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Thread: sportjon vs predator

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    Default sportjon vs predator

    just wondering how tough and durable the sportjon hull is,or isnt. i here talk that lots of the sportjons end up at the welding shop to have the bottoms fixed. then i hear owners swearing there the greatest thing since sliced bread. are the seaark predators more durable? thanks

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    Member Xerophobic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by autumn View Post
    just wondering how tough and durable the sportjon hull is,or isnt. i here talk that lots of the sportjons end up at the welding shop to have the bottoms fixed. then i hear owners swearing there the greatest thing since sliced bread. are the seaark predators more durable? thanks
    What about us!?!

    hehe
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    Xerophobic,

    Well what about you? How long is it, what is the thickness of the hull, and what is the price?

    Autumn,

    I have a Seaark but not predator. Just a tunnel. Their metal on my skiff is .100 In my experience it has withstood my learning to jetboat but it is showing its age. No cracks or major damage from running rivers but from big seas getting to the rivers. Not a concern for you. I can say this with either of those boats you are asking about since the boats can go shallower than you should (however addicting it is to run shallow) it only takes 1 larger than normal rock in the stretch to throw you off. I am convinced that UMHW is the only way to fly.

    The sportjon issue is most likely from damaged caused when loaded. Any light boat will skip over and obstruction it is when you get loaded down that you encounter punctures, tears, and broken welds. We alaskans like to travel out into the wild with all sorts of gear.

    Sobie2

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    Member Xerophobic's Avatar
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    Just released the boat, only built two so far and the third one will be VERY different(thats all I can say at this time)

    20 feet
    92" beam
    3/16" hull (we won't build lighter)
    8 degree delta bottom
    48" UHMW standard (3/8" thick)
    250l fuel tank
    72" bottom
    28" sides (0.125)
    4 box stringers
    Zolatone interior and gunnels
    200 SJ w/SS impeller and EZ clean
    Galvanized trailer
    etc etc

    Tests were done with a tunnel design and we were not impressed with the performance under adverse conditions and therefore we chose not to build this boat with the "more common" tunnel design

    No gimmicks, no missing options, everything included for

    $39 600

    Cheers
    Skinny water addict

  5. #5
    Member OzAK's Avatar
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    Default What about...

    Xero, just some questions, and I promise I won't (I hope) start a fight!! This is all relative as everyone asks it and wants to know. What's it weigh?? Based on what I've seen, it's a nice hull, as is the XS. Stout is the word. 6061 and 5086 will get you to that end. I work with aluminum a lot, and that is almost as good as it gets and the alternatives won't change it enough to matter. As with anything though, you don't get something for nothing and boats really bring this out in spades. Power to weight is what it is. That will never change so when everyone starts their boat bashing I just sit back and think what does anyone expect? The SportJon performs like it does because it's lighter than the XS due to thinner materials, the hull is built in a different configuration and a degree less DR. More than likely it will perform to whatever extent better than yours too, but at what cost and I'm not talking purchase price here. It's whatever a guy wants or can live with I suppose. Personally I don't like the way the XS handles in extreme driving situations, doesn't hold tight enough for me. I would love to drive one of yours too, if I ever get the chance I will.

    I'm quite interested in what you found you didn't like about the tunnels, and what you ended up with. What do you classify as adverse conditions? Also what you are going to do in subsequent production for changes. That I'll have to hide and watch. I'm telling you, there's enough of a market in the SportJon here that Phantom has shut down production on their entire product line and gone to building just that hull and the longer 24' Herc and the demand still exceeds production. I agree it's not the best hull but it's marketed well and it really works. There's some bad press still out there about it as well from some of the earlier production boats that weren't without their growing pains. Production beef-ups have helped but it is still made of 5052H32 (the hull, and is .125). I could go on for awhile about this but will shut up now. Maybe more later.

    SportJon vs Predator question- The Predator has its redeeming qualities but someone - Please- Go teach those Arkansas guys how to weld or at least set up their machines. Bar none, the Predators I've looked at (and other SeaArks as well) but mostly the Predator, have had the lousiest examples of welding I've ever seen on a production item that is being sold to the consumer. I'd be ashamed to put something like that out for sale. No. I won't sugar coat it. Later, Oz

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    Member tjm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OzAK View Post
    Personally I don't like the way the XS handles in extreme driving situations, doesn't hold tight enough for me.
    Perhaps it's because I'm still a rookie but I'm curious what you consider extreme? High speed? Tight and shallow? I'm not sure I follow the tight holding part either. I'm not trying to be a smart A, just an honest question from a new XS owner....

