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jet boats good or bad?

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  • jet boats good or bad?

    thinking of buying a jet boat good or bad idea


  • #2
    Re: jet boats good or bad?

    1ST boat? Bad idea.

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    • #3
      Re: jet boats good or bad?

      it would be my third boat

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      • #4
        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.

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        • #5
          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!

          Real men don't wear skinny jeans!!!

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          • #6
            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?

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            • #7
              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.



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              • #8
                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.

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                • #9
                  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.

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                  • #10
                    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.

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                    • #11
                      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.

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                      • #12
                        Re: jet boats good or bad?

                        sean23, what kind of hull are we talking about.

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                        • #13
                          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.

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                          • #14
                            Re: jet boats good or bad?

                            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)

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                            • #15
                              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.
                              sigpic "Andrea C"

                              BOAT=Best Of All Times

                              "Everyday above ground is a good day"

                              Winterization=sneekers, jeans and a sweater.

                              Same Ship.....Different Day.

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