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Thread: Small jet boat recommendations

  1. #1
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    Default Small jet boat recommendations

    I live in AL and run small rivers that are rocky(bad rocks attached to bottom, not free-stone type stuff) and am looking into getting jet setup. I'm not running big water, just REAL skinny stuff. Mostly want to use the boat to access water for wade fishing but would like to be able to paddle/ trolling motor the boat a little to fish a few deeper rivers. I will typically be carrying only one other person and myself and we are under 200lbs each. I also would like the boat to be as light as possible so that I could have the option to drag up shoals small distances.

    I've done alot of looking and appears that I would not want a boat any smaller than a 1648 or motor smaller than 60/40 merc. Does that sound right to you guys? I'd love to get smaller but sounds like when you consider everything a 16 footer with at least this HP is just better all around. Big question now is riveted or welded boat. I like the price and lighter weight of riveted boat but do you guys think I would destroy much quicker than welded? Could you put something like Duraslick UHMW on bottom of riveted boat to increase lifespan and does anyone have experience with that stuff? Also, would you guys recommend tiller steering or remote for tight small rivers? Basically just want cheapest option that will work but don't want to waste money on total junk in the process. Thanks in advance for any insight.

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    Your cheapest and easiest way to do this is a 16 or 18 foot riveted boat, wider the better, lighter the better. Minimum would be a 40/30 jet 50 or 60 powerhead would be even better but the extra weight in the back can give you balance issues and then you lose what you may have gained. As long as you aren't packing a ton of stuff, you can easily put two adults and gear in a boat as described and run some really skinny stuff. While the welded boat is attractive for durability, it's also more expensive. Surely in alabam there are riveted jon's in everyone's backyard you can pick up cheap, tighten the rivets and get a plate for the back to mount up the motor. IF you wang it up so bad it's junk.....then get another one and do it again. A tiller will give you the most responsive small water boat. Coat the bottom thoroughly with Gluvit, I did this to a riveted lund and a couple lowe jon boats and it lets you slide off rocks instead of stick, and itkeeps your rivets from rattling loose as much. It also really slicks the bottom up for sliding around corners but do some test runs on flat water so you don't spin out. The stuff on my 18 ft lund actually slicked it enough that I could slide a vee hull boat to some extent.

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    Member Jimw's Avatar
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    dingy.JPG

    Get one of these and run almost any water you want. UHMW covered bottom, stomp grate, and light enough one person and pretty much drag it back into the water. on step 4" of water is all you need, it will dang near run in a mud puddle
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    Catch It - Where can you buy Gluvit in Juneau?

    Sobie2

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    Alweld makes a great welded flat bottom. They build them in Arkansas. Lot of those gator hunting fellas run them. I've been running mine for a couple of years and am more than happy with it.

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    I want one of these bad!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimw View Post
    dingy.JPG

    Get one of these and run almost any water you want. UHMW covered bottom, stomp grate, and light enough one person and pretty much drag it back into the water. on step 4" of water is all you need, it will dang near run in a mud puddle
    27' Wooldridge Super Sport Offshore Pilothouse PRIME TIME!
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    What is this thing?
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    I want one of these bad!!!!!!

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    10 to 12' long skinny water runner. Light weight with either a sowmachine or other small motor powered jet unit. Search the net for mini jet boat alaska.
    27' Wooldridge Super Sport Offshore Pilothouse PRIME TIME!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sobie2 View Post
    Catch It - Where can you buy Gluvit in Juneau?

    Sobie2
    No idea, I did this to my boat in Dillingham, but I figure if they had it there, it must be in Juneau as well.

  10. #10

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    RHINO MARINE, INC.
    12322 East State Highway 52
    Hartford, Alabama 36344
    Phone: 334-588-6274
    Watts Line: 1-800-786-3049
    Email: joesmotor@centurytel.net
    Website: www.rhinoboat.com

    Jim Starky of James River Jets installs UHMW on the above hulls.

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    Member fatbacks's Avatar
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    I have a 16' all welded boat with the Mercury 60/40 jet and it is awesome. Lightweight and good power to weight ratio. Went with the Merc because it was a lot cheaper than Yamaha 60/40 and no downsides thus far. Good with 3 people on day trip or two people with overnight gear. Maybe able to haul a moose and two people, but at that point we plan on shuttling loads out. Boat is light enough that I can drag it around myself and get it into some skinny creeks (see photos). Easily runs in 3" water. Would recommend a tiller control or, like I have, a console and put a suicide knob on steering wheel. I would probably get the SeaArk 16' MVJT hull in a perfect world.


