client with our invoice, enabling the client to monitor our performance and ensure standards are maintained.”

Magicman ensures that it is equipped and ready to provide its repair services in multiple locations around the world, enabling its technicians to jump into action as quickly as possible. Its experience onboard a wide variety of vessels and partnerships with several passenger ship owners also help to make its operations more efficient.

“Magicman has stock – both plant and consumables – in Europe, USA and the Far East, ready to be deployed,” says Henderson. “With our long-term partnerships, we also often find ourselves working on the same ship or type of vessel, which helps to make projects run more quickly and smoothly. Our quickest intervention was seven days from enquiry to arrival onboard the vessel.”

As Magicman looks forward to future projects, it is aiming to further expand the scale and distribution of its services. According to Henderson, the company is seeing a continually growing demand from its clients.

“Opportunity is borne of service, and I am glad to say that we receive almost daily requests for our services from both existing and new clients,” he says. “Magicman is now engaging directly with other contractors and shipyards who require our services to help in their own service delivery. We hope to not only maintain our excellent record of service but also to extend it to more European and worldwide destinations. This will enable us to continue the “repair not replace” ethos and help sustainable maintenance and proven value extend even further across the globe.”

This article was first published in the Autumn/Winter 2023 issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing but may since have changed. Subscribe to Cruise & Ferry Review for FREE to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox.

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