Brazilian sailor, adventurer, businessman and boat designer Amyr Klink is teaming up with Palfinger Marine. Their ambition is to manufacture boats in Brazil.
Like many others, Palfinger Marine is looking for ways of curbing the crisis that has hit the global oil and gas industry hard, but instead of scaling down, the global supplier of cranes, lifeboats and deck equipment, has focused on new markets and new business opportunities.
As part of this strategy, the company is now looking into manufacturing boats in Brazil, and earlier this year, the company set its eyes on Amyr Klink, a Brazilian banker, sailor and adventurer that has gained fame with the many boats he has built for himself. Klink´s company Layer Group manufactures tailor-made vessels designed to deal with all the imaginable needs of the clients.
«We do not build normal boats. We build boats for long range travels and difficult conditions. It was the people from Palfinger that came to me, and I must say that the high quality of their boats and projects, especially the technical part, impressed me», Amyr Klink explains in this interview with Nordic Light.
«They do it the way we like to do it here, not in a large scale, but with high quality and top technical control. This is the way I like to work. I am allergic to projects without quality and without durability», he says.
The Seven Seas
Amyr Klink was the first person to row across the South-Atlantic. On June 10, 1984 he left Lüderitz in Namibia, and 100 days later he arrived in Salvador, Brazil. In 1998 he circumnavigated the Antarctic continent on his own in 79 days. It probably doesn´t surprise you that he knows three of the members of Thor Heyerdahl´s Kontiki expedition personally. Amyr Klink has also travelled from Antarctica to the Arctic. And all of his expeditions were made in boats he helped design and build.
«Design has always been very important to me, and we have what is required to make designs on a very advanced level for vessels of interest to the offshore and maritime industry. I believe that the boats have to have a long life cycle, at an intelligent cost level, guaranteeing the autonomy of the vessel. This is how I work.»
This is also something he has put to test during many of his own travels. He has been to Antarctica numerous times, and says he would like to go even further with Palfinger.
«We are ready to start tomorrow. Nothing would make us happier. But the market is tough, and commercially, this might not be big business, but technically it will certainly be enriching for both parts. Working with a European player on this level can contribute to opening new doors and preparing the ground for projects to be executed here in Brazil.»
Advanced lifeboats are probably the first common project that Mr. Klink and Palfinger will start working on.
«I like challenges, and the first project always demands more attention. While Palfinger is handling the commercial viability of the projects, I will contribute by providing new solutions and quality at the highest level. I am convinced that this is a partnership that will prove itself very productive», Mr. Klink says.
Layer Group also has manufacturing facilities and a solid network of suppliers that Palfinger would benefit from.
Mr. Klink´s travel records are impressing. He has written several books and does about 100 speeches and presentations a year, but says that he does not use his experience from navigating the seas when he is doing business.
«I have travelled to Antarctica many times the last 30 years. This does not mean that I now how to do business. Of course I like to inspire, but as a business man, I am very serious and hard working.»
Mr. Klink believes that timing is perfect for Layer Group and Palfinger to embark on this new venture.
«In 1984 I accompanied another crisis here in Brazil, where many companies collapsed. It is quite common in Brazil to think first about survival and second about the technical quality of the product or service you offer. I founded my own shipyard at the time, and I struggled, but survived because I never compromised the quality of the boats I built. This was what brought new clients. The Brazilian oil and gas industry needs these boats we want to build. The experience that the Norwegians and Austrians of Palfinger have, is very rich. Despite of what we know as the Brazil cost, we have what is needed to manufacture these vessels at more competitive terms than in Europe. Despite the complexity of the Brazilian laws, there are competitive advantages, and with the new government, I believe in further improvements. The key is to never compromise quality», says Amyr Klink.
By Runa Hestmann, NBCC journalist
Photo courtesy of Amyr Klink