Any Jet Boat Users?

Discussion in 'Boating' started by gebs, Mar 31, 2007.

  1. gebs

    gebs New Member

    Messages:
    128
    State:
    Illinois
    I'm looking to learn how many people use jet boats and what kind.


    I have a 1997 Lowe 160SPL 16.5' mod-v w/ a 5' beam and a Johnson 50/35 outboard jet. She's a great river rat, but I'm thinking of upgrading at the end of this season or sometime next season. I'd like to get something a couple feet longer and a foot wider. I'm also thinking of moving to an inboard versus an outboard. I hear the inboards are more efficient, faster, and quieter than a comparable outboard.

    I used to have an old 14' fiberglass tri-hull w/ a 15hp Merc. I loved the motor, but I kept tearing up the prop. After having the jet for 2 years, I can't see ever getting a prop boat again. The jet is so much more fun, she can go just about anywhere, and it's a blast to see my friends all white knuckled and pastey faced as I rip across 8" of water at 20mph. The jet has opened up a lot more water for me, I would just really like to get something a little bit bigger.

    I'd like to hear about other jet rigs and what ppl like/don't like about their setup.
     
  2. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Checotah, Oklahoma
    I run a Merc 60/45 on a SeaArk 1650 tunnel, and I wish I hadn't opted for the tunnel...it doesn't reduce the draft appreciably, and at the same time gives up a lot of buoyancy in the stern. I'm not so sure it doesn't actually draft more than a straight jon with the jet would, in fact.

    I just checked some numbers on the Merc website, and they're eyeopening: a 25 prop weighs 157#...the same powerhead, with a jet installed weighs 186#. That's not all...because of the inefficiencies inherent in the jet, to get the equivilant of 25hp with a jet requires a 40hp powerhead, which weighs...273#! That's a 116# penalty. Running a tunnel with it's lack of buoyancy is a double whammy.

    I've put as much weight as far forward as I can, and I'm still not completely pleased; trim tabs may be in my future.
     

  3. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Dave, do a search for Smart Tabs. They are inexpensive and automatic.
    They are down as the boat is at low speed and as the boat picks up speed the tabs adjust.
    They work off of pistons much like a hatchback piston.
    The only downside I've heard about them is if you backing up and hitting something with a tab.
    Seems like they run around 125-150 bucks a pair.

    If you just cant get the nose down you can play around with shims too.
    you could always try epoxying a wedge batten to the bottom at the transom. In essence you would be putting hook into the hull. Not something you want in a boat hull at all unless you just cant get that nose down any other way minus trim tabs.
     
  4. dougc

    dougc Active Member

    Messages:
    1,709
    State:
    Independen
    The wedges might be something to look into. My buddies Duracraft has them welded at each rear corner from the factory. The boat seems to effortlessly plane out, but his is a 20ft tunnel hull with 115 prop motor.
     
  5. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    What I hate about putting hook into a hull is, you know something aint right to begin with and you've paid for something that wasnt designed right or rigged right.
    I would exhaust every option before I went that route.
    Some options.
    Moving the console forward 18"
    Fuel in the nose
    Possibly a battery or two in the nose although I wouldnt even with a gel cell.
    If it was a propped boat you could play around with props like a raked prop will help keep a bow down.

    The biggest problem with aluminum jon type boats and the lighter home built boats is they are bow light.
    I know of a new boat right now with 200 pounds of sand under the front casting deck. Its an 18 foot G3 with a 90 horse 4 stroke.
    They cram the center console all the way in the back of the boat, along with a motor, fuel, and batteries. Just a poor rigging job and a poor factory design for not sticking the fuel tank in the nose to begin with.
    They should know these boats are bow light. They build them.
    I'm not picking on G3 exclusively. I'm picking on any manufacturer and dealer that charges what they do for some of the crap you end up paying for.
    When you pay 10-20 grand for a boat it ought to be right. You shouldnt have to expect it to be right, it should be right. Makes you wonder if they even know what the CG is on their boats and the percentage off the CG you can rig them.

    None of us would pay for a new car that crabbed down the highway.
     
  6. moriver

    moriver New Member

    Messages:
    416
    State:
    Missouri
    Chuck

    I will tell you something that brings tears to most real "Catmen".
    That fish in my picture was caught off the back of a Seadoo Sportster Jetboat. 14 feet with a 130 HP Rotax jet drive. I got to the spot quick man. I ran it on the missouri river in KC for three years on and off when I got tired of the jonboat.
     
  7. Snake Charmer

    Snake Charmer New Member

    Messages:
    49
    State:
    Ca/Nv/Az
    I pilot a Custom Weld--Storm.....Ocean, Lake, and Rivers with up to class 4 & 5 rapids......( No 5's for me yet! :crazy: )....PWC are not Jet Boats! :big_smile:
     
  8. Snake Charmer

    Snake Charmer New Member

    Messages:
    49
    State:
    Ca/Nv/Az
  9. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    I just sold a 1654 w a 40/28 jet and loved it. I had to be careful with the weight. I just bought a 2072 SeaArk w/ a 115/80 Jet. The best advise I can give is not to underpower. I have a friend that has an Xpress 1860 w/a 90/60 jet that he has used to tow my old boat upstream in approx 8 inches of water. I loved his boat and tried to buy it off him until I saw my SeaArk.
     
