He was also only' />

Peter Oakes was only joking when he advertised for a "goddess with boat" but he has three of them lined up for a date this week.

He was also only joking when he described himself as "seriously ugly", fat, boring and humourless in a Bay of Plenty Times personal ad and is delighted that so many single women took a punt.

He's had texts from more than 40 women in their 30s and 40s, and last week when the Herald on Sunday called was busy filling up his diary with coffee dates and meetings.

New texts were still coming in, responding to his tongue-in-cheek ad: "Seriously ugly, fat, boring, humourless 45-year-old man. Likes fishing. Seeks Goddess with boat. Txt..."

The 46-year-old (yes, he admits, he took a year off his age) thinks the "vast majority" of those who replied got the joke and realised he was looking for someone with a sense of humour.

And, as luck would have it, three of the women who replied own boats and plenty more love fishing. They're definitely on the shortlist, says Oakes - who owns eight fishing rods but no boat.

He admits to being slightly overwhelmed by all the replies. "I'm not sure what to do with them all ... you just cannot beat being fat, ugly, humourless and boring if you want a date. There's just no argument."

Oakes says he came through a rough patch last year and is ready for a bit of "fun and laughter" to come back into his life. He is ready to start dating again, he says, and thought a different approach might work.

"I'm not Tom Cruise and I'm not Arnold Schwarzenegger. I thought I'd try a slightly different angle."

Dating expert Denise Corlett describes Oakes' approach as "brilliant".

The wording of the ad would attract the type of woman he was looking for.

People looking at personal ads and internet dating sites are attracted to people who sounded similar to themselves, he says.