RENOWNED Cowes boatbuilder, Barry Kimber, has died aged 75.

Born in Guernsey, in 1946, Mr Kimber attended both Vale Primary School and St Sampson's High School.

He left school at 14 to join Bougourd Bros as an apprentice car mechanic, and later worked for Guernsey Boatbuilders as a marine engineer.

He started his own company, Seaward Marine, in Guernsey, taking six of the best staff from Guernsey Boatbuilders when the business ceased trading.

They built pilot vessels and working craft, as well as 45ft customised Nelson design motor yachts.

The company quickly built up a reputation for the quality of build and sea-keeping of its crafts, and they were exported worldwide, with 22 boats sent to Japan.

To expand the business, in 2001, Mr Kimber relocated the company to Cowes.

He continued to build craft and exhibited them at the Southampton Boat Show every year until illness saw him retire in 2013.

From a long seafaring background, Mr Kimber's great-great-grandfather was Capt Rehoboth Robinson ­— the last survivor of the expedition launched in search of Sir John Franklin.

For hobbies, Mr Kimber enjoyed anything on the water, from sailing and boating to sea fishing.

He won many trophies, yacht racing in his X99 in Guernsey, and even completed the Fastnet Race in 1993.

In later years, Mr Kimber spent a lot of time on his cruising yacht, Orbit, taking it to France or to the West Country for extended holidays.

He also spent a few years cruising the French canals with his wife, Alison, in his 20m Dutch Tjalk barge, Francoise, in between work commitments.

A long standing member of the Royal Channel Island Yacht Club and the Island Sailing Club, Mr Kimber died following a long battle with Parkinson's disease.

He leaves behind his wife, Alison, and brother Bob.