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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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
is an example of an ordinary boat which has given a lot of satisfaction
to her owner.
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