The owners wanted to restore the SS Delphine to commercial service after being laid up for 8 years. 

Bernard and Petra were hired as Captain and Hotel Manager to bring back into class, re-launch and organise the charter operation on board.

We analysed and cancelled some in progress works; recruited new crew; liaised with shipyard, contractors and Rina; oversaw steelworks, mechanical re-fitting, electronics & navigation equipment and hospitality requirements; created ISM compliant management system; and commissioned/managed sea going trials to secure RINA certification.

Succeeded by refurbishing and launching the SS Delphine in 7 months, for commercial operations.  SS Delphine was still successfully operating after almost 5 years as we took her through her Centennial.


Verkerk Yachting Projects wanted to convert a former tugboat to a SOLAS compliant exploration passenger yacht.

Bernard was already captain on Sherakhan. The first task was to bring the ship from Genoa to The Netherlands after a few days of refurbishing following seven years idle. Then follow the rebuild between contracts on the other vessel.

The main task was regulatory compliance. Conducted gap analysis to identify regulatory hurdles; analysed requirements for helicopter and submarine operations; liaised with architects, builders and Lloyds Register; completed risk assessment for safety compliance and exemptions; monitored build activities; commissioned vessel; and captained maiden season.

Petra, as head of housekeeping, was helping refurbish interiors and all inside and outside soft furnishings. She also managed logistics on and off the yard for crew and contractors.

Succeeded by helping deliver a SOLAS compliant passenger yacht in June 2016. “Legend” was awarded rebuild of the year 2017. 


After some modifications the previous year and many operational issues, “Berzinc” was three month away from a re-launch in Sibenik.

Bernard was hired as captain to oversee the final stages of the yard work that included a complete repaint, and then take the boat on charter.

Followed-up on all works, total repaint, installation of new teak decks, setting up a Transformer platform and designing, quoting and following installation of underwater lighting. The documentation of the boat was streamlined for a new commercial certification; Tanks and various systems were calibrated and re-commissioned; The main switchboard and power supply were redesigned; all tenders refitted and prepared for a boat show and then a season.

“Berzinc” was successfully launched in time and we performed one Med and one Caribbean season with her.


The Antwerp office of Bureau Veritas was in need of additional surveyors and broadening the activities.

Bernard integrated the office first as auditor, then after qualification as Ship in Service surveyor. He did a lot of client assistance with shipping and contracting companies in Belgium, with well known names such as EXMAR, DEME, JAN DE NUL, BESIX etc… but also small consultant work for special projects.

The job included a lot of travel to satisfy our clients in their worldwide activities. Bernard was also lead of the New Construction team, principal contact for yachting and seconded inspector for the Belgian Commercial Yacht registry.

At the end of that period, Bernard had qualified as: Ship in Service Surveyor (all types), RO Lead auditor for ISM and ISPS, MLC inspector on behalf of flags, Trainer both internal and outsourced (with train the trainer qualification)

Some yachts and passenger ships attended: La Belle de l’Adriatique, Vintage 1, Vennekens 23.9m, Galathea, Berzinc…


URS was Belgium’s largest towage and salvage contractor, with over 600 employees, 6 port towage services, 10 seagoing vessels and 35 harbour tugs, one shipyard and two diving companies. With the advent of the ISM code, URS needed a more structured Quality and Safety department.

Bernard was hired as assistant to the DPA to create and expand the Safety Management System and document it in the fleet. He also performed all internal audits. Within months, the DPA was promoted sideways and Bernard became head of the department. The department consisted further of a nautical assistant, a certified shore safety advisor and a secretary.

The main achievements during that period were: Writing, editing and publishing an integrated ISM/ISO9001 management system and implement it in the fleet and shore establishments; Creating and implementing SSA’s and SSP’s in 2004; performing internal audits, management reviews and handling improvement information to report to the GM; Participating in management meetings with union and personnel representatives; organising campaigns to improve company spirit, image, drug and alcohol awareness etc…; Meeting with clients, co-contractors and authorities on specific projects for salvage and offshore activities. Preparing safety and environmental plans and auditing work locations (see also the Tricolor Salvage); leading accident investigations and SWOT meetings…

The company remained a leading partner in the Belgian and Dutch ports as well as with the offshore industry thanks to its certifications and ability to pass vetting and deliver services within industry requirements.


Before becoming the VV team, Marine Services and Training was a small survey and consultant firm based in Belgium. The activities were varied and addressed both the small crafts and large commercial organisations.

  • Pre-purchase and insurance surveys on pleasure boats
  • Creation of marine didactic literature and software
  • Giving courses ashore and on our 1923 classic the “Orient Express”
  • Creation of “The Classic Yacht of Belgium Register” and publishing “le Renard” a monthly newsletter.
  • Performing internal audits on behalf of owners for URS.
  • Performing and reporting light weight checks for DEME
  • producing and submitting stability booklets for simple crafts of DEME