Nothing says handmade in Norway quite like Salthammer Båtbyggeri, Norway’s oldest running shipyard. Responsible for every stage of the value chain, the family-owned business is one of few who can claim they built boats from scratch.

Founded in 1896 under the name L.H. Salthammer Båtbyggeri, the company is Norway’s oldest shipyard. Four generations later, it has become a parent group known as Salthammergruppen (the Salthammer Group), consisting of several companies.

“Each company is responsible for different tasks. Salthammer Tresfjord AS, for example, produce everything from small steel components to complete offshore equipment. Tomra Engineering AS is responsible for design, while Salthammer Sjøtransport AS deals with transportation. Here at Salthammer Båtbyggeri, however, we build the boats,” says Salthammer Båtbyggeri’s manager Lasse Stokkeland.

The unique thing about Salthammer is their ability to execute every stage of boat-building, from the design and producing the necessary components, to the engineering and final touches. “We are truly handmade in Norway,” says Andres Vie Murvold, sales and marketing manager at Salthammer.

Salthammer båtbyggeri: Norwegian-born, bred and built

Local, sustainable boats

Salthammer was established in a Vestnes, Western Norway. Located near the coast with access to lumber, the municipality is known for its history as the country’s greatest boat-building community. For as long as there have been established communities in the area, there have been craftsmen and their boats.

“We have a long history and tradition, and we really value those traditions even in modern times,” says Murvold. “But that’s not to say that we aren’t modern in the way we do things. As our customer group grows and technology develops, we move with the ages.”

He adds that they bring the good, old habits with them, while exploring new technology and opportunities, especially if it helps them limit any harm to the environment. “We’re a company with Norwegian values in the way that we care for nature. That’s why everything is produced using clean, Norwegian energy. We also ensure that all our suppliers have the same values and high standards, so that we can be confident that everything we do is as sustainable as possible,” Murvold says.

Salthammer båtbyggeri: Norwegian-born, bred and built

Something to be proud of

Though producing everything locally is beneficial to the environment, it’s not the only incentive. By doing it all themselves, Salthammer Båtbyggeri can ensure a superior quality standard. “Quality, craft and knowledge are incredibly important to us,” says Stokkeland. “We want to be synonymous with quality, and we want our customers to trust that we will deliver exactly what they need, and more. In addition, we’re able to make any repairs ourselves, if it’s needed.”

The boat building process at Salthammer is tailored, meaning that the staff work closely with clients to meet all their needs. Stokkeland explains that as their customer group grows, they continually solve new and unique challenges. “Our company was built brick by brick, and we’re continuing to build as we go. We develop and find innovative solutions because we want to be proud of everything that leaves here, whether it’s a small steel part or a complete boat,” he says.

Whether making smaller wooden boats over a century ago, or building the large steel ships of today, all the staff at the entire Salthammer group take pride in their work. While they feel excited about the influx of new customers, Murvold says taking care of existing customers is very important to them. “There’s nothing quite as rewarding as old customers returning,” says Murvold. “It reminds us that we should be proud of our craft and where we came from.”

Salthammer båtbyggeri: Norwegian-born, bred and built

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