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BARBARY

Barbary 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.
 Barbary 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.
 Barbary's 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.
The Barge
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 everything going.
 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 continuous welding.
 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.

BONITA

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.
Bonita 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 10.5 knots.
Bonita 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.
Bonita is an excellent example of a traditional and well-built launch of the type that has been on the lake for about 100 years.

BRAVADO

Bravado 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.
 Bravado 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.
Bravado 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

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