Robert Allan Ltd. is an independent, privately owned firm of Consulting Naval Architects, established in Vancouver. The business was founded in 1930 when Robert Allan commenced private practice as a Consulting Naval Architect after managing a local shipyard. He was responsible for numerous enduring designs produced for the growing British Columbia fishing fleet and for coastal ferry services, among others. The firm's reputation was also enhanced by the design of the notable and enduring ocean-going motor yachts Meander and Fifer.
In 1945, Robert F. Allan joined his father in the practice. The growing business was instrumental in the development of specialized tugs and barges for the burgeoning forestry and mining industries along the B.C. coast, and many unique craft for Canada's northland. Incorporated as Robert Allan Ltd. in 1962, the Company continued to grow and achieved international recognition for the high standards and performance of its many unique and specialized designs.
In 1973, Robert G. Allan joined the family tradition, and in 1981 succeeded his father as President, leading the company into a new generation of computer-based design technology, with a variety of distinctive designs for modern high-performance ship-assist and escort tugs, icebreakers, government service vessels, and high speed craft. Robert Allan Ltd. was a leader in introducing CAD technology into the ship design office in Canada. All design and drafting operations are now highly automated, based on experience in the medium dating back to 1983. The company has continued to grow and has established itself as an international leader in commercial small craft design. A staff of highly qualified Professional Engineers, Naval Architects, Marine Engineers, Technologists and Designers handle a wide variety of projects for clients around the world.
In 2008, reflecting the continued growth of the business, the company was restructured to a culture of employee ownership with ten of Robert Allan Ltd.'s core group of senior employees becoming shareholders in the firm. Rob Allan moved into the new role of Executive Chairman of the Board, and is still actively involved in the day to day operations, in an advisory role to the new Owners.
The new shareholders in the company have been part of the Robert Allan Ltd. management team for a number of years. As such, they have become increasingly well known to Robert Allan Ltd. clients and the industry as the company has expanded world-wide.
The current President is Ken Harford, P. Eng., who has been a key figure in the company since 1988, most recently as Vice-President, Marine Engineering. Hans Muhlert, P. Eng., who has been responsible for leading many designs and technical innovations since starting with Robert Allan Ltd. in 1972, remains on our team as a Consulting Naval Architect.