was once owned by Errol Flynn. In those days her name was Moana,
a fact which was disclosed later when the name Moana was found on
the back of a cabinet on board.
The yacht was built in 1926 in San Pedro, California and was initially
called Barbary. The then owner, Mr A L Howe, raced with the
Aclon Yacht Club. It would seem that Errol Flynn won Barbary at a
poker game, though little is known of this earlier period of her life.
In 1945 Captain Mathewson purchased the yacht in Fiji and sailed her
singlehanded to New Zealand. Barbary then settled in Auckland.
In 1970 Captain Magnus, a retired civil engineer, purchased the yacht
and refitted it extensively. A gale in 1975 broke Barbary from
her moorings. After becoming partially sunk in Auckland Harbour, she
was eventually bought in 1980 by Bill Dawson, a Taupo fencing
contractor. Bill, with the assistance of Jocelyn Kjestrup and Roger
Hawk, a local boat builder, spent the next three years giving the yacht
a complete renovation.
Imported oregon was used to make a new 54ft-long mast. The original
engine, a two-cylinder petrol Grey Motor Marine, was replaced by a
powerful Perkins 4107.
The boat's profile is just as it was originally designed, though the
original oregon hull has been re-planked with kauri and the deck has
been recovered with teak.
is actually a cutter-rig ketch. She is 38ft 6in long with a 12ft 2in
beam and has a tonnage of 14.19 tons. The canvas sails date back to
1936 and although three times heavier than the modern terylene, they are
still working well.
top speed is 7Ĺ knots into the wind and 10 knots running. She is
currently being used as a charter boat, for which she is licensed to
carry 23 people. Barbary is both a valuable asset to Taupo and a
fulfilment of Bill Dawson's dream to own a ketch.
Don McLeod (owner of
Rothesay) operated on Lake Taupo for 40
years running commercial fishing trips, making boats, installing and
repairing engines and having something to do with everything relating to
boats in Taupo. However his most satisfying accomplishment was setting
up a sand business. To do this Don had to build a barge, construct and
rig mast and winch gear and bucket. As he didn't have much to go by he
went to Auckland and had a look at some of the scows first. Don worked
out a design and, although making a few mistakes, eventually got
Don built the barge in Jock Booth's yard where Suncourt Shopping Centre
now stands. As she is made of steel and is 60ft long, she had to be
built in Taupo. Every piece of steel that went into the frame was cut,
fitted and tack welded by Don. A welder followed up to finish off the
Firstly the bottom was set up and the sheets welded together, the ends
were then turned up and the framework and decking built on top. Being
all steel many were sceptical that she would float at all. However she
was launched at Two Mile Bay where the launching ramp is now.
Taupo's other well known Don McLeod, who owned
Camaroni IV, was
then running a house removal business. He transported the barge to Two
Mile Bay on his house trailer. There was no concrete ramp in those days
and the lupin and scrub had to be bulldozed away and a pumice base laid
for the launching. The bulldozer was used to push the barge on the
trailer into the water. The bulldozer retrieved the trailer once the
barge had floated free.
Don used the barge to dredge sand from Five Mile Bay and shingle from
Kawakawa Bay. He sold her to Ray Johnson who operated her for shingle
dredging. He later used her for laying moorings and dredging the Taupo
boat harbour as well as other harbours and marinas around the lake.
A commercial fishing launch, Bonita was brought to Taupo in the
mid 1960s by Roger Jones who at that time owned Taupo Lakeside Services.
She was designed by Ted Herd and built in Auckland in the late 1950s by
Rogerís father, a professional boat builder. There have been three
sister ships built from her plans.
is all kauri with ribs of rata and knees of pohutukwa. Mr Jones senior
purchased two large kauri logs and had them milled in Auckland for the
vessel. She is 33ft long and has a beam of 11ft. The boat is powered
by an 85hp diesel engine and cruises at 8.5 knots with a top speed of
was used as a patrol boat for the Manukau Yacht Club and rescued many
boats over a number of years in the Auckland area. She has been used
for dozens of snapper trips up and down the West Coast. Returning from
one of these trips she was caught by a huge breaker on the treacherous
Manukau Bar and surfed for 100 metres. Luckily she didnít quite go out
of control and survived to fish another day.
Owned for several years by Dan Hennebry of Taupo and Ian Dodd of Waiuku,
Bonita is currently leased back by the fishing and charter
business known as Punchís Place.
Each November for many years,
Bonita has been the mother ship for
the Taupo Nui-a-Tia College annual camp and clean up of the Western
Bays. On one such trip she was almost engulfed by a sudden landslide in
Cherry Bay. It was a very close one, but the stalwart Bonita and
crew managed to exit the Bay with no casualites.
Over the past few years
Bonita has been the pilot ship on many
lake swims. In March 1990 the youngest swimmer ever to conquer the lake,
14 year old Kaine Thompson of Lower Hutt, swam the length of Lake Taupo
(from Braxmere Lodge to Taupo Yacht Club) in 11 hours 14 minutes, with
Bonita in attendance.
is an excellent example of a traditional and well-built launch of the
type that has been on the lake for about 100 years.
has a Mediterranean look about her. With her navy-blue drop-nose hull
and blue canopy, she has a distinctive look to her design and stands out
amongst the other boats in the Taupo harbour.
She is a 26ft express cruiser design made by Marksply in Auckland.
(This firm is now known as Markline.) She was built in 1981 as a trailer
boat but her design was short-lived and has not been carried on. She
has a beam of 8ft.
was originally powered by two 470 Mercury outboard motors. She now runs
on one high-speed 165hp 6-cylinder turbo Volvo diesel engine. This
engine is very quick, economical and smooth to run. She has dual
counter rotating propellers and can cruise at 18 knots.
is very roomy inside and in fact for her short hull, the space available
in her is deceptive. In the two cabins there are three separate double
beds. In the main cabin on one side is the dining table which folds
down to a double bed and on the other side, a stove, fridge and sink.
There is also a double bed tucked in under the cockpit and accessible
from the main cabin. She also has a toilet and shower. The forward
cabin is well lit during the day by a large skylight in the roof. She
is, in fact, extremely well laid out. Guests can enjoy a fast cruise or
trolling for fish from the large cockpit. This cockpit has a
multi-function canopy which can either be unzipped from the sides or
back or alternatively can be folded right back over to open the whole
cockpit area up.
The biggest fish caught on
Bravado was a 10lb rainbow taken by an
American client. Mark Jackson took Mark Todd out on the lake and the
Olympic-gold medal winner caught a fish which got away in unusual
circumstances. While everyone was admiring it when it was brought
aboard, it wriggled itself free and jumped overboard.
Not so lucky was another fish . A tourist once fell overboard
winding a fish in. He kept hold of the rod. Once back on board, he
wound the fish in. No doubt he had a fishing story to tell about the
one that never got away