Jet vs. prop

Discussion in 'Bubba's Outboards' started by Bill in SC, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    I do 99% of my fishin' on the rocky Pee Dee river. I have always run prop engines. There is a stretch of river between Cheraw and the NC line that is pretty much inaccessible to prop boats, thus there are LOTS of BIG fish up there. I think I may want to try a jet drive out, but I heard they were rough on fuel consumption. Can anyone shed any light on the cons of a jet drive? Also, how tough is it to switch the lower unit from jet drive to prop drive. Kinda like folks who put knobby tires on their trucks for hunting season, and then switch back to street tires during the rest of the year.
    Bill in SC
     
  2. Cheez

    Cheez New Member

    Messages:
    522
    State:
    Trion,GA
    The only pro that I know of for a jet drive is it's ability to run in shallower water. That said though they really need to be mounted on a boat that is designed and built for them, i.e. a tunnel hull. If a jet drive is mounted on a standard hull they are not that much better than a prop motor.
    There are many cons to the jet drive. Fuel consumption is more than double for the same horsepower motor. They can and will suck up rocks through the screens. When a rock gets into the jet pump, most of the time it is toast.
    Initial cost is higher as well.
     

  3. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Checotah, Oklahoma
    I have a jet, and for shallow rivers, there really isn't another good option.

    They are not very efficient...the powerhead horsepower is derated by 30%, thus, a 40hp powerhead results in a 28hp jet. To get eqivilant performance, you gotta go with a bigger, heavier, thirstier, and more expensive engine.

    More later, dinner is on.
     
  4. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    Lookin' forward to hearin' more, later! :)
    BB in SC
     
  5. NewMexicoCatfisher

    NewMexicoCatfisher New Member

    Messages:
    233
    State:
    Alameda, New Mexico
    I would keep it a prop. How shallow are you going?? I just raise my motor on my boat and I can run in about 10in of water. I hear jet drives have alot of maintainence
     
  6. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Checotah, Oklahoma
    I'm not sure I agree with the notion that jets require a tunnel...I think the guys in the Pacific NW run them on deep vees, but I might be wrong. In any case, the jet will still draw quite a bit less water than a prop. Yes, rocks can be a little rough on jets, but props are even more vulnerable in that regard.

    Anyway, to compensate for that extra weight I talked about, as well as the loss of buoyancy that goes with tunnels (double whammy!), manufacterers have come up with various strategies...wider bottoms, sponsons, trim tabs, etc. Weight distribution is important, too. Helms, fuel tanks, and batteries are typically located farther forward. As an aside, you see very few tiller steered jets because of this weight issue.

    I've never changed a lower unit, so I can't comment, but someone will come along that has.
     
  7. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Checotah, Oklahoma
    One more thing.

    I ran a prop on my tunnel for awhile, and cavitation was a real problem (aluminum tunnels aren't very sophisticated/slick). I finally cupped the prop quite a bit, and it ran fine.
     
  8. Mike81

    Mike81 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,255
    State:
    Alabama
    I run a jet on my boat, it has a tunnel also. You do lose alot of power, I have an 18 1/2 foot wooldridge with a 200 and it will probably only go about 35-40 top speed but that's ok with me I ain't big into speed anyways. It will run in inches of water. You have to get used to steering, a little bit different than with a prop since no rudder to speak of. Loading on the trailer in a current or heavy wind can drive ya to drink. They don't steer unless ya put the power to em!!! :smile2:

    I really enjoy mine but do wish sometimes when on lakes or the deeper rivers that I had a prop. Much more efficient. Good luck with your decision.
     
  9. Dredge

    Dredge Member

    Messages:
    754
    State:
    Arnold,Missouri
    I have a 40 horse jet on an old 1988 modified vee aluminum bass boat.I even had to build up the back end to raise the jet high enough.Although the boat is heavy,I can still run in 8 inches of water.I've had it 3 years,no problems.Just grease the bearings every few trips,and make sure no blockage.It's great for running up shallow creeks,looking for bait.I can also hit ramps in low water when no one else can.Less pressure equals more fish!:cool2:I'll stay with jets.
     
  10. Dredge

    Dredge Member

    Messages:
    754
    State:
    Arnold,Missouri
    I have to agree 100% with the steering issue.IT is a pain.
     
  11. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    I appreciate all the useful info. Maybe I need TWO boats, one with, one without! :wink:

    Bill in SC
     
  12. Mike81

    Mike81 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,255
    State:
    Alabama
    That's what I'd like to do someday, I'd like to have my river boat but then get a nice pontoon with a prop for lakes and such. Gotta go buy my lottery ticket, be right back...:big_smile:
     
  13. drpepper

    drpepper New Member

    Messages:
    6,133
    State:
    Indiana
    Ask me Bill, a jet is the way to go. yeah, all the down sides like power loss, steering, fuel consumption, sucking trash/rocks etc. are true BUT... man you can get places others can't. I got a buddie with a 40hp, another bud with a 90, and yet another with a 25 tiller on a plain ol 12 ft jon.
    My bud with the 25 can get out and drag it if he needs to... THATS the ticket for SUPER shallows ya ask me... If you get a big or small jet it won't do you any good if your afraid to plane it over the shallows... the crazier you are the further you can go.
    IF you get it out at night and plan on coming back in the night... you better pay CLOSE attention to the route during the day... marking your paths' hazards with reflective tape or some such along the way.
    I think the advantage of getting to mostly unchartered sections of the river far outweigh the 'bad' things about a jet. I'm shopping for one myself.

    Also, theres probably a jet conversion kit for your motor.
    Google it an see. DP
     
  14. Dave L

    Dave L New Member

    Messages:
    1,012
    State:
    Minnesota
  15. shortbus

    shortbus New Member

    Messages:
    459
    State:
    indiana
    I fish a river section that is pretty much all rock/boulders and is ankle deep in alot of places. I use a Go-Devil on a 16ft flatbottom. If I'm stuck on sand or mud I just bury the prop down in and it will push the boat off. If I'm in a very rocky place and know i'm gonna hit I just lift the prop out of the water.

    http://www.godevil.com/GO-DEVIL_Engines.html
     
  16. drpepper

    drpepper New Member

    Messages:
    6,133
    State:
    Indiana
    Alright... those are cool:wink:
     
  17. drpepper

    drpepper New Member

    Messages:
    6,133
    State:
    Indiana
    here's somethin' else you can look at mr Bill... a cool boat forum.
    Look under propulsion/jet and see what people are doing and saying about jet stuff/problems etc.