Project Manager / Egypt / Soon as possible

Discussion in 'Services & Employment' started by Jendrik, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. Jendrik
    Joined: Oct 2004
    Posts: 21
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Germany


    Job Description
    Reporting directly to the owner, as Project Manager / Head of Production, this is an unusual and extremely challenging opportunity. As a key member of the executive team you will take overall ownership and control of the production for the current yacht to completion with the option after one year to lead the future production line and ultimately contribute to its and the company’s commercial success. This is a very hands-on role where you will be responsible for all aspects of production especially at the implementation level.

    Key Tasks and Responsibilities
    • Take ownership and project manage all aspects of the completion of a 40m wooden tri-deck motor yacht. Consisting of 9 cabins, saloon, dining area for 14, 8 bathrooms, owners suite. Each space needs to be individually designed with luxury and space optimisation, design and built using where possible locally sourced materials and in house or locally outsourced resources.
    • You will have in depth knowledge and experience of the whole production life cycle
    • Produce and track the project to completion using MS project
    • Complete the specification book and bill of materials
    • Working with Chief Marine Engineer and Interior Designer to ensure plans meet the owner’s and classification requirements.
    • Various back-office administrative work and budget control.
    • To use out-of-the-box thinking in exploring methods and work scheduling to fast track production where possible.
    • To work with in-house or external procurement team to source quality materials and equipment either locally or internationally with the ability to use cost benefit analysis to support your decision rationale.
    • Sign-off all works from a design and QA perspective.
    • Communicate, advise and function closely with the management team and provide status reports to the owner.

    Experience & Skills
    • Ideally a qualified engineer with a minimum of 5 years experience within a lead project management position of 40m size yachts.
    • Experienced and familiar with the day-to-day issues of all areas of yacht construction and experience of resolving those issues.
    • Able to resolve problems, coach, provide solutions and dynamic pro-active leadership at all levels of organisation.
    • Must have experience of working in different countries within a challenging multi-cultural environment where few ‘westerns’ are prepared to live.
    • Fluent in English. Arabic is an advantage, but in absence of such knowledge a translator will be provided.

    Candidate profile
    A self starter who is a passionate team player with strong leadership and organisational skills that is not afraid to roll up your sleeves and work at the implementation level. As an effective communicator you will be a stable, mature yet enthusiastic person with an eye for low level detail and able to think out of the box to solve design, technical and cultural challenges. Although there are many attractive locations within an hour or so of Alexandria, Alexandria itself and in particular where the boat yard is located and the local culture is not to everyone’s liking and therefore you must be totally aware and confident that this will not be an issue.

    If you are interested in this postion, submit your contact details and CV to:
  2. Bad_Trim
    Joined: Feb 2006
    Posts: 18
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    Location: West Coast

    Bad_Trim Junior Member

    It's in the Details


    Be very cautious with this one!!!
    I have seen the project, and met the players. Having had little successes recruiting on his own (search “Egypt” on this forum), the guy that started this has now attained a “head-hunter” to give it a try. The fact remains that no yacht building company exists, they have had equipment seized, and unless you are an Egyptian national or have prior authorization to work in the country, you will be expected to enter on a tourist visa and work illegally. What does exist here is a partially built wooden boat sitting on a patch of dirt in Alexandria, and not much else.
  3. Gypsie
    Joined: Apr 2005
    Posts: 123
    Likes: 3, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 50
    Location: Lombok Indonesia

    Gypsie Randall Future by Design

    I thought as much, they where also dangling the "future megayacht yard" carrot to entice someone into finishing the Egypt fiasco.
    Cheers Bad Trim
  4. Jendrik
    Joined: Oct 2004
    Posts: 21
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Germany


    You have to know the details!

    Dear BAD_TRIM,

    I aprreciate your comments on this projects and that you also send me your private message to warn me.

