Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Wooldrige Alaskan xl 17

  1. #1

    Default Wooldrige Alaskan xl 17

    I looking at gettin a Alaskan xl 17 maybe 20 footer in the near future . My dilemma is I'm not sure if I want to do the sport jet or do a outboard witch would be a merc optimax. I have run many outboard jets so I'm very familiar with them and have run inboard jets but not a sport jet. I guess I'm looking for anyone that has the sport jet in this model that could chime in and give me their thoughts.

  2. #2

    Default Wooldridge SJ

    Well That was a easy decision for me when I had my 20' Alaskan XL built. I went with the SJ for these reasons.

    Per Mercurys website, the 200 HP Pro XS Optimax is 505# 3.0L V-6

    Optimax SJ 367# complete 2.5L V-6

    138 pounds lighter, sitting lower in the boat and inside the boat rather than hanging off the transom.

    Not to mention the SJ is 190 HP at the pump due to the pump configuration and how it delivers the water. A 200 HP outboard will yeild you 140 HP at the pump. More weight, less power and worse Center of gravity.

    To me it was a no brainer, if you were considering a four stroke outboard, there would be a few different things to consider, but Opti outboard to Opti SJ. to me the choice is clear.

    PM me or stop by the marina and take my boat for a spin to see for yourself how the SJ performs.

    Tom


    Quote Originally Posted by alaskanap View Post
    I looking at gettin a Alaskan xl 17 maybe 20 footer in the near future . My dilemma is I'm not sure if I want to do the sport jet or do a outboard witch would be a merc optimax. I have run many outboard jets so I'm very familiar with them and have run inboard jets but not a sport jet. I guess I'm looking for anyone that has the sport jet in this model that could chime in and give me their thoughts.

  3. #3

    Default

    When you put it that way it sounds even better. Thank you for the offer on trying out your boat but in down here in southeast.

  4. #4
    Member boondockinak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Somewhere North of the lesser 48
    Posts
    72

    Default

    I am a bit biased against the SJ. My PERSONAL experience is that everyone I know with one, has broke the bank with repairs. I don't think that anyone can argue that the performance isn't there. In that regard, they are great. I simply cannot justify the un-reliability that I have seen with them. If and when I build my next jet boat (2272 or 2472 sled), it will either have an inboard v8, or an outboard jet.
    ~Alaska born and raised~ •'04 Duckworth, 5.7 w/ 3-stg. •High side Lowe, '13 Yami 25 prop+Merc 40/30 jet
    •Ranger 6x •CAT atv w/ 27" rubber •A very large moose buggy •M7 153" "Earned, NOT given"

  5. #5

    Default

    What kind of problems do people see with the sport jet?

  6. #6
    Member boondockinak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Somewhere North of the lesser 48
    Posts
    72

    Default

    I apologize, I'm not a whole lot of help without calling an asking some questions, but as I recall they were seal and bearing issues, compiled with motor issues. I'd do a little googling on the matter, and furthermore pick Glenn/Grant's brain. I'm sure there are lots of success stories with them, I've just been privy to only the bad ones.

    -Rob
    ~Alaska born and raised~ •'04 Duckworth, 5.7 w/ 3-stg. •High side Lowe, '13 Yami 25 prop+Merc 40/30 jet
    •Ranger 6x •CAT atv w/ 27" rubber •A very large moose buggy •M7 153" "Earned, NOT given"

  7. #7
    Member Armed_alaskan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Palmer, Alaska
    Posts
    281

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by boondockinak View Post
    I am a bit biased against the SJ. My PERSONAL experience is that everyone I know with one, has broke the bank with repairs. I don't think that anyone can argue that the performance isn't there. In that regard, they are great. I simply cannot justify the un-reliability that I have seen with them. If and when I build my next jet boat (2272 or 2472 sled), it will either have an inboard v8, or an outboard jet.
    I own a 20' Alaskan XL sport jet with the 200 OPI and have not experienced issues of "broke the bank with repairs" I have 110 hours and have used it since 2011 (brand new boat). Glenn Wooldridge and company build great boats and if you've experienced poor reliability with any boat maybe you should find a better boat. The only time I have seen people spend large amounts of money on repairs is really not repairs but additions using after market "stuff" and then the problems creep up and cause other issues. Buy a good boat the first time and you'll be better off, you won't need to "add" after market stuff, then go broke with repairs. Just saying.....

  8. #8
    Member Armed_alaskan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Palmer, Alaska
    Posts
    281

    Default

    So far I haven't had the questionable problems tossed onto the forum, what problems. If you mean hitting sand bars or rock bars or other floating objects in the water, you can place me that category. My boating experience is building every summer and I longer run into sand bars as often. I can navigate the rivers pretty good. What type of boats have you looked at? affordability is the question you'll need to answer to yourself it will help you figure how much it may cost if and when you need older boat repairs.

  9. #9
    Member DanielApplin's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    344

    Default

    If those are your only two options and your set on it I would get the sj if you boat only 100 hours every 4-5 years. If you boat more than that and your options are still only a sj or outboard go with the outboard but make it a Honda or a yamaha, 150 would push a 17 footer nicely. I have seen a 17 footer with an sj in it and it looks like it would be an awesome boat for sure.

  10. #10

    Default

    After working on dozens of SJ boats for four years I decided to buy one for myself. Do they have some issues? Yes but what boat and motor does not? I feel most problems come from lack of care and respect for the motor package. It is a high performance motor and most of the people that have problems seem to drive them like they stole them and do not prescribe to taking care of the beast. I have customers with 700-900 hours on their SJ 200's and they are still running , yes they have had to invest money in them over the years, but like any relationship it takes investment and respect.

    I make more money working on V-8 jet boats and ocean boats than SJ motors.... just saying..

