3-D Marine Development owner Richard Doherty “Doc” is almost finished building a boat for the film.
The aluminium jet barge is the most unusual boat he has ever had to design and build. It is 5m long and 2.5m wide. The deck is totally flat to enable film crew to stand on the jet barge and film. The boat is able to carry 10 people and about 400kg.
“It is totally different from anything else we have ever seen in the past. It has been a really good project,” he said.
The boat still has its 5-litre V8 engine to be fitted, but it should be completed in 14 days from start to finish, Mr Doherty said.
The cost of the boat was not named but everything was new and the film company had spared no expense, Mr Doherty said. He believed they would use the boat, and another hire boat from his company, to film on the Kawarau river through Smiths Falls, just above the Kawarau Bungy Bridge.
The Lord of the Rings cast and crew arrived in Te Anau on Monday and filming started yesterday on the $360 million adaptation of J R R Tolkien’s famous trilogy.