By Dorie Cox
Chief engineer Terence “Terry” John Nash, formerly on the 146-foot Hakvoort M/Y Cracker Bay, died of bone cancer Aug. 9 at his home in the U.K. He was 61.
Mr. Nash started his yachting career in 2002 as second engineer on M/Y Campbell Bay, the former name of Cracker Bay, when he was hired by Capt. Rusty Allen on recommendation of the previous engineer, Steve Marshall. Marshall recommended Mr. Nash for his abilities, as well as his personality; the two had been friends since they were children in the UK.
“I’ll miss his attitude in life. And he was famous for his massive, deep, booming voice you could hear across the pub,” Marshall said. “He came to my house often to recover from chemo and have a good laugh; we had the same humor. We cooked a steak, enjoyed a really good bottle of red wine and smoked Cuban cigars.”
That friendly personality fit well with the yacht’s crew, said Capt. Allen. On his CV, Mr. Nash described himself as “disciplined and methodical, but also able to be a good team operator and smile if ‘a wheel comes off.’”
“The owners wanted the crew to be family and Terry fit right in,” Capt. Allen said. “Terry was very pleasant and outgoing.”
Capt. Rodd Taylor took over the yacht next, from about 2007 until it sold in May. Mr. Nash knew the yacht well, working through two captains and two owners, Taylor said.
“Terry was one of those guys that could talk to everyone from the garbage man to the president and they would be engaged,” Taylor said. “He could find common ground with anyone about anything.”
During his illness, Mr. Nash had to take medical leave, but he was often invited back on board, including a two-month stay in Newport, Rhode Island, last year.
“He was incredibly positive through the whole thing [cancer]; he never said one negative thing,” Capt. Taylor said. “Thats a big big thing to say about someone. He went to hell and back.”
Close friend Deryck Fullwood, yacht manager with Superyacht Sales and Charter, worked on the yacht as a deckhand and compared Mr. Nash’s skills to a 1980s television character known to rig solutions with as little as a paper clip and duct tape.
“He was like MacGyver; there was no issue he couldn’t resolve,” Fullwood said. “In a real pinch, if you need something sorted, he would fabricate, glue or weld to get you out of a bind. He was quick-thinking and would leave you with confidence. He was not just an engineer through schooling, but from hands-on apprenticeships and on-the-job training.”
Engineer Marko Budimir, who worked with Mr. Nash, said he liked to help others.
“He was really funny and good at everything in the engine room, I learned a lot,” Budimir said. “We played golf; I was just beginning, but he was supportive. Even when I made bad shots, he would encourage me.”
Much of Mr. Nash’s experience came from nine years in the British Royal Navy, where he was leading marine engineer. He was awarded the South Atlantic Medal for duty served in the Falkland War. After his military service he was an application/test engineer at Lister Petter and service engineer at Machine Mart in England.
He was a ringer on the golf course, but he loved all sports and used to lawn bowl for a league, Fullwood said. It was during a golf game about three or four years ago when Mr. Nash swung, hit the ball and felt pain in his back. The doctors found hairline fractures on his spine and he was diagnosed with bone cancer.
Aside from his engineering skills, his British sense of humor made working with him a pleasure, Fullwood said.
“He had many dry, witty sayings you never heard before,” Fullwood said. For example, instead of the English phrase, “Bob’s your uncle,” meaning job well done, “Terry would say, ‘Robert’s your father’s brother,’” Fullwood said.
In the late 1980s, Mr. Nash and his wife, Elaine, ran the Marquis Of Granby pub in Plymouth, U.K., turning “a run down pub into a thriving popular family pub where trade was at its best ever,” according to his CV. He loved his house in Gloucester, U.K., his incredible koi pond and his dogs, including a Rottweiler named Buster and pugs, according to Fullwood.
Besides Elaine, his wife of 28 years, Mr. Nash is survived by daughter Emma Jennings and her husband, Paul; two stepsons and their wives, Justin and Sarah Thomas, and Jason and Victoria Thomas; five grandchildren, Natalie Thomas, Oliver Thomas, Nathan Thomas, Dexter Thomas and Evie Jennings; and two brothers, Chris Nash and Phil Nash.
The funeral is scheduled for Aug. 25 at St. George’s Church, Upper Cam, Gloucestershire, U.K., with wake to follow at Cam Mills Bowling Club.
Click here to visit a GoFundMe page created by friend Deryck Fullwood.
Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton. Comments on this story are welcome below.