The People Involved

Chad Thompson

“After a life time of racing and cruising the Auckland Harbour, Hauraki Gulf and NE coast of the North Island I obtained my LLO skipper’s ticket in 1999 and have upgraded that qualification to ILM in 2005. Also in 2005 and 2006 I qualified as a Yachting New Zealand Level 3 Yacht Seamanship Instructor and RYA Offshore Yachtmaster Instructor (Power Driven & Sailing Craft).”

“1999 was the commencement of my professional time afloat chartering the classic yacht “Prize” during the New Zealand’s first defense of the America’s Cup. The following season saw the founding of the business New Zealand Classic Yachts and the running of the yacht “Tawera”, another 50’ classic sloop, in charter alongside ‘Prize’.”

“In 2001 I took over the management of the classic launch “Lady Gay”, a 46’ 1935 classic launch, and in 2002 put her through one of the most extensive restorations ever undertaken in New Zealand. She was relaunched in January 2003 and I ran her, on behalf of her owner, as a luxury charter launch until 2010.”

“A life time of sailing out of Auckland and cruising the Hauraki Gulf and NE coast of the North Island has given me one of the most extensive knowledge bases to call upon for safe and pleasurable cruising for those new to boating in New Zealand and overseas visitors. Cruising in a yacht or launch is meant to be a pleasurable experience and with due attention to the weather forecasts and knowledge of the region it can be just that.”

“As one of the founders of the Classic Yacht Association of NZ, Chad has a wealth of knowledge of early yachting in New Zealand and extensive background knowledge of the NE coast’s cruising grounds. His twenty years of marketing and running charter vessels has also heightened the importance of entertaining overseas clients. Just what is required to enhance the experience of visitors to New Zealand.”

Robin Kenyon

Robin Kenyon, Chad’s son-in-law, grew up in the south of England before setting out on a carreer in the maritime world. A keen and successful dinghy sailor, he worked for Seldons, the spar makers for several years before joining the big classic yachts in the Mediterranean. There he met Chad’s daughter, Emily, and the rest is history so they say.

They returned to NZ and now live on Waiheke island in the Hauraki Gulf from where Robin commutes to Auckland on a daily basis. There he undertakes refits of locally owned yachts, major varnishing projects on super yachts and in the extreme project manages refits and restorations of large classic yachts. His two most significant projects to date have been work on the 72’ 1893 ketch, Viking – spar restorations, and replacement of her chain plates (while still afloat) and the restoration of NZ’s most successful classic racing yacht, Ariki. He is currently her sailing master as well.