    I believe you where not aware what you can expect when you visited the project. Building projects like this is a very usual job in this region. Personal friends are building even bigger up to 60m in Dubai or are making conversions with 120m in Qatar. We noticed over the years that there is the "Middle East Thing" going on. Western people thing that the streets in this region are made of gold and that they where everyday cleaned with a vacuum cleaner. Also have western people the expectation that they are urgently needed here and that the rich locals will throw their money after them.

    The fact is that the advantage of low labour cost has also the disadvantage of zero infrastructure. So if you are scared to eat something from a street restaurant, you need in your office the white carpet under your feets, you dont like sand in your food, or you need an entire western office with 10 people around you and the most modern equipment, sorry than you will not make it here. Additional cultural differences and mentality should be very careful observed. The first 4 weeks it will be a nice adventure, but when you are not use it to work in strange and different countries, you will not get your job done.

    The basic problem from Egypt to Dubai is that western people which have problems to find a job in the western countries starts to look in this region. Most of them where never under work conditions here, saw the countries only from the TV, have no idea about the daily life or even the general circumstances. All yacht building companies have the same problems here, this project is not the only one. And think about it: In Dubai are more foreigners leaving than entering the city!

    The additional point regarding work permits and company structure are issues which are possible to handle. The employer will not risk to get in trouble with the governement. If you need a company structure to get money, than you should better work in tradtitional western companies. So long the salary is coming in time, there should be no problem.

    BAD_TRIM I recommend that you step a little bit back from these points. The picture which you try to create, shows only that you had completley wrong expectations. If you want to proceed with your campaign against this project, go ahead. This will not disturb the project it self.

    Other readers who might be interested can contact me directly or may even call me. There is nothing to hide, we need people which stays and get jobs done.

    Best regards

    Jendrik Odenwald

    P.S: If someone has a serious concern or can prove that I'm wrong, please get in contact with me immediately!
  5. JohnEgypt
    Joined: Jan 2008
    Posts: 20
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Egypt and India

    JohnEgypt Junior Member

    Dear all,

    To add clarification to Bad_Trim’s comments, as a wealthy entrepreneur and owner of this company and Yacht (and indeed many more business including $100M+ market cap companies spanning 9 countries in 4 continents from Technology, Media (including my own TV channels), BPO, online baking, and property development companies).

    BAD_TRIM’s (Gavin Erickson, ) comments, I can only assume were made due to him visiting Alexandria, meeting the team and the Yacht, accepting the position based on revised terms and then I rejected him and therefore is he is now disgruntled.

    There has only been ONE person who has “met the players” and comes from the “West Coast” as per Bad_Trim’s profile and posting. Gavin Erickson was rejected as I did not feel he met the project management skills and personal qualities required to succeed in this project. He was very tardy at responding to my emails and I felt he would be unable to adapt to Egypt or any other multi-cultural environment that was not within his comfort zone such as the ‘western’ culture found in his home country of Canada.

    100% of all people from outside of Egypt who have visited the yacht and project have accepted to join the project in one form or another (including Bed_Trim who made many positive comments about the lines and construction of the yacht whist in Alexandria) . However, as per any company in any country, in order for a project to succeed it needs the right management team that is able to execute. Egypt like most countries has its own set of challenges and in order to succeed the right team needs to be selected. I did not feel Gavin was able to meet these challenges.

    To clarify the specific points mentioned in Gavin’s (Red_Trim) posting:

    1) Of course the yacht is part finished otherwise we would not need to advertise for a Project Manager or Interior Designer ;-)

    2) It is correct the current yacht is wooden with fibreglass finish. As per the posting this is a prototype to prove the concept (the most beneficial material for this purpose in Egypt). The production models will not be wood. I am more than happy to send a photograph of the actual yacht to seriously interested parties. The exterior structure is complete with some internal build. The current Yachts is approximately 50% complete.