  7. #7
    Member Xerophobic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OzAK View Post
    Xero, just some questions, and I promise I won't (I hope) start a fight!! This is all relative as everyone asks it and wants to know. What's it weigh?? Based on what I've seen, it's a nice hull, as is the XS. Stout is the word. 6061 and 5086 will get you to that end. I work with aluminum a lot, and that is almost as good as it gets and the alternatives won't change it enough to matter. As with anything though, you don't get something for nothing and boats really bring this out in spades. Power to weight is what it is. That will never change so when everyone starts their boat bashing I just sit back and think what does anyone expect? The SportJon performs like it does because it's lighter than the XS due to thinner materials, the hull is built in a different configuration and a degree less DR. More than likely it will perform to whatever extent better than yours too, but at what cost and I'm not talking purchase price here. It's whatever a guy wants or can live with I suppose. Personally I don't like the way the XS handles in extreme driving situations, doesn't hold tight enough for me. I would love to drive one of yours too, if I ever get the chance I will.

    I'm quite interested in what you found you didn't like about the tunnels, and what you ended up with. What do you classify as adverse conditions? Also what you are going to do in subsequent production for changes. That I'll have to hide and watch. I'm telling you, there's enough of a market in the SportJon here that Phantom has shut down production on their entire product line and gone to building just that hull and the longer 24' Herc and the demand still exceeds production. I agree it's not the best hull but it's marketed well and it really works. There's some bad press still out there about it as well from some of the earlier production boats that weren't without their growing pains. Production beef-ups have helped but it is still made of 5052H32 (the hull, and is .125). I could go on for awhile about this but will shut up now. Maybe more later.

    SportJon vs Predator question- The Predator has its redeeming qualities but someone - Please- Go teach those Arkansas guys how to weld or at least set up their machines. Bar none, the Predators I've looked at (and other SeaArks as well) but mostly the Predator, have had the lousiest examples of welding I've ever seen on a production item that is being sold to the consumer. I'd be ashamed to put something like that out for sale. No. I won't sugar coat it. Later, Oz
    I sure hope this doesnt start a fight either, too busy and more important things to do than fight(like boat! )

    Anyway to be honest I dont think we've even got that far as to have a dry weight yet. The first boat(as shown) flew out the door as soon as the paint was (?) dry to our dealer in Grande Prairie and the 2nd is just about finished. I can ask them to work on that for me and keep you posted.

    I agree you can get great performance out of a boat by making it light (we built alot of world beating raceboats). What Im not too sure I can agree with is marketing that same boat as a "go anywhere" extreme boat when its really not built for that purpose. Yes this boat will run shallow and it will get alot of places some won't due to sheer bottom area and relative weight. However it will not replace a well designed and re-enforced bottom for rock bashing in extreme hardcore river use, period. Our Tomcat line(and I know AK will attest to this) will take many many times the beating any of these three boats will and never see a welding shop. We would guarantee that. Are they heavier? of course but if you're going to bash bottom repeatedly you better have the hardware to get you back to the ramp, everytime.

    Hopefully we can get one of these boats out to AK and maybe even find a dealer for them, I know right now Chris is yelling "pick me, pick me" lol

    Sorry I cannot say anything else about boat #3

    In a nutshell under adverse conditions (running shallow, hard cornering etc) we saw too much cavitation. I can tell you with alot of confidence the person doing those trials has ALOT of jetboat experience and Im not about to question that final decision. He does a fair amount of pretty extreme boating

    Hope this helps

    Cheers
    Skinny water addict

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    Member Crumm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xerophobic View Post
    Tests were done with a tunnel design and we were not impressed with the performance under adverse conditions and therefore we chose not to build this boat with the "more common" tunnel design
    Did you try other tunnel designs? All tunnels are not created equal. The Jetcraft XS, Phantom Sportjon and SeaArk Predator all have a little different design in there tunnel and they all perform differently in different situations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crumm View Post
    Did you try other tunnel designs? All tunnels are not created equal. The Jetcraft XS, Phantom Sportjon and SeaArk Predator all have a little different design in there tunnel and they all perform differently in different situations.
    Yes we tried several variations and also drew on past expereince with tunnel jets.
    We also drove/tested other Sportjon style hulls and feel the delta bottom is still superior in shallow waters when turning hard etc

