Six Months in a Leaky Boat

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"Six Months in a Leaky Boat"
Six Months In A Leaky Boat.jpg
Single by Split Enz
from the album Time and Tide
B-side"Make Sense of It"
GenrePop, rock
LabelMushroom Records
Songwriter(s)Tim Finn
Split Enz singles chronology
"Dirty Creature"
"Six Months in a Leaky Boat"
"Never Ceases to Amaze Me"

"Six Months in a Leaky Boat" is a single from New Zealand art rock group Split Enz's album Time and Tide. It was written by Tim Finn and released as a single in 1982.

The song is a reference to the time it took pioneers to sail to New Zealand (hence the reference to Aotearoa and "The Tyranny of Distance" - a history by Geoffrey Blainey), and a metaphor that refers to lead singer Tim Finn's nervous breakdown.[1]

The song was "discouraged from airplay" in Britain during the Falklands War by the BBC for reasons of morale - it was thought that references to leaky boats were not appropriate during the naval action in the war.[2]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Six Months in a Leaky Boat" 4:21
  2. "Make Sense of It" 3:40

An introductory piece titled "Pioneer", written by Eddie Rayner, appears before the song on the Australian and New Zealand release of History Never Repeats - The Best of Split Enz. This track is not present on the American release. This track also forms an introduction to "Six Months in a Leaky Boat" on its original album release (on Time and Tide).


Music video[edit]

The video shows band members dressed in nautical gear, and Maori artists performing traditional Maori poi dance.

Chart performance[edit]

The song entered the RIANZ New Zealand singles charts at number 31 on 13 June 1982, and peaked at number 7 for two weeks. It spent a total of 16 weeks in the top 40.[3]

Chart (1982) Peak
Australian Singles Chart[4] #2
New Zealand Singles Chart[5] #7
UK Singles Chart[6] #83
Canadian Singles Chart[7] #7
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles[8] #104



The song was voted the 5th best New Zealand song of all time in 2001 by members of APRA.

The song was used as the funeral song for explorer, environmentalist and sailor Sir Peter Blake, sung by Tim Finn with acoustic guitar, at Blake's service.


  1. ^ Ostrander, Ken (April 26, 2012). Time and Tide - Split Enz. super groovy delicious bite
  2. ^ The Q Encyclopedia of Rock Stars by Dafydd Rees and Luke Crampton, Dorling Kindersley 1999, page 938
  3. ^
  4. ^ Kent, David. Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, N.S.W. (1993). ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  5. ^ "New Zealand Charts". Retrieved 2010-11-11.
  6. ^ "UK Chart Stats". Retrieved 2010-11-11.
  7. ^ "RPM Canadian Charts". Retrieved 23 July 2011.
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1998). Bubbling Under Singles & Albums (1998 ed.). Menomonee Falls, Wis., U.S.A.: Record Research. p. 190. ISBN 9780898201284.
  9. ^ Cowie Recordings
  10. ^

External links[edit]