One presumes Sue Steward is sane. Her husband Ant is demonstrably not. On Friday the 13th it was announced that husband and wife had purchased Young's Boat Yard. For most of us, buying a boat yard would be the riskiest thing we had ever done.
Not so, Ant Steward. When he was in his 20s, the South African native set off on a record breaking epic voyage, becoming the first person to sail alone around the world in an open boat--a 19 foot daysailer designed by Dudley Dix. Steward once told me that he capsized so often during his voyage that he lost count.
His longest leg was 3,200 nautical miles and it ended when he rolled her over Providence Reef at the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean. Steward had to swim 700 yards while bleeding and fighting off sharks with a rigging knife. After recovering, he returned to Cerf Island, repaired the boat and finished his circumnavigation. (Check out the documentary Ant Steward, Around the World Alone in an Open Boat below.)
Besides the odd circumnavigation, the Stewards have considerable experience with boating and the marine industry and will be taking over the management and operations of Young’s Boat Yard.
Like owner Phil Young, Steward is also the son of a maverick boat builder. His father was one of the first boat builders in South Africa to build fiberglass yachts. Steward was an Olympic qualifier for the Finn class but was unable to compete due to sanctions against South Africa at the time. He met Sue at a yacht club. She was the daughter of an avid sailor and had herself cruised over 10,000 miles of the Indian Ocean with her family on their 34 foot keelboat.
Ant’s entire career has been boating oriented, from his early days as manager of the Royal Cape Yacht Club, to his role at Robertson and Caine which led to him building up the largest yacht delivery company. He and Sue moved to the United States in 2009 when Steward was offered the position of VP of Operations for Tui Marine’s Moorings, Sunsail and Le Boat charter fleets. More recently he has worked on large catamaran development projects for the charter division of MarineMax.
The Stewards co-authored a book called Top Yacht Races of the World, which was translated into multiple languages and enjoyed international success. They have three children, two rugby-loving sons, Shackleton and Selby, who are away at college, and a 13-year-old daughter, Tiggie, who loves sailing, but the true love of her life is her dog Maddie.
In their words, “We fell in love with Young’s Boat Yard and are so excited about this new chapter in our lives–and to pay tribute to the wonderful legacy of two generations of Youngs.”
The mailing address for Young’s Boat Yard will change to: Young’s Boat Yard 2320 Gross Avenue Baltimore, MD 21219. The phone number and email for the yard will remain the same at 410-477-8607/ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Young’s Boat Yard was established in 1945 by Harry Young, avid sailor and boat builder, who recognized Jones Creek as an ideal protected location to keep a boat. He started the marina in order to work on his 26-foot ketch Bluewater as well as provide a place for like-minded sailors to care and use their boats.
In 1984, Phil Young, took over managing Young’s Boat Yard. Following in his father’s footsteps,
"We are very excited to have Anthony and Sue Steward join our boating community here in Baltimore. After 33 years of ownership of Young’s Boat Yard and a lifetime of working and managing the boatyard, we look forward to turning over the helm to the capable hands of the Stewards," Phil Young says.