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Shotover Jet makes the switch to new high performance engine

Media Release from Shotover Jet
19 November 2012

Shotover Jet makes the switch to new high performance engine

One of the icons of New Zealand tourism is today celebrating ‘small steps’ taken to make big improvements to its environmental performance.

Shotover Jet has reinforced its on-going commitment to the highest standards of operations and customer experiences by replacing the engines on its fleet of ‘Big Red’ jet boats with a more fuel efficient choice, future-proofing the company well into the next ten years of operation.

The result of a long process by the company’s engineering team, earlier this month it replaced the final V6 Buick engine with a V8 MerCruiser, completing the changeover for its entire fleet.

Shotover Jet General Manager Clark Scott said the change had brought about a range of benefits to the company’s environmental sustainability performance.

“We constantly look for ways to improve our operations, not only in terms of boat performance but also customer experience, safety standards and environmental performance,” he said.

“We place extremely high importance on this aspect of the business and this latest upgrade will have a huge impact to our environmental footprint in what is one of the most pristine environments in the world.”

The change in engine not only means improved fuel efficiency but also gives engines a longer ‘life’. The increase in horsepower means drivers do not need to use the boats at full throttle in order to provide the world-famous thrills of a Shotover Jet trip.

“These engines have more power but they’re far more efficient, so we’ll see a huge reduction in engine wear and tear as well as fuel costs,” said Mr Scott.

The new MerCruiser engines means that Shotover Jet has changed from 98 Octane fuel to 95 Octane, the same fuel most people use in their cars.

“The 98 fuel was becoming increasingly difficult to source, so by changing to 95 we have a more cost-effective fuel but we also reduce associated transportation and logistics costs,” said Mr Scott.

The boats have also been fitted with new spring-loaded foot pedals So, we have a two-stage system on the foot pedal where the primary stage is normal running, but the guys know if they push the pedal harder to the second stage, they have the extra power if needed to help them run at more constant revolutions and more fuel-efficiently.

“Using a more widely-available engine will see us benefit when it comes to sourcing parts, servicing and sharing maintenance resources with our sister companies Dart River Jet Safaris and Huka Jet who will update their fleets to MerCruisers over the coming years.”

Reports from drivers and customers so far has been all positive.

“Most people who are into their engines, love the ’purr’ of a V8. We’re getting a lot of comments already from customers who love the sound. And as for our drivers - who love their engines – they’re grinning from ear to ear.”

For more information about Shotover Jet, ‘The World’s Most Exciting Jet Boat Ride’ visit


About Ngâi Tahu Tourism:

Ngâi Tahu Tourism is one of New Zealand’s premier tourism operators and the parent company of an extensive portfolio of iconic eco-tourism and adventure experiences.

From high adrenalin thrills to remote and spectacular World Heritage locations each business offers a range of unique experiences for travellers to and around New Zealand.

South Island operations include Shotover Jet, Dart River Jet Safaris and Hollyford Track Guided Walks in Queenstown, and Franz Josef Glacier Guides and Glacier Hot Pools in Franz Josef.

North Island operations include Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park and a significant investment in the Agrodome in Rotorua and Hukafalls Jet in Taupo.

Ngâi Tahu Tourism is part of the Ngâi Tahu Holdings Group which includes significant seafood and property businesses.

© Scoop Media

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