Podcast ‘On Course’

"How one idea changed shipbuilding forever"

The remarkable story

Be Inspired

How does a tiny company grow to become one of the world’s biggest shipbuilders? In 'On Course', we follow the unique history of Damen Shipyards Group. At one time the company was nothing more than a wooden shed on the banks of the Merwede river, run by a couple of boys who were good with their hands. The company now has a global presence and builds virtually every type of ship conceivable.

In six episodes we tell you a story, a remarkable story about headwinds and perseverance – about daring and doing.

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Awards & nominations

Second Place at Grand Prix Content Marketing

Second place in the Business to Employee category for best content strategy to engage current and future employees.

Nominated at Content Marketing The Awards

Nominated for the award in the Business to Employee category for content marketing for current and future employees of an organization.

“Now this is real storytelling. A campaign with enormous shelf life and created with craftsmanship. The quality of the content reflects that of the company.”
Jury of the Grand Prix Content Marketing 2023

EPISODE #1 (1927 – 1967)

From stovepipe to boat

Around a hundred years ago, the brothers Jan and Marinus Damen ran a small, simple firm from a wooden shed beside the Merwede. They made anything there was a demand for locally: from stovepipes to bicycles. But when they built a boat and then, more or less by chance, sold it almost immediately, they decided to focus entirely on that...

EPISODE #2 (1967 – 1975)

A revolutionary idea

At the age of 23, Kommer Damen started working at the shipyard owned by his father and uncle. He quickly saw a lot of opportunities for improvement. He had a revolutionary idea that would enable the company to respond to market demand much faster: build hulls for stock and then finish them to the customer's specifications. In the late '60s, that was a highly innovative approach. As such the family were not immediately enthusiastic about Kommer's plan...

EPISODE #3 (1975 – 1985)

The breakthrough

After Kommer Damen took the helm, he introduced the first standardised vessel; the Pushy Cat. It was a great success and the model sold rapidly, especially internationally. With the resulting growth came the need for a bigger yard and a bigger workforce...

EPISODE #4 (1985 – 1999)

Conquering the world

Kommer Damen had managed to build a company that could withstand economic ups and downs: the shipyard continued to grow steadily. Within the Netherlands, Damen acquired various specialist yards...

EPISODE #5 (1999 – 2006)

A complex deal

By the start of the new millennium, Damen had grown to become the biggest shipyard in the Netherlands and was operating globally. But there was one thing Damen had not managed up to that point: building naval ships...

EPISODE #6 (2006 – 2023)

A new era

Eventually, Kommer Damen reached retirement age and took a step back in the company – however hard he sometimes found it to do so. By now, the company had grown to become one of the biggest shipbuilders in the world, building for example, 40% of all the tugs in the world...

Listen now via your favourite podcast app

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