    Cheers
    Skinny water addict

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xerophobic View Post
    Yes we tried several variations and also drew on past expereince with tunnel jets.
    We also drove/tested other Sportjon style hulls and feel the delta bottom is still superior in shallow waters when turning hard etc

    Cheers
    I'm confused with the short falls of the tunnel boats...I must admit I do not know much when it comes to boats. I do know that I have never driven a boat of any kind before last spring. I purchased an XS and that darn thing makes me look like I know what I'm doing..lol....Fast, slow, shallow, deep, twisty, etc...that thing goes where I point it with ease. So I guess my question is this...Are we discussing small nuances or do the other boats just perform much better than the XS?..

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    I don't want to comment on the attributes or lack of with respect to a tunnel hull. I just have found from my experiences that a delta pad boat lifts me higher than others I've run, let me run at least as shallow, and handle exceptionally well when built by some of these outfits.

    I hope I don't come across like a know it all, but I do know this about "bomber" boats... lots say they build em... Outlaw really does... not to say others don't, but I've destroyed lots of supposedly bomber boats and I havent' been able to destroy one of Xeros boats.

    You're right james, I'd be honored to be the guy you all let do this up here!

    I'm not the best driver by any stretch of the imagination, though I do know a few who I think are incredible. I just have a tough time with places like these below, and even the great guys I know seem to tag up hard in them. I've only seen 2 brands of boats make it through stuff like this and go back the next day and do it again... and then run all season long with no problems...






  12. #12

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    Uh oh, that glacial river looks awfully familiar. When do we get to see the pics of the boat going up these narrow channels? Pics like that get my blood going.

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    Seems like I rarely have my camera with when I need it! Here's a couple for you:








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    Member Xerophobic's Avatar
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    THATS what I'm talking about

    Awesome shots Chris we HAVE to go boating together......

    Cheers

    (wont be long now )
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    Skinny water addict

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    Quote Originally Posted by chriso View Post
    I just have a tough time with places like these below. I've only seen 2 brands of boats make it through stuff like this and go back the next day and do it again... and then run all season long with no problems...

    Most people don't go places like those. I would like to have a boat that could but I can't justify the expense of purchasing a boulder proof boat for the rare occasion when I might go someplace like that. The Sportjon, Predator and XS are outselling all other boats in the Alaska shallow boat market because they perform, they will haul a load and because people can afford them. I have not seen any of your boulder proof boats that would be practical for hauling a 4-wheeler and four guys along with there hunting gear to moose camp. On the flip side the XS would not be practical for your glacier jet tours. Hands down the severe duty boats like you run are tougher than the standard shallow water unit but it shows in the price. For the everyday recreational boater the extreme duty that is built into your boats is not necessary nor affordable. It seems as all the shallow water boat threads here and at RiverJet turn into advertisements for the boats you run. Try to keep in mind that all of us don't bash our boats up the same rivers that you do, many of us run rivers that are a little less damaging than the Twentymile. I would someday like to take a trip up to the Knik Glacier but rather than upgrading my $30,000 boat to a $70,000 boat I will just pay you to take me.

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    crumm, whenever you want to take a trip up to the knik glacier let me know, you don't need a boulder basher on the knik, you could easily run yours, I would gladly show you the route or take you along with us, will take you for a trip on the 20 mile if you like also.
    This thread started with a guy wondering how durable the phantom/xs/predator boats were. I have seen a few of each and they are all great boats if used in a way they were intended, but some dealers and salesmen tout them as tougher than they may be, take the sportjon video for example, sure the boat can slide over ice and gravel at speed but if you run one like that day in and day out it is only a mater of time before damage is done. They are tough and light but slide it accross the rocks like that at speed with 4 guy and a 4 wheeler in it too many times and its off to the local welding shop for you. You may not treat your boat like the advertisements and for you it will live a long and happy life but run it with the drive it like you stole it mentality it wont take the punishment.

