Hamilton, (Charles) William Feilden

Bill Hamilton resize

Sir (Charles) William Feilden Hamilton - OBE

Timaru-born jet boat inventor William Hamilton left a legacy of innovation and excellence.

His dream of creating a boat that would travel up swift-flowing rivers in the South Island became a reality in 1953 when he developed jet propulsion using water. His first units were marketed commercially in 1957 and later modified to meet international demand in the 1960s.

A self-taught engineer and farmer, he moved into the earthmoving equipment business toward the end of World War II and later perfected the waterjet engine, which revolutionised the world of boat propulsion.

He was knighted in 1974 for his "valuable services to manufacturing".