    The Mercury SJ gets some bad press but it is a proven and High HP light weight power package that does what a small block and 212 won't do in the skinny water. The SJ is not a load hauler like the 212, it is a light weight shallow water boat power plant. and It does it quite well.

    The SJ performs well in many hulls and better in some.

    Tom


    Quote Originally Posted by boondockinak View Post
    I apologize, I'm not a whole lot of help without calling an asking some questions, but as I recall they were seal and bearing issues, compiled with motor issues. I'd do a little googling on the matter, and furthermore pick Glenn/Grant's brain. I'm sure there are lots of success stories with them, I've just been privy to only the bad ones.

    -Rob

  11. #11

    Default

    Any boat with a 212, will run as skinny as a spj boat especially when built on a tunnel. The only difference is when you run out of water, it's going to take more effort to drag the boat back to deep water. Weight is the ONLY advantage of the SPJ. When it comes to overall performance in two identical boats, a boat with a 212 will out perform SPJ hands down. I guarantee SPJ won't tow a full size T-Jet down the Knik at 30mph or a full size jet boat 30 miles up the Copper.

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Halibutgrove View Post
    Any boat with a 212, will run as skinny as a spj boat especially when built on a tunnel.
    Any Boat? Nice try..

    Tom

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Halibutgrove View Post
    The difference is when you run out of water, it's going to take more effort to drag the boat back to deep water.
    Agreed. Bigger motor and bigger boat = bigger project to get unstuck.

    Tom

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Halibutgrove View Post
    I guarantee SPJ won't tow a full size T-Jet down the Knik at 30mph or a full size jet boat 30 miles up the Copper.
    Agreed, But I did not buy my SJ to do either and I am betting most owners did not buy theirs for that reason either.

    Tom

  15. #15
    Member DanielApplin's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    344

    Default

    Don't know about the 212, and sorry for keeping this off topic but I personally feel a 3 stage and a small block being abused in the gravel and trash constantly is waaaayyy less matainace than a sj. My dad has an 18 foot extreme shallow with a sj, and I have an 18 foot extreme shallow with a 350 3 stage so I've got the perfect apples to apples comparison, his boat is sweet and they sure are sporty but.....I see zero advantage running them in shallow skinny twisty creeks.

    I like sport jets, they are fun. There are thousands of them inside many kinds of boats for a reason. Just take care of it and learn how to not abuse the pump, by being cautious driving through gravel, idling...and whatever else.

    - go for sport jet

  16. #16

    Default

    Agreed

    Nothing is perfect and some combos work better than others...

    Please be aware that I am NOT advocating that the Mercury SJ is the Save all best power unit out there... However it is a good choice for many applications and owners...

    Tom


    Quote Originally Posted by DanielApplin View Post
    Don't know about the 212, and sorry for keeping this off topic but I personally feel a 3 stage and a small block being abused in the gravel and trash constantly is waaaayyy less matainace than a sj. My dad has an 18 foot extreme shallow with a sj, and I have an 18 foot extreme shallow with a 350 3 stage so I've got the perfect apples to apples comparison, his boat is sweet and they sure are sporty but.....I see zero advantage running them in shallow skinny twisty creeks.

    I like sport jets, they are fun. There are thousands of them inside many kinds of boats for a reason. Just take care of it and learn how to not abuse the pump, by being cautious driving through gravel, idling...and whatever else.

    - go for sport jet

  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    100

    Default

    "I personally feel a 3 stage and a small block being abused in the gravel and trash constantly is waaaayyy less matainace than a sj"

    I have no experience with a 3 stage and Im only chiming in for my personal edification.. What makes this pump less susceptible to damage? Is the rock grate different or can a small block and 3 stage chew up and spit out rocks better than a standard SJ configuration with less damage to the impeller?

    Mike

  18. #18
    Member Armed_alaskan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Palmer, Alaska
    Posts
    281

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Halibutgrove View Post
    Any boat with a 212, will run as skinny as a spj boat especially when built on a tunnel. The only difference is when you run out of water, it's going to take more effort to drag the boat back to deep water. Weight is the ONLY advantage of the SPJ. When it comes to overall performance in two identical boats, a boat with a 212 will out perform SPJ hands down. I guarantee SPJ won't tow a full size T-Jet down the Knik at 30mph or a full size jet boat 30 miles up the Copper.

    I for one agree with you Mel, my 200 hp SJ can not tow a T-Jet up or down a river going faster than a few miles an hour let alone 30+mph. I watched a Big diesel Phantom tow that t-jet from the upper Kink river back to the Kink river launch with zero problems.

  19. #19
    Member DanielApplin's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    344

    Default

    I think it's the way it passes debris, there is still maintanance but I think the biggest thing is not dealing with cavitation, and a fouled pump out on the river. I have never had a stomp grate on mine and never needed one strictly for rocks.

    When it's all said and done you might replace the sport jet impeller each year, but at least there's not 3 of them, I have around 100 hours on my boat this summer already and impellers still seem brand new

  20. #20
    Member Sobie2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Juneau
    Posts
    1,039

    Default

    I'd be inclined to get the SJ 17' AK XL with a poly bottom from WB of the two choices.

    Here in southeast AK, the local Merc shops are also saying that the new Merc four stroke line 115 and 150 hp models are perhaps better than the Optimax, AND those guys (The Outboard Shop, and The Bay Co) love the Optimax motors as jets. I know of friend who had a 150 Optimax on his 20' SeaArk and blew it up and he went to the 150 four stroke and loves it (quieter no more ear muffs even, and better on fuel, but just as peppy).

    I don't have a WB, but I have a SeaArk 1860 MVJT with a Honda 90/65 as a tiller and a Merc 115 four stroke weighs as much as my 90, and a 150 would be mind-bottling (Will Ferrel)!

    Sobie2

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •