Mid November 2014, Steve phoned regarding the payment for the next stage - the boatman’s cabin and engine, which should have been installed by this point was delayed but they were ready to start and complete this stage within a week or so.
As the work had been progressing well, I overlooked the need for an early payment, normally it would be requested on completion of the work but everything was moving much faster than I expected so I was happy to pay.
What was happening at the yard at the time wasn’t explained. Another boat, which had already been completed, had been returned by the customer with a fault - simple but very time consuming to repair. Work had stopped on our boat - we never knew this.
Two weeks later on December 4th 2014, I received a phone call.
Steve’s partner, Diane, called to say that there was a problem with the boat build. What she said next was a hammer blow.
Steve had unexpectedly passed away in hospital 2 days earlier. The boat yard was closed until further notice. We were shocked but at the same time very saddened, Steve was a lovely man.
There was no further information and of course we fully understood - with Christmas just 3 weeks away - what devastating news, not just for us - but for Steve’s family, his friends and his workforce. We knew that we would simply have to wait.