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Doing great things, while staying small

About us

With more than 60 years of experience in the field, our company is a reliable and professional partner for solving your dredging problems.

Dredging: our profession

Baggerbedrijf De Boer –  Dutch Dredging is a medium size dredging company, based in Sliedrecht in the Netherlands. The total scope of activities consists of dredging, surveying and related marine operations in the fullest sense.

At Baggerbedrijf De Boer – Dutch Dredging, our stakeholders may count on quality and reliability, which are the keywords for our organization and our personnel.

Our ‘medium’ size guarantees an organization ‘small enough’ to provide short and clear communications lines, quick decision making and flexibility, but ‘big enough’ to guarantee sufficient technical know-how, expertise and financial back-up.

We believe that working with mother nature requires environmental concern and safety and we aim to live up to the latest standards in this field.

“Our goal is to have fun at work, be good at what we do, and do it as long as we can. Making profit is a mean, it’s not a goal.”
Kees van de Graaf - Director
Managing board: Hugo and Kees van de Graaf

60 years Baggerbedrijf De Boer

In 2020, Baggerbedrijf De Boer celebrates her 60 year anniversary. The company specializes in maintenance dredging and is active in more than twenty countries, ranging from the Netherlands to New Zealand, and from Kazakhstan to Brazil to Egypt.

Bucket dredger

In 1960, dredging company Baggerbedrijf De Boer was founded in Zaandam by Eit Arend – Arie – De Boer. The family business started with a small bucket dredger, called the Oude IJssel. Arie de Boer, and later his sons as well, focused on dredging ports and canals. In 1963, for example, the company dredged the harbours of Vlieland and Terschelling and in 1965 they deepened the Harinxmakanaal in Friesland. With the expansion of the Veerhaven harbour in Breskens, the company obtained a major job in 1969. For this job, the company looked for an engineering consultant in the field of operational management. Kees van de Graaf Sr. responded to a call in Cobouw magazine and became involved in the company. In the mid-1970s, Baggerbedrijf de Boer invested in larger bucket dredgers: the Chris A and the Arend, with which the company could compete better with other dredging companies.

Nieuwe Merwede river

Kees van de Graaf Sr takes over part of the shares of Baggerbedrijf De Boer in 1976. He works ambitiously and wins the tender for a major job on the Nieuwe Merwede. A challenging job that far exceeds the original estimated tender sum because of primeval forests found underwater. With the motto “An ounce of luck is better than a pound of wisdom”, the job boosts the company’s growth. Baggerbedrijf de Boer acquires a barge and has it converted into a hopper dredger, called the Adelaar, at the Baars shipyard in Ouderkerk aan de Amstel. This moment marks the upgrade to more work for Baggerbedrijf De Boer. Van de Graaf Sr takes full ownership of the company in 1981. The name “de Boer” is kept because of the positive connotation.

““An ounce of luck is better than a pound of wisdom”””
Kees van de Graaf sr
Kees van de Graaf sr

Dutch Dredging

In 1981, the dredging company also acquires the Lesse, a seagoing trailing suction hopper dredger with a capacity of more than 1500 cubic meters. De Boer’s ambitions to go oversees are speeding up, with the Lesse acting as a major driving force. The company has operated in the Netherlands up to that point, but is now making the first steps abroad in the United Kingdom. The company is successful in Heysham and launches the name Dutch Dredging for overseas activities. In the meantime, in 1982, the company moved from the Westzijde in Zaandam to the Noordhoek in Papendrecht and on to its current location in Sliedrecht in 1987.

New build

The growth of De Boer continued in the 1990s. The company develops the Airset method: a dredging method where the silt is loosened by injecting water and air, thereby fluidizing the sediment. This way the current removes the sediment, an environmental friendly solution. This method is still used by De Boer to this day. In 1995, Baggerbedrijf de Boer takes over sand and gravel trading company Van der Waal. Whereas until then, the company was conservative and investing mainly in second-hand equipment, in 1997 the first custom built trailing suction hopper dredger “Amazone” was ordered from IHC in Kinderdijk. This marks another important moment in the growth of the company, because the vessel allows for 168 hr. 7/7 shift. In these years, the next generation Hugo and Kees Jr made their first appearance in the company.

Photos from the archive

International growth

Shortly after the turn of the century, Baggerbedrijf De Boer acquires the TSHD Seine, with which De Boer aims for bigger jobs. At that point, however, the dredging market is in a crisis. Fortunately, Baggerbedrijf de Boer turns this situation into one of their largest growth spurts in the company’s history, with multi-year jobs in Egypt, Israel and French Guiana. In addition to the Netherlands and Europe, the rest of the world is now discovered. The company continues to grow in multiple ways: in equipment, in personnel and in the number of countries where they operate. Van der Waal is expanded with acquisitions of the Van Der Linden sand and gravel company, and the Holcim Nederland sand activities.

In 2017, the company starts working in Oceana, with projects in New Zealand, Samoa and Australia. With focus on long-term maintenance contracts worldwide and their professional and loyal staff, De Boer continues to trust on important values such as continuity, professionalism and decency up to this day.

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