A Lancaster boat sprayer has won a prestigious award after impressing judges at a seminar in the Midlands.
Stuart Rushworth, 35, of Glasson Marine Services, which is part of British Waterways Marinas Ltd, was judged to be the best boat painter against candidates from boatyards across the UK.
Stuart, who attended Central Lancaster High School, attended the spray paint seminar in Tamworth, organised by Marine & Industrial Ltd, in conjunction with Jotun Paints and 3M.
He said: “To begin with it wasn’t a competition, it was a seminar just basically showing different products from different companies.
“But they turned it into a bit of a competition at the end, so I pulled my finger out and produced the goods!
“It was a square metre panel that needed to be primed, prepped, top coated and rubbed down and buffed.
“I’m used to working on 40-50m boats so it wasn’t too much bother really.”
Stuart said he left school aged 16 and went to work in the Glasson Dock boatyard.
“I quite fancied being a joiner to be honest, and the line of work involved joinery, but I didn’t really go down that route and took the welding route instead.
“I then got shown how to spray, and got hooked on that.
“We recently travelled up to Edinburgh recently to do some paint and engine work for a regular customer who had his boat in our yard for nearly eight years and didn’t want anyone else to work on it.
“I was really chuffed when they presented me with the award.”
Glasson Marine Services also has a mobile business - Glasson Mobile Marine Services - launched in 2014 - which provides a full call-out service to boat owners from Cumbria to North Wales.
It has a reputation in repair, paintwork, treatments, lifting, hard standing and topcoat finishing for all types of craft including canal boats, yachts and motor cruisers.
Lancaster & Fleetwood MP Cat Smith MP recently visited the boatyard to congratulate Stuart on his award.
Sarah Broker, customer service manager north, BWML: “We are extremely proud of Stuart, and his accolade is well deserved.
“He and the Glasson Marina Services team provide a vital service to boat owners, and Stuart’s achievement underlines BWML’s commitment to delivering the very highest quality possible to all of our customers.”