Douglas Lowes passed away on November 16 last year at his home in Second Avenue, an inquest heard.
The inquest at Eastbourne Town Hall on Thursday (May 20), heard Mr Lowes, a retired steward, worked on ferries which involved monthly cleaning in the engine rooms.
A statement given by Mr Lowes to his solicitors before he died revealed he worked on the boilers, which were clad with asbestos.
Mr Lowes said in his statement, “The job was extremely dusty and I was working in a confined space in the boilers.”
A GP report from Dr Daintree confirmed Mr Lowes had epithelioid mesothelioma – a form of cancer associated with asbestos exposure.
East Sussex coroner Alan Craze ruled Mr Lowes’ death was due to an industrial disease.