Mackerel fisherman returns home in €122m super-yacht
Published 19/08/2010 | 12:33
The last time Guy Barnett was bobbing around Dartmouth harbour it was aboard a leaky 80-year-old trawler as he attempted to scrape a living taking tourists mackerel fishing,
But after marrying the daughter of one of Canada’s richest men he has returned to the Devon port at the helm of something a little grander – a €122msuper yacht.
The 35-year-old left Dartmouth eight-years ago to work for John Risley, the billionaire owner of a food empire and the largest fishing fleet in North America and Canada.
He managed to land a job as a deck hand on one of Mr Risley’s yachts, where he was introduced to his daughter and heiress Sarah, 35.
The pair fell in love and after marrying in Nova Scotia last week, they sailed to Dartmouth aboard the 240 foot Northern Star on which they hosted a lavish wedding reception for all his old friends, family and former colleagues.
Mr Barnett, who began his seafaring career running fishing trips off the Devon coast in a weather beaten boat known as a Cornish drifter, said he had enjoyed having his old friends aboard the super yacht, which has six decks and its own helipad.
He said: “We came back for a wedding reception on the yacht so that our friends here could attend.
“It was a great party and we had about 80 guests in the evening, including some of my childhood friends.
“We are very grateful to the father of the bride for letting us use his yacht for the reception. It is fantastic and very homely inside.
“I met Sarah when I was working on a yacht as deck crew and she was a guest. We married in Canada and came back for the reception on the Northern Star. It was great fun.”
Mr Barnett’s rags to riches tale began when he left Britain in 2001 to work for Mr Risley as a crew member aboard one of his yachts.
The 62-year-old self-made fishing magnate built up a billion pound fortune after starting off with one small lobster shop in Canada in 1976.
He later founded Clearwater Seafoods one of the world’s leading fishing industries which has a fleet of vessels and a large number of processing plants throughout Canada.
He also runs telecoms firms in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Despite Mr Barnett’s humble origins he quickly bonded with Sarah over their shared love of the ocean.
After their Canadian wedding the couple hit on the idea of holding a party for all their British friends in the very place he used to work as a mackerel fisherman.
Mr Barnett’s stepmother Anne Barnett said: "Guy was a keen fisherman and he used to take fishing parties out before he started working for Sarah's father.
"He used an old Cornish Drifter, which needed some work as it was built in 1920. Sarah is a lovely girl, so he has done very well for himself."
She added: "They brought the Northern Star here to celebrate with all Guy's friends and family.
"The yacht is very nicely set out inside. It's wonderful. We had lunch on board the boat and then there was a big party in the evening."
The steel and aluminium-built yacht has accommodation for dozens of guests and can carry a crew of twenty two.
It has twin caterpillar diesel engines which allow a maximum speed of 17 knots and a cruising speed of 15 knots.
The boat, designed by Espen Oeino and built by Lurssen Yachts, is equipped with a helipad and a grand "country-house" style interior.
Dartmouth harbour master and pilot David White said the Northern Star was the "height of luxury".
He said: "She's a very well equipped vessel and had has every possible navigational aid. She can go into any port in the world.
"She is less than 12 months old and a classic example of a modern build."