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island bay fishing italian boats

The History of JT Marine Online, the specialists in online Rigid Inflatable Boat for sale in New Zealand and Australia.

John Taylor, JT to his friends and foes, was born in Island Bay on the wild south coast of Wellington, among the Italian community of fishermen and their families all mainly from the Napoli (Naples) region.

The yuppy Island Bay of today is nothing like the wild & untamed Island Bay of the past, where families from primarily the Southern Italian region of Campagna, better known for the chaotic but fascinating city of Naples, came to call home. JT was born into a large family to a father who was known locally as a hard man, who landed at Gallipoli at just 17 years of age, an original ANZAC.

JT grew up surrounded by a beautiful, however harsh landscape within a close knit community of Italian and Scottish fishermen and their family. Life was focused on finding the multitudes of spots' to catch Crayfish & Hapuka (Groper) around the Cook Straight and Wairarapa of the North Island. A windswept, rugged area of incredibly beautiful scenes from the hundreds of fat seals on Ngawi's barren landscape, to further east around the untouched beauty of Ngapotiki, a place where JT would call home for a time, while he lived off craying by himself, in a isolated landscape where the few locals knew the real meaning of mateship. Creating such a name for himself that a journalist from the city would seek him out and capture JT on his favorite tractor, rolling into Martinborough with bins of crays to sell so he could get supplies, namely beer. His legend grew with stories of amazing prowess in his boat, a freakish ability to stand and row with just his left arm while pulling a craypot line with his right, holding the rope under his foot, all the while standing and rowing with his arm back and forth to keep it from rolling in the heavy sea.




JT knew from his childhood fishing with some of the real hardmen of the Island Bay families, how to maneuver in rough seas driven in a rage at times by the exposure of Ngapotiki to the legendary Southerlies that blew in carrying the ice of Antarctica. His father had not only been he only hardman to have shaped JT's fearsome nature, Frankie Dellabarca had been another notorious Italian fisherman who had been known to throw people overboard in a rage. Even so, JT came to see Frankie as a father figure, a man who respected hard work and loyalty.

Inevitably, the Taylor family daugthers began to attract interest from some of the Italian boys and as fate would have it, marry into the Greco family where another hardman of the area, Salvatore Greco (Fat), would have a profound impact on JT's life after marrying his sister. The 2 became more than just brothers-in-law, they became great mates that would last unto death. 

Eventually, JT would tire of the Island Bay lifestyle and would find himself drifting along the Wairarapa's eastern coastline. Finally, finding a type of refuge in Ngapotiki, creating a self sufficient life, long before the kids of today had even heard of it.

Thus, JT Marine's legendary status of seamanship continues to this day driven by the descendants of this true kiwi bloke with their military grade RIB inflatable boats, made to be driven as they should.

jt marine founder john jt taylor

Best regards,

Lee "John" Taylor

Managing Director and proud son of a legend