YARMOUTH boat builder and College lecturer, John Henry Hatch, has passed away after a long illness, aged 83.

He was born in the town at 3 Ommanney Road in 1934, the youngest of six children by Vernon and Daisy Hatch, with his siblings being brother Ivan and sisters Audrey, Mavis, Doreen and Pauline.

He attended Yarmouth Primary School, then Freshwater Secondary Modern, and left, aged 15, to begin his boatbuilding career with a six-year apprenticeship at White's Shipyard, Cowes. In 1950, aged 16, he built his first boat, a Merlin Dinghy he named Marigold.

In 1955 he left White's and did his National Service in the Royal Navy as a shipwright artifice.

He did shore training on HMS Wessex and then served on HMS Agincourt in the Mediterranean for two years.

In 1957 he returned home and worked at Harold Hayles, Yarmouth, as a surveyor. Two years later he joined Saunders-Roe, Cowes, as a pattern maker working at the Highdown Rocket Testing site.

The Rocket Site closed in 1969 so he retrained and became a lecturer at Southampton College the following year.

John spent 12 years teaching in Southampton before finishing his career at the Isle of Wight College in 1996.

He continued to build boats and sail in retirement and in 2006 met Denise and they were married in 2011.

John is survived by Denise, children Johnny, Simon and Alison, step-children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

A service to celebrate his life was held at St James' Church, Yarmouth, which was followed by a reception at the Bugle Coaching Inn.