Fiordland Expeditions

Fiordland Expeditions is a boat charter company offering tailor made cruises exploring Fiordland.

Here's what Richard, from Fiordland Expeditions has to say about working with Nicholson Engineering:


We have been around since 2004 and have been using Nicholson Engineering for their expert skills on our refits for many years now.

Over the past several years we have been working with Nicholson Engineering for our refurbishment projects and survey requirements.

In mid-2017 our original vessel the Tutoko nearly foundered at the mooring and required a major rebuild to bring her back to life. All the below decks compartments suffered some damage, and the main engines were flooded. Wiring and other electrical componentry got submerged as well so the project was no quick fix.

Nicholson Engineering came to the fore and Ross put Curtis in control of the installation of two new Doosan L16’s into the newly refurbished E/R. With a complete makeover downstairs, we expect the new systems and machinery will last for many years to come and so far, she has been performing well since re-joining operations in Feb 2018.

The last 3 years have seen this vessel become a favourite with clients retaining repeat business and she quickly becomes home for the newbies that experience her each year.

We are now coming to the end of project on a similar rebuild, though not under similar circumstances, of the Tutoko II. This project included having the two Gardner 8LXB’s fully rebuilt by Allan Rodderick and Pro Built Engines of Invercargill.

The removal and re-installation were supervised by Curtis from Nicholson along with Ross & Jamie, they were a pleasure to work with and got the motors out and back in place with everything going like clockwork.

Heli-pad extension works were also completed with many other small modifications tidying up various systems and work areas around the vessel making them more user friendly and efficient.


We are happy to endorse Nicholson Engineering for any maritime engineering project, from the smallest job to the resurrection of a vessel that others perhaps would have scrapped (Tutoko).

We originally started working with them because our previous supplier was too busy and couldn’t accommodate our needs at the time. We have been happily dealing with them ever since.

Ross is very accommodating and flexible to work with from the outset and that continues each year we visit; so are the rest of the team and this is the main reason we will continue to use their services.

Their workmanship is among the best we have experienced in 20 years, and they are keenly aware of the frustrations that pop up from time to time, take them in their stride and keep the workload ticking over so targets can be met.

Their workshop is close to the haul-out facilities in Bluff so travel between is lower than some other options; this keeps down-time to a minimum.

With the rebuild of the two Tutoko’s in recent times, Nicholson Engineering’s collaboration and workmanship fited in well with our expectations and the vessels are now in the best nick they have been in since launching.

The finished product suits our purposes extremely well and we are confident this recent rebuild will se the Tutoko II perform extremely well from day one and well into the future.

From hull replating to reconstruction, and collaborating on design of new systems, their efforts exceeded our expectations, and it is because of their dedication to servicing their clients wishes that we intend to use Nicholson Engineering for all our future engineering works.

So, if you’re looking for a competent marine engineering crowd that are prepared to listen and work with your wants/needs then I reckon you can’t go past Nicholson Engineering.

They’re a bloody good bunch and we’re sure you won’t be disappointed.


Richard Abernethy


Check out the Fiordland Expeditions website here

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