19. Taking a break in New Zealand

Every year my wife and I avoid the UK winter and go to our house in Waiheke Island, New Zealand. We stay usually for 3-4 months before venturing back to the cooler UK spring. It is beautiful here, about 22-32 degrees Celsius and we relax on our deck or on out Haines Hunter 535 fizz boat.

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While here I researched a man who has already built a boat from the same plans as those I bought from Glen-L. His name is Greg Roy and I found him and his wife, Leigh, in Auckland and his boat on a fabulous lake called Rotoiti just near Rotorua. Having never actually seen a ‘barrelback’, I asked him if I might have a look. They were very welcoming and yesterday we flew down to Rotorua from Auckland where Greg picked us up from the airport and took us to Lake Rotoiti. Breathtaking! They have a ‘bach’ (originally so called bachelor house) on the lakeside with it’s own jetty and there was ‘Bootlegger’!  Greg built the boat over five years, finishing it in 2005 since when it has seen much lake cruising, and not just this one, and also much waterskiing.  I also wanted my wife Shelley to see what all the fuss was about and why the Greyfalcon was taking (and going to take) so long to finish. I think she now understands! Here are some pictures of a fabulous day (although the weather could have been better but hey…….   Thank you Greg, firstly for showing us, and taking us out in your fabulous boat. Secondly for answering all my dumb questions, and thirdly for the encouragement. Thank you also to Leigh for kind hospitality and taking good care of Shelley.  Now look at where they took us!

Greg put a 280hp Chevy V8 in the back and extended the boat to accommodate it. It lifts onto the plane with great ease and gives a lovely ride. The water was quite choppy and Greg never put a speedo in it! but at 3000rpm Bootlegger stormed across the water. If you try to potter at idle you can get a bit wet! but a thousand rpm lifts the nose and the splashes go underneath the boat. He did add a small modification which is a triangle of wood at the rear end to trim out the ‘porpoising’ and make it better to turn when waterskiing. Brilliant!

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