Industry mourns British sailboat designer

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Alan Gurney, who designed sailboats "the old-fashioned way," died in late July after being diagnosed in April with terminal esophageal cancer.

“Alan Gurney designed boats the old-fashioned way with drafting pencil on velum, using splines and ducks (weights), a planimeter and a seaman's eye,” Ted Jones wrote on “He thought like the water through which he had sailed, in England, trans-Atlantic, the USA, both polar regions and much of what lay in between. As a young lad he would make boats out of toilet tissue — which at that time had characteristics of waxed paper — and float them in his bath.”

“He spurned a career in the Army to pursue a career as a yacht designer and ultimately moved on to an early passion, Antarctic exploration,” Jones wrote. “He had amassed an impressive collection of hundreds of photographs of every known Antarctic penguin species.”

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