‘Tomb Raider’. ‘Jet Fader’. ‘Vomit Comet’. After enduring years of derogatory labels from Waiheke ferry commuters, Jet Raider officially has a new name.
Fullers, which has just taken delivery of new Whanganui-built ferry Torea, has sold Jet Raider to the Tongan government. Renamed M.V. Maui by the King, she’ll service the island of ‘Eua.
Despite her reputation as the boat everyone loved to hate, there’s no denying she was highly reliable, Fullers said in a farewell statement.
“We wish her well for her new life in the island sunshine, but can’t help reflect on her 27 years as a workhorse for the Fullers fleet.
“She saved the day time after time when other vessels were out of service.”
She was built in 1990 in Fremantle specifically for the Great Barrier Island run, operating four or five days a week. In her heyday, she could complete the journey in two hours at 30 knots – sometimes carrying up to 200 daytrippers.
As the airline industry began travelling to Great Barrier more frequently, she was transferred to the Waiheke run. But with the introduction of modern purpose-built vessels, she became a standby vessel. •