Hall of Fame - Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show

2014 Hall of Fame4 Inductee: Bob Tait

Bot TaitBob Tait is a long time and very valuable member of the New Zealand marine industry.

He has owned and run a number of successful marine businesses, sponsored an enormous number of boating, fishing and community events, been a regular exhibitor at the New Zealand Boat Show for more than 20 years and been one of, if not the, longest-serving and most influential of marine industry administrators. 

In 2009, Bob became the first (and to date only) person to be awarded a life membership of the Marine Industry Association of New Zealand (now NZ Marine). That singular honour was in recognition of the enormous contribution Bob had made to the industry: seven years as president, two as vice president and many years as chairman of the Boating Industry Training Organisation. 

In that latter role, he oversaw the introduction of the modern apprenticeship scheme, helping BITO become one of the most successful and the most highly praised of all of the Industry Training Organisations. 

He also successfully urged the MIA to join ICOMIA, the International Conference of Marine Industry Associations. This quickly produced positiive results with Bob’s successor, Ian Cook, sitting on an ICOMIA board and the international organisation choosing to hold their 2007 conference here in Auckland. 

Bob and his company Diversified Products, which distributes the Tohatsu range of outboards in New Zealand, has been a faithfull exhibitor at the New Zealand Boat Show for over 20 years. 

He has been involved in both the wholesale and retail side of the industry, been a long-time member of the Port Nicholson Yacht Club and a strong supporter of local fishing competitions including the Tahuna School Fishing competition, the Pukemanu Fishing competition, the Surtees Boats Annual Fishing competition, Firman's Marine Open Fishing contest, the Ngawi Sports Fishing Club’s 'Big 3' competition and the Waikanae Boating Club Family Fishing Competition. 

Bob has also proved to be a real stalwart of his community, sponsoring events such as the Rotary Club of Wellington’s Circus Quirkus, the Kids Foundation, the Lions Club World Festival of Magic, and the Matarangi Fire Brigade. 

A Justice of the Peace for the last 18 months, Bob also spends a morning each month at the local Citizens' Advice Bureau and has been elected unopposed for the last six years as President of the Johnsonville Workingmans Club. 

2013 Hall of Fame Inductee: Kim McDell

Kim McDell

Kim is currently celebrating his 40th year in the marine industry.

In that time, he has made a major contribution to both the show and the industry as a whole, winning world titles, serving on the boards of various industry and sporting organisations, manufacturing boats for export and building some of this country’s most popular yachts and powerboats.

After working in the accounting profession Kim's boating and business interests led him into the marine industry in 1973. 

In 1974, he won his first World Title, on board the 18ft skiff Travelodge NZ. 

He followed that with his second, helping win the 1977 Half Ton Cup in Sydney on board Farr centreboard design, Gunboat Rangiriri. 

After purchasing Sea Nymph Ltd (with partner Peter Gribble) in the early 1970s Kim went on to produce what was then one of this country’s most popular powerboat brands, Sea Nymph. In the mid 1970s they commissioned Bruce Farr to design a range of trailer yachts and these proved very popular in both New Zealand and Australia. This was followed in the 1980s by the keelers including the near-iconic Farr 1020, Farr 1220. 

In the 1990s Kim continued under the new banner of McDell Marine (with partners Stephen Fisher and Bill Howlett) and produced the MRX fleet and Farr Platu 25, Mumm 30, Farr 41MX and various other models. 

Not content with manufacturing “just” yachts and powerboats, Kim and McDell Marine also produced the Reflections range of sportfishing launches. 

Between the yachts and the powerboats, Kim and his team produced well over 10,000 boats and helped thousands and thousands of Kiwis to enjoy New Zealand’s wonderful harbours, lakes and coastline. 

They then received a rare international accolade, being chosen as the first overseas manufacturer to build moulds and manufacture the famed Oyster range of luxury yachts. They produced over 60 Oysters including the Oyster 54, 53 and 49, and the Oyster powerboat, the LD43, all for export in their west Auckland premises. 

McDell Marine was also chosen to work with Japanese automotive giant Toyota, developing their 8.5-metre, high-performance, flybridge cruiser, the Ponam 28 — and then building 256 of them. 

In the 12 years between 1998 and when they chose to cease trading, in 2010, McDell Marine generated over $100 million worth of exports for this country. 

Kim has also served as a board member at New Zealand Marine and on the board of Yachting New Zealand and is still very active in the marine industry. He is on the board of major marine equipment supplier Lusty and Blundell and, together with his brother Terry, runs the brokerage company, McDell Yachting.

We welcome Kim McDell to the New Zealand Boatshow Hall of Fame.


2012 Hall of Fame Inductee: Mike Hodson

Mike Hodson Mike first started working in the marine industry in the mid-1970s when, as a qualified radio engineer with the navy, he worked part-time for Electronic Navigation Ltd, a small company servicing the commercial fishing industry. 

