In the 10 years since its inception, Explore NZ has grown from a small corporate charter yacht business set up to capitalise on the 1999/2000 America’s Cup, to a multi-faceted tourism venture with bases in Auckland and Paihia. It offers a range of expeditions, from scenic pleasure cruises and expeditions to swim with dolphins, to hands-on yacht sailing and off-road vehicle adventures. As such, its fleet comprises a wide range of vessels and vehicles: four America’s Cup yachts, four 50-foot monohull yachts, a 72-foot sailing catamaran, four cruise catamarans (seating 500 passengers in total), and two passenger coaches.
Its diverse fleet hails from four different engine manufacturers and, although few of the engines were within warranty, Explore NZ was nevertheless keen to have the manufacturers’ perspectives before proceeding. Three of the firms (Scania, Caterpillar and Volvo) endorsed the proposal to use a 20% biodiesel blend (B20). The fourth, MTU, advised against using more than a 7% blend. Explore NZ, however, felt confident to use a 10% blend (B10) in that particular motor, based on the technical information they had, and the knowledge they would be using a high-quality biodiesel.