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  1. #1
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    Default jet boats good or bad?

    thinking of buying a jet boat good or bad idea

  2. #2
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    Default Re: jet boats good or bad?

    1ST boat? Bad idea.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: jet boats good or bad?

    it would be my third boat

  4. #4
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    Default Re: jet boats good or bad?

    like all boat-purchase questions, you have to consider the conditions in which you are going to operate, and balance the positives and negatives. People who run in shallow water often find jet boats worth it; those who run in choppy water or do a lot of low-speed manuevering don't like them.

    My concern is what I see as the weak spot: you are sucking up everything you run over. One plastic bag and your engine is history (the clear ice bags are well-known invisible killers lurking out there). If I kill my OB on a rock at least it's died a more noble death.

    I'd consult the locals on that one--and let us know more about what you are considering, why and more important. where.
    A man of constant boat tinkering.

  5. #5
    Chief Petty Officer tomdinwv's Avatar
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    Default Re: jet boats good or bad?

    Most of it has to do with where you boat. I've never ran a jet boat but from what I've read, if you are in an area with a lot of grass/weeds and stuff, they are better than a prop. I've seen several duck hunting boats with jet outboards. Don't know the pros and cons of having a jet boat as a recreational boat though.
    Anything is possible if you don't know what you're talking about!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: jet boats good or bad?

    This question requires more information. This is like asking if I need a 2WD or 4WD vehicle. What are the bodies of water like where you intend on boating? What do you intend on doing while boating? How many people and what ages? Towing? How large a boat? Are there any mechanics in the area familiar with jet boats?

  7. #7
    Supreme Mariner roscoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: jet boats good or bad?

    Also take a look at the hp/fuel issue.
    Jets are much less efficient than props.

    A 60 hp outboard is rated at 40 hp when equipped with a jet.
    So you are consuming 60 hp fuel, and getting 40 hp thrust.

    If you are talking inboard jet with say a 454, you are getting the thrust of a 305 or 350 with a prop.




  8. #8
    Supreme Mariner Frank Acampora's Avatar
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    Default Re: jet boats good or bad?

    Yep! At my neck of the river, a little 16 foot jet boat with a 350 and 4 barrel tops out at 55 MPH. My 14 footer with a 125 outboard tops out at 60.

    And, if you are a novice boater, the low speed steering of jet boats is crappy to non-existant. You need to learn and account for that.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: jet boats good or bad?

    I own, and run different jet boats frequently, if you don't have a specific need for a jet, stick with a prop.

    The fuel issue is big if it's an outboard jet, inboard jets are much more efficient though, the loss in Thrust (HP) isn't nearly as bad with them.

    Low speed maneuvering is different, but not bad, it just takes some getting used to.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: jet boats good or bad?

    re: In newer boats, cleaning the impellor of foreign material (think string, fishing line, weed, etc.) is much easier due to clean out ports INSIDE the boat compared to removing it from a prop driven boat.


    Maybe so, but I seldom have to clear my prop of string; weeds I just hit reverse. So I'd say that one is a "con" for jet boats. But that depends on if you boat where you frequently have these problems.
    A man of constant boat tinkering.

  11. #11
    Lieutenant Commander proshadetree's Avatar
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    Default Re: jet boats good or bad?

    Ran a jet for years and loved it. Not to bad to drive if you bump the throttle for low speed turns. Clean out not a big deal on older models like the Berkley. I cleaned mine out twice in 5 years. The inboards are a blast to drive and will give a tuber fits. Much, much less maintenance than most other drives. Just my opinion but I like the OMC Cobra too.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: jet boats good or bad?

    sean23, what kind of hull are we talking about.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: jet boats good or bad?

    Yep, hard to beat a re-worked 12JC for a everyday jet. The work horse is the Hamilton and the river rat is the Scott. A 502 and a Hami on a North River Commander is a dream. Mine was a 5.7L and gutless with the Hami. I didn't know poo about jets when I bought it and neither did the guy I sold it too. It handled nice and the power stop u-turns were a blast but mine felt like it was always lugging. The only drawback I saw with the Hami's is the cleanout is out side the transom. The 12jc is on the inside and easier to get to. I had a stomp grate install and never had a problem with debries after that. I did suck up some really sticky mud one time and it took a while to clear but they say that was mainly due to insufficient hp.

