With an email circulating from the NT Government in January 2018 that NT Marine Branch would be closing, effectively leaving hundreds of commercial vessel operators in the Territory stranded and unable to achieve compliance, Daniel and Sarah sprang into action, forming Keil Maritime almost overnight.
In only four years they have built a reputation for being one of Australia’s most innovative AMSA-accredited marine surveying and naval architecture firms specialising in extreme problem solving and start-to-finish service.
Sarah says: “We have the client database of a huge company but work closely with our customers to give a professional, yet friendly, small business service, which they appreciate.”
Keil Maritime has a diverse client base, encompassing all commercial operators in Northern Australia, from small fishing charter vessels and commercial fishing fleets to the massive landing barges that supply remote communities, and everything in between.
One of their latest projects was defining scope, designing and project managing the build of the first four pontoons for the Anindilyakwa Land Council’s high-end seafood farm on Groote Eylandt.
Land council chief executive Mark Hewitt says working with Keil Maritime is a pleasure.
The 3 x 3 metre pontoons will harvest the puerulus (seed lobster) and intercept them while they swim at night, using solar lighting to attract them, then bringing them to shore for research and data collection with the data then used for resource management.
The pontoons were specifically designed so that the aluminium can be cut in kit form. When the project expands, further pontoons can then be built on Groote by the local community.
The project was a collaboration between all four businesses that share the premises at 44 Graffin Crescent, Winnellie, and is an excellent example of what can be achieved when local businesses work together.
Keil Maritime undertook all design work and AMSA survey approvals, Complete Metal Fabrications built the pontoons, Guardian Offshore delivered the pontoons to the Centaur II barge and Darwin Tug and Line Services delivered the pontoons to Groote Eylandt.
Over the past four years, Keil Maritime has enjoyed steady growth.
In addition to Daniel and Sarah, the team now includes ocean engineer Ben Taylor, surveys administrator Julie-Ann Shugg and Daniel’s partner Nicole Agno as systems administrator and mechanical engineer.
It could be sometime before Daniel and Nicole’s son Felix is wearing the Keil Maritime hi-vis full-time, but it is inevitable once he is walking he will be a regular in the office and on site. Their dog Pickles has been known to attend the occasional hull survey.
One of the greatest challenges Daniel faces in running a successful maritime company in Darwin is recruiting experienced engineers and surveyors to relocate to the Territory.
He is interested in working closely with the NT Government to co-sponsor a Territory student to attend the renowned Australian Maritime College at the University of Tasmania, where Daniel is an alumni.
44 Graffin Crescent, Winnellie NT 0820
(08) 8967 1661