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Jet Boat Restoration Projects

HamiltonJet is keen to retain the history of jet boating in New Zealand through encouraging and supporting the restoration of historically significant jet boats.  Jon Hamilton restored the Whio III replica boat in the early part of the 2000s, and more recently a small team from HamiltonJet completed the restoration of the only boat currently running Bill Hamilton's first waterjet unit - the Quinnat. 

The HamiltonJet team has another boat restoration project in the works and is looking at further opportunities to preserve jet boating history through restoration, events and long-term display of archive material and boats.




20 foot by 7 foot 2 inch
Glass over wood
Powered by a Ford Zephyr engine with a HamiltonJet Quinnat jet unit

Built in 1955 by HW Grundy of Gisborne
Restoration completed in 2010 by HamiltonJet

Download the official restoration book here




Whio III (replica)


This boat was built in 1958 for Bill Austin, an American from the US Deep Freeze operation.  It is a copy of Bill Hamilton’s “Whio III” and has diagonally planked sides on a fibreglass bottom.
In 1959 the boat was used by Bill Hamilton and Bill Austin to explore the lower reaches of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado in preparation for a major up-run attempt the following year.  It was later used for demonstrations of the Hamilton Jet unit in the US.  This “Whio III” replica was last used in the USA in 1972 and, in December 1999, was returned to New Zealand and put back in running order by Jon Hamilton.

Fibreglass bottom by Glassex, Christchurch
Hull by Mahn Marine, Christchurch
Fit-out and trailer at Irishman Creek Station
Engine: Ford Zephyr 6 mk.2, high compression head 7.8
Jet Unit: Hamilton Chinook 3-stage

Performance Test – 14 November 1958:
    Static thrust    694lbs
    RPM               3100
    1-up                33.5 mph (53.6 kph)
    4-up                30.8 mph (49.3 kph)
    6-up                28.4 mph (45.4 kph)





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Riveted aluminium hull
Powered by Ford Zephyr engine with a HamiltonJet Quinnat Jet unit

Built in 1957 by AH Grundy of Gisborne
Restoration still in progress