2006 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE: REX HENRY
Rex Henry designed his first 20 deg deep vee hull in 1957. His company was one of the earliest exponents of fibreglass production and, such was the quality of their boats, 100s are still in use today.
Rex Henry was a co founder of the offshore powerboat racing scene in New Zealand in 1964. A stalwart of the Auckland Powerboat Race Organisation, it was his drive and determination that saw fields of over 100 boats on the start line under the Auckland Harbour Bridge in the 1970s.
Henry not only designed several successful racing boats, one of which is still racing today, he also designed what is probably New Zealand’s best selling 4.5m fibreglass boat ever – the phenomenally successful 4.5m Fleetline Sapphire. By the mid 1970s, over 2,500 had been built and it is estimated that in excess of 3,000 Sapphires were built in total. In the mid -1970s, production ran at an incredible seven boats a working week. Rex also designed winning race boats including Tara Too and the “evergreen” Chindit (which is still racing today).
Although Rex has been out of the marine industry for many years, he has always maintained a keen interest in the design and development of production boats and is a regular attendee at the Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show.