Leading wellboat shipyard, Aas Mek, is in its fourth generation: “We are looking at record sales this year.”

Lizbeth Osnes

The family business of Aas Mek, the world’s leading builder of wellboats, is now in its fourth generation of the Aas family.

As a fifteen year old Johan R. Aas built his first “Dory” and in 1911 he established J.R Aas Baadbyggeri. Today, over a hundred years later, his great-grandson Bjørn Magne Aas is listed as a board member of the company Aas Mek Verksted.

“In the nineties we started with mainly wellboats, and have since built and developed these vessels,” says Aas.

The atmosphere between the staff at the shipyard is characterised by good humour. Photo: Lizbeth Osnes

Family business
The close relations are still in the high seat in the shipyard, which is located on the coast on Vestnes in Norway, between Ålesund and Molde. The conversation between the employees flows easily, and based on the laughter and the internal comments that emerge between the workers to judge, it may seem that humour is an important part of the work day.

“The fact that we are a family business, I both hope and believe is reflected in both the working environment and customer relationships. We have good employees with little change of people, with a focus on keeping the working environment at the top all the time. If people thrive, you do well too,” says Aas.

Today, the company has around 60 permanent employees who work hard to keep the many customers from across the country. In addition, they have access to between 150 and 200 local subcontractors who are hired when the demand is extra large – as has been the case for years.

Looking at record revenue this year
Without Aas going out with details about the turnover they envision this year, he can reveal that the numbers are record high for the company.

“We are in a good period now, looking at record order books. For us, it will be one of the biggest sales in history, so it’s very fun,” says Aas.

He believes this is because the market in fish farming needs more boats than before.

“When we then have many loyal customers and can deliver well, this is clearly also shown to us in terms of sales,” he says.

Without wanting to reveal too much, Bjørn Magne Aas can say that this year’s turnover will be of the record type. Photo: Lizbeth Osnes

Specializing in development and construction
Aas Mek. Verksted is specialised in the development and construction of wellboats.

“We both design and build the boats ourselves. We offer everything from building, design, construction and service to most types of vessels and aim to build between two and three boats a year,” Aas tells Salmon Business.

At the moment, there are two new boats for Sølvtrans that will soon be ready: “Ronja Fish” to operate in Scotland, and “Ronja Islander” to Canada.

“We have a close dialogue with our customers, which includes Sølvtrans, which we have delivered around thirty boats to, Brønnbåt Nord, Rostein and more. We get a good acquaintance with our customers and thus create a long-lasting collaboration with them when we work so closely with them over a long period of time with the development of constantly new solutions and further development of our wellboat designs.”


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