Like father, like sons. Shipbuilding through generations

Every father should remember that one day his son will follow his example instead of his advice. This proverb has been proven accurate in the Visasalo family not only once but twice.

It has already been 24 years since Jukka Visasalo, FCR’s current Director of Operations,  received a phone call from a friend who was looking for a reliable shipbuilder for a month-long project. 

“First, I was mainly involved with projects on cabins, but as their production became more serialized, I became interested in the public areas and restaurants of boats. Almost by coincidence, we established our jointly owned limited company, FCR Finland, in 2009. The first project completed by the company was the modernization of the buffet restaurant of Viking Isabella over a docking period of two weeks.”

“FCR is renowned for its agility, and the attitude of our staff is praised. Our work environment is open and fair. We have managed to find people who are able to adjust well. Professionals who are not only motivated by their salary but who feel passionate about their work,”

Jukka Visasalo

Shipbuilding and refurbishment, in particular, need to be done according to a tight schedule. Ships only generate revenue when they are operable, so they are docked for as short periods as possible for alteration work purposes.

“Our management of materials is heavily based on the Lean philosophy. One refurbishment project may require a hundred containers of materials for FCR, and we are only one of several parties involved. “

The next generation of refurbishment

This article features 60% of the five male representatives of the Visasalo family. Why have Viktor and Verneri followed in their father’s footsteps? Did the father bring his work home or take his sons to work? 

“There must have been something wrong with our heads. Seven years ago, all three of us were about to travel to New Caledonia, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, for a project, but Verneri was left out. 17-year-olds are considered to be child labor there,” the sons say, laughing. 

Viktor has already traveled to 50 countries for work in his 10 years at FCR. His father’s record is far superior, of course. The youngest of the trio, Verneri, is based in Finland, where he is in charge of logistics, among other things.

“In more than 20 years, the level of occupational safety and general work ethic has improved remarkably. Different teams of builders compete with each other, but whenever a ship is docked, the companies all pull together.”

“We were involved in establishing the legendary Finnish Shipbuilding Mafia with its tongue-in-cheek name. Finnish people are willing to help each other, regardless of the company they represent. Everything is accounted for later on. Our communality has spread across the entire industry, and it is not something that only Finns experience, although I think it is in our blood,” say the Visasalos.

Time to enjoy the fruits of labor

When asked what their dream project would include, the Visasalos consider their answer for a moment. A consensus between the two generations is quickly found, however. “Our expertise could be best displayed in a big and comprehensive restaurant area refurbishment project. The project would include lots of details, interesting material, a lot of time, for once, and an unlimited budget. We are about to begin a very interesting project where we will dive deep into the structures of a boat and remove an entire deck from public access. We love challenges.“ 

Have the Visasalos ever spent a holiday cruising on a ship in the building or refurbishment of which they were involved? “No, never. Cruising is a wonderful way to spend your free time, but it is intrinsic for us to remain active and do things. We build old cars, go boating with boats that have far too large engines, and ski.”

“Maybe we will go cruising when we are retired. Or maybe dad will need to be assisted by a walking frame – so that he can work,” the sons say, laughing.

Author

Mikko Varjanne

Managing Director

Careers Join our growing team of international professionals

Experienced refurbishment project professionals

As we see the refurbishment market bounce back sooner rather than later, we are now looking for professionals to join team FCR. As a part of the De Wave Group, we are preparing to grow alongside our customers’ needs. 

We look forward to receiving open applications from individuals who have experience in dynamic refurbishment projects and have experience in the following areas of expertise:

  • Project management
  • Project supervision on site
  • Project engineering
  • Project design

Your work is partially in Nousiainen, Finland, and partly in dry docks globally. We expect the ability to travel. As part of the De Wave Group, there are multiple opportunities to seize.

Send your open applications to careers@fcr-finland.fi.

Meet us at Cruise Ship Interiors Expo America 2022 in Miami

After two years of fighting to survive, the cruise industry is getting back on its feet. Although many things have ​​permanently changed, the industry operators throughout the value chain are still working hard to give the best end-customer cruise experience.

With this in mind and the support of the recently announced acquisition by De Wave Group, FCR is looking forward. As an experienced and recognized shipbuilding company, we’re looking to strengthen the existing loyal relationships and build new ones with the most significant cruise lines and other global operators in the industry.

“Come join us at booth 546 in Cruise Ship Interiors Expo America 2022 in Miami!”

It’s almost time for the Cruise Ship Interiors Expo, the event exclusively dedicated to connecting the buyers and suppliers of the cruise design industry. FCR team is looking forward to meeting people in the industry face-to-face once again.

Cruise Ship Interiors Expo America

  • Miami Beach Convention Center
  • 7–8 June 2022
  • Booth 546

See event information and register to attend >

Come join us at booth 546 in Cruise Ship Interiors Expo America 2022 in Miami!

Author

Mikko Varjanne

Managing Director

More from FCR

De Wave Group becomes the owner of FCR Finland through an acquisition

The Genoese group De Wave and Finland-based FCR Finland announce the acquisition of FCR Finland. Both companies carry extensive know-how and particular reference to the building and refitting of large cruise ships.

FCR Finland is one of the most active players in the sector of cruise ship refitting. Having roots in the Northern European shipbuilding cluster and Turku enables the company to boast loyal relationships with the large cruise lines.

The Finnish company has been operating for over a decade, particularly in the construction of public areas and cabins on large passenger and cruise ships. FCR’s know-how, network, and project management output strengthen the group’s growth initiative. De Wave has complete confidence in the management, which shall stay in the company, and is committed to creating a great future for the group. New technologies for lightweight and carbon-efficient material systems created in the R&D of FCR now have a strong owner with manufacturing capacities and support for worldwide sales.

Strong ownership supports bounce back to cruise ship refurbishment. FCR’s team is happy to find an organization that appreciates the Finnish way of working and has a willingness to support the company’s growth strategy together. FCR has always had a close connection to Italy through the supply chain and design cooperation. That gives trust that the organizational cultures fit well together and create value for existing and new customers.

For De Wave, the acquisition provides further confirmation of a growth strategy focused on shipbuilding, both regarding new constructions and refitting. The Italian group has the target of a total turnover of 300 million euros this year, an apparent increase compared to the approximately 210 million in 2021. De Wave Group, with brands De Wave, Precetti, Spencer Contract, and now FCR in it, is owned by the investment fund Platinum Equity.

Author

Mikko Varjanne

Managing Director

More from FCR