NOVEMBER 27, 2014—Ice Floe LLC dba Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, Freeland, WA, recently named Gavin Higgins as Chief Executive Officer. Higgins brings a wealth of shipyard management experience to his role, more than 30 years of industry experience, having previously served as COO of Nichols Brothers Boatbuilders. Higgins suceeds Matt Nichols, who has served as CEO of Nichols Brothers Boat Builders since February 2012. Nichols, one of the shipyard’s founders, also served as CEO for over 35 years prior to the company’s sale in 2008.
Nichols new role at the company will be Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, and will continue as a member of the company’s board of directors. This transition will allow Nichols to focus his tremendous wealth of experience in boatbuilding to benefit existing and future customers, which will be vital for the future growth of Nichols Brothers Boat Builders.
Nichols Brothers Boat Builders has been a long-time builder of steel and aluminum vessels, including harbor, tractor, and ATB tugs, ferries, and landing craft. Recently, it has had a critical role in supporting the construction of a new class of Washington State Ferries.
Meanwhile, Higgins has been with the company since September 2012 in the role of Chief Operating Officer.
Prior to joining Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, Higgins was with Irving Shipbuilding, Inc. as General Manager, Shelburne Ship Repair, Shelburne, Nova Scotia, Canada. Shelburne Ship Repair operates the largest marine railway in the Americas and services a variety of Canadian Naval, Canadian Coast Guard and commercial vessels.
Previously, Higgins was in management role at Derecktor Shipyards in the Bridgeport, CT, and Robert E. Derecktor, Mamaroneck, NY, where he was involved in all aspects of shipbuilding and ship repair for both yachts and commercial vessels. Notable new construction projects included ferries for the Argentinean 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 the operator Reinauer.