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Boat Hire Taupo: Barbary‘s Charter Yacht History

A top-rated Taupo water activity, Barbary has been sailing to the Maori Rock Carvings for over 35 years!

If you book a Taupo water activity aboard Barbary, you get a slice of history. Smell the century-old wood and feel the breeze competitive sailors and film stars have felt as you travel back in time. Barbary’s charter boat history starts almost 100 years ago in 1926 when she was built in California of NZ Kauri.

Barbary was later purchased in Fiji and sailed to New Zealand in 1947. She sailed the waters of Auckland Harbour and coastal New Zealand for many years before making a name for herself as a member of the Greenpeace fleet with the Rainbow Warrior, sailing to Mururoa Atoll to protest against the French nuclear testing in 1973. In 1976 Barbary was wrecked in a storm in Auckland, however, Bill Dawson rescued Barbary, restored her and put her on Lake Taupo.

Get your slice of history by booking your cruise or boat hire Taupo.


Jamie and Sarah bought Barbary in 2011, and with their backgrounds of sailing and hospitality, hire boat Barbary underwent a complete refurbishment to do her history justice and make her unique. They also re-powered Barbary with an eco-friendly electric engine to meet a clean, green future head-on. The classic boat feel remains while some modern features have been introduced to deliver comfort and attention to your experience on board. Barbary and Barbary II are the first and only electric yachts to work commercially in NZ and is also NZ’s only floating cinema.

Errol Flynn

The notorious Australian-born actor Errol Flynn was famous for his roles in films like Captain Blood, Sea Hawk and Robin Hood. He was a direct descendant on his mother’s side of Midshipman Young from HMS Bounty and this appears to be where his life-long interest in boats and the sea originated. Legend has it that the famous screen star won our beautiful yacht in a card game in 1938!

Eco Sailing

New Zealand's only two commercially operated electric yachts

Eco Sailing