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Portfolio of Achievements

Having been involved in shipbuilding from early childhood at the family shipyard, evolving after completing his bachelor in naval architecture in 1991, Versatile Marine’s founder Michael Bakker led many projects and a number of companies. Below find a snapshot of signature ones he was involved with.

Versatile Marine - Performance Boats

Versatile Marine designs and manufactures medium to high speed boats for commercial, military and leisure applications.

We offer aluminium and polyethylene plate welded constructions, but believe that HDPE is a great material to build hard wearing boats from. No issues like marine growth, corrosion, cracking, and a lifespan of 40+ years is achievable.

Since inception of our business in 2018 we’ve developed a wide range of solutions suited for demanding usage inshore and offshore.

Shipyard Development & Dry Docking Systems

On the earlier foundations of development projects for Damen Shipyards, Nautic Africa, Austal Ships and Silver Yachts, Versatile Marine was involved with the development of a new shipyard in West Africa. An exciting project exemplifying the recognition for our achievements over the last decade growing and maturing shipbuilding capabilities, showcased in the picture.

As a result of this engagement, Versatile Marine was appointed as representative for Syncrolift AS in Australia and New Zealand in December 2020, involved with major marine infrastructural projects emerging in Darwin, Cairns, Brisbane, Henderson and Adelaide.

Versatile Marine

After a fulfilling career in sailing, refitting and building of a variety of ships, we decided to change course in March 2018 offering our bespoke services to any prospect clients, such as acquisition support and build supervision, marine surveys and valuations, brokerage, setting up or restructuring of yards, development and building of small craft and other maritime related services.

35M Crew Security Vessels

Evolving from the 30m earlier built by Nautic, a new 35m design was developed, under direction of Michael Bakker.

The design was fully optimised in 3D by the Nautic design team, including FEA studies by Keith Davies (KD Marine Design). Mike’s involvement was in support of the concept design phase, determining the layout, hull shape and construction details, selection of propulsion equipment and other ship systems.

Eventually a large series of this vessel type were successfully built and delivered to a group of West African ship operators.

18M Patrol Boats

Involved primarily in the design and early construction phase of this project, Michael guided the Nautic team in the development of two 17m patrol boats.

Requirements for this vessel type were quite high, as it had to reach a speed of 45 knots, as such weight had to be closely monitored. The patrol boats were propelled with MSA surface piercing drives, and MTU 8V2000 main engines. The air-conditioned accommodation was suited for a crew of six, with three double bunk cabins, a bathroom, a mess with pantry and a fully equipped wheelhouse.

The vessels performed well, even in choppy seas, and fulfilled their contractual obligations to satisfaction of the client.

9M Interceptors

With experience in the design and build of similar craft for pilotage and rescue operations, Michael lead the development of a 9m aluminium interceptor for Nautic Africa.

Focus for this craft was robustness, producibility, performance and seaworthiness. The hull was built to similar high quality standards as the 24m and 30m mentioned above, and equipped with a 450 hp marine diesel engine driving a waterjet or stern drive reaching speeds up to 45 knots. Other features were the solid foam core fender, single point lifting, self-righting capability and shock suspension seats.

A very successful model built and delivered to a number of commercial and governmental clients in Africa.

Crew Security Vessels

Two signature projects Michael was involved with from inception to completion, was for the design, development and build of the 24m and 30m crew security vessels for Nautic Africa, between 2010 to 2012.

Under his guidance, the design was completely made in 3D, assuring a high level of accuracy, and prevention of clashes during the production process.

Whilst the yard just got of the starting blocks, the first build commenced few months later, and was delivered with a good quality finish, within budget and on time.

Successive vessels followed shortly, and were delivered to very happy clients.

Nautic Africa

Michael Bakker performed an instrumental role setting up and leading Nautic Africa’s shipyard successfully from its inception in 2009 up to Mike’s departure in 2015.

Nautic grew from strength to strength, eventually peaking its turnover up to USD 60m per annum and employing 400+ staff.

Some of the key products are showcased above.

Harbour Tugboats

Whilst employed as General Manager for Damen Shipyards Cape Town from 2008-2009, six 22m and one 32m ASD tugboat were built at the yard. This required doubling of the work force to build the vessels within a two year period.

Even though both vessel types were of standardised design, lack of workshop space and skilled staff made the yard outsource a significant part of the steel construction work. The vessels were delivered on time and to good quality standards.

