Mystery solved: How a Sydney man's boat ended up on a Northland beach

As Dave Nash was winched from Sydney's waters after a boating accident 18 months ago, a tinge of sadness swept over him.

He expected he'd never see his dream boat Kenally again - until it washed ashore in Northland this week.

The previously blue-hued hull is now silver, and it's collected a layer of black barnacles on its 2000-kilometre journey to Henderson Bay in Houhora.

"To hear she'd made it all the way there has somehow given her extra personality - and how clever she is to have made it to the East Coast," he told Newshub.

"She was probably looking for the big kingfish New Zealand's famous for."

Dave Nash told Newshub he'd bought the boat with inheritance money, naming it after his parents, and had only taken it out a handful of times before tragedy struck in September 2017.

Kenally, before it was completely covered in barnacles.
Kenally, before it was completely covered in barnacles. Photo credit: Dave Nash / Supplied

A large swell crashed into the fishing vessel, filling it up, and eventually overturning it. Attempts to tow it back to shore also failed when a rope snapped.

"Losing Kenally, though incredibly sad, has never been a big issue for me - but there was a sense of conclusion now she's been found," Mr Nash explained.

"It's amazing - just, wow."

Houhora local Peter Drybre found it on Monday morning, and initially mistook it for a whale.

But it wasn't until he found lifejackets from a New South Wales boating store, and beer can holders belonging to Sydney fishing club SeaBees, that he knew it carried some history.

The boat has since been salvaged from the bay, and its next steps are yet to be decided - but Dave Nash has high hopes for its future.

"If someone can make use of it, that'd be great, and if they're gonna clean her up, I'd love to see photos - and to know she's still putting around there would be special."