    Attachment 80838Attachment 80839

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    Also, good friend has a 16' SeaArk with a Yamaha 40/30 jet and seems like it has a good amount of power for day trips with minimal gear. Pretty fun boat to rip around on.

    Attachment 80840

  13. #13

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    If you want the lighted most capable boat for "REAL skinny stuff" I'd stay in the 48" or 54" MAX for the bottom width. As far as length goes, I'd stick with 16' or even 14' if all you need to do is transport two people with fishing gear. I'd look for a 1/8" or 3/16" MAX for the bottom gauge. I'd stick with around 22" side height that is .100 in thickness. I'd definitely get a tunnel hull since you said the rocks are nasty... The tunnel won't necessarily let you go much shallower but will protect your jet foot. As far as riveted vs welded goes, I would ask if you planned on keeping it for a long time. If you only felt like keeping it for a handful of years then riveted would probably... float your boat. I personally wouldn't buy a riveted boat. I'd think about getting pods for the rear for getting up on step faster. The outboard selection depends on the regulations on the body of water you're looking to run. If you can get away with a 2 stroke outboard then I'd look at a Yamaha 40 or 50 hp outboard. Those things are crazy light and have amazing power.

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    Speaking from personal experience I have had boats stoped in shallow spots because the jet foot was the first thing to make contact wit the bottom of the creek and then it starts slowing you down and plowing rocks or sand until you come to a complete stop, with the tunnel you might touch the bottom but a little but can usually make it through if you are on step. And this is almost always the case to get back to our cabin latter the year, I love having a tunnel and wouldn't own a river boat without one.

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    And as far as the flotation pods, one of my buddy's has a 16-54 with a 40 yamaha and pods. And on a light trip to do some day fishing we both had sit as far back as we could to get the back end a little lower in the water so the boat would ride better and we are both 200 lb dudes. I am for sure going to get a pair.

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    Member Jimw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sightfish View Post
    What is this thing?
    a motojet- welded contruction with a jetski motor if i remeber right he went through Riddle to have it made
    2005 20' Weldcraft Sabre XL 350 MP
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    Thanks for all the input and keep it coming! Yeah, unfortunately the custom builds are out of the question due to cost and practicality for fishing so looks like 16' with outboard jet will be the direction I'm headed. So you guys think the jet tunnel would be they way to go? I keep going back and forth on the riveted VS welded considering weight, time till destruction, etc., but seems like for the money it may be worth sucking it up and getting welded. If so, that Sea Ark MVJT looks sweet. Would you guys hesitate to buy a used jet motor? If not, what would be important to consider beyond basic engine stuff (compression, etc.) when evaluating used jet motor? No one buys one of these things to baby it... What about finding good running 2 stroke and putting new jet conversion kit on? Any experiences/suggestions? Things are pretty wide open down here and no HP or engine restrictions.

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    With things warming up I've got the bug for a jet again. I was looking at the crown plastics Duraserf UHMW an was wondering if anyone has experience with this stuff. If it works, I think it would really help out lifespan of boat. I called company today and they said they use an adhesive instead of mechanical fastening BUT the hull has to be flat and you have to use a pretty simple vacuum pump process to stick it on with epoxy. Sounds like will cost about $1000 if you do it yourself on small boat. No one I've spoke with that builds small jet rigs has used it. Do you think the hull has to be a certain thickness to warrant putting on? That is do you think hull will flex under plastic if too thin and cause problems?

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by sightfish View Post
    I was looking at the crown plastics Duraserf UHMW an was wondering if anyone has experience with this stuff.
    I've been back and forth as to trying it. However, Jim Starkey of James River Jets has used this process for years. A quick search should net ya more info.

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    sightfish-

    the lightest boat and least expensive jet I have owned that may work for you is this Grizzly 1648 with a 2001 Merc 20 outboard jet. Im sure you can find the boat easily...good luck with the jet. Merc does not make this unit anymore and I regret selling it. I think the motor was like under 100lbs.. Ive seen them on Craigslist for sale..

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