BIG RON joins the fleet

We are very proud to announce the arrival of BIG RON multicat to the fleet.

With capacities such as deck crane capable of lifting 15 tonne at 3m and 4 tonne at 15m along with a 40 tonne deck winch. 

The vessel was purchased from the Thames area and went straight to drydock in Portsmouth where we fabricated and installed two spudleg wells and instructed a workboat code inspection.

BIG RON will soon be available to assist in all aspects of marine works operating mainly on the south coast but available to travel all over the UK and beyond.

ML achieve GOLD SAFEPQQ verification

We’re delighted to announce that we have successfully attained our Gold SAFEPQQ verification demonstrating our commitment to operating a safe, compliant and ethical business.

Safe PQQ is an extension of the Alcumus SafeContractor health and safety management system. Achieving SafePQQ ensures that our organisation is not breaching laws surrounding the following topics: finance, anti-bribery, environment, GDPR, quality management, right to work, equality, building information and references. It is used by thousands of organisations in the UK including SMEs like ML (UK) Ltd as well as larger companies.

Gemma Archibald, Director of Alcumus SafeContractor says: “Major organisations simply cannot afford to run the risk of employing contractors who are not able to prove that they have sound health and safety policies in place”.
“More companies need to understand the importance of adopting good risk management in the way that Quadratek has achieved. The company’s high standard has set an example which hopefully will be followed by other companies within the sector. SafeContractor plays a vital role in supporting our clients in meeting their compliance needs, whilst working with their contractors as they progress through the accreditation process.”

Spotlight On… ML Workshop

Here, Peter talks about the team’s work in progress in ML UK’s fabrication and welding workshop.

Current in-house projects include:

  • JCB replacement bottom plate together with new tool blades for a local demolition contractor in the building and construction sector
  • refurbishment of steelwork support brackets for a UK leading defence contractor operating in the maritime sector, whom ML UK has worked with for many years; from new ship support and historic vessel restoration
  • refurbishment of a sub-sea drag-head for the aggregates industry, coincidentally whom ML UK has rebuilt the grading machinery for on numerous occasions
  • As part of Portsmouth Council’s ongoing ferry port improvement scheme, this particular project is the repair and replacement of anodes which affix to the harbour walls and jetties, to detract the impact of electrolysis on steel pontoons, piling and jetties. ML UK is a preferred supplier to Portsmouth Council

The ML UK team is also operating offsite currently at customer sites nationwide on numerous projects for the leisure, construction and hospitality sectors. More to follow…

For further information regarding how ML UK can help keep your business fully operating, please contact Graham Ferguson on 02392 819114 or at

Spotlight on… ML Trade Counter

Discover the range of customers and sectors which ML Trade Counter works with and operates in. Brought to you by Glen, ML’s Trade Counter Manager.


For the latest news and updates, follow ML UK on its social channels:


CASE STUDY | HMS Victory Conservation Project

CASE STUDY: HMS Victory Conservation Project

ML UK collaborated with BAE Systems to provide a unique solution to help conserve HMS Victory


The world-renown 256-year old naval warship, HMS Victory, which is berthed at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard as the Royal Navy’s museum, required essential restoration work.

Following almost a century of being supported by her original 22 cradles, HMS Victory’s hull and superstructure was significantly warping and deforming at a rapid pace, therefore a long-term solution was required, and swiftly, to avoid long lasting damage, which could potentially result in a devastating outcome.


Regarded as the most famous historic vessel of all time and officially the oldest commissioned warship in the world, HMS Victory launched from Chatham’s Royal Dockyard on the 7th May 1765 as a First Rate carrying 116 guns and a crew of 960.

By 1797 HMS Victory was in a poor state and was initially re-fitted as a hospital ship, then in 1799 she returned to Chatham for a significant refit. Over, what followed, as an unusually long service for a vessel of her type, HMS Victory led fleets in the American War of Independence, the French Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic War.

