March 06, 2017
jet boat launches in queenstown

March 6, 2017: An innovative new generation jet boat was launched in Queenstown with the capacity to carry almost double the number of passengers than an average river jet boat. Joining the ranks of Queenstown’s fast-growing Thunder Jet fleet, the jet boat was designed and built by McKenzie Marine in Bluff and is the first of its kind to use the powerful Ford Raptor engine. Thunder Jet 4 can carry 34 passengers at a time, dwarfing the standard 20 passengers, but is as fuel efficient as any standard jet boat.Thunder Jet offers an unforgettable 47km jet boat ride across Lake Wakatipu and along the Kawarau River.

Jet boat pioneer and Thunder Jet owner Neville Kelly, came up with the concept in 2015 when planning how best to manage the current increase in demand and future-proof the company, given expected tourism growth. “We’ve operated Thunder 4 since Christmas Eve and have been blown away by its performance. It handles as well, if not better than our smaller boats,” says Neville.

The boat is already proving a hit with large groups and families. “One of the things we hear from groups and families is they don’t want to split up to do the trip, and families don’t want one of the parents to have to stay back with the smallest child. In our boats the whole family can go together from toddlers up. They just have to fit our life jackets!”

Thunder Jet 4’s unique interior hull design makes it is unsinkable. With an impeccable safety record, all of the company’s drivers also hold higher maritime safety qualifications than the standard required for jet boat drivers. Each of the drivers has a Skippers’ restricted licence, their commercial jet boat licence, and a wealth of knowledge and experience.

Tech specs of Thunder 4

• Next generation 6.2L Ford Raptor engines

• CAD designed and laser cut

• Eight metre length

• 600w Fusion touchscreen sound system with built-in subwoofers


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