Fitting Department


Nichols Brothers fitting department does more than just fabrication, they erect steel and aluminum components into vessel shells. Vessels that are capable of open ocean operation, inland waterway navigation, harbor assistance and so much more.

NBBB’s fitting department is comprised of nearly 75 core fitting employees ranging in skill; from entry level apprentice to 35+ year experienced journeymen, and all levels in-between.  

Journeyman Shipfitters perform shipfitting duties in all stages of new-construction, repair and modernization of US commercial vessels.

Journeyman responsibilities include tacking and fitting of bulkheads, railings, foundations, deck plating and other structural members. Shipfitters assemble, cut and grind metal structural parts to include plates, bulkheads, strong backs, turnbuckles, and come-alongs. Shipfitters align parts in relation to each other, perform layout work according to blueprints or reference lines, mark location of holes to be drilled, drive wedges and install temporary fasteners to hold parts in place for welding or riveting.

Shipfitter apprentices work directly with a journeyman fitter to learn the fundamentals and skills of shipfitting. Apprentices contribute to structural phases of the ship's hull construction, including fabrication, assembly and alignment of the ship structures. Apprentices learn to use multiple tools, machines and blueprints, that help them perform tasks involving layout, fitting, tack welding, service burning, and metal grinding. 

Trevor Fleming

Cory Buzard

Journeyman Ship Fitter

“I’ve been here at Nichols Brothers for 18 years, starting out as a painter. I wanted to increase my skill set so I decided to get into ship fitting. I got a chance to work with one of the best ship fitters ever, Mel Grimm. Ever since then I enjoy coming to work everyday. I get a chance to work with some of the best people in the business. For the nine years I’ve been fitting there is still always something new to learn everyday. I enjoy the team player aspect and I love how family oriented Nichols Brothers is.

Working here is a different animal everyday, which is challenging in itself. We work safe and always watch out for each other. I believe our safety department is one of the best.”

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