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Thread: Torn on Jet Boat Purchase

  1. #1
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    Default Torn on Jet Boat Purchase

    I've been looking at purchasing a new to me River jet boat for the past 2 months. I have narrowed it down to a used Flat bottom Alumaweld 20" long 60" bottom Sled with a Suzuki DF140 jet that has only 20 hours or a 2003 Duckworth Advantage inboard jet boat that has a Chevy 350 and AT309 pump with about 200 hours. For discussions purposes lets say the prices are the same around $14500 both have equally nice trailers. The Alumaweld is a 1992 hull and like I stated the motor is about 1 year old with 20 hours. Both boats are in very good shape. I'm torn because there both good boats but there also different types with one being inboard and the other an outboard and one being open and the other is a windshield boat. My main usage will be exploring Mat-Su rivers with some fishing thrown in. I'll have my wife and two kids as my crew.

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    Wife and kids might like the window and option of a canopy. Jon boats are roomy but lack comfort.

  3. #3
    Member AK NIMROD's Avatar
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    Like Don h said,
    Window and canopy would be nice also heat from the 350 pretty easy to put a cabin heater in. But then if your stuck it would be easier to get the jon boat out. I know that my not help with your choice. Just something to think about. All boats a heavy when stuck! Ask me I might know something about getting stuck.
    Rob
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    Member 907pride's Avatar
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    I have had a few different boats and the one I have now is because it has a heated cab. I cannot go as shallow as the Jon boats but I can run most places that I want to go. I Have had my little 20' Jetcraft over 100 miles out in PWS and have run allot of rivers that I would not have liked to have a Jon boat. The duckworth would be much better suited for places such as the Klutina and Copper. It would be great on the Big Su or even the lower portion of the Little Su. It would be great for running down the Deshka or up the Yentna. It probably wouldn't make it too far up the Deshka or many other little shallow rivers where the Jon boat will but that is the decision you will have to make. The Jon boat will do everything in the Mat-Su whereas with the Duckworth you will have to be a bit more selective.

    I love my little boat. I can't go as shallow as allot of the jet sleds but there is no way they would follow me when I go out and drop my shrimp pots either. The heated cab is a must for me. I need to keep my wife happy so that she allows me to keep going out fishing, and she is at her unhappiest when she is cold.

    My vote is that you get the Duckworth. On those cold mornings on the drive up the river in the rain, you will be wishing you had a windshield and maybe a soft top.

    Good luck with your purchase. Whichever one you decide on will be allot of fun. One last word of advise. It's pretty much the end of boating season. If you buy now you may not get much boating in before freeze up. If you wait until mid-winter you will get a better deal on a boat. I found mine in February and was able to snag it for $13,500 and thats was with a brand new dual axle trailer included. It only had 52 hours on it at the time. It may be worth waiting for.
    IMG_0456.jpg

  5. #5
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Go with the heated cab, your family will thank you and everyone will be much happier.
    BK

  6. #6

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    Go with the Duckworth , The first thing to think in this deal is to keep the little wife WARM and HAPPY and then everthing else will fall in place. Nothing is as bad as trying to deal with things that happen on the rivers and trying to keep the wife and kids warm. One thing that you will find in running the rivers in Alaska is that God never put warm air about two feet off of the water at the height of the average river boat. Good Luck

  7. #7
    Member Yukoner's Avatar
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    My $.02.
    Nothing wrong with the Duckworth, but if it was me, I'd wait for a rig with a Hamilton 212. Some good deals out there right now. There was a nice Wooldridge Classic with a 350 and a 212 in Anchorage.
    Never wrestle with a pig.
    you both get dirty;
    the Pig likes it.

  8. #8
    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    A happy wife makes for a nice trip! Heated cab!
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"

  9. #9
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    I have to side with the windshield, top, and heater for the family. I would also wait for a boat with a Hamilton 212 if you are sticking with an inboard. Much better jet unit for hauling loads and digesting rocks and sticks. If you go with an outboard you can add a diesel fired heater which is even something to think about if running an inboard since that will give you good dry heat without the motor running.

