Jeremy Lines, the prominent yachting archivist for Camper and Nicholson, where he was the chief designer for many years has died in Gosport aged 88.
Jeremy was a well respected member of the Association of Yachting Historians (AYH) and had recently been involved with the late Theo Rye, and also the GL Watson expert Martin Black, in compiling a digital version of the Lloyd’s Register of Yachts by scanning the 101 volumes (which ran annually from 1879 to 1980). The result was 40 gigabytes of searchable data on a memory stick that contains the equivalent of 104,000 pages from the yearly registers.
On retiring from C&N, the prominent Gosport based firm of boatbuilders and designers, Jeremy became their archivist – a challenging role since the company’s facilities were badly damaged by fire from various air raids in WW2, especially in 1941 where many of the lines and historical records were lost. He also carried on designing boats in his own name, such as a 50ft mahogany hulled gaff ketch built at Lathams in Poole and finished in West Sussex named Diligent II for the retiring naval architect Mark Varvill. Jeremy described the brief as a designer’s dream.
William Collier, author of the book Charles E.Nicholson and His Yachts told CS: “Jeremy served his apprenticeship alongside Ian Nicolson and was the anchor man of the smaller racing and production boats working with John and Peter Nicholson. He was very active in the AYH and helped me a lot with my PhD research particularly as he was able to introduce me to a lot of the older drawing office staff who had long retired.”
Although Jeremy never qualified as a naval architect he was nevertheless regarded as an extremely competent draughtsman and professionals like John Leather held his skill and expertise in high regard.
A keen sailor Jeremy was a member of the Stokes Bay Sailing Club where he will be missed as one of the race officers who regularly manned the signal station.
He died peacefully in his sleep and was found in the morning by his wife Claire. He is also survived by their two sons. A notice requested that any donations go to the RNLI.
With thanks to Brian Wright of Gosport.
Response from Bernard Marreyt
It was sad to read that Jeremy Lines died last november.
I am fortunate I had the chance to meet Jeremy and be some time in contact with him when restoring my 1906 Camper & Nicholson yawl Thetis.
For me he was a true gentleman who impressed me with his extremely kind, efficient, generous help and vast knowledge as C&N archivist.
How nice to to notice that in the autumn of his life he was still very much driven by passion for beautiful yacht design and that without hesitation he shared and transmitted this passion with & to me.
My thoughts go also to his wife Claire and his 2 sons.