Des was born into the pre-World War Two New Zealand where the style of life was completely different to the rhythms of daily existence in more recent times. The commercial closedown over weekends, five day working weeks, import restrictions, material shortages and modest income streams for the majority resulted in a widespread ‘do-it-yourself’ ethos. If you wanted a boat, you built it yourself in your spare time. If you wanted a boat a little different from the norm you designed it yourself.
From the mid 1950’s and for the following three decades Des Townson was a formidable player in the burgeoning Auckland marine scene. During this time he created 74 individual designs ranging from sailing models, racing centre-boarders, a wide variety of keelboats and powered boats – a combination resulting in over 3700 vessels. The majority are still in use and two classes, the Zephyrs and Starlings are stronger than at any time in their combined 100 years of continuous use.
Townson boats are some of the most eye-catching, easily handled and well performing maritime craft to ever grace New Zealand waters. The fact Des Townson was self-taught and worked almost his entire career alone only intensifies the achievements of this remarkable man.
This book is a must for anyone interested in maritime recreation.