clouds image
agreed logo HOA banner log2
Home News and Events Merchandise Technical Archive What's New
Ian Anderson Hurley Boats Hurley Marine For Sale/Wanted Photo Competition
waves image

A tribute by John Thomson

Ian was born in Shepton Mallett Somerset. He had very a happy childhood exept for the train set disputes with his cousin John Grant. After building a super net work with their combined train sets it was the "who owned what" debate at the end of the day.

He went to Millfield prep school then on to Blundell's. He captained the school team at Bisley, rifle shooting with great success. He returned to Bisley in 2006, scoring 47 out of a possible 50 at 500 yds- a performance with which many would have been very happy after a full season of competitions, let alone after 50 years away from the sport.

His father, a Dental Surgeon, owned a motor boat which he kept in Poole Harbour. This first kindled Ian's interest in boats and after an afternoon spent watching and asking a navel architect questions while he was trying to do a survey on a boat, this

set him on a life's journey. Only later did he realise how annoying little boys can be when you're trying to do a survey.

In 1955 Ian was apprenticed to Fred Parker in Poole for 3 years which was a very creative period as they were designing and having built some of the top racing yachts of the time. Fred Parker thought after 3 years of Ian he would let somebody else have the problem and recommended that a spell at Camper and Nicholsons in Southampton would be beneficial.

At this time he considered National Service in the Fleet Air Arm as flying was one of his new loves after being given a flight in a Spitfire, but there were 2 problems, he was colour blind and perhaps more importantly if he had to use the new ejectors seats he would have left his legs behind. So yachts it had to be.

When at Camper and Nicholsons Ian had a girlfriend called Lynn living at Hamble who decided to move to Devon, for the summer season, partly so that he would concentrate on getting qualified as a Naval architect which he did on 8th March 1962.
Having been at Camper and Nicholsons for 4 years he followed her to the West Country. Lynn then moved back to Hamble, but by then Ian was putting down roots. However they remained lifelong friends.

The next job was in Salcombe on a fishing boat called Newbrook owned by Richard Cove. This is where Ian learned his skills of spotting and identify fish and seabirds. He also learned the power of the sea which is why all his hulls are so sea kindly and seaworthy.

Shortly afterwards the James Bond film "From Russia with Love" was being made & the final sequence was filmed in Scotland. The film company chartered five power boats from Fairey Marine, but there was a shortage of Drivers. Ian was asked to join the crew and as it happens he was quite a look-alike for Sean Connery for whom he dubbed in many of the scenes. He thoroughly enjoyed the experience which he found most enlightening!

This was followed by a new job with George Hurley in Plymouth building Silhouettes -he was yard manager. A job he didn't really enjoy that much because for the first time he had the commercial pressure with production boat building - up till then it had been a very relaxed gentlemanly affair which of course Ian always was.After 2 years George and Ian decided that one of them needed to move on, so Ian left, but on good terms.

Ian got a job in Dartmouth at Philips and Sons the Shipbuilders. It was during this time George Hurley contacted Ian and asked if he would like to design a new yacht - he jumped at the chance and designed the Felicity. The drawing board was a piece of plywood on top of his bed in his flat at the Boatel in Dartmouth. Ian could never find out how many were built. George Hurley had to pay him royalties on each boat, so he could only guess at around 300 for which he got paid for, but it could be more. After this came more design requests from George for a 18 and an 22 footer of the same line. Naomi James launched the 1000th Hurley 22 for Ian in Plymouth and a total of 1300 where built which was the best selling boat in the UK at the time.

By now Ian had a design practise in Dartmouth and started a Company called Western Approaches Limited with a Partner, Bruce Wingate which imported Troll motor sailers from Norway. These 32 footers were fully fitted out in Dartmouth and were sold for £ 3750 and still made a profit!

The Hurley 22 was followed by a Hurley 24 - this was a very successful version and people appreciated the full headroom. This may have been something to do with Ian's 6ft 5 height. This was followed by Hurley 28 which grew into the Hurley 30.

In 1969 Ian was asked by Jack Holman of Uphams Shipyard at Brixharn to design a yacht and the Sovereign 32 was born. After about a year Ian asked Jack what he intended to do with the wooden plug for the hull, asking if he wanted to sell it. He was told that he would want a lot for it as it had cost a lot to produce and a figure of £ 7000 was floated
A year later Ian asked Jack again. He said just make me an offer, so Ian said £500 Jack said you robbing so and so and yes, so Ian started on the task of building his own boat up Old Mill Creek in Dartmouth which is where John first met Ian. She was called ' Inamorata ' mistress or lover in Italian for that was the position she had taken up in his life. We still have her in our lives.

There were other designs which followed the Seatream 34 and 43, the Countess 33 and 37, the Anderson 30 and the MRCB 37, a design before its time. Ian was very supportive of the Countess Owners Association and Hurley Owners Association

At this time Moley entered Ian's life. At first she did his interior design work, but love grew and on one of their skiing holidays Ian got down on one ski and proposed and John gained a great stepfather. They lived between 2 properties. In Dartmouth. Moley got fed up with the "your house or mine" question each night so they moved to a large dilapidated farm house in Broadclyst with lots of outbuildings at Moley request, mainly to deal with Ian's "might come in handy policy".

This period was also when Ian talked John in to going into the boat business. A year later John had a factory in Falmouth with Ian building Seastreams and Countess Yachts.

Ian had strong opinions especially on his designs- a bit like Margaret Thatcher.when his mind was made up it was not for turning, or his hearing aid was not functioning! This could be very frustrating for both the builders and the clients.
The business was sold to Chris Matthews who liked the boat so much he bought the company so we where back were we started. However they had been good years. Ian was always fun and it was time well spent.

The next 18 months for Ian was great fun as he got to fly Chris's twin engined plane across Europe, landing at international airports. A very able pilot he was too.
In 2006 Ian and Moley brought a house in France which was in need of major renovations, Ian always liked to be creative and occupied and he was able to develop his love of languages as well. He also took up gliding again and brought his own glider.

It was during this time that Ian had to become Moley's main carer which he did with great kindness and love.
He loved the country side the wind and sea and he will be hugely missed by all those he touched.