”Let´s go day by day” – Erkki Heikkilä

The builder of Clewat´s vessels, Erkki, is one of those people, who have water instead of blood in their veins. He knows different kinds of boats like his own pockets and has always enjoyed boating. His work with boats for more than thirty years has taught a lot. He has been repairing the sailboats of Swan, built motor boats – and now the vessels of Clewat.

“I have always been boating and also sailed earlier”, Erkki tells. He has been with his uncle “the black sheeps of family”, as he says, boating a lot as the only ones. So he has learned to know the waves of Näsijärvi, spaciousness of Päijänne, shallow shores of Kokkola as well as the archipelago of Åland. I dare to say that when you know the water systems as Erkki, you also know the boats, thoroughly.

Our craftsman is also involved in the activities of Finnish Yacht Surveyors and as a harbour master in Kokkola Boat Club. “Boating connects people. However, I don´t fish, it is so depended on luck. My neighbour is a professional fisherman, so I have fresh fish available always.” Today Erkki is boating with 12-meters motor boat. “It is not a yuppie boat”, Erkki laughs, ” but the old-fashioned trawler type boat. I have changed it a lot, there is even a sauna now.”

The monitoring of Finnish water systems for decades also teaches to see the changes. “The water systems have changed a lot. There were earlier very clear water in Kokkola, it was able to see to the bottom of the sea. I think that now we have to work for the cleaner waters.”

The founder of Clewat, Johannes, was familiar to him already earlier. Once they we testing the company´s vessel on the shore, when Erkki pondered aloud, how he could still change his working place, if there was work available. Johannes seized the opportunity and in next spring our vessel´s builder was already at the workroom of Kokkola. “I haven´t regretted a day. In the beginning Johannes pondered, how he can coordinate work for me, but everything has gone well. I work very independently and I can´t just stand still.” Erkki also says that he likes the variety work has. “It is nice to be able to go boating every now and then. Last summer I spent two weeks in Helsinki with the vessel, with shorts on my feet.”

I am trying to ask, how our boat builder sees the future of Clewat and his own role there. “Let´s go day by day”, he states calmly. That principle has worked excellently in the world of boats for thirty years, so probably it will help also in the future!

Katja Vaulio

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