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In the history of the boats on Lake Taupo Manunui is remembered for two features - firstly she was the first boat to have diesels installed and secondly she was the first commercial boat with a plywood hull to operate on the lake.
 The origins of Manunui are unusual.  The town from which she takes her name is a timber town just out of Taumarunui.  The manager of the sawmill at Mananui in the 1940s, Basil Maude, had a hobby building boats.  He rarely finished them, usually getting about three-quarters of the way through before losing interest.  Basil built Manunui as an experiment to see how big a boat could be built out of plywood.  At the time the only boats being built out of plywood were dinghies and light small boats.  Basil reckoned that he could build a big boat and had the ply made at his mill from especially selected timber.  Basil also had another reason why he wanted to build this boat - he had two Allison Kittyhawk 12-cylinder aeroplane engines which he had acquired. So as to fit these engines in, Manunui had to be a big, chunky and heavy boat.  Her bottom had two sheets of ply each 20ft long, 6ft wide and 1¼ inches thick.  Overall she was 36ft long with a 12ft beam.  She had a forward cabin, a main cabin, a wheelhouse with a flying bridge on top.  She could sleep six.
 To operate the two Allison motors Basil had designed and built a gearbox himself. This gearbox was large enough to fit into a box 8ft long by 3ft wide and 2ft deep.    It was built to fit in the bottom of the boat and was mounted in front of the engines.  Because the Kittyhawk engines used two gallons of petrol a minute, Basil Maude, at the last minute abandoned the idea of using them.  Instead he installed Ford V8s.  Thus Manunui had a gearbox which looked all out of proportion as it was bigger than the two engines.
These engines drove into the gearbox with the two shafts below driving back to the propellers.  You could run both engines ahead or both in reverse or you could run one ahead and the other in reverse, either one was independent of the other.  It was all built into the one box and all run with chains - it was a most fascinating box which he constructed himself.
 Don McLeod bought Manunui not long after the war.  He replaced the V8 engines putting in two Ford diesels.  At the same time he put two of the same engines in Lamorna.
 During the years Don owned Manunui after the war, Ron Houghton was her skipper.  In the mid- 1950s Ron bought her and ran her commercially for ten years.
 Don had no major problems with the plywood hull although some rot started to appear at the top.  Later when Ron Houghton owned her some dry rot had to be taken out round the chine and up near the bow.  As Basil Maude wanted to use ply completely through the boat he had to laminate the ply for the bow section.
 Soon after Ron bought Manunui he added a dodger over the cockpit.  He sold her to Herbie Green in 1969.  Herbie used her for two years before selling her to new owners in New Plymouth where it is believed she still is.
Moana Roa

In 1948 the Lake Hotel was burnt down and on the same day Moana Roa was launched.  She was built by Don McLeod for his father Mr J D McLeod Snr.  Mr McLeod used the boat privately at first and then commercially until 1971 when she was sold to Bill Orme.

 Don built Moana Roa at his home in Tamamutu Street taking him two years.  Her ribs are spotted gum while the rest of her timber is heart totara which was milled at Oruanui and brought to Taupo.  She is of quite heavy construction, is flat at her after end and was designed for the lake.

 The original configuration of the boat is very similar to what it is now.  The main cabin had a galley table with the auxiliary motor underneath it.  The cabin had six berths, there was no dodger, instead the main roof extended over the aft cockpit.

 The original motor was a V8 petrol engine which had come out of a Bren-gun carrier.  There was also the auxiliary Ford 10 motor which was used for trolling.  Moana Roa now has a 1972 Ford diesel 4-cylinder, and for trolling a Yamaha single-cylinder, which gives about 7hp.  She can troll for up to 14 hours on a gallon of diesel.

 Norm Pointon, her present owner, bought her in 1978 and is at present extensively refurnishing her. Norm started up forward, lifted the main deck to give more head-room, re-decked her right through, put in a new wheelhouse, put a dodger on and fuel tanks at the back.  The only parts of the original cabin left are the deck beams and the side part, which is all heart totara.  The rims up top are made of 18in x 14in thick totara and all the forward laminated deck beams are made from the old totara that came off the original deck.  The decks are now plywood fibreglassed over.

 Moana Roa is 33ft 6in long with an 11ft 9in beam.  She draws just on 3ft of water and is ‘chesty’ up front but flat at the back., so she glides over the water.

Morning Star
Morning Star is the second boat that Andy Lennox has run for fishing excursions on Lake Taupo.  He bought her six years ago when he sold the Loloma.  She is just over 45ft long with a waterline length of 40.3ft and a beam of 15.4ft.  Morning Star has a gross tonnage of 34.41 tons and is powered by a Cummins V8 engine with 370 brake horsepower.
Morning Star was designed by Alan Mummery who is a leading yacht designer.  She has a maximum speed of 16 knots.
The visitor has a choice of either fishing - travelling in comfort on the upper deck, enabling him to get a magnificent 360 degree panoramic view of the Lake Taupo attractions - or travelling in comfort in the spacious saloon.
Andy Lennox has been running fishing excursions on Lake Taupo for twelve years now.  A builder by trade from Rangitiki, he has owned and sailed various boats on the lake since 1954.  He used to come up to Taupo about twice a month until the late 1960s when he bought a tourist licence motel-hotel here.
In 1972, Andy bought the Loloma which he sold in 1979 and he then bought the Morning Star.  Andy has many stories to tell about fishing on Lake Taupo.  The biggest fish he has caught was 10½lb.  A visiting fruitgrower hooked the fish that took the longest to land (1 hour and 15 minutes),  It was only 4½lb, but had an abnormally large tail.
Andy has had many visitors from all over the world, including Eskimos and Arabs.  The most amusing story is about an Englishman dressed in a pinstriped suit complete with a briefcase, bowler hat and brolly, who asked if he could be taken out "to catch a trophy fish".  Now, every fisherman wants to catch a trophy fish, but this particularly Englishmen was one of the luckiest.  Half an hour later he was back in the harbour with his 6½ lb rainbow trout and an amused Andy Lennox and his crew.
Sometimes Andy takes visitors out for an hour or two, other times he goes on longer trips to Western Bay, staying away for one or two days.  Travelling on Morning Star is certainly a comfortable way to go fishing or to enjoy Lake Taupo's many other attractions.
Morning Star has now been sold and gone to Auckland.