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Thread: New Bottom on Sportjon

  1. #1
    Member polarisblake's Avatar
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    Default New Bottom on Sportjon

    I am wondering if anyone has any info about replacing the bottom on a Sportjon, or anything close. Also anyone have a guess as to how much replacing the bottom on a jet boat would cost?

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    Talk to Karods Welding in fairbainks. When I was buying a new boat this year I stoped in to find what it would cost to get a few things done. I had heard some things a bout the sportjohn and asked a few questions. And no the problem was not the boat (bottom) itself but other things as the way that they were operated. He had Replaced bottoms. He did some work for me on my old boat and it was first rate and I did not have a problem with the price.

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    I too have heard good things of Karold's Welding. What happened to the bottom? Also remember you had the plastic. How has that held up?

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    Member polarisblake's Avatar
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    Default bottom questionable at best

    Yes I did have the plastic bottom but the rear around the intake de-laminated so I have to say I was less than impressed with its application. The real problem is that you have all that weight in the back and its all on 1/8" alluminum. I would like to have a 1/4" bottom on it. I think this will be the best with the setup I have. The guys at compeaus think its to heavy but for a 21' boat 1/8" is just too thin. Also for a boat that is supposed to be used and abused to put glorified alluminum foil on the bottom isn't the best boat building design I have ever seen. Still for a boat that is relatively new in design it tops everything!!!

    PS- Mod are you enjoying yours? Any complaints?

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    Member AKRoadkill's Avatar
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    I'm taking my SportJon in to Greatland Welding off the Palmer-Wasilla Hiway tomorrow for wreck repair. If he's not too busy I'll ask about what it'd cost to put a 3/16 or 1/4 inch bottom on it. If I get the info, I'll post a reply here.

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    Our XS is doing fine. We put over 50 hours on it last fall alone. The new ones have an even better grade aluminum bottom to help with hitting stationary objects. I don't know about going with 1/4" on these type of boats. I think if you went with the better grade 3/16" and maybe bolted on plastic it would be just fine. There are guys with big inboards that don't like the weight of the 1/4" bottom. If you are mainly hitting the rear portion of the boat, could you add another section of 1/8" to double it? I've seen an XS with an extra 8'x16" section welded to the keel right in front of the tunnel. You must be running some crazy stuff to have this much trouble with it. Not saying it wasn't designed to do it.

    2 questions:
    Would insurance cover the replacement bottom?
    Will Phantom warranty the delaminating plastic?

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    Member AKRoadkill's Avatar
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    Gary at Greatland told me it'd be very expensive and counterproductive to weld a thicker bottom on a SportJon. It'd add too much weight to make it worthwhile. I think if I had to have a thicker bottom, I'd sell the SportJon and get a Jetcraft XS.

    My SportJon is now in there and should be repaired by this weekend.

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    I'd love to have 1/4" on mine. I wouldn't mind packing around the extra weight.

    For a 6'x20' bottom: 209lbs for 1/8", 318lbs for 3/16", 418lbs for 1/4".

    I don't think I would be able to tell the differance between the 3 boats if all else was the same.

  9. #9

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    My insurance has told me that they will cover repairing or replacing the bottom in the case that it is needed. For the rivers I run, it is cheap insurance at around $300 per year. I've got it through State Farm.

    I would like to see a 3/16th inch bottom on Compeau's boats, but on the flip side, 1/8th inch has worked for me just fine so far, and it's got some character under there.

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    Default grade of aluminum matters

    Some of this discussion came up in a thread by Glacier Shaker about UHMW on boats. One of the things I pointed out is the same you are and that is the thickness difference betweent the XS and SJ.
    Don't forget though that the 6000 series aluminum on the XS is harder than the 5000 series on she SJ. Your welder of choice will know the difference. I suggest you opt for the extra cost of the 6000 series.
    Somebody voiced my opinion also when the suggested a 1/4" bottom near the stearn. Quachita did the same thing eons ago with their thin bottom riveted flat bottom boats. My boat is over 25 years old and the 1/4" jet plate extending 4' forward from the stearn is still as straight as the day it was installed.
    As far as the extra weight goes, I would rather have a boat get me there and home again. I can always go a bit lighter and rough it if needed.