    3) Gavin is correct that there is no production facility as per Canadian standards at this moment, as he was and all is aware. The current yacht is being built in a secure $30,000 USD/ month “patch of dirt” in Alexandria owned and secured by the Egyptian Navy and is the premier location for such activity in the area. Please visit for the “patch of dirt” in which the yacht is located. However, ‘patch of dirt’ is a relative term and indeed Gavin also describes the whole of Alexandria and Egypt in general as a ‘patch of dirt’ and hence one of the main reasons for me declining to accept his offer to join the project even though he accepted the position based on having to ‘escape’ from Egypt for 2 weeks every 4 weeks. This combined with his inability to be able to commit to a joining date even after a month of visiting Alexandria. If it takes months to know how long it takes to get your own house in order (consisting of one single person), how is it possible to project manager the completion of a 40m yacht – never mind the future proposed production facility?).

    4) As mentioned in the original posting – this is a prototype with full bespoke scalable and modular production facility being designed from the ground up to maximise production efficiencies and economies of scale specific to our deign of yacht. At the current moment an extremely large water front 300,000 sqm site has been found for this purpose, sale agreed with owner and currently in the planning approval stage (which will take a many months because of the scale of the proposed facilities). However, as with any business there are inherent risks involved and nothing is 100% guaranteed.

    5) Gavin is aware that no “equipment has been seized’ within the context he implies. However, about $150,000 worth of equipment was stolen whilst it was stored outside the secure yard.

    6) As regards “expected to enter on a tourist visa and work illegally”. We do not employ foreigners in Egypt illegally. However, it is true to say that things are done differently here with tax/bonus structure unfamiliar to the west and things do take a bit longer for certain things, but in many respects it is actually simpler to employ foreigners in Egypt than many countries due to Egypt Labour Law automatically permitting a company to employ up to 10% of its labour as foreigners provided you are able to prove 5 years of experience in your position. We will however request that you initially enter on a tourist visa to speed up this process (normal practice). The tourist visa takes less than 5 minutes on arrival at the airport.

    7) The company in Egypt is totally legitimate entity with Egyptian Investment Authority approval status and its activity periodically overseen by them. The Yacht’s Hull has been GL certified (German classification) and is currently being approved by HRS (Greek Classification and part of IACS)

    I have enlisted Jendrik and his company as a head hunter due to his extensive knowledge and experience of yacht construction industry in this part of the world but also in his hands-on-knowledge of assessing both the personal and professional skill sets required to work in environments outside the average persons comfort zone and I value Jendriks assistance in this area especially due to my limited time and various other company commitments.

    I hope this clarifies the situation and if any genuinely interested person is interested in the challenging and exciting postion would like full transparency of the email communication between Gavin and I, I am more than happy to send a copy of our email conversation whereby Gavin accepts the position of Project Manager at $135,000 based on escaping Egypt frequently but declines to commit to a start date.

    Many thanks.

  6. Bad_Trim
    Joined: Feb 2006
    Posts: 18
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: West Coast

    Bad_Trim Junior Member

    Words to the Wise...


    John Suart (in his words… the “wealthy entrepreneur and owner of the company and yacht”… (JohnEgypt)) moved to, and currently lives in Latvia. His charge of my being disgruntled is perhaps one of the most widely used approaches drawn on by those attempting to create enough smoke to obscure the facts. It seems Mr. Suart was becoming somewhat frustrated with my cautious approach regarding working illegally in Egypt, and as a result hired another candidate to run the project. While he has every right to do that, one must ask the question what happened to this fellow? The following is an email I received on April 15, 2008 from Mr. Suart describing the enthusiasm of his new recruit…
    April 15, 2008

    Hi Gavin,

    Having giving things some serious thought I am still concerned over the
    speed at which things have progressed and are moving forward. Not coming
    back with a revised start-date in which to commit to worries me even more.
    Last week I met up with the HK (
    Hong Kong) yacht guy and within 48 hours we had agreed
    terms, a start-date in Egypt etc.. In view of his passion and speed at which
    he responds and his ability to make things happen quickly I have decided to
    give him a go at the project. He also doesn't have much issues with

