obituary

ALAN WAR­WICK 1934–2018

Boating NZ - - Boat World -

Read­ers will be sad­dened to learn of the re­cent pass­ing of Alan War­wick – one of the coun­try’s pre-emi­nent lux­ury yacht de­sign­ers. Born in Welling­ton in 1934, War­wick moved to Auck­land in 1952 to be­gin an ar­chi­tec­tural de­gree. He started sail­ing in M Class yachts and, af­ter buy­ing and sail­ing a Des Townson Zephyr, be­gan build­ing his first keeler in 1962, a 6.7m Townson Pied Piper. War­wick joined Chris Bouzaid’s Rain­bow II cam­paign to win the 1969 One Ton Cup (OTC), be­fore head­ing up Lou Fisher’s Young Nick cam­paign for the 1971 OTC. He also worked with Lau­rie David­son on the de­sign of the Half Ton­ner Swooper of Cox’s Creek, which later be­came the ba­sis for the GRP pro­duc­tion David­son 31. His first com­mis­sion was the IOR quar­ter ton­ner, Quar­ter Pint, while his sec­ond was the well-known Longfel­low. He also de­signed the 747 and 927 Stra­tus cruiser/ rac­ers, the Tro­jan 750 trailer-sailer, nu­mer­ous sail­ing dinghies and a num­ber of power­boats for Sea Nymph. His first ma­jor off­shore suc­cess was the Car­di­nal range of yachts, built in Tai­wan, the suc­cess of which led him to found War­wick Yacht De­sign (WYD) in 1980. Over the years WYD de­signed per­for­mance sloops, mono­hulls, mul­ti­hulls, sports­fish­ers, lux­ury su­per yachts, high-speed launches, longdis­tance dis­place­ment cruis­ers, com­mer­cial boats and, in­creas­ingly, lux­ury, one-off com­mis­sions. Many lux­ury com­mis­sions were built in Europe and Turkey. In all, War­wick and his team de­signed more than 500 boats, mak­ing him one of this coun­try’s most pro­lific and suc­cess­ful yacht de­sign­ers. To him, boat de­sign was as much about the form as the func­tion. At­ten­tion to de­tail was paramount. WYD was a fam­ily busi­ness, with wife Gael hav­ing con­sid­er­able in­put into in­te­rior de­sign and son Bruce spe­cial­is­ing in CAD de­sign. This gave War­wick the free­dom to fo­cus on client re­la­tion­ships, over­all con­cepts and men­tor­ing staff. Like ev­ery­one in the in­dus­try, the 2008 GFC im­pacted on WYD’S busi­ness and it had to re­trench. Over the last few years, War­wick had in­creas­ingly been pass­ing the ba­ton to Bruce although he con­tin­ued to take a keen in­ter­est in all as­pects of WYD. War­wick un­ex­pect­edly died on Septem­ber 20 at North Shore Hospi­tal fol­low­ing com­pli­ca­tions from an in­jury suf­fered in Samoa. He’s sur­vived by his wife Gael, chil­dren Bruce, David, Mal­colm and Son­dra, and nu­mer­ous grand­chil­dren and great-grand­chil­dren.

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