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Bill Cawthorn has always had his heart set on fishing and living near a lake.  He grew up with a farming background in Southland . His father owned a farm at Aparima which was called "Cloverlea”. This was near Riverton, the second most southern town in the South Island.
 He used to do a lot of trout fishing in the Mataura River and often visited Lakes Manapouri and Te Anau.  After the family farm was sold, Bill moved to Taupo in 1972.  He took up a job here selling agricultural equipment, but saw the potential for fishing and soon had bought a 21ft cabin boat.  In 1979 he bought a 27ft launch, the Ngaro, had it surveyed and started to ply for hire.  Later in 1979 the opportunity came up to buy the Kacopa.  This Bill accepted and sold the Ngaro.
 Kacopa is a twin-screw, Owen Wolley-designed boat.  She was built in 1970 for a local boat owner, Ray Johnson.  Originally she was powered by twin Falcon petrol engines but later Ray replaced these with twin 4107 40hp Perkins diesels.
 She can cruise at 8˝ knots and by cutting out one of the engines she can be used for trolling.  She has a beam of 10ft 6in, has an all-kauri structure with kauri planked hull, kauri ribs, kauri cabin and a kauri ply deck that has been fibreglassed over.
 Bill has done little modifications to her apart from re-equipping her inside, including putting in a galley.  She sleeps six and is used mainly for day and overnight trips.
The Kingfisher was one of the earliest boats on Lake Taupo to ply for hire.  Little is known about her early days but it is believed that she was built in Taupo by Bailey and Lowe before the first world war and was plying for hire during the 1920s and 1930s.
 Captain Loughlin owned her in the 1920s and sold her to the Newdicks who ran the Spa Hotel.  They operated her along with the Tamati, Tainui and Tongariro which had by then been converted to a houseboat and moored in the Western Bays.
 Some time in the 1930s she was bought by the Chisholms from Hawke's Bay and used privately by them.  Later she was hauled out of the lake and through lack of maintenance never sailed the lake again.
 Kingfisher was one of the older designed boats with her distinctive counter stern.  This big overhanging rounded stern had a purpose in that with a following sea, waves following the boat would run underneath the stern. 
 She was an all-kauri boat, 26ft long and her hull, like her stern, was rounded.  She had a flush deck with a small cabin in which you could only sit and not stand.  It would have been about 6ft long and 4ft 6in high.  She was driven from over the top of the cabin and didn't have a windscreen.
 She was powered by a 5hp one-cylinder standard engine and, like most boats in her day, the engine would be up forward and to reach it you would have to go through the cabin.
 The older designed boats with their displacement hulls were very slow.  Because the engines didn't have much power you needed a nice easy-driving hull with a fairly fine beam.  Most of the early boats didn't have a flare on their bow.
 Most of the time the Kingfisher would have been used for day-long fishing trips out in the bay in front of Taupo and round in Mine Bay and Whakaipo Bay.  Often she would pull into the shore and Captain Loughlin or the Newdicks would have a barbecue and provide lunch.  It was a simple casual way of providing a day's outing in the 1920s and 1930s before the private pleasure boat came along.