Vestværftet ApS is located in Hvide Sande, a town on Denmarks west coast. The town and the harbor have arisen around the outlet from Ringkøbing Fjord and the lock, and have over the years developed into a modern fishing harbor with all necessary facilities and service companies.
The yard was founded in 1995 by former employees of Johs. Kristensen shipbuilding, Hvide Sande. Many of Vestværftet’s employees are trained there and therefore have extensive experience in building and repairing fishing vessels. In 2021, the yard employs about 50 men and a large number of subcontractors.
Vestværftet was established on November 8, 1995 by Ernst Kristensen, Leo Nielsen, Bent Kristensen and Ove Kristensen. Ernst and Leo were the driving forces in the start-up phase, with the first newbuilding RI 426 Mette Janni delivered in 1996. This was followed by a number of newbuildings for Danish shipowners and there was an urgent need for additional facilities in the form of a smaller hall at the north harbor. The hall housed both carpenters and blacksmiths, as well as a canteen and office.
More and more newbuildings were made – and more space was needed. Another expansion was made in the form of a canteen, office, and a hall for the blacksmiths.
In 1997, the need to dry and repair the ships became so great that the shipyard bought a floating dock that could lift 200 tons. It quickly became too small and it was decided to build a slipway with 2 tracks for 400 tons.
After many years of work at Vestværftet, Leo Nielsen and Ernst Kristensen have both retired. The yard is now managed by Ove Kristensen, Kristen Madsen, and Nicolai Johansen as senior employees and partners.