In 1805 she achieved lasting fame as the flagship of Vice-Admiral Nelson in Britain’s greatest naval victory, the defeat of the French and Spanish at the Battle of Trafalgar. She then went on to lead the fleet into the Baltic on another venture. In 1812 HMS Victory was relegated to harbour service and served as a resident flagship and accommodation tender.

Over many decades she fell into disrepair, however in 1922, as Britain’s most celebrated warship of all time, she was saved for the nation. She relocated permanently into Number 2 Dry Dock in Portsmouth, coincidentally being the world’s oldest working dry dock, where she remains today as a museum of the Royal Navy, visited by 25 million visitors.


Working with The National Museum of the Royal Navy who operate the HMS Victory Museum, the ML UK and BAE Systems restoration teams designed a new support system whereby 134 customised stainless steel props would be installed to provide full support to the centuries-old oak hull. In addition, each prop would need to be calibrated and adjustable to operate with a fully integrated hull monitoring system, to constantly analyse the hull’s loading. This new system enabled precision adjustments to be made, to both resolve the rapidly deforming of the hull, and to mitigate its recurrence.

“[ML UK] are fantastic contractors who know exactly what they’re doing inside and out”


Having collaborated with BAE Systems’ design team from the outset, and also on other projects previously, including the Royal Navy’s newly launched aircraft carrier’s fendering system and other maritime conservation projects, ML UK was subsequently awarded the project to manufacture and install the stainless steel prop support system.

Joe Liney, Director of ML UK comments, “The HMS Victory conservation project was a lengthy and complex task, with the props needing to precisely deliver the correct torque before, without placing any further undue stress on the exceptionally heavy timber hull, which could have resulted in a devastating outcome due to her fragility.”

Joe continues, “It was essential that each support prop could be adjusted individually, therefore the ML UK Conservation Teams painstakingly ensured that each of the 134 props was calibrated to the precise calculation dictated by the intelligence provided with the pioneering customised monitoring system, being the first of its kind in the world. We have been delighted to work within the conservation team once again on this exciting project providing long term support to Britain’s most celebrated warship.”


Andrew Baines, Project Director at The National Museum of the Royal Navy, said: “HMS Victory is a unique museum object of international importance… The new support system design and the installation process has been painstakingly developed over the past five years. The expertise we have gained, will not only safeguard HMS Victory’s future but help us to support other historic ships around the world.”

The three-year maritime conservation project was completed by ML UK on time and to budget, with HMS Victory now secure and fully prepared to welcome another 25 million visitors over its decks.

For further information regarding this restoration or other projects, please contact Joe Liney on 02392 819114 or email

Discover why ML UK is the Go-To Bespoke Fabrication Provider

Why ML UK is the Go-To Bespoke Fabrication Provider

ML UK’s fabricated aluminium fittings for a filtration system together with the original plastic product

Since the 1980s, ML UK has been the go-to provider of custom made steel and aluminium items and equipment, for its customers who span many sectors.

One of ML UK’s regular customers, a large-scale tug operator and marine services provider, often requests bespoke tooled products urgently in order to fulfil a just-in-time task or project.

With around 70 contracts with the MOD and other large organisations, and which operates over 100 vessels in the UK, the customer has come to ML UK with myriad and varied requests for many years.

One such recent request was to produce a hosepipe adapter for a filtration system that the customer was developing, which was destined for use in Portsmouth Docks.

The customer provided the plastic original product, together with the original drawings supplied digitally. Having assessed the sample for any potential issues, ML UK’s team fabricated a number of these fittings in C6 aluminium in its comprehensively equipped workshop.

The customer was delighted with the speed of production combined with the quality of output and is likely to return again soon with another unusual requirement.

ML UK’s Operations Manager, Peter Halkyard comments, “It is always a great complement to have returning business from a major player in its sector, no matter the size or scale of the requirement. Our customers return to us time and time again because they know that we can deliver on time and well within budget, a precisely tooled product that will do the job for many years to come.”

