As a little boy, Jan Korf wanted more than anything to go to fishing school. His father advised him to attend a vocational secondary school and learn to be an electrician instead. But Jan could not get fishing out of his head, and even tried it for a period of two months. One day the fishing boat had to return to the port due to strong winds, and Jan was so terribly seasick that an uncle asked Piet Brouwer senior to take him home to Urk, saying he was not cut out to be a fisherman. As they drove home, Peter told Jan to come to the shop the next day to see if onshore work suited him better.
It did and Jan has now been working at Piet Brouwer Electrotechnology for almost 40 years. As a boy of 17, he was often out together with Piet Brouwer, solving problems on boats in various fishing locations. Today he is a calculator/sales engineer who makes calculations for a variety of vessels and electrical systems. This includes workboats for fishing, dry cargo, dredging, offshore and wind farm supplies, as well as naval vessels and luxury sailing and motoryachts. The contracts range from a few hundred euros to many millions. In addition, Jan coordinates the realisation of anelectrical system together with various colleagues.
The project that has most stayed with Jan over the years is the first Piet Brouwer Electrotechnology coaster. “I had been asked to manage the construction of our first yacht in Den Helder. We were halfway through the project when we were commissioned for our first coaster. I transferred the yacht project to a colleague and took over the coaster build for myself. It’s funny to remember how we saw it at the time – being more than twice as large as your standard fishing boat or yacht, it seemed huge to us.
“The delivery time was short and so the pressure was already high when we were asked if the vessel could be delivered a week earlier. This was a huge challenge, but we went for it nonetheless. We put in lots of overtime, including many Saturday mornings, and made it with flying colours! This demonstrates the strength of our company: we do what we promise, all hands on deck.”
Jan goes on to describe Piet Brouwer Electrotechnology as “determined, energetic and flexible”. He also mentions the words quality, craftsmanship and service. “Our company is not huge – we have just 75 employees – and yet we rest on six strong pillars in the form of our different departments: maritime, luxury yachts, utilities, power solutions, panel building and warehouse.”
When asked what he likes best about working at Piet Brouwer Electrotechnology, Jan replies: “I feel like I’ve been able to do pretty much everything imaginable in my field. The work has been varied and I’ve always had the freedom to do it my way. I’ve been surrounded by great colleagues the whole time. Nothing beats delivering a wonderful project of which you can truly be proud to have contributed.”