Celebrating a lifetime in yacht design

Boat designer Ian Anderson passed away on 5 March in an Exeter hospice, following a short period of cancer. Ian, who designed many of the Hurley line and the Countess range, was President of both the Hurley Owners and Countess Owners associations.

On the HOA website, an article by Ian reflects on a lifetime in yacht design.

He said his father’s motorboat kindled his interest in yachts and boats and his career began as an apprentice to Fred Parker in Poole, Dorset, building some of the top racing yachts under the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) rules of the time, such as Phizz and Norlethe.

After spells at Camper and Nicholsons in Southampton and as yard manager for George Hurley in Plymouth, Ian joined Philips and Sons the Shipbuilders in Dartmouth. Later, George offered Ian the opportunity to design a replacement for the Silhouette, Ian jumped at the chance and created the Felicity. He said: ‘The drawing board was a piece of plywood on top of my bed in my flat at the Boatel in Dartmouth’.

Ian established a design practice in Dartmouth and started a company called Western Approaches Limited with a partner, Bruce Wingate. The Hurley 22 followed and this led to increasingly bigger boats, including the 28, which actually grew to 30 feet.

Ian also designed the Bowman 26 in the mid-60s, the Sovereign 32 in 1969, and in 1979 the Seastream range followed.

He then developed the Countess 28 to 37 ft range in the early 1980s for Colvics at Witham, and the revolutionary Multi Role Cruising Boat in the early 90s.

Thrill seeker Ian fulfilled an earlier ambition to fly when he took up gliding in East Devon.

Ian leaves behind his wife Moley, his stepson John Thomson, daughter-in-law Ros and grandaughter Jade.

HOA chairman Tim Sharman said a group of members visited Ian in the hospice, on their way to their AGM in Plymouth two weeks before he passed away. Tim said: ‘Ian was very lucid and we had a lively conversation about boats and he passed his best wishes to the meeting’.

Ian retained an active interest in the sailing communities which have formed around his designs to the very end and was always a strong supporter of the Owners Associations, by whom he was, and will continue to be, held in great regard.

Read Ian’s full article at www.hurleyownersassociation.co.uk/pages/ian.htm

(In the black and white photograph Ian Anderson is wearing the white jumper and black cap. Picture: John Etches)