47M Patrol Vessels

From 2002-2004 Michael managed a special project, involving the development and design of three 47m patrol vessels for the South African government. This design was a evolution of the successful 42m patrol vessels as developed and built by Damen for the Dutch and UK government some years earlier.​​

The vessels were build at Farocean Marine, a shipyard in Cape Town, South Africa, who built a number of Damen building kits with technical support successfully. This project was unique as this was the first project Farocean utilised the design and Michael’s support only.​​

Backed by the Damen design team in Holland, Michael supported and guided the South African yard in building the vessels to full satisfaction of the client and classification, and Damen design philosophy.​​

The 47m design formed the basis for the series of patrol vessels built for the Canadian and US governments.

26M Patrol Vessels

In 2001-2002 a series of six 26m patrol vessels was built for an undisclosed client by Damen Shipyards, involving quite a in-depth study to build the vessels ultra light to achieve the contractual speed.

Each design aspect was reviewed to reduce weight, like the use of high tensile steel or the hull construction, using lightweight milspec electrical cables and light weight interior panelling and furniture to cut every kilo out.

The vessels were trialled and delivered at the clients home port successfully, another success story Michael was involved in as a project manager.

47M Crew Supply Vessels

Damen engaged with a Mexican client early 2000’s, and developed and build two 43m crew supply vessels initially.

Shortly thereafter an order was placed for another 43m, and two extended 47m ones. The three vessels were build under some time pressure, as they had to be available before start of chartering. The project required quite a bit of upfront planning, and hard work, but eventually all vessels were delivered on time and to satisfaction of the client.

27M Patrol Vessel

The 27m Saint Piran is a custom designed multi-purpose patrol vessel for Cornwall Sea Fisheries, built at Damen Shipyards and delivered in 2000. The vessel was used for fisheries patrol, policing and customs and excise duties, requiring a range of specific capabilities.

Michael was responsible for the project management, engagement with the client’s technical team, classification surveyors, design aspects, contractor management, scheduling and financial reporting up to trials and turn-key handover of the vessel to the client.

21M Pilot Tender

A series of 21m pilot tenders was developed and build by Engelaer Shipyards in The Netherlands for the Dutch Pilotage Organisation.

Special feature was the use of waterjets, at the time unknown to pilotage services, and the flexibly mounted superstructure to reduce noise and vibration levels for crew and pilots. Furthermore the HDPE energy absorbing fendering, allowing for safe (dis)embarking of pilots.

Quite a challenging project for a demanding client. The series of pilot tenders were completed between 1995-1999, partially under the management of Michael Bakker.

62FT Aerorig Yacht

The Dykstra designed “Lazy Jack”, built by Engelaer Shipyards, is quite a special yacht, with innovative features.

The Aerorig is a pivoting mast and “yard”, running in bearings supporting the mast on the keel and main deck. The sailing system is very easy to handle, allowing for single hand sailing with comfort.​

Other features are the split engine rooms, halving the risk of loss of power or propulsion at sea. Lastly the vessel is equipped with a gimbaling galley and bunk.​

The project was completed in 1996 under management of Michael Bakker.

46FT Dutch Classic

The “Lemsteraak” Gouden Leeuw (Golden Lion) is a Andre Hoek designed beauty, with concealed features unknown to the sailing fraternity at the time, such as hydraulically powered sailing, anchor and leeboard winches.

The first project Michael was project manager of, and responsible for all aspects of the build, including design review, making of production drawings, purchasing of materials, major equipment and contracting, budget control, quality control, scheduling and direct client engagement up to turn-key delivery.

100FT Schooner Yacht

The Andre Hoek designed 100ft Reesle was a remarkable project for Engelaer Shipyards, and completed in 1995. It was the largest vessel ever built at the yard, in aluminium, and also the most complex one.

Michael’s role was to develop and project manage the rigging of the yacht, with battery powered hydraulic HPU’s, Lewmar sailing and reel winches, Reckmann furlers, Nirvana masts with Navtec rod rigging. The reel winches and running rigging were tucked away and led through rope guides under the main deck. The rigging system was controlled from the helmsman position by a touchpad, enabling sailing Reesle single handedly.

73FT Yacht Refit

The Sparkman & Stephens designed IOR racer “Amazon” was built in 1972 by Camper & Nicholson, and completely rebuild from bare hull at Bakker Shipyard in 1991-1992.

The interior was finished in classic fielded panelling mahogany, and all teak decking was renewed.

For this project Michael Bakker made the drawing package for the interior and exterior outfitting and rigging.

77FT Schooner Yacht

The 77 ft yacht “Grote Meid” is a rare beauty, developed for Michael’s parents by Gerard Dykstra, and completed by Bakker Shipyard in The Netherlands around 1989.

At the time Michael assisted in the development of the hydraulically operated centreboard keel, and the customised sail & rigging plan.