Smoky Mountain Jet Boat Building is the only company in the United States that specializes in Aluminum Tour Boats patterned after New Zealand-style Adventure Jet Boat rides.  With close connections to operations and builders in New Zealand, we are able to offer the Commercial Water Sports operator the highest quality product with the expertise and support to match.
We also can build aluminum boats to for the recreational market as well   Check out our newest creation — the JetSpeed 450 on the recboat page. When you purchase a boat from us you don’t just get a boat – you get training, marketing advice and help with the regulations. A few of the places operating our boats are: Portugal, Malta, Naples Florida, Big Bear Lake CA, Aamby Valley, Pune India,  Key West, Moab UT, Cape May NJ, Madison IN, Cancun Mexico, Dubai, Gatlinburg TN  and Broadway at the Beach, Myrtle Beach SC. NEW FOR 21016  is a stretched version of our 12 seater to accommodate the Yanmar 8lv 350 hp diesel and a Hamilton 213 jet pump. There’s a 24-seater twin diesel with a 15-degree bottom operating  in the Turks and Caicos Islands, Hawaii, Cape May NJ, Malta, Maui, Miami Beach,  and a 24-seater gas engine with a 10 degree bottom operated by Cruise Naples, Florida. We have received training from builders and drivers in New Zealand.  We are happy to add the great guru of jet boats Tony Ward as our an advisor.
A name, residential address, and (preferably residential) telephone number is required from readers who comment on ODT Online. The deep south of New Zealand has always been a strong boat builders area but none more so than aluminium trailer boats.
CommentsThe deep south of New Zealand has always been a strong boat builders area but none more so than aluminium trailer boats. Aluminium trailer boats designed for the recreation market started life in Auckland with brands such as Parkercraft, Fyran and Starcraft with welded or riveted small dinghies. Over the years, the centre of alloy boat builders moved south with the Waikato and Bay of Plenty holding sway to the top spot, when brands such as Ramco, Extreme and Surtees came to the forefront.
However, no one can dispute the fact that when it comes to pontoon boats, the South rules the waves.
Invercargill alone is base for four major builders, Stabicraft, KiwiKraft, Frewza and Image.
Just up the road in the very small town of Milton is one of New Zealand’s largest alloy boat builders, and certainly one of the most successful, McLay Boats. Go a little further north to Dunedin and you’ll find Southern Boats, which recently changed ownership and has undergone somewhat of a revival.
Timaru now has two serious pontoon builders, Aqualite, a company that changed the way alloy pontoon boats should look and the new Finlay Boats. In Christchurch, there have always been a lot of alloy boat builders, with many, such as Hamilton Marine concentrating on the jetboat market. At the top of the South island, you would expect to find a whole raft of alloy builders, but while there once was, this area has also seen somewhat of a downturn. We have not mentioned every alloy boat builder in the South island, but they certainly represent the main players. Built in Timaru, the range of Aqualite pontoon boats has been designed by Scott Robson and comes with a huge reputation for great performance in moderate to rough seas. Aqualite were one of the first pontoon boat builders to put an emphasis on making the boats look ‘good’ and took away the rather clinical style of early pontoon designs. Baxter Industries marine department specialises in design and fabrication of power boats and are capable of taking on projects where exceptional design, computer aided design and aluminium fabrication is needed.
Clients can select a boat from the production range or the company will custom design a boat to suit your personal needs and dreams.
Built in Brightwater, a small town out of Nelson, by DNA Boats, a division of Ace Engineering NZ Ltd, the brand has been available since 2009. Jason Elvines is the man behind this very successful Nelson alloy boat builders, that produce a range of pontoon and conventional boats from 3m to 9.5m plus. You could call Frewza Marine, the quiet achievers, that in recent years have produced a considerable number of boats, albeit mostly at the smaller size range. Timaru based Finlay Boats was established by Grant Finlayson earlier this year and is the newest alloy boat brand on the market. HamiltonJet boats combine the highest quality of materials and workmanship with proven design features that make then superior river boats. Trading since 2000, Image Boats are boat builders, Invercargill-based and designer that provides an outstanding range of alloy-hulled boats for both recreational and commercial uses. In recent years the company has built up an enviable reputation for larger trailer boats and their range certainly reflects that.
Kwikkraft’s main point of difference is that they are custom building high quality alloy boats at the top end of the market.
Immediately recognised for their excellence and safety, the Osprey boats have been purchased by such diverse groups as conservation departments, harbour boards and adventure tourism companies. The pontoons are shaped to give over 11kg of buoyancy per 100mm of length, which results in huge load carrying ability, i.e.
