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jet boats

Joined:
2008/5/11 9:50
From Lancaster
Posts: 22
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Thinking about getting a jet jon style boat for fishing the susky and other smaller shallow waters. Does anyone here have any experience with them. Any info would be great i.e.; best models, performance in general and on small rivers, durability, dealers. you get the point. I've seen youtube videos in which the boats were driven in inches of water and even over sand bars. Is this achievable? They were the tunnel hull type with some sort of protective coating on the bottom. Thanks!

Posted on: 12/14 18:03
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Re: jet boats

Joined:
2013/12/7 0:10
From SE Pa
Posts: 602
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I have an 18.5" wooldridge XL with a 115/80 Johnson. I think it's the best boat made. Yes they plane in 4 or 5" of water if you got the nuts to do it. Personally I want at least 8" just because im not a dare devil and I don't want to destroy my boat. The thing with jets is to go shallow you have to be wide open or close to wide open so if you hit a rock your hitting it at 20 to 30 mph depending on your set up. That's a hard hit. They also need throttle to steer and can be a real bitch to put on the trailer in strong current and high winds until you get use to coming into your trailer with so much speed. Again you need lots of throttle to steer it into the trailer. It's kind of tough to learn if going from a prop boat.

What is best is open for debate. My boat is more built for fast, rough water. The common Jon style jets are better suited for not so rough water. The common Jon style are built like bass boats with raised decks making them very easy to fall off of or get thrown out of. I like to be firmly in a boat?


The G3's are nice Jon style boats as are the Lowe boats. You want one with a thick bottom. I would want one with a forward console. It's nice to be standing to help see where your going. It's also nice to have something to hold onto. The production boats are generally around .125 which would be a bare minimum hull thickness. For a few thousand bucks you can get a K5 spray on the bottom which will give you some more thickness but will add more weight to the boat. It's good and bad since it offers some added protection against rock strikes but weight is bad in a jet boat. Hitting bottom with the K5 can also cause considerable damage so it's not the be all end all. My bottom is bare .195 thick aluminum tunnel hull. I've never hit bottom with it because I'm not a dare devil and a rock strike could cause thousands of dollars of damage. I've learned long ago that it don't make any sense to drive over and past fish to get to fish.

Like any boat it's easy to under power a jet boat. So whatever they are selling as a package opt for the bigger motor. Don't buy the hype though. They are far from indestructible like some claim. I don't care what's on the bottom. Durability has more to do with your mindset, your ability to read water and how familiar you are with the area and how the water gauge levels actually mean in different areas of the river.

Despite the expense and the potential for damage I love my jet and will never go back to a prop boat on the river.

Posted on: 12/14 22:01


Re: jet boats

Joined:
2009/2/13 4:12
From West Chester,PA
Posts: 295
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Poopdeck...thanks for this very informative post.
I have a 15.5 ft Lowe semi v boat with a 20 hp prop.I too am not a daredevil ,but feel a jet drive would accommodate my growing needs to wade less,as I age.
I am also looking for a jet drive since I not only fish the Susquehanna a lot,but fish a few fabulous SM lakes in Maine(Spednik and Umbagog) that are prop busters.
If anyone else has suggestions/recommendations on this subject ,I would appreciate hearing from you
Thx
Tom

Posted on: 12/17 8:41
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Re: jet boats

Joined:
2008/5/11 9:50
From Lancaster
Posts: 22
Offline
Thanks for the info. I don't plan on being a daredevil. Just want to get the best possible boat for the types of rivers i fish. So I take it a 14-18' jon with a jet motor and a hard bottom will work well on the susky? Do the tunnel hulls make a huge difference?

Posted on: 12/18 20:05
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The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions.
Alfred Lord Tennyson


Re: jet boats

Joined:
2013/12/7 0:10
From SE Pa
Posts: 602
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14' is a little tiny. 16 to 18' would be better option. I've never had one without a tunnel so I can't offer an opinion about performance difference. I can say I don't have any issues with performance. Perhaps ignorance is bliss.

With a tunnel your jet foot will be above the bottom of the boat. With a flat bottom your jet foot will be a couple inches below the boat bottom. Theoritically a tunnel will run shallower because of the height of the jet foot.

A tunnel hull will drift lower than a flat hull and squat more during a hole shot just because there's less hull sitting in the water. So they sit deeper at rest and dig in more when taking off. This can be offset by the beam. Tunnels are typically wider boats which compensates for this. If your talking a standard jon beam of less than 70" and a bottom width of less than 50" it might be best to go flat. My beam is 7'5" with a 60" bottom and I have no problems with the tunnel.

I'm not a hull expert so take it for what it's worth. Just remember we're talking fractions of inches difference so there's really no difference if your not a daredevil. I would assume theres more bite when turning with a tunnel but I also assume the difference is marginal. Either way the setup and weight distribution in the boat is more important than anything else.




Posted on: 12/18 23:57


Re: jet boats

Joined:
2013/6/7 9:31
Posts: 128
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Lowe 1648 Aura! Casting deck and a lot of room for stuff to not get caught up. I have a 1448M jon and that is roomy too but it has a middle seat and the casting deck is higher up.

Posted on: 12/19 14:04


Re: jet boats

Joined:
2008/5/11 9:50
From Lancaster
Posts: 22
Offline
thanks again guys. That's the type of info I needed.

Posted on: 12/19 20:13
_________________
The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions.
Alfred Lord Tennyson






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