Justin owns and operates Ocean Leopard Tours which takes tourists out to explore the Cathedral Cove area of Whitianga, New Zealand. Running four trips a day with up to 16 passengers on board for each trip, Justin was after an outboard that was fuel efficient, powerful and reliable and the Suzuki DF300AP ticked all of those boxes. Check out more of Justin's story by watching the video above.
Please tell us your name and which model outboard you own.
My name is Justin Hopkins, owner and operator of Ocean Leopard Tours in Whitianga. We run scenic tours on the [Coromandel Peninsula] coast to Cathedral Cove, Hot Water Beach.
What were you looking for most when you set out to buy an outboard?
Reliability, speed and power is the other main aspect for us, as we go in to some tight spaces, as you can see by this cave [Orua Sea Cave], and we’re into the open ocean sector so if there’s any swell coming in, its important we have a good, reliable engine.
What were your reasons for purchasing this particular model?
So, we’ve got a 300 [horse power] Suzuki. Power is a big one for us, we take [up to] 16 passengers… powering over waves and big seas… we need a good amount of grunt there and just to keep the fuel consumption down, we need a powerful engine.
What would you say is one of the most important features of your Suzuki outboard?
[Fuel] economy’s a big factor for us. We run four trips a day and you know… on one fuel tank we run about five trips, so economy’s huge for us.
Over a year or a season, we go through 800 hours – we run up on the engine. We’re fuelling up twice or three times a week, so fuel consumption for one trip would be about 40 to 50 litres depending on the amount of people we’ve got on board.
Did you consider any other outboard brands before purchasing the Suzuki?
Yes, we weighed up a Yamaha and a Suzuki – it was a choice between those two. You know, with running a scenic tour, it’s important not to be drowned out by the engine noise so, that was a big factor. The Suzuki’s a lot quieter than the Yamaha and fuel consumption is down compared to the Yamaha too, so happy days.
If you were to recommend Suzuki to a friend, what would you say?
Yeah, I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Suzuki to anyone. Good, reliable engine, it’s powerful… yeah, it’s never let me down.
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