    I would like to thank you for your consideration on this project and in the
    event circumstances should change on either side I would welcome revisiting

    Kind regards and all the best,


    The facts remain that as a result of a conflict, the original builder of the boat grabbed whatever equipment John’s group had laying around, and also reported his lead man to the authorities as a spy. While I have no reason to believe this is true, it does offer an indication as to the environment surrounding this thing. The “corporate office” is an old apartment on the ninth floor (if I recall correctly) in a rundown building in Alexandria, and they have never built a boat before taking on this one. This is not a prototype in any sense of the word, and be sure and ask for the yacht ID number provided by the classification society. This is simply one mans attempt at building himself a boat for the lowest possible dollar (or Euro, or Pound) and that’s OK, but lets be honest about it. This project has been in the works for more than five years, and at this point isn’t much beyond a shell (ask for some pictures of the interior).

    This began as a simple warning to those interested in getting involved to gather all the facts, ask all the hard questions, and then go and see the project before you make a decision. Mr. Suart is right; I didn’t jump at $135K, so there had to be some good reasons. Please feel free to contact me if you are thinking of getting involved, and would like further information.

    Be careful out there!
  7. NURBS
    Joined: Jun 2008
    Posts: 2
    Likes: 0, Points: 1, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: almost there

    NURBS New Member


    Hey Bad Trim,

    Thanks for the "heads-up", and good advise for everyone.

  8. Old Boat
    Joined: Jun 2008
    Posts: 1
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: following a star

    Old Boat New Member

    ... this is the internet afterall

    We have gone from corporate offices and production lines (old posts), to an old apartment and an expensive “patch of dirt”… interesting!

    I know Mr. Erickson to be an experienced yacht designer with an excellent understanding of project management on large boats, and trust that his advice regarding performing your due diligence prior to committing to anything, should be standard operating procedure for anyone looking for employment on the internet.

    Good Luck
  9. Paulo.AS
    Joined: Sep 2006
    Posts: 30
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    Location: Brazil

    Paulo.AS Junior Member

    I think that a cautious approach to ANY job offering, specially on a foreign land, must be the norm.
    Ideally one should gather as much background info on the employer as possible, and of the day-to-day routine and society culture and norms of the country one plans to go to. Hell, even when moving within your OWN country you should do that. Believe 'cause I've been there (not Egypt :D )
    On the other hand, and being in a third world country like Brazil, I KNOW that the IDEAL conditions to work - infrastructure, due payment, well trained staffs, relaible suppliers, etc- are almost impossible to come by. In comes resourcefulness, pragmatism, commitment and seriousness. But all this must come hand-in-hand with legality, honesty and justice, otherwise it's a no go.
    Accepting a job on foreign land is a big risk that can be made manageable by good research and careful planning.

  10. Good_Trim
    Joined: Jun 2008
    Posts: 1
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Egypt

    Good_Trim New Member

    Grow up Gavin

    Hi Gavin,

    Really I don't know why you are doing this?
    Did you not enjoy Egypt?
    Did you not enjoy your trip to Alexandria?
    Did you not enjoy the Pyramids?
    Did you not enjoy The Sheraton Plaza (second most expensive Hotel in Alexandria)?

    I think you should thank John for the free trip!

    Your lies and deceitfulness are just mind blowing when you state "in a rundown building in Alexandria" Mohamed Fawzi Moaz St. is one of the most
    expensive streets in Alexandria and the building is less than 4 Years old!!!

    I did not get involved in your childish rant but when you make further lies such as "The facts remain that as a result of a conflict, the original builder of the boat grabbed whatever equipment John’s group had laying around, and also reported his lead man to the authorities as a spy." I have to react!!!

    For your information, I built this hull and the original carpenter I worked with was Mr. Hamdy Dougeshy which is still a good friend of mine and which I respect very much, so to accuse him of theft when you don't even know him is really disgusting. As for your "Spy" thing :D or "Patch of Dirt" anyone can unmask you by using google earth


    "Elegance" is a really great feat and I am very proud of her.