  10. #10
    Member tzieli22's Avatar
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    As most the others say, Duckworth with out a doubt. Good hull, then heat, windshield and top, trust us even without the wife/kids excuse... It's all goooodddd. But having another boat for the skinny waters is also nice too - you can't have to many.

    +4 too for the 212 pump on the inboard.you also won't like the AT309 pump if you want to carry a load.
    Tony

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    Quote Originally Posted by Branr1 View Post
    I've been looking at purchasing a new to me River jet boat for the past 2 months. I have narrowed it down to a used Flat bottom Alumaweld 20" long 60" bottom Sled with a Suzuki DF140 jet that has only 20 hours or a 2003 Duckworth Advantage inboard jet boat that has a Chevy 350 and AT309 pump with about 200 hours. For discussions purposes lets say the prices are the same around $14500 both have equally nice trailers. The Alumaweld is a 1992 hull and like I stated the motor is about 1 year old with 20 hours. Both boats are in very good shape. I'm torn because there both good boats but there also different types with one being inboard and the other an outboard and one being open and the other is a windshield boat. My main usage will be exploring Mat-Su rivers with some fishing thrown in. I'll have my wife and two kids as my crew.
    Both have advantages, both have disadvantages. Point A to point B will be more comfortable in a cabin. Once there? Fishing will be better in the open boat. The inboard will be heavier and will need more water. More limiting for where you'll be able to take it in rivers. The open boat will go through short cuts the inboards won't travel. It'll run shallower and will get you into places the inboard guys can't go. When you drive it aground? Advantage outbard sled. But on the other hand, if you're wanting to occasionally play in the salt? Flat sleds aren't the best choice. For close range running I'd take the open boat every time. for long ranging I'd prefer a cabin with a heater/defroster. If you go exploring do you see yourself in a cruiser station wagon or a jeep? Different strokes for different folks.

  12. #12

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    It's real easy to put a windshield and top on the outboard, then a big buddy heater and the wife and kids are happy!

  13. #13

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    There is a big differance in heat of a heater in a inboard and a big buddy heater. The hotwater heat from the inboard is dry and the propane heater in putting out mass amounts of condensation leaving the windows with a constant fog.

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    Outboard jets leave a lot to be desired. The loose 30% of their Horse Power due to the right angle design. They are OK on small lightweight Jon Boats but do not work as well on bigger hulls. I thing the inboard with the linear flow pump is the way to go, especially if you are taking the wife and family, you definitely want top and heater.

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    Smile

    I purchased the Duckworth. I drove to Fairbanks with the kids and we bought it Thursday and towed it home. I had the Boat Shop look it over and they thought it was in great shape and a good deal. I took it out on Lake Lucille with the family yesterday evening and it ran great and the jet worked well. This jet has the Split Duct Reverse and man that's a huge change to the Almar I had 6 years ago it just had the standard reverse buckets on its Hamilton 773.

    I may in the future still get a John Boat but ill have to wait if I want to stay married.

  16. #16
    Member 907pride's Avatar
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    Congratulations on the new boat. Now you just need to post photos. If you ever need anybody to make a river run with, let me know. It's never good to take your maiden river voyage by yourself on a new jetboat. I would definitely recommend getting another boat to go with for the first time.

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    Member tzieli22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 907pride View Post
    Congratulations on the new boat. Now you just need to post photos. If you ever need anybody to make a river run with, let me know. It's never good to take your maiden river voyage by yourself on a new jetboat. I would definitely recommend getting another boat to go with for the first time.
    +1 for 907pride, some of the best advice for any new boater or if your new to a new area . Luckily we have high water right now but normally this time of year water gets skinny. Be careful but enjoy your new boat with your family
    Tony

  18. #18

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    Did you try out the heater???????

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bend View Post
    Did you try out the heater???????
    Yes and it made the family happy which made me happy. I'm sure ill miss the Shallow water ability of the John Boat next summer but the the heater and enclosure will be nice. I'm going to keep my eye out for a cheaper John Boat for the skinny stuff.

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    What are you overall impressions of the Duckworth? How does it handle, corner etc.? Did everything work on it as advertised? What did you think of the single stage jet vs. 3 stage on the Almar? I've often thought of switching from my flat bottom outboard jet to an inboard jet for the enclosure and load handling abilities.

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