July 9, 2019

Twin, Single, Turbine? Here’s the what’s what of Jet boats at KJet

At KJet, all our Jet Boats might seem big and yellow, but we’ve actually got a few different types of Jet boats in our fleet! Our twin and single V8 petrol engine Jet boats are what you’ll see leaving Queenstown Bay every hour, and if you’re lucky you might see the team taking out our turbine engine race boat on special occasions.

Six of our commercial Jet boat hulls were designed by Mackraft Marine, and two were designed by Bill Urwin (KJet 1 and 2). The fleet is powered by a number of different engines – five Jet boats are powered by Chevrolet based Kodiak direct injected engines, KJet 1 by a 350 Chevrolet, KJet 2 by a HT502 big block carburetted Chevrolet and KJet 6 runs two Mercury V8’s.  All of the commercial fleet have Hamilton 212 Jet units; however, our race boat runs a modified American turbine race unit.

Single Engine

We have three single engine Jet boats which are very similar in operation to the standard KJet twin engine hull aside from size. These Jet boats aren’t as long, they range between 5.5m and 6m long, (twins are about 7.5m).  We use these when we have a lighter load as they hold around 11 passengers, and are more economical to run.

Twin Engine

We have four twin engine boats, which are easy to distinguish with three silver intake covers at the back of the boat, instead of two. These hulls are also much wider and a bit longer in size and are surveyed to hold 27 people, but we usually take up to 22 passengers to make sure everyone is comfortable.  KJet pioneered twin engine technology in 1995 which is now an industry benchmark. Having twin engines virtually eliminates any chance of power or steering failure, unless they run out of fuel!

Turbine Engine Race Boat

Our race boat is a specially designed Eagle Tunnel Hull, which only has a capacity for 2 passengers, and instead of a petrol engine, uses a T58 gas turbine engine. This boat has a top speed of 217 kph, much faster than our twin engines!


At KJet every time one of our boats completes a thousand hours of logged commercial use, we pull it off the water and perform a thorough inspection we call a ‘C’ service.  ‘A’ and ‘B’ services are the inspections we do every fifty and hundred hours, respectively, which continue until the boats clock over their thousand-hour mark.  At this point an assessment is done to decide what work is required on the boat and any critical maintenance is completed. Check out KJet #7 going in for her thousand hour service here!

Want to experience for yourself? Check out our Jet boat trips and book now!

  • Jet boating with the world's-first Jet Boat company KJet.
  • Mobile Jetty Jet Boating in Queenstown along the Shotover and Kawarau Rivers
  • Jet Boat, Queenstown, Kawarau River, Shotover River, Lake Wakatipu , Conference, Incentive and Event