ALAN WARWICK 1934–2018
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.