SEPTEMBER 4, 2011 — Gavin Higgins has joined Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, Freeland, Wash. as Chief Operating Officer (COO). His duties will include oversight of engineering, production, project management, purchasing and facilities.
Mr. Higgins will be working with the current Nichols Bros team for the successful delivery of two tugs and superstructure for the new Washington State Ferries currently under construction at the Freeland shipyard. In the long term, he will work to continue to improve operational efficiency, reduce risk, lower costs and increase profitability.
Most recently, Mr. Higgins has been General Manager of Irving Shiibuilding's Shelburne Ship Repair, Shelburne, Nova Scotia, Canada. Shelburne Ship Repair operates the largest marine railway in the Americas and services a variety of Canadian Navy, Coast Guard and commercial vessels.
Previously, Mr. Higgins worked for Derecktor Shipyards Bridgeport, Connecticut, where he was involved in all aspects of shipbuilding and ship repair on yachts and commercial vessels. Notable new construction projects included ferries for the Argentinian operator, Buquebus, the Woods Hole Steamship Authority and the Alaska Marine Highways. Additionally, recent projects included the largest yacht built in the United States and an LNG assist tug for Reinauer.
Mr. Higgins is a naval architect and completed his training at Southampton College in Southampton, England. He also holds an M.B.A. from the University of Connecticut, which he completed in 2007. He is a Chartered Engineer (CEng) in the U.K. and a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Naval Architects (FRINA). He has been a member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) in the U.S. since 1983. The American Bureau of Shipping also named him to its committee on small vessels.
"I am excited about joining the Nichols team and look forward to future success with the company," says Mr. Higgins.
"We are very pleased to have Gavin come on board with us here at Nichols and look forward to having his experience as part of our team," said Matt Nichols, CEO Nichols Brothers Boat Builders.