Ramco is a brand that has been very much part of the New Zealand aluminium boat builders industry for many years and is still strong in the market. Founded in 1985 Ramco Boats has over twenty five years of a single minded focus and commitment to making the Ramco aluminium boat range the best hunter – gatherer tool on the water.
A few years ago the brand was sold to ICON Brands, who had designer Scott Robson give the entire range a total revamp. Unquestionably the largest trailer boat manufacturer in the country, Stabicraft Marine pioneered positive buoyancy boats, turning out the first rigid hulled aluminium pontoon boat from a back street workshop in Invercargill, New Zealand, in 1987.
And so began the development of a brand that was to set world-class standards in aluminium rigid buoyancy boat design and construction.


Southern Boats, based in Mosgiel, Dunedin pride themselves on presenting some of the finest handcrafted alloy boats available today. Features often considered optional extras such as fully plumbed live bait tanks, long range fuel tanks and sliding hardtop windows all come as standard equipment. However, every boat is customised to its new owner and a wide range of options are available to suit your personal needs. Having recently upgraded to 5 tonne hardware on my existing boat trailer for my boat "The Hulk". Glen has produced some outstanding work for us and with his level of quality and service we wouldn't consider anyone else.
Wavebreak Jet RIBs set a new standard for innovative, well-designed and superbly constructed rigid inflatable jet boats. Our jet rhibs have undergone strict design evaluation and survey testing making them one of the few small jetboats eligible for placement in Maritime New Zealand's MOSS (formerly Safe Ship Management) programme for commercial operations. Designed and built exclusively in New Zealand Wavebreak Jets endure harsh conditions and rugged treatment without compromising performance or safety.
Our progressive design, loaded with safety features, sets the Wavebreak apart from others and enables you to explore more areas you wouldn't dare approach in less durable boats. We only install motors that are specifically designed to withstand harsh marine conditions. Powered by your choice of either new 200hp Mercury Optimax, 120hp Turbo-Charged Textron Weber or reconditioned Polaris, these technologically-advanced motors are lightweight and provide perfect power-to-weight on our 3.8M to 5M jet boats. These high sides enable the Wavebreak to remain floating and more importantly, operational even with fully-deflated bladders.
The alloy sides also form D-shaped pontoons which free-up floor space, providing excellent internal room and high freeboard. Wavebreak RHIBs feature heavy-duty inflatable butynol bladders encased and protected by puncture-resistant thermo-welded rip-stop polymer-coated outer bags. It takes practically an act of vandalism to puncture through the Wavebreak's protective outer bags and into its inflated bladders!
But even if the unthinkable happened because our dual-layer pontoon system is removable, most repairs can be made with a simple truck tyre repair kit - right where you are!
The Wavebreak's inflatable pontoons can take heavy knocks without denting or splitting open - an important consideration when traveling through rocky rivers or choppy seas. Inflatable pontoons enable heavy loads to carried on the boat without compromising freeboard which is greatly appreciated by game hunters and paua divers. Inflatable boats remain afloat even when full of water, and in the case of the Wavebreak because its battery is protected and the engine compartment water-tight, the motor will continue to run and the boat can be emptied in mere minutes.
Wavebreak rigid inflatable boats are handcrafted: each boat is custom-built to satisfy your specific needs.
Diverse interests convinced Grant Parkins, owner of GP Engineering, to design and manufacture the jet-powered RHIB. Wavebreak rigid inflatable boats are designed, custom built, sold & serviced directly by GP Engineering of Nelson, New Zealand.
We strive to exceed expectations, and being absolutely accessible to customers is key to our success.
We also build Wavebreaks to accommodate Outboard Jet units, which we can supply and install. Many of our customers appreciate having the option to convert their traditional RIB from an outboard model to a jet boat at their whim - especially during whitebait season! The Wavebreak Outboard Jet features a modified hull specifically designed to facilitate the flow of water pass the hull and into the Outboard Jet unit, providing excellent power and maneuverability. By keeping a 19 degree deadrise, the Wavebreak Outboard Jet model also maintains a great ride in the sea. Lightweight with plenty of room for gear and passengers, our OB jet models are the perfect choice for those wanting to access both river and sea without having to own two kinds of boats!
Call us, email us or stop by our workshop - and experience the new standard in Rigid Inflatable Jet Boats! Ms Boyd says there are already 20 boats plying the river and a proposed operation by Ecojet would add another four. We took a look at some of the more successful builders from the ‘mainland’ and asked some of the owners how they saw the future.
While the first three are almost exclusively building pontoon boats from 3m to 10m plus, Image is all about plate boats. Building boats in Invercargill has given rise to some seriously large, tough boats, especially from Image and Stabicraft.
The range of open, cuddy, cabin and hardtop boats is extensive and they are sold throughout the world.