By the late 1970s Mike was working full time at ENL and rapidly rising through the ranks, first to sales manager and then to general manager. 

A few years later, in the early 1980s, in what was to become a typically courageous and visionary move, he mortgaged everything he owned and bought the company. Quickly recognising the huge potential in the leisure marine market, he set about transforming ENL into a company that comprehensively catered to both the commercial and leisure marine industries. 

As part of his strategy, Mike founded what quickly became the country’s most iconic fishing contest, the Furuno Fishing Tournament. First held in 1986 at Waiheke Island’s Onetangi, it enjoyed a meteoric rise in popularity. The Furuno, as it was generally known, ran for an incredible 19 years, attracting, at its peak, more than 3000 enthusiastic anglers to its base at Pah Farm on Kawau Island. 

Mike also secured the popular Lowrance range for ENL, ensuring the company had a continuously expanding range of marine electronics to entice their growing customer base. 

A man of many passions, Mike was one of the first in the industry to recognise the value of training. He instituted in-house training at ENL, helped establish the Boating Industry Training Organisation (now the Marine Industry Training Organisation) and spent 10 years as a BITO board member. In that time, he was also instrumental in creating the Marine Trades Challenge, an increasingly popular event that allows marine industry apprentices to showcase their skills. 

Always a man of vision, Mike started a special R&D division at ENL in 1990. This has already paid handsome dividends, resulting in innovative products such as Netlink and the international award winning Wide Angle Sonar Seafloor Profiler (WASSP). This R&D division, together with Mike’s legendary vision and leadership skills, also helped ENL secure a massive multi-million dollar order for the Royal New Zealand Navy’s 7 new Protector vessels. 

A natural marketer, Mike made sure that ENL was always a strong exhibitor at the New Zealand Boat Show. Son Gareth remembers how he and his brother were sent to stand at the show gates with Furuno radar domes on their heads, helping raise awareness for the brand and driving patrons to the ENL stand. 

It was obviously good training. ENL, now with Gareth as chief executive now exhibits at 14 different boat shows around the world, building on the experience they gained right here. 

Although no longer actively involved in the day to day running of ENL, Mike remains a director, continues to share his opinions and offer advice and is still a very, very keen fisherman. 

Please welcome Mike Hodson to the NEW ZEALAND BOAT SHOW HALL OF FAME. 

2011 Hall of Fame Inductee: Lionel Sands

Lionel SandsLionel Sands has been a member of the New Zealand marine industry for literally his entire life.

In that time, he has been an integral part of the switch from the well-built, solid timber boats of the 1960s to the gleaming well built solid GRP boats of today. He has helped lead the industry through some tough times and has been an inspiration to generations of young boatbuilders.

It is hard to imagine anyone more suited to a career in the New Zealand marine industry. Lionel was literally born into the industry, appearing in this world in his father’s Cawley St premises, where Seacraft and Miller Moyes stood for over 60 years. (Even his grandfather was a boatbuilder, building wooden dories in Dover).

Under the guidance of his legendary father, “Sandy”, apprentice boatbuilder Lionel built his first boat, a 12ft Seacraft clinker dinghy.

He worked in all facets of the business before gradually taking over from his illustrious father, becoming an accomplished boatbuilder, designer and salesman for the company’s quality range of boats.

Lionel also spent a couple of years working for Jim Young in the early 1970s, building wooden Vindexs and NZ37s and 43s. He had a huge respect for the designer and boat builder and remembers learning a lot about himself while working for him.

Lionel oversaw the purchase of the Haines Hunter franchise in the 1980s and the later acquisition of the brand. Over the following years, he quickly built Haines Hunter into one of New Zealand’s top GRP boat brands, a position it still holds today.

One of Lionel’s most successful designs was his SS700. Launched in 1989, the SS700 quickly gained a reputation for great handling in rough water, a reputation his designs still enjoy today.

The SS700 sold over 50 boats in its first year, a remarkable achievement for a 7-metre boat at that time. It also generated $4 million in retail sales, an incredible sum in 1989 for just one model.

In 1993 and ‘94, Lionel again followed in his father’s footsteps and became president of the New Zealand Boating Industry Association, now New Zealand Marine.

Apart from the time he spent with Jim Young and a short sojourn building boats in Fiji, Lionel has spent his entire working life with his company, now Seacraft Miller Moyes.

In that time, he has helped thousands of Kiwis get onto the water, done his bit to reduce the North Island’s various fish populations, sponsored numerous events and steered dozens of young apprentices into a life building the world’s best trailer power boats.

2010 Hall of Fame Inductee: Greg Fenwick

Greg Fenwick

Greg Fenwick has been a member of the New Zealand marine industry for almost 40 years.