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    Member OzAK's Avatar
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    I have to agree with the "drive it like you stole it" statement. I have to believe that unless you own the dealership and can afford to write off the demo every season and get a new thrasher every year, the average guy that pursues fish and game anywhere or just likes to boat and has shelled out $30K+ for any of these boats is going to at least try not to tear them up. For that matter and what it's worth, do they all not have a lifetime hull warranty? I'm real sure that the XS does, 100% sure that Phantom does, havn't paid enough attention to the Predator to know. Just some thoughts. Oz

  19. #19

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    Ok, we've seen ODD get togethers in the past. Wouldn't I love to see an ODD boating get together. Name your SC glacial river of choice, and if my boat is a go, I will go as well. That's as long as you guys wouldn't mind an airboat tag along. This might be something to plan in the spring time.

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    Member chriso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crumm View Post
    Most people don't go places like those. I would like to have a boat that could but I can't justify the expense of purchasing a boulder proof boat for the rare occasion when I might go someplace like that. The Sportjon, Predator and XS are outselling all other boats in the Alaska shallow boat market because they perform, they will haul a load and because people can afford them. I have not seen any of your boulder proof boats that would be practical for hauling a 4-wheeler and four guys along with there hunting gear to moose camp. On the flip side the XS would not be practical for your glacier jet tours. Hands down the severe duty boats like you run are tougher than the standard shallow water unit but it shows in the price. For the everyday recreational boater the extreme duty that is built into your boats is not necessary nor affordable. It seems as all the shallow water boat threads here and at RiverJet turn into advertisements for the boats you run. Try to keep in mind that all of us don't bash our boats up the same rivers that you do, many of us run rivers that are a little less damaging than the Twentymile. I would someday like to take a trip up to the Knik Glacier but rather than upgrading my $30,000 boat to a $70,000 boat I will just pay you to take me.
    I'm sure sorry to hear you see my posts in that light Crumm. And I sure feel like you've misunderstood my intent in posting. I've lived and boated in Alaska a lot of years and have paid a lot of dues as far as discovering what has stood up to (I think) typical Alaskan use, and what hasn't. This both in my times privately boating, and in the few years since we've started running tours, where the expense became even greater. I don't care whats the best selling boat in Alaska, I even personally like and respect the guys from Phantom. I mean, back in the day, they all worked for the guy I buy from now until he sold weldcraft and they went on their own. They've developed and market a great boat which I've never put it down, nor will I ever.

    In this thread I was trying to show that anyone considering purchasing a boat shouldn't necessarily rule out a delta pad type craft and secondly to back up Xerophobics past history of building stout craft capable of withstanding the occasinal hard hit (or worse) on a boulder. I've made the bad call and bounced off an occasional boulder or stump on the upper Susitna or Talkeetna rivers, and had my 40K boats never run right again afterwards, even after spending 15K or more to replace the entire bottoms on a couple of them. I can't afford that chance anymore, it's a lot of money to my family. Alls I know is that with a Riddle or Outlaw Eagle, odds are that on that day when I miss the mark and tag up hard, my boats still going to run true and not leak after the fact, and they run pretty shallow to boot.

    As far as expense goes, I paid 40K for that yellow boat of ours. With the additional expense of the full paint job and the custom topsheet subtracted from that it wouldn't be too far off the mark from the price range you're talking about. Nowhere's near the 70K you mentioned (though I have been stuck with a boat costing that much in the past, built by someone else, which cratered the first time I launched it)

    Lastly, (because I love pictures so much) here's a couple pic's of my boat you've probably never seen... same boat, same jig, as much or as little bottom toughness as you want it built with, shorter or longer within a couple feet (16-22 foot I think) less the yellow paint, and less the closed bow and front steering. Probably 30-35K depending on how many custom features you ordered.





    Well... anyone who really knows me knows theres no such thing as "lastly" in my vocabulary. I hang out here and post here because you all are many of the the fellows I grew up with, or at least of the same stripe anyway. We're all sort of stuck here a long ways from most of the manufacturers and their support mechanisms. I've spent too much time sick to my stomach when I've screwed something up and not known where to turn or what to do next, and folks like you have helped me out to come out of those situations at least ok, and occasionally with a whole hide. I'm just trying to return the favor and share my experiences in the hopes someone else has an easier path than I've came across. Likewise as I've stated on the other forums, your money and the money of the other members here who share my love for Alaskan rivers, is no good at our launch. If you do us the honor of making time to spend on the water with us, you'll do it for N/C. I'm up for an ODD group gathering, I'll bring the burgers if Mr Water Gremlin promises not to blow sand on em! I never meant to be an irritant to you or anyone else.

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