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I don't have answers to all of your questions, but I'll share a couple of observations, based on my experiences with my 1652MVT SeaArk.

Draft on drift, as you call it, is a significant issue, for several reasons, the first being the tunnel. The tunnel gives away a lot of buoyancy, right where it's needed most. I can't say how much the pods will offset this, as they weren't available at the time I bought mine.

The second reason is the engine, which for jets is, of necessity, a lot larger and heavier than a comparable propped motor. Mine, for instance, is a 60/45 2 cycle...if I were buying today, and bought a 4 cycle, the weight penalty would be even greater.

Finally, because the engine is larger, it requires more fuel capacity for the same range, ergo, more weight.

The only way to compensate for all of this is with pods, which btw, add weight just where you'd rather not have it, and weight distribution. I have located my battery, fuel tanks, and helm in the front half of the boat, and that has helped, but the boat still drafts more than I would like, while dead in the water. It's the price you pay for a jet, and that reduced draft while on plane. I think all of us that run them cross our fingers every time we cross skinny water, and hope the engine doesn't burp, or that we don't suck up a plastic bag.

If you'll look at the Lowe 1655TN, you'll notice how they have approached the "problem". The bottom is wider, the fuel tanks are mounted amidships, and the helm is well forward.
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