In that time, he has overseen sponsorships for some of New Zealand’s highest profile events, both power and sail. He has also been a very strong, long term supporter of the New Zealand Boat Show , exhibiting every year for the last 30 years and often supplying a substantial part of the gate prize package. 

Greg first joined the marine industry in 1973, as a salesman for International Marine, New Zealand’s largest Mercury dealer. Greg then moved to Moller Marine where he sold Mariner outboards and Volvo inboards before Mollers gave up the Mariner agency in 1982 to distribute the then virtually-unknown Yamaha brand.

Greg has been the driving force behind Yamaha’s growth into the top-selling outboard brand in the country.

Along the way, he has supported virtually every marine magazine with full page advertisements, often by buying their most expensive space: the outside back covers.

He has also supported many marine events and teams.

These include the Offshore Powerboat World Championships in Auckland in 1986; Thundercat Racing; Ski Racing; the PBRO Rallies of the 1980s (which Yamaha-powered boats usually “won”; the Boating Industry Training organisation’s Marine Trades Challenge and of course, numerous Team New Zealand campaigns for the America’s Cup.

Passionate about both the products he sells and the teams he supports, Greg Fenwick is a worthy inductee into the New Zealand Boat Show Hall of Fame.

2009 Hall of Fame Inductee: Barry Thompson

Barry Thompson

The 2009 inductee into the New Zealand Boat Show Hall Of Fame has been helping to promote the New Zealand Boat Show and the marine industry for almost 40 years. In that time, he has probably spent more time afloat, in boats of all sizes, than any other member of the industry.

Barry first entered the marine industry working under the great John Malitte at the New Zealand Herald. Since then, the magazines he has worked on read like a history of marine publishing over the last four decades:Seaspray, Powerboat, Nautical News, Boating World, NZ Fisherman and more recently, with his good mate Doug Dukeson,Propeller and Pacific Motoryacht.

Barry has also been a keen participant in and supporter of powerboat racing in this country and it would probably be fair to say that no-one has done more to promote the sport here than Barry.

Barry and his good mate Glen Urquhart are also the only Kiwis to have won a UIM World Powerboat Championship, winning the title in Guernsey in 1986.

Barry not loves boats, he loves boating magazines and has probably been responsible for starting more of them than anyone else.

He has also, without a doubt, written more boat tests and done more to promote power boating than anyone else.

He has helped promote New Zealand overseas, introduced engine shoot-outs and was instrumental in making offshore powerboat racing a safer sport.

Mind you, he had a strong incentive. Following a horrendous offshore accident in 1986, Barry was actually considered "officially dead".

However, as they say, you can't keep a good man down. Within a month he was back writing and, within a year, he was back behind the wheel of another race boat.

2008 Hall of Fame Inductee: Roger Arkell

Roger Arkell

Roger Arkell has supported the New Zealand Boat Show in one guise or another for over 40 years. He has helped showcase the leading brands of the time throughout those four decades.

Roger first came to the New Zealand Boat Show in the 1960s when he was selling Parkercraft, a name that became synonymous with an aluminium dinghy.

During his final season with Parkercraft (1972-73), more than 4,000 aluminium dinghies were built and sold.

He established his own business, Rogers Boatshop, in 1973 and has just celebrated an incredible 35 years in business. In that time he has represented brands such as Sea Nymph, Bonito, Marlborough and Fyran and, always willing to think outside the square, was among the very first to embrace two little known brands that are now among the most recognisable in the industry: Buccaneer and Yamaha.

As well as strongly supporting the New Zealand Boat Show, he has also served as a BIA executive member, was on the Powerboat Rally committee for many years and is always willing to freely offer advice...

2007 Hall of Fame Inductee: Tony Mason

Tony Mason

Tony Mason not only designed a powerboat that became the benchmark for speed, quality and luxury for well over a decade, he was also largely responsible for the introduction and subsequent popularity of offshore powerboat racing in New Zealand. Mason, together with fellow Hall of Fame resident Rex Henry, staged the first offshore powerboat race in 1964 and drew 96 boats to take part!

With a technical background as an aircraft engineer, Mason also broke new ground in the construction and engineering of the superbly successful Mason Clippers. Their high performance, coupled with their streamlined style and new levels of luxury made the Mason Clipper the must-have powerboat of the 1960s and '70s.

In 1964, Mason not only co-founded the Power Boat Racing Organisation, he also fought hard to ensure that a new form of racing was introduced to attract as wide a variety of boats as possible.

With his near-mystical formulas, he set up categories for efficiency and fuel economy as well as for the ability to stick to a nominated speed. The resulting PBRO rallies proved enormously popular and endured well into the 1980s. With large numbers of trailer boats and even big launches turning the inner harbour into a foam-topped "washing machine", the PBRO was for many the most popular – and the most exciting – event of the year.

