The HamiltonJet parent company, CWF Hamilton & Co Ltd, was formed in 1939, centred on the workshop at Irishman Creek Station. For the next 50 years the company pursued a policy of planned diversification, a natural progression from the effective innovation and expertise initiated by the founder Sir William Hamilton.
It has only been in the last 25 years that CWF Hamilton & Co has focussed solely on the waterjet side of its business through HamiltonJet and Hamilton Marine.
HamiltonJet grew out of a combination of CWF Hamilton Engineering and CWF Hamilton Marine, the two main subsidiary companies in the Hamilton Group.
As the popularity of jet boats and waterjet propulsion increased rapidly throughout the 1960s and 70s, Hamilton Engineering was producing a large number of marine jet units along with its industrial equipment, cranes and hydraulics. Manufacturers in the US and UK were also producing Hamilton Waterjets under license.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s New Zealand underwent some major economic redirection, which made domestic machinery manufacturing virtually profitless. But the Directors of CWF Hamilton & Co recognised the potential for waterjet propulsion systems and made the decision to phase out the industrial side of Hamilton Engineering to concentrate on the production of waterjet units and hydraulics.
One of HamiltonJet’s first tasks was to build up a wider distribution network throughout the world for the sales and service of Hamilton Waterjets. To combat the problems involved with distance to the main markets and distributors, company offices were opened in America and the UK to coordinate distribution and spare parts support in those regions, and to market HM Series waterjets.
Continued growth in demand for Hamilton Waterjets has seen a number of factory expansions in the last decade. Manufacturing floor space has increased to 12,300 square metres, with new machinery installed and staff hired to increase factory capacity by more than 50%.
Today, HamiltonJet employs over 400 staff in all aspects of waterjet design, production and service. Along with the marine jet units, the company also produces its own electronic and hydraulic control systems.
The company has recently celebrated its 80th year Anniversary and is looking towards strong growth in the future.