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Touching tributes paid to 'much-loved' boating enthusiast and businessman

PUBLISHED: 13:50 22 October 2019

As chairman of the Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat management committee, Michael Barlow oversaw the naming ceremony of Lowestoft’s new offshore lifeboat – Patsy Knight. Picture: Courtesy of the Barlow family

As chairman of the Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat management committee, Michael Barlow oversaw the naming ceremony of Lowestoft's new offshore lifeboat - Patsy Knight. Picture: Courtesy of the Barlow family

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Tributes have been paid to a well-known businessman and boating enthusiast who has died aged 80.

The powerful motor yacht ‘Ocean Pirate’ which Michael Barlow re-entered into the Round Britain Race in 2008. Picture: Courtesy of the Barlow familyThe powerful motor yacht ‘Ocean Pirate’ which Michael Barlow re-entered into the Round Britain Race in 2008. Picture: Courtesy of the Barlow family

Michael Barlow was instrumental in bringing the Round Britain Powerboat Race to Lowestoft in 2008, when it was run for the third time.

Much loved by his children, friends and colleagues, Mr Barlow passed away aboard his motor yacht 'Galmara' on which he had undertaken a significant refit over the last four years, since he bought it in 2015.

He had intended to take it to the Mediterranean to live aboard for the rest of his life, but sadly before he could realise his dream he was overwhelmed by prostate cancer, which he had fought for many years.

Michael Barlow's motor yacht ‘Galmara’ on which he had undertaken a significant refit over the last four years, since he bought it in 2015. Picture: Courtesy of the Barlow familyMichael Barlow's motor yacht ‘Galmara’ on which he had undertaken a significant refit over the last four years, since he bought it in 2015. Picture: Courtesy of the Barlow family

He leaves two children Simon and Tracey.

Mr Barlow worked for HM Customs and Excise for 30 years and towards the end of his career he had been instrumental in preparing the significant changes to duty free legislation required when the UK joined the European Single Market.

Then, when he left the civil service 25 years ago, he used that expertise and knowledge to set up a consultancy business to advise those who needed to comply with the legislation

Tributes have been paid to Michael Barlow. Picture: Courtesy of the Barlow familyTributes have been paid to Michael Barlow. Picture: Courtesy of the Barlow family

The consultancy, named Khayyám Associates, and based in Oulton Broad, gave legislative advice and guidance to the cruise line industry.

More recently he remained heavily involved in advising and preparing those clients as the UK prepares for Brexit and associated changes that will inevitably affect duty free regulations.

Mr Barlow's son Simon and daughter Tracey paid tribute to their father's passion for boats.

Michael Barlow's motor yacht ‘Galmara’ on which he had undertaken a significant refit over the last four years, since he bought it in 2015. Picture: Courtesy of the Barlow familyMichael Barlow's motor yacht ‘Galmara’ on which he had undertaken a significant refit over the last four years, since he bought it in 2015. Picture: Courtesy of the Barlow family

Simon Barlow said: "Dad had always loved and owned boats.

"As children we spent hours on Broads Cruisers. He then obtained an old fishing trawler named 'Omar Khayyám' which he started to convert to live aboard.

"But he then bought the boat for which he will doubtless be most remembered - 'Ocean Pirate'.

"This powerful motor yacht was built by Brooke Marine in Lowestoft and participated in the original race in 1969.

"Dad not only re-entered it in the Round Britain Race in 2008 but he was also involved in high-profile talks to persuade the organisers and authorities to bring the 60 boats taking part in that race into Lowestoft.

"The race had been previously run twice, but this would be the first-time in the race's history that dad's home port, Lowestoft, had been used as a stopping over point - previously the race stopped at Great Yarmouth.

"Dad was also proud of the fact that Prince Philip had been aboard Ocean Pirate on more than one occasion in the past when visiting Lowestoft, and had sent a letter of support for the 2008 race which was framed and which accompanied the crew of four on the 1,600 mile journey around the coastline of the United Kingdom.

"A legacy from Ocean Pirate still lives on in 'Galmara' as the engines are now in that boat."

Tracey Tyer added: "As well as boating, dad had a life-long interest in cars, particularly Jaguar vehicles - owning many throughout his lifetime.

"Having bought a Rolls Royce he then decided to set up a wedding car hire business to make use of his fleet of four luxury cars, another string to his bow.

"He enjoyed travelling and had visited many places across the world."

Even in recent years he was still travelling and had been to a number of European city destinations with his daughter Tracey.

Latterly he also found the time to chair the friends of Broadlands Care Home fundraising committee, a post he held for eight years.

More recently he had also become chairman of the Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat management committee, during which time he oversaw the naming ceremony of Lowestoft's new offshore lifeboat - Patsy Knight.

The funeral service will take place at 12.30pm on Thursday, October 31, at St Margaret's Church in Lowestoft, with attendees asked to wear something yellow.

For more details visit michael-barlow.muchloved.com

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