Like most companies that have existed for a while, our business in Mjosundet have also been through several distinct phases since its modest origins. These can be recognized through several different milestones in organization and management, production, production methods, investment steps, new products and markets.
Short history, almost completely focused on products (our investments in separate list):
- 1926. Mjosundets Båtbyggeri founded by Klaus Ås.
Traditional boat building, repaires/rebuilding, but also development and production of, among other things, planing boats. Various testing and production for new building methods; among other things, boats built on a steel frame and hard chine design with vertical coating.
- 1955. Klaus Ås building method with laminated coating and rib approved by the DnV
Building of first boat «Klaus Ås» – 84 feet – launched 1955. It had to be operated by its own shipping company from 1955 on because of the addition «experimental» in the approval. Final approval granted in 1960.
The building method becomes a success.
Gluing of coating is patented. All together 60 boats is built with this method at Mjosundet Båtbyggeri AL, many more if licensed production at other boat builder’s yards is included.
- 1960. Inge Ås becomes General Manager. The boat builder’s yard becomes a private limited company.
- Early 1960s.
Glass-fibre armed plastics is introduced in the casting of wheelhouse fronts, production of forecastle deck, plastic coating of holds in wooden boats etc. We generate a huge competence for work with glass-fibre armed plastics.
- Early 1970s:
Sea water resistant aluminium is introduced as a strategic new material.
Co-owner Kolbjørn Ås and others learn to weld aluminium, and he builds his own boat in it.
The boat is in good condition and still used daily in 2015 – now with hydrofoils!
Sea water resistant aluminium was initially used for superstructures, railings, tanks and similar elements, but soon also for masts, rigs for loading/unloading, light boat gallows and trawl gallows.
- 1975. First wooden boat with alu. Vessel No. 91 – «Vevang Junior» -51 feet.
Construction and special fastening points to wooden hull approved by DnV.
All together, 21 wooden boats with deck and superstructure in aluminium were built.
- 1977. First seine winch in alu. Delivered on Vessel No. 94 – «Johnsen Senior»
Many seine and trawl winches in aluminium were delivered in the aftermath.
Deck arrangements w/wire rope blocks, seine and trawl gallows, also in alu.
- 1979. First boat built completely in alu delivered. Vessel No. 103 – «Fredrikson» -12,5 m
- 1982. First frequency controlled roll damping tank.
Delivered on Vessel No. 112 – «Skulbaren»-82 feet.
- 1982. Last wooden boat (alu deck) delivered. Vessel No. 114 – «Flora» – 53 feet.
- 1985. First anchor winch in alu with DnV approval.
Winch approved after practical test, as DnV didn’t want to attempt a control calculation.
Delivered on Vessel No. 115 – «Jamo Junior»
- 1986. First link arm crane in alu delivered. Our own design, construction and production.
Control calculation by SINTEF. Delivered on Vessel No. 116 – «Fredrikson».
- 1990. Contract with the Norwegian Navy. Deck equipment for 9 Norwegian mine sweeping vessels.
5-year-contract which boosts our business significantly.
- 1990. First side thruster installation developed and mounted on Vessels No. 126 and 127. Two on each boat.
Thrusters were developed to get out of a real mess with poor operation in thrusters from external dealer. This dealer has since gone out of business.
As of July 2015, we have delivered about 500 side thrusters in total; often more in the same installation/boat .
- 1990. First catamaran fish farming boat delivered. Vessel No. 128 – «Møllen» – 12,5 metres.
In total, we have build 17 catamaran fish farming boats, more or less based on the same pattern.
- 1991. First and only catamaran passanger boat delivered. Vessel No. 129 – «Frøyfart»
Mjosundet Båtbyggeri A/L bankrupt. Business continued through a new company. Same owners.
Technically, the boat is a success.
- 1998. Largest fishing vessel in alu delivered. Vessel No. 138 – «Kingsholm» -24 metres.