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    The alloy on the XS hull is 5086.

    The optional aluminum skid plate is 6010. Or you can get steel (QT-100) skid plate or UHMW skid plate.

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    Thumbs up $$$$$

    From experience....10 years ago...went were no man had gone before in a jet boat and paid the price.

    Replaced the entire bottom, including strakes, some strigers and ribs. I also had to get a new intake platform and impeller.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gas to go moose hunting.....$300

    Enough booze to last 4 guys a week....$800

    Replacing the bottom on your new jetboat...$13,500

    Having airboaters ask you "How the hell did you get this thing up this far"?.....priceless.

    Might want to just beat the ***** out of it then call the insurance co.

    Have fun....Skinny!

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    Whoops, skidplate is 6061.

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    Member Deak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinnyriver View Post
    From experience....10 years ago...went were no man had gone before in a jet boat and paid the price.

    Replaced the entire bottom, including strakes, some strigers and ribs. I also had to get a new intake platform and impeller.
    How did you ruin the entire bottom? What did you hit? It sounds like you have a good story, care to tell it?

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    Cool The incident...

    I prefer not to delv into the details, mainly due to the fact that I might relapse into PTSD. It was pretty traumatic, to say the least.
    Let's just say that you could see the Charley River from the headwaters of the river I was navigating. (I'll let you figure it out).
    My friends nicknamed me "billy goat" after that trip, cause we were climbing mountains in the jetboat. Saw lots of sheep on our moose hunt though. Worst part..no moose.

  16. #16

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    So, billy goat, when are you going to retrieve the Compeau's sign?

  17. #17
    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    Is there really a sign?

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    Default Sign....shmign

    I suppose if I wanted to climb the Goodpaster I could get the sign, but I challenge you to find the 12" diameter Yellow metal smiley face hanging in the spruce tree on the north bank about 17 miles upstream from were Craig put his sign. I don't have a $500 reward for it, but I'd sure like to see someone else get it and tell the story.

    By the way....I wasn't running the Goodpaster where the damaged occured, so guess again! The smiley face was a different time and a different boat.

    Oh, and my incident occurred almost 10 yrs ago before they had all these light weight, tunnel-hulled, sport-jet powered boats. I was running a good 'ol 21', 351 powered jet boat with 4 guys/gear and enough gas to get us in trouble. Thank God for stout aluminum hulls.

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    Default upper Salcha late season

    Several years ago 2 friends took a Hewes craft 19' River Runner with a 302 up the Salcha for the late season moose hunt. They got up really high. But, so was the water. They did not notice the water falling, and by the time they did, most of the water below them was gone. OOOPPPs.
    So out they came, piece by piece. but did not get far. Seemed to find every rock in the river, and at one point got deflected on to dry ground which was littered with watermelon sized rocks. One of the guys took out the windshield with his head. Later I teased him there was no sense in being in a hurry to put out the anchor, the boat was NOT going anywhere.
    Day or so later they are not home so I go airborne and start to look. They are up in no mans land and the water is still coming down. Crudola!
    We took a radio and gear and did an air drop to get info. They had lots of broken parts and could not get going again, so back to town for the parts. Next day, bad wx, low clouds, here we go again for another air drop.
    No place to land with the plane we had. Helicopter would have been nice. Back to town to find help. the rescue ranger came in the form of some guys out at Salcha Rescue. Hip hip Hooray! Don't recall their names, but they met me the next icy cold morning at the Salch launch with an airboat. I got dressed to sit outside the cab for a several hour ride upriver. We finally found them a bit lower than the last airdrop. they had made progress, but slowly.
    That boat has not been the same since, neither has my freind who really does drive a river well. He is a bit gunshy now.

  20. #20
    Member polarisblake's Avatar
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    Default Boat Destruction

    Well thanks for all the help. Not in the way of pricing a new bottom but finding out that there are other crazy SOB's on the rivers. I too have tempted fate. Last year a buddy and myself ended up walking/bouncing back through a canyon thus begining my boat destruction ways. Anyways thanks again and keep the stories coming.

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