Nichols Brothers appoints Gavin Higgins as CEO

Gavin Pr Small

(FREELAND, Wash.) (Nov. 14) — Ice Floe LLC, dba Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, has announced the appointment of Gavin Higgins as chief executive officer, effective immediately.

Higgins brings more than 30 years of industry experience to his new role, having previously served as COO of Nichols Brothers Boat Builders (NBBB). Higgins replaces Matt Nichols, who has served as CEO of NBBB since February 2012. Nichols, one of the founders, also served as CEO for over 35 years prior to the company’s sale in 2008.    

NBBB is pleased that Nichols will be continuing on with the company as its executive vice president, Sales and Marketing, and as a member of the board of directors. This transition will allow Nichols to focus his tremendous wealth of experience in boatbuilding to benefit existing and future customers which will be vital for the future growth of NBBB.

Higgins has been with NBBB since September 2012 in the role of chief operating officer. Prior to NBBB, Higgins was with Irving Shipbuilding Inc. as general manager of Shelburne Ship Repair in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. Shelburne Ship Repair operates the largest marine railway in the Americas and services a variety of Canadian naval, Canadian Coast Guard and commercial vessels.

Previously, Higgins worked for Derecktor Shipyards in the Bridgeport, Conn., and Mamaroneck, N.Y. facilities, where he was involved in all aspects of shipbuilding and ship repair for both yachts and commercial vessels. Notable new construction projects included ferries for the Argentinean operator Buquebus, the Woods Hole Steamship Authority and Alaska Marine Highways. Additionally, recent projects included the largest yacht built in the United States and an LNG assist tug for the operator Reinauer.

Higgins, a naval architect, graduated from Southampton College in Southampton, England, in 1983. He was awarded the Chartered Engineers status in 1990 and became a fellow of the Royal Institute of Naval Architects in 2000. Additionally, in 2007 Higgins received a master's in business administration degree from the University of Connecticut. He has been a member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) in the U.S. since 1983. The American Bureau of Shipping also named Higgins to its committee on small vessels.

About NBBB

Nichols Brothers Boat Builders (NBBB) is a new construction and repair shipyard in Freeland, Wash. Recent projects include two 136-foot ATBs for Kirby Offshore Marine, a 150-foot landing craft for Bowhead Transportation and a 115-foot car ferry for Wahkiakum County. Visit the website at for more information.

By Professional Mariner Staff