Local author tells the salty tale of Des Townson

In 1954, Eastern beach local Brian Peet’s father was the first person to buy a boat from legendary yacht designer and boat builder, the late Des Townson.

Legendary Yacht designer and boat builder Des Townson. Photo supplied

Townson became a family friend and was the catalyst for Brian’s own love of sailing Townson-designed yachts, and his admiration for the man has led to Brian penning a book detailing his life and achievements.

The book, titled  Des Townson: A sailing legacy is a labour of love for retired airline pilot Brian,  who for the book draws on his own observations, Townson’s recollections, and those of his family, to reveal fresh insights into this fascinating New Zealand icon.

“Townson was a purist, a perfectionist, and a genius” says Brian effusively. “He had a Spartan approach to design and exacting standards- the result was outstandingly beautiful yachts with great race potential”

The latest work is Peet’s second book, his debut publication The Seuffert Legacy, a biography of New Zealand colonial cabinet maker Anton Seuffert, was well received by reviewers.

The sophomore effort is the result of a decade of research, writing and interviews collated by the former Torpedo-class New Zealand representative.

Des Townson: A Sailing Legacy by Brian Peet

Available in hardcover, the book is beautifully appointed with scores of photographs, boat plans, and press reports.


Publication date is 18 September, and is available from destownson.co.nz