Breaking News:

Vale Barry Thompson

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of industry stalwart and friend of our industry, Barry Thompson.

Barry, co-publisher and editor of Powerboat and Alloy Boat, was a familiar sight at boat shows, factories, and international marine industry events.

His relaxed persona was a testament to his humble nature, even though many would say that his industry and product knowledge surpassed that of most others in the industry.

In 2009, Barry was inducted into the New Zealand Boat Show Hall of Fame by the Huchwilco Boat Show for his services to the industry, where he had been helping to promote the event and the marine industry for almost 40 years.

In receiving the award, it was said that “In that time, he has probably spent more time afloat, in boats of all sizes, than any other member of the industry.”

Barry first entered the marine industry working under the great John Malitte at the New Zealand Herald.

Since then, the magazines he has worked on read like a history of marine publishing over many decades: Seaspray, Powerboat, Nautical News, Boating World, NZ Fisherman, Propeller, and more recently, with his good mate Doug Dukeson, Alloy Boat and Pacific Powerboat.

Barry has also been a keen participant in and supporter of powerboat racing in New Zealand, and it would probably be fair to say that no one has done more to promote the sport than Barry.

Barry and his good mate Glen Urquhart were the only Kiwis to have won a UIM World Powerboat Championship, achieving the title in Guernsey in 1986.

Without a doubt, Barry has written more boat tests and done more to promote powerboating than anyone else in NZ.

Locally, he was revered for his promotion of New Zealand overseas, introduced engine shoot-outs, and was instrumental in making offshore powerboat racing a safer sport.

Barry’s early years saw him confront some significant challenges with an offshore accident in 1986, where Barry sustained serious injuries. The strength and fortitude of the man were evident when, within a month, he was back to writing, and within a year, he was back behind the wheel of another race boat.

Late 2022, with over 50 years of marine publishing, he had negotiated a semi-retirement package with 26 year business partner Doug Dukeson, to enable him to kick back and enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle.

Barry passed away this morning with his mind clearly focused on his passion. He had prepared the boat and loaded the fishing gear, ready to go out to his happy place.

Barry is a loss to our industry, and his absence will be deeply felt.

Our condolences go out to Barry’s family, friends, and business colleagues around the world.

Rest in Peace, Barry.

Fair winds and following seas.