Hi, my name is Jeroen Deknatel. I have a Diploma in Marine Surveying from Lloyd’s Maritime Academy and I’m the man behind Waterline Marine. I live in Phuket with my wife and two teenaged kids and boats have always been an important part of my life.
I grew up in Holland and like many of my fellow countrymen learned sailing at a young age. Taking leave from my job at an Amsterdam film studio to explore S.E. Asia I arrived in Phuket in 1978 and started Fantasea Divers, one of Thailand’s pioneering dive centers.
Rather than making do with rented boats from local tour companies, I made a point of owning, refitting and operating my own dive boats. As 30 years went by these vessels became bigger, more elaborate and more seaworthy. The photos on the left side of this page tell the story.
First there was a small local fishing trawler with a hand cranked 3-cylinder diesel engine. I put a shade over the foredeck, fitted tanks and compressor and off we went.
Next came a 50ft ketch we named Andaman Explorer. In 1983 she was Phuket’s first real live-aboard dive charter boat and instrumental in making the Similan Islands famous.
In 1991 we refitted a 90ft German built steel vessel, renamed her Fantasea and went on to discover the Burma Banks and open up Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago for divers.
Meanwhile we purchased an Australian built Randell 53 and a 60ft Malaysian built wooden hull. They were named Reef Runner and Reef Cruiser and after extensive re-fits we put these vessels to work as day boats, each capable of taking 24 divers plus crew.
In 1999 came project Ocean Rover, a 100ft, 280-ton expedition style luxury dive vessel that was the largest steel vessel ever built in Phuket and the only Thai flagged vessel in her size to receive IMO certification.
Ocean Rover logged well over 100,000 nautical miles in Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Andaman Islands before she was purchased by an Indonesian dive operator. She is now based in Manado, North Sulawesi.
Building Ocean Rover to International Maritime Organization standards and operating the vessel on numerous international voyages inspired me to seek accreditation as a marine surveyor and start Waterline Marine.
I chose Lloyd’s Maritime Academy and received my Diploma in Small Craft Surveying (Merit) specializing in leisure craft, both power and sail. The “Small Craft” title is somewhat misleading. Small Craft surveyors are trained to inspect a variety of boat building materials and layouts whereas our Large Craft colleagues deal mainly with steel cargo vessels.
My mission is to provide high quality marine surveying and consulting services with an emphasis on safety and integrity.