    If you don't want to come work in Egypt the single biggest tourist destination for Europeans for 135K that's your problem but you don't need to spoil it for the others.

    So here is some basic advice Gavin

    Grow up
    Go Build a Boat
    Launch it to the Sea
    And Enjoy

    P.S. funny to note that NURBS Joined 06-10-2008.... lol is that you Gavin? oh and Old Boat also joined 06-10-2008..... is that you again Gavin?

  11. JohnEgypt
    Joined: Jan 2008
    Posts: 20
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Egypt and India

    JohnEgypt Junior Member

    Re: BAD_Trim last post

    First of all many thanks to those that wrote to me personally showing their support – I confirm we have full Rhino files of all aspects of the build, structure, interior and systems. I shall also write to those separately and send photographs of current status of build, internal works so that you can make your own independent judgement. I assume such requests are a direct result by Gavin also sending emails to some people separately behind this forum with further lies and accusations.

    Although this thread is fast becoming childish and unproductive and I have better use of my time than to continue to respond to even more blatant lies and false accusations simply because someone has, without just reason, aggressively attacked our operation simply as a vendetta for being rejected for a very attractive job opportunity that he really wanted. However, in absence of never saying never, I trust the following further clarification highlights Gavin’s continuous lies such that any further postings by Bad_Trim are ignored by all parties so we can all get back to running our respective business rather than spending negative energy which is going to serve little further purpose.

    In response to Gavin’s (BAD_Trim) latest posting:

    “Mr. Suart is right; I didn’t jump at $135K”

    I was actually saying Gavin DID jump at $135K. In fact, I was incorrect Gavin DID in fact “jump at” $120K. The $135K was based on me also retaining IP rights to any future designs he may provide in future project.

    The Hong Kong guy (also a Canadian): He did indeed act extremely quickly and visited the project in Egypt and I was impressed with the guy and his feedback. He wishes to spend more time on the project and offered a lot of his services. We are still in communication and I hope in the future he can spend more time on the project once he frees up more time. In the mean time we still require current and future additional resource.

    As Gavin started and continues to persist in false acusations I also provide copies of email communication by Gavin to substantiate my comments and further highlight his strage behaviour and accusations:

    Closing statement by Gavin after he visited the project in Egypt. Dated March 15, 2008:

    “I have no doubt that I can assume the position that we discussed regarding your future production vessels. In addition, I am capable of developing a distinctive new design, producing the required drawing packages, and the data required for a professionally managed build. Some serious effort beginning now will have advantages in offering a smooth transition into a production scenario by ensuring abundant build data as construction begins on the new line of yachts.
    I am interested in hearing your thoughts regarding my impressions, as well as any ideas on how we might proceed. I believe that you have an interesting and worthwhile venture planed, and I would certainly be interested in being involved if we can find the right fit.
    Sincerely, and with optimism,
    Gavin L. Erickson
    Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers
    Society of Boat and Yacht Designers
    National Association of Corrosion Engineers”

    The following are various extracts from the last email I received by Gavin on the 7th April 2008 in which he CONFIRMS to ” jump at” $120K, contrary to his previous posting. However, in the end I rejected because after 5 weeks of visiting Egypt he still could not come back even with an approximate start date. The following are extracts of Gavin’s email to highlight and reconfirm that 100% of people who have visited the project have been excited by it and wanted to join (including BAD_Trim,Gavin himself) either fully or partly depending on their current commitments:

    Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2008 09:a)44:57 -0700 (PDT)
    From: "G. Erickson" <>
    Subject: Remuneration Package

    Hi John,

    I have been able to review the proposed remuneration package that you sent, and for the most part I would have to say that I don’t think that we are too far from agreement. Please allow me to restate your offer as I understand it, and address a few points along the way.

