Log cripples Queenstown catamaran

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Propeller problems have hamstrung Queenstown’s tourist catamaran Spirit of Queenstown for the second time.

A boat propeller blade appears to have hit a submerged log, Southern Discoveries general manager John Robson says.

“It’s hugely frustrating.”

He says the propeller has been airfreighted to Auckland for repair and yesterday estimated the boat will be back in service in about four or five days’ time.

Last January the brand-new boat started daily services across Lake Wakatipu to Mt Nicholas high country station, where visitors are given a rural experience.

Robson confirms the same problem happened last year.

“The vessel has got very very high-performing, thin-blade Tiger propellers and it appears that the propeller’s hit a submerged log in the lake and it’s ‘stinged’ one of the blades.

“The props on that vessel hang below the hull, it’s an extremely efficient boat, and it can go very fast.”

Robson says the company has spare propellers being shipped from Japan so if the same problem recurs the boat will be running again within 15 hours.