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Ernest Kemp

Ernest Kemp is a link to the earliest days of New Zealand settlement.  James Kemp and his wife lived in the Kerikeri mission in the early nineteenth century where one of the Maori girls in their care became the wife of Hone Heke.  Kemp House in Kerikeri is said to be the first wooden house to be built in New Zealand and it remained in the Kemp family until Ernest Kemp gave it to the people of New Zealand in 1974.
The vessel was built in Whangarei in 1980 on the lines of the old ferries that used to tow logs and carry passengers in the Bay of Islands and elsewhere in New Zealand near the turn of the century.  Similar to these old ferries she has a shallow draught which enabled these ferries to get into settlers' landings but were still big enough to accommodate passengers comfortably.
 Ernest Kemp is powered by two 78hp Ford diesels and has a steel hull with a kauri cabin.  She is 47ft long, weighs 25 tons and can carry 48 passengers.
 Ernest Kemp was built for (and partly by) Mr John Elliot and sailed in the Bay of Islands until 1982 when flooding silted up the inlets she had cruised along.  She was bought by South Pacific Sporting Adventures in 1982 and sailed to Mount Maunganui and then trucked to Taupo.
 She is now used for sightseeing and charter work on the lake.  Morning and afternoon  she leaves the boat harbour for a trip that takes her along the lake front to Wharewhaka Point and across to Mine Bay and the Maori carvings.  During the Christmas holidays from Boxing Day there are usually additional sailings.
 The Maori carvings, which were done in 1979, symbolise the spirits that descended to give protection to fishermen who would come over from Turangi to Mine Bay to gather shellfish and allow them a safe return.
 Ernest Kemp is a very interesting boat and travels smoothly and comfortably enabling visitors to have an enjoyable sightseeing trip on the lake which otherwise they might never be able to have.
East Wind
In the game of mahjong there are symbols for "East Wind".  When the Drake family bought this 18ft clinker boat in 1972 they retained these symbols which were part of her decoration.
There is nothing extra special about East Wind, she doesn't stand out conspicuously amongst the other boats in the Taupo boat harbour yet she has a long and interesting history and not all of it is known by her present owners, the Drake family.
 She can be traced back to the 1920s when she was owned by Frank Fryer who used her a lot on the lake.   It is thought that she originally was a ship's open motorboat though not a lifeboat.  It is about 70-80 years old.  Frank put a small cabin on her and raised her bow a little.
 After lying derelict for a couple of years, East Wind was taken to Napier in the 1930s by a new owner, repaired and brought back to Taupo.  In 1972 the Drakes bought her and she has remained with them ever since.  They raised the bow further and built on a small cabin forward of the dodger.  Except for that work and an overhaul every two years she is as she was.
 East Wind is built of kauri and where and when nobody knows.  She is powered by a Morris Vedette engine which is a marine version of a Morris 8hp side-valve petrol engine.  It is  not particularly old being installed in 1947. 
 In 1980 the dodger was rebuilt.  The beams and knees were laminated from demolition kauri and tongue-and-groove cedar was used to make the strong dodger top.  Inside, the original quarter- deck is still there, so if you wanted you could take her back to the original motorboat.
 A mounted cabin makes her very practical.  She has no galley or toilet and is best suited for day fishing trips.
East Wind is an example of an ordinary boat which has given a lot of satisfaction to her owner.

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