August 21, 2020

Excel Marine Services: Decades of Success Supporting Offshore Wind Farms


Career Beginnings 

Griff Sargent’s career had started some years before the founding of Excel Marine Services, as a reinsurance broker in London.

To get away from the busy city life, in his spare time, Griff was a keen fisherman chartering a boat on the Kent Coast around the Herne Bay area. This, however, became more than just a hobby and after years of enjoying fishing and renting a boat, Griff, along with his business partner Adrian Goss, decided to buy their own boat.

Dedicating three days a week, while still working in London, this boat was chartered to other fishermen. Balancing the commute to the city and sea life slowly transitioned and Griff eventually gave up his London role to commit more of his time to allow Excel Marine Services Ltd to take off.

Setting Sail

Around this time, offshore wind farms were cropping up around the Kent Coast which led them onto their next venture.

A Dutch company who specialise in wind farm construction approached Excel; they needed a boat to safely transport workers to the offshore wind farm which was being constructed just outside of Herne Bay.

This came at a time where British, German and Danish governments wanted to introduce more wind farms as a “clean energy” solution. While modern wind turbines have been supplying power since the 1970s, the 2000s is when UK energy providers started to look to more renewable and eco-friendly power. As of 2018, 4.8% of the world’s electricity is produced by wind. In the UK alone, there are over 7,000 wind turbines on land and almost 2,000 offshore.

With the success of running the boat purely for the wind farm off the Kent Coast, Excel sold the original charter fishing vessel to acquire a new better-equipped vessel.

Growing the Business

Excel Marine Services developed into a team of specialist contractors and over time, commissioned four boats, specifically designed to transport construction technicians to and from the offshore sites.  At approximately 20 metres, the ships have cab seating for 12 technicians, and can safely transport from land to the towers. Wi-Fi, showers, video, food and drinks are also provided on board

Excel Marine Services also became subcontractors for sites in Ramsgate, the Humber Gateway in Grimsby, and Liverpool, but it wasn’t exclusively UK waters that they supplied boats to. The company also took on work for various European clients.

Taking on a Challenge

As time went on, there was a more significant focus on firms using renewable energy with government grants provided to encourage more wind farms being developed. This paved the way for more competitors supplying similar vessels – the competition was becoming fierce.

Maintaining a contract when any market becomes saturated is difficult, especially when the focus is the price.

With more established and large-scale businesses offering up very low prices, The Excel Marine Services team decided to double-down on their best relationships – offering a high-quality service to a key client.

Working with Reparo Finance

Reparo were approached by Simply Business Finance to provide a loan to Excel Marine Services. The company required some working capital and debt consolidation.

The loan was required to:

  • Spread out the payments of existing debt to ease outgoings
  • Have the option to clear the payments early if needed
  • Fund working capital to prepare for the upcoming contract

The Perfect Partnership

Griff found working with Reparo a simple and efficient process:

“After working with Jason to look into loan consolidation, the process and service with Reparo have been excellent. We discussed the repayment options because flexibility was important; if we needed to, we could take early repayment without any penalties.

Overall, the experience with Jason and Reparo has been exactly what we needed; he took the time to understand the business and our needs. Reparo considered our track record. Everything was fast and efficient, and most importantly, they were easy to talk to.”

Jason Cossey says:

“This was a quick and easy deal to agree. Griff and the team had an excellent contract with a reputable supplier and decades of experience. We were able to sign off the loan in a few days.”

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