For further information on how ML UK can assist your business’ precision, structural and marine engineering requirements, please contact us on 02392 819114 or

ML UK delivers essential steel frameworks for dock’s security

ML UK delivers essential steel frameworks for dock’s security

ML UK’s designed and fabricated bespoke steel security frameworks for use in the Portsmouth docks

ML UK has recently installed new port security steel frameworks for its client, Portico, which supplies monitoring and security systems to storage sites and docks. Operating in a time critical environment combined with many heavy good vehicles continually traversing their waterside site at the Portsmouth port, Portico was regularly having reports with trucks damaging, and at times, destroying its monitoring equipment. The damage to the monitors was two-fold, resulting in an interruption in security monitoring due to the shut-off of security cameras, together with costing equipment requiring replacement.

Having discussed the problem with ML, the ML team supplied Portico with a solution. They had designed a robust and tamperproof steel framework that enabled the 360-degree monitoring system to be unaffected, combined with full accessibility for servicing. The frames were to be welded to base plates, to allow for total replacement of the units, and with the necessary tensile strength to withstand a 20-tonne lorry ramming it. The ML team also prepped and sprayed the frames to be weatherproof.

Joe Liney, Director at ML UK comments. “The operations team at Portico are delighted with the result, with the initial units already performing well under the daily challenges of a busy container port. Subsequent orders are imminent, with the intention to roll these out across other sites.”

For further information on how ML UK can assist your business’ precision, structural and marine engineering requirements, please contact 02392 819114 or

ML Trade Counter delivers the goods!

ML Trade Counter delivers the goods!

Glen Taylor leads the expert team at ML Trade Counter. Coming from an engineering background, he brought to ML an unparalleled wealth of knowledge.

Glen comments, “ML Trade Counter is highly unique in that it can offer both off-the-shelf engineered parts, in addition to hard-to-source and bespoke, precision-tooled items. Over the years we have helped many businesses of all sizes benefit from our knowledge and sourcing ability.

“Take our longstanding customer who is a UK leading defence contractor, who had been purchasing cobalt countersink drills for a new project.

Having seen that the customer had been regularly purchasing these particular stock items, I discussed the requirement with customer and deduced that they should be opting for a diamond-tip countersink drill as it would outperform their current drills.

The ML team and I researched the options and ensured availability, then forwarded drawings to the contractor’s design and production team who agreed that this would be the better option; saving money, time and resulting in a far more precise finish. What is great is that the parts are made-to-order items which means that each individual item is custom made to the exact requirement.”  

Glen continues, “Another time we had a customer who urgently required ID tags having been let down by another supplier. Within 24 hours ML Trade Counter had sourced and delivered the new ID tags which featured UID coding, ready for instant installation. To say they were delighted was an understatement!”

Whether a tiny screw or laser cut build kits, the experienced team at ML Trade Counter has the knowledge and contacts to source it each time, every time. Contact Glen or his colleagues on phone 02392 819114 or pop into the Portsmouth store at PO2 7QH to discuss your specific requirements.

ML restores D-Day Landing Craft to former glory

ML restores D-Day Landing Craft to former glory

LCT 7074 being transported to her new home

ML UK’s three-year vessel restoration of the last remaining D-Day veteran WWI landing craft has now reached its conclusion.

LCT7074 was a sinking hulk when she was discovered in Birkenhead, UK. Her twin steel hulls were delaminated, and over 99% of the vessel was submerged in salt water, resulting in the ship rapidly being destroyed. Built and launched in 1944 on the River Tyne, the 57-metre LCT7074 is the last remaining LCT located in the UK and the sole survivor of the Normandy Landings.

Following a stringent tender process, ML UK was selected to conduct all aspects of the restoration, having worked with the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) on other complex projects including the extensive restoration of the 1859 Royal Navy’s 40-gun steam-powered armoured frigate floating museum, the HMS Warrior.

The works encompassed all aspects of the project, from airbag lift to surface, to the careful move to a semi-submersible ship for her transportation, through to cleaning out tonnes of filthy sea water, to removing and replacing 200 tonnes of steel, building and fitting a new hydraulic 4-metre bow door, to the meticulous hand-painting of every square inch of the landing craft. An enormous, dead eel was an unwelcome surprise discovered hidden between the double hulls whilst the team was removing 80 tonnes of silt and debris. Whilst much of the work was heavy slog, at all times the teams needed to operate delicately in order to preserve as much of the existing vessel as possible and it was also key that the LCT was to be restored to closely resemble its D-Day configuration.

