Hythe Marine Services Achieves CE Accreditation for Structural Steelwork

The CE accreditation marking of construction products became mandatory in the summer of 2014 at which time fabricators were legally required to demonstrate compliance with BS EN 1090, a required European standard for the execution of steel and aluminium structures and construction products. The associated accreditation falls under the UK Construction Products Regulations (CPR).

Driven by customer demands and a commitment to continuous improvement, Hythe Marine Services (HMS) set CE marking accreditation as a primary strategic target to attain in 2020.


Value for our Customers

As of March 2020 HMS is now approved to fabricate steel and aluminium structures to an Execution Level of Class 2 as classified within the UK Construction Products Regulations. HMS level of accreditation comprises all supporting structures made of steel up to strength class S700 and structural components made of aluminium alloys. This typically includes buildings with between 2 and 15 floors.

Each product produced by Hythe Marine Services will follow a regulated process. The European Commission website explains, “It is the manufacturer’s responsibility to carry out the conformity assessment, set up the technical file, issue the declaration of conformity if requested by the customer, and affix the CE marking to the fabrication. Only then can this product be traded on the EEA market.”

We spoke to Hythe Marine Services, Compliance Manager, Paul Lessiter, who told us, “Just having the CE marking shows your prospective customers that you have gone through very stringent process controls in your production process. It shows that you’re checking things like materials, consumables, whether machines used are calibrated, that welders are qualified, that you’re putting the right people on the right jobs at the right time, and that you can certify all of this with full traceability.”


Responsibilities of Manufacturers using CE marking

As a CE accredited manufacturer, Hythe Marine Services has an obligation in ensuring its structural steel fabrications are safe and maintain the high standard required by BS EN 1090, ISO 3834 and the EEA market.

All components that comprise the fabrication are strictly controlled and audited. Line Managers in conjunction with an appointed Responsible Welding Coordinator, are responsible for the quality of the supply chain, the qualification of the fabricators, the traceability of materials, the approval of weld processes, the contractual and technical approvals. Auditing programmes are maintained and implemented through Paul Lessiter the Compliance Manager for HMS.


Looking to the future

HMS has embarked on a clear strategy of improvement, setting objectives from within the company that drive best kaizen practices across all of its functions, engaging with the marketplace and looking at potential future demands. The Company looks to demonstrate its achievements through an ongoing commitment to associated ISO Certifications.

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Turnkey Belzona Solutions with Hythe Marine Services


Discover the processes and training behind Belzona applications.

Hythe Marine Services (HMS) is a highly competent applicator of all Belzona Polymeric Engineering Composites and Protective Coatings. Belzona marine coatings and metal repair composites are ideal solutions for the marine industry due to its ability to withstand extreme weather and long-term wear.

“Our products are specifically designed to cope with harsh offshore conditions and have exceptional resistance against erosion and corrosion.” – Belzona


What is Belzona?

Belzona are an internationally renowned manufacturer of repair and refurbishment services as well as coating inspection and application training. Their unique technology provides solutions to wide ranging repair needs, from full turnkey systems to in-situ repairs. Their mission is to ensure customers have the correct materials and knowledge to protect against erosion, abrasion, corrosion and chemical attack.

“Our approach to refurbishment and protection avoids the need for replacement, reducing repair and maintenance costs, and above all, downtime.” – Belzona

Founded in 1952 by entrepreneur Jorgen Svendsen, Belzona is now a global leader in repair compounds and industrial coatings. Hythe Marine Services understand the importance of providing bespoke and effective solutions to every client and Belzona’s materials, applications and training help make that possible.

Belzona commented that, “In recent years the Hythe Group have invested extensively in team training which has resulted in qualified members of the Group reaching Belzona Certified Trained Contractor status.”


What is Belzona used for?

Hythe Marine Services works with Belzona to protect and repair common erosive forces such as cavitation, impingement and entrainment. This ensures long term solutions against the effects of water erosion and corrosion in marine equipment. From mechanical parts through to damaged ships or offshore structures, Hythe Marine applies Belzona processes and materials to ensure exceptional defence against harsh offshore conditions.

By utilising a wide range of rapid and cold-curing marine coatings and metal repair composites, repairs can be safely carried out in-situ, to reduce downtime and the need for hot work.

“When hot work isn’t achievable we use Belzona. Using this method we got the system back in action in a fraction of the time of conventional methods!” Hythe Marine Belzona Applicator


What makes Belzona special?