    I think the hardest thing to get mentally used to is it being direct drive and not having neutral. The nozzel is directed down instead. The engine gets it's cooling water from the pump so it's gotta be direct drive.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: jet boats good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by sschefer View Post
    I think the hardest thing to get mentally used to is it being direct drive and not having neutral. The nozzel is directed down instead. The engine gets it's cooling water from the pump so it's gotta be direct drive.
    That is a nice side affect of it, but the main reason for no neutral is that its far easier/simpler/cheaper to just do it that way and run a reverse bucket. There is no transmission, gears, gear selector, or shift cable to go bad. Far fewer moving parts is always a good thing!

    (there are some jet boats that do run water pumps much like a regular inboard would)

  15. #15
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    Default Re: jet boats good or bad?

    We had a 14'er as a dingy. Yahama engine. I never liked that thing from the start. She was loud and burned alot of fuel. The bossman gave that 3 year old boat away. She was fast although. He bought me an outboard. Thanks!

    I would never own one. That's just me and my opinion.
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  16. #16
    Chief Petty Officer PrinceValium's Avatar
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    Default Re: jet boats good or bad?

    I have looked at the Seadoo jet boats...and they are impressive!! If I could have afforded it I would have for sure been at the dealer when I was purchasing my boat.

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  17. #17
    Moderator ezmobee's Avatar
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    Default Re: jet boats good or bad?

    I think we need to know more specifically what you're looking at. There's at least 4 types of "jet boats": old school V8 jets, outboard jet fishing boats, little Sea Ray Rayder/Bayliner Rendezvous/Sugar Sand outboard power head jets, and the modern Yamaha and SeaDoo jets. What are you looking at?
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: jet boats good or bad?

    i would most likely be looking at buying a yamaha

  19. #19
    Moderator ezmobee's Avatar
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    Default Re: jet boats good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by sean23 View Post
    i would most likely be looking at buying a yamaha
    In that case, those are awesome.
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  20. #20
    Chief Petty Officer Tahorover's Avatar
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    Default Re: jet boats good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by sean23 View Post
    i would most likely be looking at buying a yamaha
    Better hope Yamaha does not back out on there jets like they did to thousands of Yamaha I/O owners!
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  21. #21
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    Default Re: jet boats good or bad?

    There was a very good comparison cover story in Boating Magazine a couple issues back pitting two boats, one jet and one prop side by side. Was a very good, thorough article. The jet boat won out on many challenge/pro points. Try to find a copy, maybe on line and read, it may help you make up your mind.
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  22. #22
    Chief Petty Officer Tahorover's Avatar
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    Default Re: jet boats good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba1235 View Post
    I think given they are the world's largest manufacture of jet drives they are a safe bet.
    Largest If you count PWC sales!
    I'm sure Century boat owners didn't bet on them selling out . In this economy nothing is a sure bet.

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  23. #23
    Moderator ezmobee's Avatar
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    Default Re: jet boats good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by BRICH1260 View Post
    There was a very good comparison cover story in Boating Magazine a couple issues back pitting two boats, one jet and one prop side by side. Was a very good, thorough article. The jet boat won out on many challenge/pro points. Try to find a copy, maybe on line and read, it may help you make up your mind.
    http://www.boatingmag.com/engines/je...-vs-sterndrive
    1976 18' Starcraft SuperSport 90HP Evinrude
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  24. #24
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    Default Re: jet boats good or bad?


    Although its a good article, they tied in handling, and gave the I/O the award for the shallow water draft... Both of those left me scratching my head! Yes, a jet is different to handle around the dock. Once you figure it out, you can do things in a jet that even a twin screw I/O can't do.

    And as far as draft, I'd like to have any I/O owner that disagrees with me follow me around... My jet boat can skim across the sandy bottom with 6 inches of water. Yes, if I had rocks or anything but a nice sandy bottom, I wouldn't be doing that, but that certainly doesn't give the advantage to an I/O either. Every spring I have to take out a bunch of buddies on the river, I'm the official sandbar locator, so everyone else knows where to run for the season. And if I do manage to ground myself (and I have) its a relatively easy matter to get off. If an I/O happens to rip the lower unit off from hitting the sandbar, it will take more than a little pushing! If they are lucky, the won't sink.

  25. #25
    Rear Admiral Scott Danforth's Avatar
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    Default Re: jet boats good or bad?

    My concern with jet boats is sucking up fishing line and rope into the pump, and the higher insurance rates of the jet boat
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