Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring J-class

Sea Craft Miller Moyes' Lionel Sands inducted into Hall of Fame

by Mike Rose on 16 May 2011
Lionel Sands - Hall of Fame inductee, New Zealand Boat Show © Mike Rose
Lionel Sands has been a member of the New Zealand marine industry for literally his entire life.

In that time, he has been an integral part of the switch from the well-built, solid timber boats of the 1960s to the gleaming well built solid GRP boats of today. He has helped lead the industry through some tough times and has been an inspiration to generations of young boatbuilders.

It is hard to imagine anyone more suited to a career in the New Zealand marine industry. Lionel was literally born into the industry, appearing in this world in his father’s Cawley St premises, where Seacraft and Miller Moyes stood for over 60 years. (Even his grandfather was a boatbuilder, building wooden dories in Dover).

Under the guidance of his legendary father, 'Sandy', apprentice boatbuilder Lionel built his first boat, a 12ft Seacraft clinker dinghy.

He worked in all facets of the business before gradually taking over from his illustrious father, becoming an accomplished boatbuilder, designer and salesman for the company’s quality range of boats.

Lionel also spent a couple of years working for Jim Young in the early 1970s, building wooden Vindexs and NZ37s and 43s. He had a huge respect for the designer and boat builder and remembers learning a lot about himself while working for him.

Lionel oversaw the purchase of the Haines Hunter franchise in the 1980s and the later acquisition of the brand. Over the following years, he quickly built Haines Hunter into one of New Zealand’s top GRP boat brands, a position it still holds today.

One of Lionel’s most successful designs was his SS700. Launched in 1989, the SS700 quickly gained a reputation for great handling in rough water, a reputation his designs still enjoy today.

The SS700 sold over 50 boats in its first year, a remarkable achievement for a 7-metre boat at that time. It also generated $4 million in retail sales, an incredible sum in 1989 for just one model.

In 1993 and ‘94, Lionel again followed in his father’s footsteps and became president of the New Zealand Boating Industry Association, now New Zealand Marine.

Apart from the time he spent with Jim Young and a short sojourn building boats in Fiji, Lionel has spent his entire working life with his company, now Seacraft Miller Moyes.

In that time, he has helped thousands of Kiwis get onto the water, done his bit to reduce the North Island’s various fish populations, sponsored numerous events and steered dozens of young apprentices into a life building the world’s best trailer power boats.

In 2003, Lionel’s father Sandy was an inaugural inductee into the New Zealand Boat Show Hall of Fame. His son is an equally worthy inductee.
T Clewring One DesignNaiadBakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - America's Cup champ says Paralympic racing is closest ever
Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar keelboat class at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. The regatta is being held in Guanabara Bay on three of the courses used for the Olympic Sailing Regatta in August.
Posted on 13 Sep
Debriefing the Rio 2016 Olympics with Team USA’s Helena Scutt
I talked with Team USA’s Helena Scutt to hear about her Olympic experience, and to learn more about her post-Rio plans. The 49erFX was introduced to Olympic circles when it replaced the Women’s Match Racing event following the 2012 Games. Not surprisingly, it drew high-performance sailors for the Rio 2016 Olympics, including Team USA’s Paris Henken and Helena Scutt. While Henken and Scutt were Olympic first-timers, they put on a strong show. I caught up with Scutt to hear more about her Olympic experience.
Posted on 8 Sep
A Q&A with Peter Bresnan ONE Palma’s founder and director
Sail-World interviewed ONE Palma’s founder Peter Bresnan to learn about the company’s partnership with McConaghy Boats For the past eight years, ONE Palma (formerly OneSails Spain) has been building a strong name, first as a sailmaker and later with refit work. Recently, ONE Palma and McConaghy Boats-legendary boatbuilders who have crafted some of the planet’s fastest sailboats-entered a business partnership. I caught up with Peter Bresnan, ONE Palma’s founder and director, to learn more about this new direction.
Posted on 2 Sep
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ train late on the Waitemata Harbour
Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. The team were sailing their recently launched AC45 Surrogate test boat which features an articulated rudder gantry - taking the AC45 close to the geometry of the AC50 to be used in the 2017 America's Cup.
Posted on 1 Sep
Dateline Rio - Sailing Olympics review - as good as it gets?
The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The weather was better than Weymouth and Qingdao, the courses more varied, but from a working media perspective, it was the people running the Rio regatta who really made the difference.
Posted on 26 Aug
Rio 2016 - Plain speaking by triple-medalist on Olympic sailing moves
Triple Olympic medalist, Santiago Lange has been on the sharp end of changes made to Olympic classes and formats Santiago Lange, a six-time Olympian and Bronze medallist in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, won his third medal – Gold sailing in the Nacra 17 class. With that length of experience at an Olympic level, having sailed the Laser, Tornado and now Nacra 17 classes his comments on the future shape of the Olympic regatta was one of the highlights of the Medallists Media Conferences.
Posted on 25 Aug
An Q&A with Steve and Heidi Benjamin about the NYYC’s 2016 Queen’s Cup
Sail-World caught up with Steve and Heidi Benjamin to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup. When it comes to U.S. Grand Prix sailing, it’s hard not to encounter the names of Steve and Heidi Benjamin. The two highly polished sailors have been successfully campaigning their series of yachts, named SPOOKIE, for years, starting first with a Carkeek 40 and progressing to their TP52. I caught up with Steve and Heidi to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup
Posted on 19 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images of the penultimate race in the Finns - Scott wins
Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn, in what potentially could have been Giles Scott's (GBR) Gold medal winning race. In the end, the current world champion won in style.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images from the Mens RS:X Medal Race
Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class won before the race by Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) without needing points from the Medal Race. Nick Dempsey (GBR) was second on a similar basis.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Sailors talk of Life at the Extreme on the Atlantic Ocean
Certainly the Volvo Ocean Race catchcry of Life at the Extreme is not a phrase associated with the Sailing Olympics. The 470 crews were suffering the mixed emotions of survival of an extreme test by nature, the cold, and for some elation at their placings, after Thursday's battle for survival. In conditions that looked more out of the Volvo Ocean Race, than an Olympic sailing regatta, crews battled 20kt plus winds and Atlantic Ocean rollers that towered up to four metres.
Posted on 13 Aug