By Dorie Cox
Tony Hambrook, former managing director of Alloy Yachts International in New Zealand, died on Feb. 1. During his career with the company he was responsible for the delivery of about 40 yachts between 30 and 67 meters in length. Mr. Hambrook was born in 1946 in Motueka, New Zealand and had been diagnosed with lung cancer.
He began his career with the now closed yard as a production manager in 1986. John McKenzie remembered Mr. Hambrook as a ‘hard but fair boss.” McKenzie worked as a contract employee with Alloy Yachts in the 1990s and was hired full time by Mr. Hambrook in 2000. He described his employer as driven to give customers full satisfaction and to complete work on schedule.
“Tony`s door was always open and he was easily approachable if you had issues or ideas to improve the way of doing things,” McKenzie wrote in an email. “I rather say we worked with him than for him on the projects.”
The company also trained about 20 new marine industry employees each year in a variety of trades.
“A lot of young people were given apprenticeships at Alloy Yachts, which gave them a good start in life,” McKenzie wrote.
“He will be remembered most for running a superyacht business which was world recognised and produced some of the best sailing vessels the oceans have ever seen.”
In his early years, Mr. Hambrook was a heating and ventilation apprentice in his father’s engineering workshop after high school. He built his first boat, a 15.8m steel ketch designed by Frank Pelin, during his early 30s and his sailing trips include a circumnavigation of New Zealand’s North Island and a trip to the west coast of the United States.
Mr. Hambrook was honored with several awards including the International Superyacht Society’s Leadership Award in 2010, the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2007 from the New Zealand Royal Honours Secretariat for his services to the marine industry and he was inducted into the Waitakere Business Hall of Fame in 2006.
A memorial service is scheduled to commemorate Mr. Hambrook’s life at St Luke’s Church Remuera, 130 Remuera Road, Auckland, on Fri., Feb. 9, at 2pm. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Antony Brian Hambrook’s name to Mercy Hospice, P.O. Box 47693, Ponsonby, Auckland, New Zealand, 1144.