Stalham man finished repairing boat as a tribute to his friend
- Credit: Archant
The loss of a friend inspired a Stalham man to finish repairing a boat, 15 years after starting.
Paul Waters had a long running bet with his friend that he would finish work on his boat on St Swithin's Day - and every year he had to pay out £20.
But last year when his friend died, it shook up Mr Waters so much that work came to a halt.
However, four months ago with July 15 again approaching, Mr Waters decided to put every second of spare time he had in making sure the boat would meet the date this year.
He said: 'At the rate I was getting the boat done, I would probably say there was two or three years more work to do.
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'So I started to work every spare minute I had along with another friend, Ralph.
'With one month to go I injured my back, the pain was unbearable and it looked like I would never make the date.
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'But with my lost friends spirit in mind, I battled through the pain and got it done, working into the early hours the night before the relaunch date.'
Mr Waters bought the boat 15 years ago, but it needed urgent structure repairs.
Working for Rotating Electrics in Great Yarmouth, this meant he only had weekends free to focus on the boat. He said: 'Eight or nine years into the restoration I started having a small wager of £20 with my friend that the boat would be ready to sail on St Swithin's Day. 'This was just a randomly picked calender day to give me a goal to help the project along.
'I kept having to pay up as these boat restorations seemed to take forever.
'But in the end I got it done and it was only fitting that on its first trip out I would take his widow and daughters to remember a great friend.
Upon completing, Mr Waters decided to rename the boat 'Muddy Waters' as it was his nickname in school.