Whale watchers choose Volvo Penta

Watching whales is a unique natural experience in sensitive marine environments. When a new whale-watching boat was recently launched in New Zealand, it was preceded by meticulous tests to identify the most environmentally sound engine alternative.

Interest in nature tourism is increasing all over the world and whale watching is one of the forms that are growing most rapidly. It is estimated that there are currently 10 million people all over the world who take part in this kind of tourism every year.

In New Zealand, whale watching is so important that the country’s Prime Minister, John Key, was present at the launch of the latest addition to the country’s whale-watching fleet.

This took place at the beginning of November in the small fishing village of Kaikoura, the principal whale-watching centre in New Zealand.

The company known as “Whale Watch Kaikoura” – which recently received the prestigious Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Award 2009 – launched a new 18-metre catamaran equipped with two Volvo Penta D16-750 horsepower engines with water-jet units.

Volvo Penta’s high-tech diesel engines help to minimize the effect these boats have on the marine environment. At the same time, the 50 or so passengers are offered top-class comfort on board. The top speed these boats can reach is around 35 knots.

These engines were delivered by Volpower NZ Ltd, Volvo Penta’s importer in New Zealand.

Technical data:

Owners: Whale Watch Kaikoura Ltd
Designer: Nic de Waal
Builder: Q-West Boat Builders
Engines: 2 x Volvo Penta D16-750 hp rating 2 engines
Propulsion: Hamilton Jet HJ403 x 2 
LOA:  17.9 mtrs
WLL:  15.4 mtrs
Beam:  6.4 mtrs
Draft:  0.75mtr
Displacement: 25.8 ton (fully fuelled)
Material: Marine grade aluminium
Fuel capacity: Ltrs 2000ltrs
Passenger: 48 plus 4 crew

November 19, 2009

For further information, please contact Åke Edman, AB Volvo Penta, phone:+46 (0) 31 3225190,
E-mail:
ake [dot] edman [at] volvo [dot] com