“It’s our mission to exceed customers’ needs and expectations by providing long-lasting, quality repair and maintenance solutions” – Belzona. With over six decades of experience, the Belzona specification consists of the highest standard of long-term repair and protection, with the team priding themselves on sourcing the best raw materials available, to enable the highest quality manufacturing.

The company also has a cycle of continuous improvement, working to improve the standard of Belzona material application through theoretical and practical training programs. These programs enable Belzona certified engineers at Hythe Marine Services to learn and perfect their application skills.


Verified Belzona training

Hythe Marine Services have various engineers that are extensively trained to eliminate the risks of incorrect application practices. Belzona commented that, “To enable our reputation to remain as world leaders in our field we acknowledge the need for providing training whilst working alongside contractors.”

Belzona has state of the art training facilities where courses have been developed following internationally recognised Engineering Standards. Each course enhances application skills and provides the technical and practical knowledge required to adapt to the ever-changing demands of the marine industry. After completing training at Belzona headquarters, applicators can earn their verified status.


What Belzona services does HMS provide?

Within Hythe Marine Services, Belzona materials and processes are used for a variety of projects including sea tube repairs and initial sea tube protection measurements, steel pitting repairs, cold plate bonding and rubber seals.

“It is comforting to know that when a Certified Trained Contractor such as Hythe are involved then the level of application will be of a very high standard.” Steven Stay, Independent Area Consultant, Belzona Polymerics Ltd.

Hythe’s verified applicators are trained in a vast range of Belzona services to match all project needs, such as Belzona’s ceramic erosion resistant coating, which prolongs the life of marine equipment against weathering and water wear.

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Alister O’Neill Appointed as Production Manager at Hythe Marine

An introduction to Hythe’s newest team member.

Alister O’Neill first came into contact with Hythe Marine Services (HMS) as a subcontracted welder whilst working for Elta Fans Ltd. After gaining years of experience working within the marine, automotive and military industries, Alister is now joining Hythe Marine as a Production Manager.

Under his new role, Alister will be taking the lead on project, team and production processes. His extensive background within the marine industry and with welding inspection will be a valuable addition to the workforce at Hythe Marine.

Hythe Marine Services’ support to customers has been continually growing at a manageable rate. Josh Mathias, Hythe Marine’s Managing Director, told us “we have been able to take our time employing the correct person to ensure the continuation of quality service and on-time delivery”.

To support this growth, a significant part of Alister’s new role will involve the Quality, Safety, Health & Environment (QSHE) side of the business. Some of his main focuses will be quality control, business and production efficiencies as well as health and safety. Alister will also have a direct line to the welding and compliance team, in order to improve and maintain high production standards.

From Apprentice to Production Manager

At the start of his working life, Alister was an apprentice at FBM Marine on the Isle of Wight. Skills gained during his apprenticeship included welding and making aluminium parts for ferries and lifeboats. After his apprenticeship, Alister worked as a chargehand, whilst continuing to provide welding services within the marine and automotive industries.

Alister’s next role was as a welder with Elta Fans Ltd., a leading manufacturer specialising in large bespoke fans. It was with Elta Fans that Alister continued to develop and obtain additional qualifications to become a Certified Welding Inspector. In this role, Alister was subcontracted to Hythe Marine where he spent a lot of time on-site working with, and getting to know, Hythe Marine Services.

Alister’s career has demonstrated the rewards of working hard and maintaining high standards. The move to Production Management was after a production-based Foreman role where Alister told us, “I worked my way up from the Foreman of a large factory to the Production Manager of a smaller site.”

After Elta Fan’s Ltd, Alister moved to his new role as a Works Manager at Veotec (now part of the Woz Group). He stayed with Veotec for 5 years, making high-end separators, eliminators and filtration equipment for the oil, gas and marine market. The role at Veotec involved managing the majority of the production process – “After design, the entire production process was down to me, all the way through to packaging, shipping and transport.”

Due to company changes, Alister turned down a new position within the company which would involve a relocation. Because of this, he completely changed his role, company and industry and moved to Eberspächer UK. At this company, Alister was the Production Manager for a multi-million pound foreign military project. His main responsibility was setting up a lean production line to facilitate the production of 1,500 units at the lowest cost. “I was there to set up a 5S, lean manufacturing production line,” and it was after this project that Alister took on the role of Production Manager at Hythe Marine Services.

