Queenstown's newest commercial jet-boat, Thunder Jet 3, front left, in the Kawarau River on Saturday afternoon. Photo by Tracey Roxburgh.
On Saturday, Thunder Jet staff and supporters celebrated the
addition of the McKenzie Marine and Mackraft-built Thunder
Jet 3 to the company's fleet at the Steamer Wharf.
The boat was blessed by Waihopai Runanga Upoko Michael
Skerrett before its first trip down the Kawarau River, a free
ride for supporters and agents.
Thunder Jet director Neville Kelly said the 820-horsepower
boat came equipped with the latest technology, including a
marine sound system - enabling passengers to listen to music
while blasting along the river - self-draining decks, a
custom-designed driver's seat, a digital Murphy system dash
and seven-sealed buoyancy, meaning it was ''unsinkable''.
The boat had been designed with input from Thunder Jet
drivers and staff and had taken four months to build.
The company's fleet also boasts three tourism jet boats to
run the 44km trips and two Queenstown water taxis, which
operate on Lake Wakatipu daily.