Face to face with Erik de Neef

Erik de Neef, chairman of Koninklijke Roeiers Vereeniging Eendracht (KRVE) In Rotterdam, the more than 125-year-old Koninklijke Roeiers Vereeniging Eendracht (KRVE, Royal Boatsmen Association) has grown into a most professional company, which has some major innovative developments to its name. The KRVE is internationally progressive in the field of mooring and unmooring vessels in a safe and stable way.

KRVE chairman Erik de Neef: “Our ‘Cruise Port Captains’ – still a unique concept in the cruise world – check if everything is done in a timely manner: the correct position of the vessel, the properly mooring and unmooring by the crew of boatsmen, attaching the gangway, supervision on the quay, and shore power in the not too distant future (expected by mid 2024). Together with CPR we are now overseeing a programme for cable connection.

In other words: connecting the ‘shore power connection’.” Together, the Harbour Master’s Division of the Port of Rotterdam, pilots, the boatsmen – KRVE see to a high-quality, efficient mooring process. This unique collaboration of providers of technical and nautical services offer a strong based infrastructure in the port of Rotterdam.

“The boatsmen approach by work vessel at the vessel to be moored,” says Erik de Neef. “At the vessel, they collect the mooring lines with the help of the vessel’s crew and sail to the quay, where they attach the lines to the mooring facilities. This is done partly manually and partly by means of our winch. For cruise vessels we now have the first fully electric winch unit, and more are under construction. We also continue to work on and with our ShoreTension system. This stabilises the movement of the moored vessels in case of e.g. wind gusts or sudden current caused by passing vessels” De Neef continues. “This is highly relevant for cruise vessels too, of course. The ShoreTension system is a Dutch innovation for sea-going vessels to remain moored safely. It is a KRVE invention. It has come in for a lot of attention from all over the world, and it makes us very proud.”

“Our boatsmen, material and the working method have become so adequate and professional that we have become known across the globe and are asked to assist in the case of calamities. We have a modern fleet of over 60 work vessels, some of which are very fast and hypermodern. Additionally, we provide offshore mooring engineering, advise and training of people all over Europe and beyond.”

“The KRVE vessels are monitored by a proprietary information system that is tailored to the boatsmen. It is a unique system where we can see all vessels in the port of Rotterdam, and we serve them all. We also receive information about what exactly has to be done and the system monitors the status,” Erik de Neef says.