The renowned boat builder Barry Kimber from Cowes has died at the age of 75.
Born in Guernsey in 1946, Mr. Kimber attended both Vale Primary School and St. Sampson’s High School.
At 14, he left school to work as an apprentice auto mechanic at Bougourd Bros and later worked as a marine engineer for Guernsey Boatbuilders.
He started his own company, Seaward Marine in Guernsey, and hired six of the best Guernsey Boatbuilders employees when the business went out.
They built pilot and work boats, as well as 45 foot bespoke Nelson design motor yachts.
The company quickly built a reputation for the quality of workmanship and seaworthiness of its boats, and they have been exported worldwide, with 22 boats shipped to Japan.
To expand the business, Mr. Kimber moved the company to Cowes in 2001.
He continued to build boats and exhibit them at the Southampton Boat Show every year until he retired due to illness in 2013.
Mr Kimber’s great-great-grandfather had a long maritime history and was Captain Rehoboth Robinson – the last survivor of the expedition that began in search of Sir John Franklin.
As a hobby, Mr. Kimber enjoyed everything on the water, from sailing and boating to deep sea fishing.
He won many trophies, yacht races in his X99 in Guernsey and even did the Fastnet Race in 1993.
In later years, Mr. Kimber spent much of his time on his cruising yacht, Orbit, taking it to France or the West Country for long vacations.
He also spent several years navigating the French canals with his wife Alison in his 20 meter long Dutch tjalk barge Francoise, between his work engagements.
A longtime member of the Royal Channel Island Yacht Club and Island Sailing Club, Mr Kimber died of Parkinson’s disease after a long battle.
He leaves behind his wife, Alison, and his brother, Bob.