Explorer Boats showcased their Jet RIB range at the recent Auckland On Water Boat Show featuring the newly upgraded Panther 340 Jet Tender and the versatile Viking 420 Jet RIB.
The Kumeu, Auckland-based company has been investing behind their Jet RIBs over the past year with the installation of the Yamaha TR1 Marine engine delivering 100hp, which can be upgraded to 125hp, enough for these RIBs to top 35 knots over the water.
Along with this, they have rebuilt the Jet RIBs from bilge up to reduce weight, speed up the production process to meet demand, and improve the overall on-water performance.
To enable more torque, allowing the Jet RIB to get on the plane fully loaded, Explorer Boats has developed their own proprietary Jet Unit with a large stainless-steel pump, allowing more water to move through and robust, cast aluminium componentry with a composite bucket. The extended jet nozzle allows for improved steering control and manoeuvrability, which is a feature of jet-powered boats.
The Panther 300 Jet Tender Series has been developed to be high-quality tenders to larger vessels and can be placed in the garage or lifted onto the foredeck.
Each RIB is custom-built to the client’s specification to meet their individual requirements with choices in colours and designs of pontoons, upholstery, and deck tread. Electronics feature heavily with most clients installing the Fusion MS-SRX400 Bluetooth stereo in addition to GPS/Fishfinders, interior, and underwater lights, solar panels; the list goes on.
For something a bit roomier, the Viking Jet RIB 380 and 420 models come into their own. With the engine in the stern, there is more internal space to allow for fishing, diving, and other water sports.
Jet-powered boats are increasing in their popularity with the ability to go in shallow waters and estuaries, the safety aspects of not having propellers and the instant thrust of a jet to pull a water-skier up quickly, not to mention the control that a jet delivers.
Explorer Boats is not just about Jet RIBs; they also produce and sell a series of outboard RIBs ranging from 3.8 metres through to eight metres, including vessels for commercial and tourism uses.
They are also one of the few builders of Hypalon pontoons and supply tubes to other RIB manufacturers as well as carrying out repairs and re-tubes for older boats.