The boats are world class, finished to an extremely high degree and certainly gaining popularity with those that have the big bucks to spend. Finlay Boats is a new venture that currently only has three models, but look for big things to come from this new brand. Hamilton Marine is still busy building river jetboats, an area that they have some domination.
Bucking the trend is Nelson based DNA Boats and Osprey Boats, both of whom have steady orders.
The range is extensive and comprises designs for catamarans, jet boats, monohulls and pontoon boats. First unveiled at the Christchurch Boat Show in late 2009, the 500 CC and the 550 Sport cabin, quickly established the brand in the alloy boat market.


Catering for both the commercial and pleasure markets DNA have built up a solid reputation for quality and finish. DNA aluminum boats manage the whole process, from concept to design stage, through to manufacturing and supplying a turn key product. However the company also offer custom built up to around 9m. Brendon Frewza is the designer of Frewza Boats, with 20 years experience in the boat builders and engineering industry.
Working as boat builders, the company currently offer three models, cabin, hardtop or centre console, based on two Scott Robson designed hulls. The finish is to an exceptionally high standard and the layout has been designed to suit both serious fishermen and casual cruising owners. “Our boats are a little different to everyone else, with our signature folds in the hulls, which will be something we will incorporate in all our boats.
These include propulsion packages, seating layout, boarding platforms, finishes, trims and hull and deck colours. While South Canterbury and the Christchurch areas are enjoying good sales, so too is the Hawkes bay and Waikato, especially with our 141, 151 and 161 models. Much more than just a standardised assembly line, every boat that Image Boats builds is custom-fitted to be highly personalised to the specific requirements of individual clients.
In overseas markets Kiwi Kraft use the Aqualine name for their boats but the same Kiwi-Kraft ingenuity is infused in each and every item they sell.
They will not compromise these high standards of design and construction as this is what they have built their reputation on. This is proving to be a very successful formula as some of our models are currently booked out till 2015 already. MD, Lloyd Elliott began manufacturing specialist aluminium fishing boats almost twenty years ago and for professional mussel farmers, and in 1996 unveiled the first of the Osprey Boats for the leisure market. Later that year the company moved to the Bluff Road premises where they’ve been ever since.
Today Stabicraft Marine’s range of 17 models is also one of the most extensive in the country and by far the largest of all pontoon boat builders. In 2013, the company underwent an ownership change and some consolidation was carried out on the range. Apart from the XP496 and the XP616 that are centre console models, the remainder of the range are all hardtops. Most popular models currently are the 680 and the 770 hardtops, but we also have interest right through to our flagship XP896HTE. GFab specialise in the design and fabrication of custom boats, Alloy boat trailers and a wide range on high capacity general and specialist alloy trailers.
I approached GFab who built a new overwidth custom alloy trailer using my existing hardware.
Our flexibility in the manufacturing process ensures your boat is outfitted the way you want it. Our flexibility in the construction process ensures that your RHIB is outfitted exactly the way you want and need it. While today pontoon boat manufacturing is widespread across both islands, the undisputed leader is still Stabicraft in Invercargill. Frewza has concentrated more on the entry-level market and KiwiKraft offer a wide selection taking in just about every style and size. Brands such as Baxter, Altec, Ramco and KwikKraft have been enjoying steady sales in the recreational markets, with a wide variety of cabins and runabouts.
DNA has made quite a mark with their larger trailerable hardtops and Osprey have done huge business in the commercial sectors of the market. Since then the brand has grown both in size and sales, with clients now throughout New Zealand. All Frewza boats have three separate air compartments in the pontoons and a separate sealed under floor compartment, which makes them vertically unsinkable! The first to be released was the Sports 5900 open cabin, (See review Page 106 this issue), which was soon followed by the Ignite 6300 hardtop.
We have hit the market hard with three models and I am very pleased with the acceptance they have had. The combination of the aluminium hull and fibreglass deck gives HamiltonJet boats their excellent structural integrity, while high impact strength is achieved with bottom keel plates made from 10mm marine grade aluminium. There are 23 boats listed in the production fleet, but McLay also offer an extensive range of custom builds, especially in the large size ranges. With our extensive range, ongoing development program and a growing number of McLay dealers overseas we expect steady growth over the next few years”. They also have a reputation for outstanding performance, especially in adverse sea conditions. Southern have lifted the bar on the typical ‘tinny’ boasting features such as composite hardtop and interior mouldings, Matrix underfloor stringer system, two pot exterior finishes and more.
Recently we increased our staff numbers in the factory to cope with the increase in demand, so yes, I am very confident for the future of the brand”. You can’t get much further south than their factory on the road to the Bluff, the South Island’s most southern point. Whether it’s a bespoke design and for specialist charter use or just something you can’t find , then McLay can, and will build it for you.



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