    (1) Base Salary:

    $120, 000.00 US Dollars / Year
    a) - I believe that this is a reasonable number as we begin our association, and start laying the groundwork toward completion of the existing vessel, as well as the proposed production facility.
    b) - As I am not familiar with employment requirements in Egypt, can you explain your reference to a “local Egyptian salary / tax”, as well as my position in the eyes of the Egyptian Government (visas, work permits, etc.).
    c) - As driving oneself in Egypt (and most likely India as well) is out of the question, I will require being supplied with the services of a full-time qualified driver during my time in country. Additional requirements include a communications package consisting of mobile(cell)phone, and HS internet accounts.
    d) - A budget of $10,000.00/year for personal travel is certainly appreciated. I would also like to see this figure “indexed” to current air fairs if possible, in an effort to ensure continued service in this era of fuel surcharges, and rate hikes. I would also request that my first (working) flight into Egypt be booked with an open return to Vancouver.
    e) -With regard to a supplied apartment while in Egypt, it may offer improved flexibility if we agree on a maximum company disbursement, and then allow me to decide if I wish to supplement this to attain accommodation of my choice.
    f) -In what I consider on-going education, I would like to see the company cover the cost of enrollment, and attendance (could be on line) at a maximum of two courses (design, software, etc.) per year, as well as attendance at two major yacht shows per year.
    g) -As a Naval Architect under contract, all of my designs are copyright and I retain legal ownership as well as the right to license builders as I see fit. On the other hand, designs done as an employee of a company belong to the company, and the designer retains no rights. With this in mind and based on being an “employee”, I would want to see my salary rise to $135,000.00 / year at the point that I begin any design work on future vessel(s). Of course we also have the option of developing new designs under contract if that is preferable.
    h) -With a considerable increase in responsibilities, as well as a fundamental change in the scope of employment as the production facility becomes operational, I would want to see my salary increase to $150,000.00 / year at the time that any new vessel production begins.

    (4) General Terms:

    a) -Full time employment, with 4 weeks annual paid vacation.
    b) -Initial 6 months focused on Egyptian project, with a 4 weeks in 2 weeks out rotation.

    I look forward to assuming the role of “Head of Production” for both the current, and future builds, as well as developing the yachts that will drive this endeavor for years to come.

    I trust the Asian trip is going well, and I look forward to your comments.


    Gavin Erickson
    Advanced Dynamics
    Design Group
    +1. 604.720.4954 (Direct)
  12. JohnEgypt
    Joined: Jan 2008
    Posts: 20
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Egypt and India

    JohnEgypt Junior Member

  13. oceanreef
    Joined: Oct 2008
    Posts: 13
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: australasia

    oceanreef Junior Member

    Project Management

    Instead of trying to find project managers from elsewhere why not get western expats who have worked and lived in these regions. You are going to save yourself a lot of grief and money when the new people start coming back at you with "its too hot", "its not like this were I come from" "i cant work with these people"
    Admittedly you will have to pay top dollar but in the long run the job will get done and without the stress, because thats what you pay them for.
    Ive done it and it works.
  14. swabbie

    swabbie Previous Member

    Wow guys...impressive bit of ***** fighting there and I thought boat builders were one big family.
    Long and short of it:
    John: your yacht is bloody awful, seen it, would'nt waste time or money on it.

    Gavin: like Nelson proved aiming for the water line works every time.

    Michel: not impressed buddy and Alexandria, place has'nt improved since the Brut and Cleo were rocking on
    1 person likes this.

  15. Jendrik
    Joined: Oct 2004
    Posts: 21
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Germany


    Dear oceanreef,

    I agree with you, but thats what the owners of these projects sometimes not understand. They are building vessels in such countries to save money. If they where wealthy enough they would go to a better place and get quality for a fair budget and delivered in time. In the beginning of each project they try usually to get it alone done, as it could be not so difficult to build a boat. After 3-4 years playing around they realize that something is wrong.

    I did several projects in this region there. Its for some months a nice adventure but later on you just get tired, bored or agressive. Usually the western managers survife something between 3-6 months.

    Anyway, this position above is meanwhile closed.
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