Person Behind the Face - Derek Gilbert

Derek Gilbert Derek Gilbert
Industry Database

How I got into this industry….I learned to sail at an early age in a Yarmouth Scow and this love of water led to a career in the Merchant Navy. From a junior engineer officer with a tanker company, I became a field service engineer, travelling globally and working on commercial and military shipping.

Then my dream opportunity arose at a company called Nautech, now Raymarine. This involved hands on work with electrics, electronics and mechanics as well as training, sea-trials and technical support in the UK and overseas. I was licenced to skipper the company test boat - pretty much the perfect job from my point of view. I have since clocked up 30 years with the company albeit under a variety of different corporate owners.

Best advice I've ever received.... always keep your choices open, never say never and always do the best you possibly can.

You should really read.... the manual. Most customers never read the manual and most questions we get through our support line can be answered simply by reading it. Or try reading 2001 A Space Odyssey by Arthur C Clarke – it has many alternative interpretations, is well ahead of its time and a jolly good read.

One thing the industry needs less of is.... bureaucracy. Regulation is a good thing if managed correctly, but bureaucracy stifles innovation, restricts risk and strangles adventure.

Most hated buzzword or workplace expression…’at the end of the day’ – aaaarrrrrgghhh

Best place I’ve been .... sat around a table, surrounded by family and friends, sharing a joke or two, great company and great conversation.

Don't worry about... things over which you have no influence.

Favourite meal… has to be a good old-fashioned carvery with plenty of veg, Yorkshire pudding and thick, dark gravy. 

How I cope with stress….eat my way through it. Preferably cheese,biscuits and port. If none of this is available, then deep breaths, close my eyes and think of clouds. 

Something about you that people might be surprised by... I can operate a steam locomotive    

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