A carbon fibre jet boat pod with bolt-on carbon fibre seats was an innovative solution for Queenstown’s iconic Shotover Jet when they wanted to remodel their jet boat fleet. This gained them fuel savings, a stronger structure with harder-wearing floors and stunning visual appeal.
To deliver what was envisaged, they needed manufacturing partners in the South who were able to take the initiative. The result was a new design of adventure tourism jet boat, the first of which was launched in November 2011.
FI-Innovations manufactured the staged seating pod that slots inside the alloy hull. This foam-cored carbon fibre unit was not only 180 kg lighter than the previous all-alloy unit, but stronger too. The pod was resin-infused for added precision, as were the 14 carbon fibre seats which are fitted to the pod.
The floors have been given a hard-wearing Rhino Tuff-Stuff ™ coating that out-performs the traditional aluminium checker-plate. “Floors were a problem in the old boats – the marine alloy checker-plate failed to live up to the endless abrasion – the river sand under the passenger’s shoes actually wore the floor areas smooth.” Gareth Dykes said. The solution was a 3mm spray-on flexible urethane from Rhino Linings which bonds strongly to the pod’s floor and walls.
The proof of this solution is that, after three years of commercial use, the floor is still scratch-free. When the boat was dismantled for its 1000 hour service, there were no cracks, defects or signs of wear on the pod or seats.