Mason still keeps a keen eye on the marine industry and is a regular attendee at the Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show.

2006 Hall of Fame Inductee: Rex Henry

Rex Henry designed his first 20 deg deep vee hull in 1957. His company was one of the earliest exponents of fibreglass production and, such was the quality of their boats, 100s are still in use today.

Rex Henry was a co founder of the offshore powerboat racing scene in New Zealand in 1964. A stalwart of the Auckland Powerboat Race Organisation, it was his drive and determination that saw fields of over 100 boats on the start line under the Auckland Harbour Bridge in the 1970s.

Henry not only designed several successful racing boats, one of which is still racing today, he also designed what is probably New Zealand's best selling 4.5m fibreglass boat ever – the phenomenally successful 4.5m Fleetline Sapphire. By the mid 1970s, over 2,500 had been built and it is estimated that in excess of 3,000 Sapphires were built in total. In the mid -1970s, production ran at an incredible seven boats a working week. Rex also designed winning race boats including Tara Too and the “evergreen” Chindit (which is still racing today).

Although Rex has been out of the marine industry for many years, he has always maintained a keen interest in the design and development of production boats and is a regular attendee at the Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show.

2006 Hall of Fame Inductee: Trevor Geldard

Trevor Geldard has possibly done more to foster New Zealand’s renowned excellence in sailing than any other person.

Epiglass, the company he headed for many years, sponsored huge number of both sailing and powerboat events and many of our very successful sailors and powerboat racers first competed in an event which he helped sponsor. Geldard was also responsible for the marine industry’s first million-dollar sponsorship and was instrumental in New Zealand’s first challenge for the America’s Cup in Fremantle in 1986 & 1987.

A former Chairman of the New Zealand International Yachting Trust and a life member of Yachting New Zealand, Geldard began his working life on the land and originally planned to make farming his career.

As a young man he travelled the country selling the newly launched Epiglass products and quickly became a huge fan of grass roots sponsorship. As he rose to become chairman of the company, Epiglass became sponsor of a truly massive number of events, both power and sail; events that would have really struggled without that support.

The events he helped sponsor are far too many to list but some of the most important include:

  • Many years support of the Epiglass International Grand Prix racing at Karapiro
  • The creation of the Secondary Schools Yachting Competition
  • A $300,000 sponsorship of the 1984 Olympicsail, resulting in Russell Coutts winning a Gold Medal in the Los Angeles Olympics.
  • A $500,000 sponsorship of the 1985 Admirals Cup team

And a whopping $1 million sponsorship of that famous Black Magic America’s Cup challenge in Perth.

2005 Hall of Fame Inductee: Sandy Sands

(Awarded posthumously, 1915–1990)

Sandy's full name was Yeoman Lionel Sands. He worked on coastal scows and commercial fishing boats, and was later a foreman at Shipbuilders in Beaumont St.

Sands fought in the 22nd battalion in the Second World War where he was taken prisoner.

An associate member of the Royal Institute of Naval Architects, Sands formed Sea Craft Ltd in March 1946. He was also the first president of the Boating Industry Association.

2005 Hall of Fame Inductee: Frank Simpson

A South island man, Frank Simpson built up a business that today continues in family ownership. In 2005 the Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show acknowledged his efforts by bestowing on him a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Simpson originally built R Class cats and wooden trailers in his mother’s garage in the early 1950s. Simpson sailed in the Olympic trials in both NZ and Australia in 1954. He later traveled to Germany and saw fiberglass being used in manufacturing and subsequently, in 1957, started building shower tubs and washtubs in mother’s garage.

Simpson formed Fi-Glass in 1958 and built the first Fi Glass Fisherman in 1959. He truly revolutionised production boatbuilding in this country.

2005 Hall of Fame Inductee: John Weller

John Weller is the managing director of shipping company Subritzky’s. He is a New Zealand Water Ski Association member and a life member of the Auckland Water Ski Club – and is still on the executive.

Weller was a Boat Show organiser for 25 years and was instrumental in bringing boating to the public by building a lake in the show arena – and patching it in the middle of the night when it leaked!

Weller’s still actively involved in every Boat Show...

2005 Ken Lusty

Ken Lusty was introduced to the marine industry in 1964 by his father-in-law and has made a huge contribution ever since. Lusty essentially took a small marine business based in a garage and grew it into one of largest marine distributors in the country.

Involved in both yachting (where he raced Finns and Flying Dutchmen) and powerboat racing (where he campaigned the old Mystic Miss), Lusty was also an early member of the Northern Offshore Powerboat Club.

Lusty is largely responsible for revitalizing the BIA (Boating Industry Association) in the early 1980s and was a key instigator in launching the successful Imtec boat shows of the 1980s and 1990s.