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.