  10. Dave L

    Dave L New Member

    Messages:
    1,012
    State:
    Minnesota
    I just got my first jet boat, picked her up this past Friday. I went to the river Sunday to give it the first hour of break in. I bought a Riverpro Hipro
    with a inboard mercury 200 hp optimax jet drive.
    I tell you I will never go back to a prop again! This boat is 17' 6in and 92" wide and there is plenty of room for all the stuff that goes along with fishing. And when it is full of gear and people you just hit the throttle and it hops up on plane and your good to go just about any where.
    One thing nice about the inboard is there is nothing below the hull. If you can't see it you won't hit it. I will post some pic's of her soon. Here is where they come from.
    http://www.riverpro-boats.com/index.html
     
  11. gilmafam

    gilmafam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,466
    State:
    California

    I dont have the jet in my North River... "Sea Hawk"..... messed a couple of props....now the SS handles the river/debris much better
     
  12. Snake Charmer

    Snake Charmer New Member

    Messages:
    49
    State:
    Ca/Nv/Az
    Nice outfit! North River Builds a good product! :smile2: SS is the way to go in props & Impellers!..spendy puppys tho! :lol: ...About 1K for my AT SD 312....Next on my list!

    I think if I still had props though....I'd be checking these out!!..

    http://www.piranha.com/


    Be a good back-up if nothing else! :smile2:
     
  13. RivrLivn

    RivrLivn Member

    Messages:
    194
    State:
    Missouri
    I have an inboard V8 jet boat (North River Commander) there are a couple of us on this site from MO that have these, but you have to really want this kind of boat to travel 4000 miles round trip to get one.

    There are a couple V8 inboard aluminum boat manufactures in MO.
    One if Shoal Runner boats and the other is Gator Jet Boats, but there smallest fishing boat size is 20' and they are bass boat style rigs.

    The other inboard option "locally" is the River Pro boat that runs a sportjet, as mentioned already Dave L just got his and I have heard from at least one other member from MO that has one. Seem like very nice fishing boats and you can get them in the 17' - 18' range.

    Best advice is to try out as many boats as you can.

    Nothing funner than shopping for a new boat:big_smile:
     
  14. gebs

    gebs New Member

    Messages:
    128
    State:
    Illinois
    Here's a shot of my ride.

    I saw a G3 1860 today at a dealer. What I liked about it was that the helm was centered and significantly further forward than mine. Also she had a 90/65 Yamaha jet as opposed to my 50/35. what I did not like was the sparse layout. She looked a little Plain Jane, if you know what I mean. The other thing I did not like was that it was a 0 degree deadrise boat. Jet Specialties recommends a 6-8 degree deadrise for an outboard jet. My current ride is a 6 degree deadrise (a plus for the home team).

    Question for you North River owners, "how much does she draft at rest?" I guess this question would also apply to the RiverPro guys as well.

    I would like a North River because I could take her out on Lake Michigan without fear, but the RiverPro looks like a wild ride as well.


    boat rear 1.jpg
     
  15. crome

    crome New Member

    Messages:
    328
    State:
    ilm,nc
    my g3 has the 6 degree dead rise and a few other stuff,it's a good boat,but i'm looking at trading in for a phantom sport jon or a river pro later this year.
     

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  16. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    Jerry, do those pods help you at all?
     
  17. crome

    crome New Member

    Messages:
    328
    State:
    ilm,nc
    they make all the difference in the world on my boat,with the console being futher back they level the boat out to sit flat in the water,even with me at the wheel,the ones on know you can adjust the back of the pods up or down like a trim tab,and i run them about 1/8" lower than the bottom of the boat and the boat will jump on top in it's own length.they been banged into rocks, and stumps with no problems at all.

    jerry
     
  18. RivrLivn

    RivrLivn Member

    Messages:
    194
    State:
    Missouri
    Chuck,
    My 21' North River Commander drafts about 10" at rest, but I've ran it through 4" to 6" on plane with no problem and I've slid it over a few gravel bars 1" to 2" deep.

    The Commander has a 12 degree bottom, but the thing loaded up and with a 70gal fuel tank will weight in at over 3000lbs. The weight is the biggest disadvantage. I won't take it on the smaller skinny rivers when the water is really low because I have to stay on plane, and don't want to get that thing stuck.
     
  19. gebs

    gebs New Member

    Messages:
    128
    State:
    Illinois
    I'm talking with an aluminum welder who says he can put a small tunnel in my existing boat. I'm looking at adding a 18-24" long chute w/ a 2-2.5" lift over the length. Basically the same thing that Snyder or G3 do to their boats for jet setups.

    Thoughts?


    I figure if it costs me $500, it's a heck of a lot cheaper than $17-24k for a new bmt.
     
  20. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Checotah, Oklahoma
    Lotsa things going on down there that aren't well understood...that would be a real gutcheck, for me.

    That said, tunnels with square corners have always struck me as crude and inefficient. Something nice and smooth and rounded would seem to be a better way to go.