Part of a £4.9m project encompassing several Portsmouth museums, the LCT 7074 restoration was achieved through a partnership between The D-Day Story and the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN), funded by The National Lottery.

Moving the completed 300-tonne LCT7074 was a complex three-day operation. She was first moved onto a barge and towed across Portsmouth Harbour to Southsea beach, where she was carefully beached then transported along the waterfront road to her final position. A purpose-built exhibition hangar has been constructed to protect her and her visitors from the elements, where LCT7074 is display with two refurbished WWII tanks which were also installed on her decks.

The restored LCT7074 is due to be officially unveiled to the public in 2021 once lockdown is lifted.

Mick Liney, MD of ML UK comments, “As always, it is a privilege to work with the National Museum for the Royal Navy and The D-Day Story, and particularly on such an interesting project. The unique nature of this rare vessel made it extremely challenging, however we ensured that it was delivered exactly on time and to budget.”

Watch the videos of the restoration here. To discuss your restoration or ship refit requirements, please contact the team at ML on phone 02392 819114 or click here to send a mail.

Images (c) courtesy of Maritime Films UK

ML UK completes extensive vessel refit to ML Split Two

ML UK completes extensive vessel refit to ML Split Two

A ship on the water

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ML Split Two

Complementing ML Dredging’s fleet of workboats, the ML Split Two is one of ML’s two self-propelled split-hopper barges, often seen operating in the Solent region and along the UK coast.

The 42m x 8.4m ML Split Two has a capacity of 340m3, enabling her to provide a range of dredging services to commercial marine operators, including shipyard, ports and marinas; who regularly employ ML’s split-hopper barges for capital and maintenance dredging contracts.

In late 2020, following many years of often back-to-back contracts, ML Split II required an extensive refit. Over 40 tonnes of steel were used to re-plate the hulls and topsides and within the split.

The refit was carried out by ML Dredging’s sister company, ML UK at Hythe Marine Park in Southampton.

ML UK’s welding teams, who at times throughout the project were 18 strong, works included fabrication of the forward hull split plates, bow plates, forward and ram space bulkheads and the main hold bulkheads to fore and aft. The main and aft hulls were re-plated as were the fore and aft deck plates.

The engineering teams also replaced the main fuel piping, and improved the ram space access to fore and aft, together with new forward combing. 

ML Split Two benefited from having new hawse pipes, anchors, new main splitting pins and rebore, as well as new main fuel piping. The engine, propulsion and hydraulic systems were appraised, overhauled, and serviced by ML UK’s team of in-house marine engineers.

Due to the unique nature of the split-hull configuration there were several potential issues to overcome. Where the two splitting hulls come apart via hydraulic pistons to allow materials to be dropped into the sea, not only was it a complex task re-plating the dual inner hulls within the existing outer hull structure, but also challenging ensuring that hull-splitting operating gear remained safe and operable during the works.

ML UK’s Portsmouth workshop boasts a comprehensive range of machinery allowing the fabrication team to roll 13mm thick plate up to 2.5 metres long to form the bow using rollers, as well as the machining capabilities to form all plating requirements from cutting, folding and rolling.

Joe Liney, Director of ML Dredging comments, “We are delighted with how the team at ML UK devised solutions, which resulted in a seamlessly managed vessel refit, to time and on budget. The quality of the refit is faultless and ML Split Two returned to service right on schedule.”

Following completion of her refit and renewal of MCA class certification, the ML Split Two recommenced active service where she was immediately deployed to undertake dredging works in Portsmouth harbour at Gosport Marina with her sistership, the ML Split Three.

For further information and to find out how ML can assist your operation, please click here to send a mail or call 02392 819114.

Images (c) courtesy of Maritime Films UK