Our shipyard’s history dates back as far as 1917. Until 1960, the shipyard specialized in wooden vessels, exclusively, and numerous cutters were built here. By far the largest number of new buildings was delivered to local fishermen in Skagen. Karstensens Skibsvaerft A/S kept up with developments when steel vessels started getting a foothold in the Danish fishing industry around 1960. The first steel hulls were delivered in Denmark back then.
Through the years our slipway capacity has been expanded, and continuous technological improvements have been implemented in our facilities to ensure high professional and up-to-date standards without compromising our proud traditions of good shipbuilding.
In 1972 another shipyard, the then Nippers, was acquired and became an integrated part of the Karstensens Skibsvaerft A/S.
In 1987 the shipyard was converted into a limited company (A/S) when Knud Degn Karstensen (third generation owner) bought the shipyard from his father, Niels Degn Karstensen. At that time the shipyard’s main activities were repairs and rebuilding, whereas approx. one newbuilding was completed each year.
From 1991 to 1997 the shipyard’s activities also included export of specialist expertise and know-how. Having started cooperating with DANIDA, the Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Department of International Development Cooperation, the shipyard sent out representatives to the third world in order to provide management and ferry building assistance. During that period the total business volume of ferry building and renovation amounted to DKK 250m.
In 1995 Karstensens Skibsvaerft A/S purchased the painting shed from the then Nordpaint A/S (insolvent estate).
In 1997 newbuilding no 374, the “Western Viking” was handed over to its Irish owner, and that vessel came to prepare the way for new contracts for larger vessels. Since then, our shipyard has delivered more than 25 newbuildings. In most cases our shipyard is in charge of the design of the vessels in collaboration with the owners. In this way it is possible to provide the optimum solution with respect to functionality, capacities, quality and design. The key characteristics for all newbuildings are quality, observance of time limits agreed upon and flexibility. The quality of the work performed must be first-rate to ensure that the vessel is fully operational at any time. Often our staff members work in two shifts to ensure the shortest possible time of delivery and to observe the time of delivery agreed upon. The whole process takes place in smooth collaboration between the owner and the shipyard.
In 2002, Karstensens Skibsvaerft A/S acquired 50 % of the shares of a newly established company (shipyard), the Nuuk Vaerft A/S. The shareholder of the remaining 50 % was the Greenland Home Rule Government. The new company was based on the remainder of Amutsiviit, Nuuk, which was owned by the Greenland Home Rule Government. In 2004, Karstensens Skibsvaerft A/S acquired the remaining 50 % of the shares, which means that Nuuk Vaerft A/S is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Karstensens Skibsvaerft A/S. The company is making good progress and has a current staff of 25.
In 2003, Knud Degn Karstensen initiated a succession process to safeguard the future of Karstensens Skibsvaerft A/S by selling 35 % of the shares to 5 executives, i.e. Director Tage Rishoej, Drawing Office Manager Kent Damgaard, Production Manager (Newbuildings) Benny Kristensen, Production Manager (Repairs) Claus Hansen and Financial Manager Kim Lund Jensen.
In 2007 was the shipyard finished building a new dry dock. The dry dock is 135 meter long, 25 meter broad and 8.2 meter deep.
Since 1917 our shipyard has delivered more than 400 newbuildings.