FORMER IW High Sheriff and County Press director David Brian Barrie Chev-erton has died, aged 87.
Mr Cheverton was born in Newport in 1930 and after education at Newport Secondary School was apprenticed to renowned dinghy designer and sailor Uffa Fox at Medina Yard in September 1945.
He completed his apprenticeship at J. S. White’s, building boats for the Royal Navy and the RNLI.
He completed his National Service as a shipwright in the Royal Navy and on discharge was employed by Saunders Roe in their mould loft.
In 1950, during his National Service, he entered a design competition held by Yachting World for a ‘people’s boat’.
Although not the winner, his entry, Quiver, spawned a family sailing cruiser design and encouraged Mr Cheverton to start his own boatbuilding yard with two others in 1957.
Originally called David Cheverton and Partners (Production) Ltd, the enterprise was based at West Medina Mills.
A series of sailing craft were built to Mr Cheverton’s designs, the Caravel, Crusader, Campaigner and the very successful Danegeld class, a number of which raced in The Solent.
Following Prince Philip’s constructive criticism of the organisation of Cowes Week, Cowes Combined Clubs was formed in 1964 under the chairmanship of Viscount Runciman and run part time by Mr Cheverton as its first secretary.
His time was paid for by a modest donation from the yacht clubs, which organised the newly co-ordinated racing programme and sailing instructions.
Mr Cheverton’s business diversified into commercial craft and Cheverton Workboats was born in the mid 1960s.
This enterprise started from small beginnings, using lifeboat hulls as the basis of what was to become a world leader of the production of commercial and paramilitary craft.
At one stage, no fewer than 20 different craft were being built at one time in Cowes Shipyard.
Cheverton Workboats’ principal activities, in turn, led to other lucrative businesses, including the construction and equipping of a coastguard base in Bahrain and a joint venture company called Flotta Marine Services operating Cheverton-built craft for Occidental Oil in Scapa Flow.
Mr Cheverton was a founder member of the reborn Cowes Rotary Club in 1965, he was a long-serving member and trustee of the Island Sailing Club, a member of the Royal London Yacht Club, of which he subsequently became commodore, and he became an elected member of the Royal Yacht Squadron in 2000.
In 1984, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire for Services to Export, became the Island’s High Sheriff in 1993 and subsequently became a Deputy Lieutenant of the IW.
Cheverton Workboats merged with previous competitor Fairey Marine in 1983 and Mr Cheverton retired from the group in 1985 and, following a succession of owners, the Cowes Yard was closed in 2002.
Eileen, his wife of many years, passed away just before Christmas 2008 and in 2010 he became re-married to Joyce.
Mr Cheverton died in Newport on July 29 following several years of failing health, including advanced Parkinson’s disease. Joyce predeceased him by 11 days.