In a snapshot, Alister is “Very efficient, hard-working with a strong ability to multitask.”

Prioritising quality is always at the forefront of his work and projects, and he believes that nothing substandard should ever leave a site. Customers pay for a good product and the team should be proud of everything they produce.

Years of experience in welding and an inspection background has honed Alister’s strong attention to detail. He stated, “I’m very practical. Coming from a welding background and the marine industry I understand what it takes, from the ground up, to produce a product.”

The Role of a Production Manager

For Alister, the role of a Production Manager means being the central hub of a project to find and iron out any problems. Another key aspect of the role is collating and communicating information to make everybody aware of how the products will be produced, “I see the role of Production Manager as the main link or conduit between the workforce, project and design engineers.” 

Within a Production Manager role, it’s necessary to plan and react appropriately to external and internal factors. These may include changes in demand, the capacity of machine and floor and availability of skills. The overall responsibility is to ensure outputs are at the required quality, specification and within cost parameters.

As well as the Production side of the role there is a strong focus on people-management, creating a multifunctional workforce. Alister believes in investing time with people to develop their skills. In terms of allocating roles within projects, Alister said: “It’s about matching the right team to the right job based on reading people, their ways of working, and the work they turn out.” 

When asked what he’s most looking forward to in his new role Alister stated, “I have a strong understanding of the marine industry, particularly within the welding and fabrication services side of the business and am looking forward to getting more involved in these areas!”

Bespoke machining services at Hythe Marine

Meet the man in the machine shop.

Being part of the Hythe Marine Services (HMS) team means working alongside highly skilled individuals who are leaders in their fields. Just within the machining side of the business alone there are a huge range of in-house abilities and specialist knowledge. Some of the services provided include bespoke Precision Machining and CNC Profiling for one-offs and small batch capabilities.

Every single project has rigorous quality checks, both throughout and after completion. As well as this, the company focuses on continuous improvement for procedures and staff development.

Imagine being given a piece of machinery you’ve never seen before and then being asked to recreate it within a couple of days. This is one of the common challenges faced by the Hythe Marine Machine Shop team.


The Man in the Machine Shop

Before joining Hythe Marine seven months ago one member of that team had been in the aircraft industry for twenty-one years. Straight out of school he began his apprenticeship with Highbury College and J M Automatics. During these four transformative years he developed skills he still uses on a daily basis. These years included his first experiences of tool-making, and learning how to replicate, in precision detail, a bespoke object.

Since the start of this young machinists career, he has worked hard to continually learn and perfect his skills, stating that, “The harder you work on a project, the more pride you have when you finally see the finished result!”

This drive and dedication meant it wasn’t long before he was on the production line where projects were varied and challenging, building parts for helicopters and aircraft as well as pretty much any other bespoke items requested by customers. After many great years at J M Automatics he felt it was time for new challenges and for the last 7 months has been a Mechanical Fitter/Machinist at Hythe Marine Services.


The Jump From Aircraft to Marine Engineering

Moving to a new industry and company after 21 years takes courage. Gone was the familiar environment and in its place were dockyards, boating terminology and Navy abbreviations. Initially, this change was a struggle but the welcoming atmosphere at Hythe Marine meant this machinist quickly settled in and became part of the team.


Daily Life at Hythe Marine

Even with years of experience in the tool making industry, there are always new problems to solve. Working at Hythe can be a high-pressure job with numerous teams working in tandem to get the job done. Much of the work is an internal process with raw materials coming in and leaving as high quality finished products.

“There are the welders who work with the Pipe Fitters, who work with the Fabricators, who work with the Machine Shop. There are so many trades coming together to create a great finished product. Every day is a learning curve, even to me who’s been doing this for 22 years.  A lot of the projects are bespoke one-offs that require reverse engineering to recreate an object. This process of working out the mechanics behind an item is something I’ve enjoyed since childhood.”


What goes on in the Machine Shop?

Being a Hythe Machinist involves a lot of work on the manual milling machine, which uses cutters to create horizontal and vertical profiles, and drill or tap holes.

“My previous company required me to work to extremely precise, millimetric accuracy measurements. Precision that is still present in my work at Hythe.” 

What the Hythe Marine machine shop is working on often depends on customer’s drawings, specifications and timeframes. The wide range of knowledge and skills within the team means Hythe Marine are able to manufacture and install all types of systems. This spans from complex pipe systems through to structural and non-structural fabrication.

