Aluminum Boat with Jet Drive Questions......... Aluminum Boat with Jet Drive Questions.........
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    Aluminum Boat with Jet Drive Questions.........
from Bill Payne  
9/20/2006 7:20:00 PM


 I'm considering an 18 ft. Triton aluminum boat(model 1860) with a 115hp Evinrude and putting a jet drive on it. This is just a plain olive green metal boat without carpet.

My main question for any of you that have or have ever had a jet drive has to do with your overall satisfaction with it?

I am wondering if steering and manuvering around in small, winding creek channels or other tight quarters is a problem and how it compares to a regular prop driven outboard? (especially at slow speeds like idling)

How well does backing a jet drive work?

Just looking for your overall satisfaction with this type boat.


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   Hey Bill.... from (  9/21/2006 1:44:00 AM
Go over to, watercraft section and ask your question. There are a ton of great guys over there that will help you out. A couple of them are jet boat builders and one guy pretty much wrote the book on jet boating.

   Squirt Boats from pmgoffjr (  9/21/2006 6:41:00 AM
First.. You might want to reconsider your boat decision, if it's not designed for a jet, you're going to find out how different jets and props are quick.

Slapping a jet on a iron boat isn't quite as simple as it looks, first the water dynamics are completely different. Second, the transom height requirement height is much higher on the jet than a prop, about 5".

When you try to put a jackplate on a non jet hull, you'll then discover the setback just whacked your water intake dynamics, and will require a new round of tinkering to get it right.

As far as how they run, if you're looking for shallow water performance, only an airboat can go where a jet can't. Low speed turning is "ok" backing up is well...not very good. You can throw it in reverse at any speed though, you can't hurt it.

I ran a jet for a long time at the coast, and they are what they are, when you need it, nothing else matches it.

The only place that'll really get you in trouble in a jet is big waves, they don't like that at all.

   Bill.. from Triton Mike  9/21/2006 7:39:00 AM
Listen to the guys above. Especially Pat. A jet is alot different than a regular outboard. Outboard you can slap on any boat and be pretty much good to go. Jet's are different. BTW when you get set up I wanna go whereever your going :). YOu going to play on the Coosawatee??


   how does a jet do in hydrilla? from beartrap  9/21/2006 8:39:00 AM
been told that grass/hydrilla will stop them up....have they come with anything to prevent this?

   Grass Muncher from pmgoffjr (  9/21/2006 9:28:00 AM
It's a simple fix to prevent grass blockage. Remove the screen/grate. Drill a hole in bowl, just below impeller, 3/8" and shove a welding rod through. Now you have a high horsepower quisinart. Just chops it up and spits it out.

I can run mine through 4" of matted up seaweed, and never stalls.

However, one good sized oyster shell will stop me dead. Stainless impellers are a good upgrade.

   Jet Drives from Pmedicbm (  9/21/2006 10:49:00 AM
My best friend has a 20 foot aluminum with a 150 Yamaha Jet. He had a guy up in Missouri build the boat and set it up to his specifications. All the info that you have been given is correct. Anygrass will stop a jet drive in its tracks. The hull is an entirely different animal. The GO HARD jet guys want a completely flat hull with absolutely no V in the hull. They are definiatly not fast by any stretch of the imagination. His will do in the neighborhood of 40mph. I'm sure there are some that run faster. As far a rough water is concerned,forget about it. Any chop at all will kill your speed and your back. Since the whole boat is in the water with no bow lift (if it's set up correctly you will have and even amount of weight distribution in the front and back making the boat sit level in the water) you will feel every wave from the front to the back. As far as the going places that you never thought you could.? It is absolutely incredible where you can go with these boats. It will run in about 2-3" of water with a hard bottom and around 4-5" with a sand or soft mud bottom. That's another thing. You can't just take off and start running and gunning through all of these places that look like you should be able to go. It takes about 2 ft of water to get the boat up and going and about 30 to 40 yards in length. Otherwise you are stuck and trying to push a 2500+pound boat over the ground. We learned fast that you want to always go upstream and not down. We have spent countless hours wading to see where we could go and more importantly wherewe cannot. It has been beneficial to place stakes or sticks in the water for landmarks in some places. The fishing has been unreal though. The only drawback is the size of the fish seems to be somewhat smaller. We have had many 100 fish days just fishing for really uneducated fish that have probably never seen a lure. I only wish that we still lived closer together where we could fish together more often. Good luck and be safe! brad

   well from smalljawbasser  9/21/2006 1:41:00 PM
the handling on a jet boat is really poor, both forwards and backwards. but you can get into places with a jet you just can't go with anything else. once you get one setup properly you can run on plane in 4" of water (and less for short distances).

i'd skip the triton. nothing against the brand, but if you are in a jet, you're gonna hit lots of hard, inanimate objects. stick with an all welded, at least .100ga boat. i like a tunnel hull, some guys don't. lowe makes a good one, express makes a really good one. snyder, riverpro and rockproof make high end boutique ones. really nice, but again, i'm not going to spend to much money on a boat i know i'm going to beat up mercilessly.

are you fishing natural flowages, or tailraces? if you're fishing tailraces (which is what i fish), make sure you have a 36v trolling motor.

when you first start, be careful. going upstream is relatively easy, you can read the water. going downstream, you can't read it nearly as well and can get in serious trouble in a heartbeat.

   Yeah, warning from pmgoffjr (  9/21/2006 2:34:00 PM
Remember, on a jet when you lose power, you lose all control, there isn't a rudder sticking in the water to guide you.

You'll learn to "power turn" to avoid mishaps, but you'll crunch a few things before you get it.

I can get my scooter up anywhere it can float, it has a very small tunnel, 3" which the intake just fits into. Nothing protrudes under the bottom of the boat, and it'll run in warm spit. I don't fish rivers, but the marsh and flats on the coast, and it enables me to get to fish no one else can even dream of.

I guarantee, from personal experience, if you just try to rig a flat bottom outboard hull for jet use, be very prepared to spend a LOT of time, effort and money getting it to run right. Save yourself the time and pain, and choose a boat designed to run a jet from the outset.

Everything you might know about rigging an outboard means exactly diddle on a jet, nothing is the same.

   I think I get the message......and I'm glad I asked... from Bill Payne  9/21/2006 3:32:00 PM
I believe I will just go with a prop on the motor and carefully idle back in the shallow areas where possible. I think I have found a bargain in an 1860 which is a 100 ga. all welded hull and I can get into it at a realatively low cost. The jet drive was an idea in process at best but it sounds like it will be more of a problem than I am interested in tackling. If cost was not an issue, maybe I would get a package designed for the jet but for now I'll probably go with a prop. This is just a winter boat for knocking around back in the stumps while doing a little exploring in difficult areas to reach (except on foot). I'll get on some of the local rivers as well but take it easy around the rocks. Thanks



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