The period of building large (more than 15 m) fishing vessels is over, and the production of equipment gets increasingly important, with development of new products and markets, such as special winches for seismic boats, offshore cranes for PGS (also seismic), equipment for passenger boats, fish farming boats, and much else.
Sale of winches for fisheries in relative decline.
- 2009. Last boat up till now delivered. Vessel No. 158 – «Blåmyra» – 10,67 m, for Roar Holmen.
- 2010 . . . . . . till today:
All operations and product development focused on ship equipment.
Many new products developed and developed further:
From specially manufactured manual winches to advanced LARS for inspection ROV on +2000 m,
from cable cycle (completely new) to tug winches 20, 40 , 60 and 80 tons for service vessels for fish farming. We emphasise the last 15 years less, both because it takes more time before we see what is most important and because the author does not have the necessary distance.
Investments and facilities
It has been said, «Can you understand why all boat builder’s yards are build next to a cliff?». Good question, because it almost looks as if it is true.
The answer is probably that the person who founded the business to add to his income, used an area which could not be used for anything else.
The blasting of sites and the filling of areas covered by sea has therefore taken place on our yard many times.
- Ca 1950. Area development. «Albert’s Wall.» About 100 m of dry wall built by hand by Albert Hyttnes.
- 1963. Local hurricane. Construction hall blows down. New building damaged. New construction hall built consequently. The present posterior part. Built by our own means. The newly established Natural Hazard Fund provided exactly the minimum amount of money that was necessary for us to move on.
- Ca 1978. Blasting of new workshop site and extension of area at the neighbouring shipyard’s side of the repair slipway and in the bay in front of the new workshop site, between the repair slipway and the new slipway/construction hall. Repair slipway improved with significant strengthening of the slideway and the sledge. Can take boats up to 120 feet, but not with today’s displacement in fishing vessels of that length.
- 1980. Completion of significant upgrading started the year before:
New machine workshop with plate shop (alu loft) above, built next to the posterior part of the construction hall.
Extension of construction hall with carpentry shop above. This makes the construction hall
more than 60 metres long. Track for travelling crane extended.
Improvement of the road down to our facility.
Demolition of old workshop and smithy.
Various used lathes purchased afterwards, among other things, 1 Colombo lathe with a turn of up to 1200 mm.
First milling machine purchased. Koneisto, with high speed feed board and dividing plate mm.
Milling length 800 mm.
Two Peiner cranes (well used) purchased. One mounted on a track between equipment quay and repair slipway. The other partially mounted on the site of the old smithy.
Both have later been replaced.
- 1983. Building of patent slipway for boats up to 100 feet. Hydraulic supports. Big used trawl winch purchased, rebuilt to electric operation and mounted as common slipway winch.
- 1991. First work station for AutoCad. A significant investment at the time. Completely necessary for fulfilling the contract with the Norwegian Navy/Kværner. We had to hire a new technical draughtsman to handle this.
- Ca 1993. Both Peiner cranes exchanged with a tower crane on a track. New, strengthened crane track built.
- 1998. Demolition of the wood storehouse and the saw and planing mill.
- 1999. Investment in new fitter’s shop with hydraulics department and new lounge; wardrobe and cantina above.
- 2007. First CNC lathe purchased. Good investment.
- 2007. New welding & fitter’s shop established in the anterior part of the construction hall.
- 2009. Fixed tower crane mounted: 40 m, 12 tons. Old crane and track removed. New, powerful test foundation for winches and cranes casted at the side of it.
- 2010. 3D – Autocad Inventor introduced. Almost everything now drawn in 3D.ANSYS analysis tool introduced.
- 2012. Investment in CNC bed milling machine with Fanuc control. Complete rearrangement of machining shop necessary. Very important for capacity and quality in the production of equipment.
- 2014. CNC milling machine #2 purchased. For training and supplementing the big bed milling machine.
- 2015. New test rig for large winches under development.