Occasionally the team comes across parts that are unknown, so there are always opportunities to learn and improve.

“If the customer wants it, and Hythe is able to do it, we just get it done.”


What’s it like to work at Hythe Marine?

When asked what to say to someone considering working at Hythe Marine, they simply said, “If there’s an opportunity at Hythe Marine then grab it with both hands and don’t let go. Training and opportunities here are invaluable.” 

A clear theme from this chat was the familial atmosphere at Hythe. From his very first day, it was clear he felt like part of the team, with everybody always ready to help each other out. “If you’re ever struggling with something, somebody will always stop and help you out. From the apprentices to the experienced heads, they all have a minute to help. Everyone’s friendly and working together. It’s a really nice place to work.” 

Heritage, history and growth: a lifetime of naval architecture design


Hythe Marine Service (HMS) is the leading turnkey provider of design, engineering and repair services to the marine, civil engineering and waste management sectors.

This family run business is known predominantly for their delivery of quality engineering and fabrication work, combined with their ability to seemingly drop everything to complete what others might refer to as “mission impossible” projects.

What many people don’t realise however is that there is a hidden gem within this modest business. In-house HMS retains an experienced team of shipbuilding engineers and designers, with full SC clearance, and a vast background in commercial and MOD projects. Design talent that dates right back to the 1960’s.

The roots of Hythe Marine’s relationship with design, many people may know better, under the company names Mathon Engineering, and then later as Avrotech Design. Two companies with a rich historic connection to naval architecture that were absorbed by HMS a number of years ago.


Who were Mathon Engineering and Avrotech Design?

Mathon Engineering, was set up in May 1961 and specialised in the supply of contract designers to the government, who then set them to work on varied projects; such as the construction of Type-45 battle ships, right through to submarines and super yachts. Mathon Engineering worked closely with the MOD, as well as warship design and construction company, Vosper Thornycroft (UK) Ltd.

Mike Cook-Yarborough, who worked for Mathon Engineering and Avrotech Design in the 60’s and 70’s commented, “The most impressive projects we worked on must have been the support work that we completed for the Royal Navy and BAE Systems. This included working on naval ships such as HMS Bulwark, Tyne, Severn and Mersey and some others that we can’t talk about!”

Mathon Engineering Netherland BV opened in 1970 supporting all the major shipyards in Holland, before later being renamed as Avrotech Design.

“Whilst working in Holland I completed many concept designs for tankers as well as a high-speed passenger catamaran car ferry, the first of its kind. The reputation that came with Mathon Engineering and Avrotech designers and engineers was outstanding, their skill at that time, was unrivalled,” Mike commented.

Since being absorbed by HMS a number of years ago the team have been busy working on a range of extensive design projects, from naval submarines to carrier ships and bespoke super yachts.


Building the future of naval design talent

HMS has been working on submarine designs for many years in Barrow, under the request of BAE. The team are leaders in the field, through their innovative use of a lifetime of naval design pedigree and industry knowledge, partnered with the introduction of new modern technologies and applications.

When asked about the future of naval architecture and design Josh Mathias, Managing Director at HMS commented, “Our reputation for providing bespoke solutions to unique projects, by combining both modern and traditional craftsmanship, has been the best source of new projects for our team. We have secured a number of contracts around the globe through our ability to combine the skills of the past, with the talent of the future. Many people don’t realise that the roots of our business came from naval architecture and design. Simply put, it’s in our blood.

It is however imperative that our team retain and develop the skills brought on-board from Mathon and Avrotech to take us forward into the future. This is why apprentices make up 10% of our workforce. We are making great strides toward shaping the talented designers and engineers of the future, something myself and the team are incredibly proud of.”


Firm Foundations

HMS have a strong presence in Southampton, Portsmouth’s naval base, Trafalgar Wharf in Porchester as well as Plymouth, Rosyth and Barrow-in-Furness. The team are deployable 24/7 around the world and are continuously working to create a one-stop-shop of dependable, innovative in-house capabilities, from one-off bespoke projects through to full refit projects and management packages.

Speak with any member of this close-knit team and you will quickly realise that their emphasis on continually inspiring their workforce, and instilling rigorous quality standards, is an ethos adopted by everyone.

A lifetime of pedigree, mixed in with Josh’s vision for technological advancement and personnel development, seems to be a winning formula for the crew at HMS and personally we can’t wait to see what the next fifty years bring.


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