— 06 Mar 2012
Recently the marine industry lost a great friend in Steve Etheridge, and his passing was a particular shock to me and my team, as it was to a huge number of people who will all be devastated by such a loss. I have worked with Steve for about thirty years and will miss his infectious enthusiasm and incredibly jovial disposition. He conveyed an endearingly laid-back attitude that belied his immense range of talents. His inclination to take on a wide range of work because he didn’t like to say no would often obscure the fact that he also carried off the most technically challenging tasks with a real can-do attitude. But unlike others who would have been loud in their claims, Steve was modesty personified and in truth even with the most difficult jobs he often just didn’t see what the problem was.
For us he was usually the builder of choice when it came to new concept work. Of course he would have a good laugh when presented with a new challenge but would always take to it like a duck to water. Two such projects were our design of a stackable RIB to resolve the age-old yacht tender problem, and the Prefix construction system where Steve was the perfect builder to ‘road-test’ our laser-cut kit system.
Apart from the sense of personal loss there is also another reason why we wanted to run this note here. Steve will also have been a friend to a lot of our clients, having built nine of our designs over the years.
In more or less the right order, these were:
Roller Skate (in collaboration with Neville Hutton)
Scenario Act II
Decosol, Three Quarter Tonner
As a final testament to his integrity and honest skills, one of his earlier clients, Tor Hoesieter, had sent his Roller Ski which he had owned and loved for almost thirty years, back to Steve to convert into a more dedicated cruising yacht than the raceboat that she once was. This was the project Steve was working on when he died.
We will miss him greatly, and we will certainly not be alone.