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Thread: jet ranger or zodiac

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    Default jet ranger or zodiac

    Just getting some info on what a jet ranger is, compared to a zodiac? Are the jet rangers just smaller? why get a ranger not a zodiac? any info what be great

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oregongoose View Post
    Just getting some info on what a jet ranger is, compared to a zodiac? Are the jet rangers just smaller? why get a ranger not a zodiac? any info what be great
    Jet rangers are made especially to use with a jet, the deign funnels water to the jet and helps prevent cavitation. Zodiacs are made to use with a propeller.
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  3. #3

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    Just wondering for those that have a jet ranger if you have had any issues with the floor ripping/tearing on rocks sticks etc.? It seems to me that an inflatable boat going at jet boat speeds would seem very prone to tears from underwater obstacles. Perhaps a zodiak with a hard bottom might be a better option. I saw a one the other day that had a 25 jet on it. Wonder how much modification it would take to convert a zodiak to be able to run with a jet?

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I use and abuse my JR every year chasing bears around PWS, silvers in DCW and moose up the Koyukuk. I have run it into all kinds of logs, rock etc.. Never had an issues with it, the bottom has a heavy duty coating on it. Even in PWS with the sharp rocks, no problem.







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    Thanks Steve, I am seriously considering purchasing one of these rigs but am hesitant due to the whole inflatable rubber thing. I would hate to drop that much coin only to have it get shredded on a rock somewhere up a creek. Seems however that they pass the durability test though. Is the entire bottom that hard rubber material or is it just on the outer tubes?
    Thanks,
    Luke

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    The entire bottom is protected, with the tubes having the extra Grizzly Claw Armor. There was a JR with engine for sale on the Swap and Sell a while back. I have slid mine across some sharp stuff in PWS getting it to and from the tide line. I have no worries about the durability what so ever after over 6 years of use.

    http://www.alaskaseries.com/alaskan_jet%20ranger.htm
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  7. #7

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    Great info, Thanks

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    you could always get the boat with the aluminum floor. steve, do you think this is necessary for shallow river running?

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdrhunter View Post
    you could always get the boat with the aluminum floor. steve, do you think this is necessary for shallow river running?
    Well, depends on how shallow. In this video I had 3 people and gear. One was 6ft 4in and 225 lbs, will run in 3 inches or so loaded.

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    That is one cool video Stid,

    good to hear the operator slowing down a little bit, now and then,....

    what a great advertisement for that rig tho,...Wow
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    The issues I saw with Zodiacs when I was looking to buy, was the way the transom is attached it hangs down and is the first thing that takes a hard hit. It pinches the rubber and tears at the bottom. With a keel type bottom, that strikes and gets torn up.

    The JR is a niche boat made to be transportable and run shallow. I most often carry it in my boat or vehicle and only use it for short runs. I did take it on a long run from the Fairbanks boat ramp up Salchaket Slough.
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  12. #12

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    i guess it just depends on the terrain. do you think the aluminum would handle the sharp rocks, sticks, or other objects that could puncture the boat better than the grizzly claw bottom?

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdrhunter View Post
    i guess it just depends on the terrain. do you think the aluminum would handle the sharp rocks, sticks, or other objects that could puncture the boat better than the grizzly claw bottom?

    NO,, The JR floor when under way forms a tunnel of sorts, meaning it flexes and really does not hit much, the tubes that have more protection is what runs aground and of course the jet foot. I have had the jet hit rocks and bounce up.

    Think of it like this, which do you think would runner shallower? A Vee bottom boat or a flat bottom?
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    Does the boat come with an adequate patch kit? I like these JR's but not sure about having 2-3 adults, gear, gas. Most videos show one person and the bow stuck way up in the air unless speed is way up? Moving the weight or gear to the front will help this, only reason i am asking is that when you start to slowing down and the bow rises like it does on the smaller rivers your vision is impaired. Would be nice to test drive one before spending 10-12 thousand on JR and motor. Any of you using these have any issues with them? pros, cons....?

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by For Pete Sake View Post
    Does the boat come with an adequate patch kit? I like these JR's but not sure about having 2-3 adults, gear, gas. Most videos show one person and the bow stuck way up in the air unless speed is way up? Moving the weight or gear to the front will help this, only reason i am asking is that when you start to slowing down and the bow rises like it does on the smaller rivers your vision is impaired. Would be nice to test drive one before spending 10-12 thousand on JR and motor. Any of you using these have any issues with them? pros, cons....?
    I routinely haul 3 adults and gear in mine and have hauled 4 but, 4 was the limit for sure. When I run be myself I keep a couple buckets in the raft and fill them with water and close the lids to keep the nose down. I have also used a tiller extension and sat more forward. I have used and abused mine for years and have never put a hole in it or had a leak and I use it in PWS every spring and drag it ashore on the sharp rocks. Tough little boat IMHO, the patch kit was nothing special as I remember just some tear aid if I remember right, but then again I have never needed it in over 6 years of hard use.
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    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    I've had a good variety of rafts, some transomed (Grabner outside)


    some not (Aire traveler.)

    And lots in between...Avon...etc...

    I've had some nice ones and some spendy ones.
    In the future before I'd spend the many (m a n y) thousands on a jet ranger or the like, I'll consider something cheaper by about 9X, and take it in and let the raft guys beef up the bottom with a grizzly armor product.

    The savings are definitely worth the consideration.

    The Saturn...at about $550...1/12th the cost of a JR, has to be worth a shot.
    They have a variety of sizes and the outboard options are rated accordingly. The reviews are surprising great.

    Worth some research; save the $ for a few more trips to Kodiak....
    Proud to be an American!

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    Member For Pete Sake's Avatar
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    Ordered a 430 AJR from Jim, reviews, pics, videos and comments from other users was what made me decide to buy one! Anyone have any more pics of their jet rangers in use?

  18. #18

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    i purchased on as well this week. what jet motor are you going with? steve, what jet motor do you have? thanks.

  19. #19
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Default jet ranger or zodiac

    I have a 2 stroke 25hp Merc Jet.
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    Member For Pete Sake's Avatar
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    i have been looking for a two stroke outboard for the lighter weight, but looks like i may have to go the mercury 4 stroke route they seem to be everywhere, but i have till May to find an outboard.

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