09 November 2017

New book: Innovation and Specialisation – The Story of Shipbuilding in Finland

In addition to the detailed text, Innovation and Specialisation is profusely illustrated, with many images never before seen in print.

It is finally here. Innovation and Specialisation – The Story of Shipbuilding in Finland is mine and Bruce Peter's new magnum opus, detailing the history of shipbuilding in my homeland for 328 pages, with circa 500 illustrations. It took years to make and it was occasionally an arduous process, but the end result more than makes up for it.

The main focus of the book is on ship design and the various innovative design solutions – such as the Azipod, Wärtsilä Air Bubbling System, the all outside ship and the double-acting ship, to name just a few – that were instrumental in making Finnish shipbuilders into some of the most highly regarded ones in the world. While most ship types built by Finnish yards are at least mentioned in the text, the emphasis is on ship types that are produced by Finnish yards today: ferries, cruise ships and icebreakers. Every cruise ship, icebreaker and ferry designed for international service built by Finnish shipyards since 1945 is described, up to and including those that are currently under order or construction.

The broad approach of the book is chronological, but it is divided into chapters dedicated to different ship types.

While the book discusses Finnish shipbuilding since the 18th century, focus is on the decades after the end of World War II, when Finnish shipbuilding grew exponentially. The importance of the Soviet Union as the driving force of this expansion – and the Soviet's subsequent position as the biggest customer for Finnish shipyards – is explored, as are the economic difficulties faced by Finnish yards following the fall of the Soviet Union. Similarly, the consolidation process and eventual demergers that resulted in the ownership structure that Finnish yards have today are discussed in detail.

Innovation and Specialisation – The Story of Shipbuilding in Finland can be purchased directly from the publishers, as well as from well-stocked bookshops and online retailers.

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