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Thread: Boat Deprivation

  1. #1

    Default Boat Deprivation

    I miss driving boats on the open water. I have always said, I can do without an ATV but I cannot go without a boat. At the moment I have a sq stern canoe that is not adding up to satisfaction. Even as a small boy I was out on the water on a small pond in Bangore Maine. I have seen the pictures. I grew up on the water. I cannot go without a real boat no longer.

    I have been mulling the idea of buying a boat for a few years now. Most importantly my wife is warm to the idea. Ever since the old airboat was sold I had thought about buying a boat of my own. At first a jon boat mounted with a jet was on my mind. I always looked for a good deal but the idea was in the back of my mind, never on the fore front was a boat. I feel like ATV's are an extinguished fire for my needs and recreational desires. Being on the water in a boat is where I am happy. I am a fisherman at heart and a boat can get me to the spots I aspire to fish. Almost equally important of the warm wife idea a boat can load the entire familly, and ATV cannot.

    Here is my choices. Within the next 2 years I have set a goal for myself, that would be to buy a river boat. Airboat or jet boat are on the agenda at the moment. Large inboard jets are not my thing and I tend to stay away from them, its more preferance than anything. calndux posts made me forget how much I miss running airboats and I have over 1000 hours on our previous airboat with the new engine and tach. I cant even recall how many ours I have on the old Rotax egnine, I assume its roughly the same as the new. I have some time driving inboard jets and some in outboard jets, but I am still green. I am inclined to stay with I know, I am still unsure though.

  2. #2
    Member Crumm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Gremlin
    I can do without an ATV but I cannot go without a boat. Almost equally important of the warm wife idea a boat can load the entire family, and ATV cannot.
    Get a Jetcraft XS or a Phantom Sportjon and not only can you take the family you can also take the ATV along. While they are inboards they are not big inboards. 21' with a 200hp Sportjet engine. Very lightweight, maneuverable and will pack a load. About the best boats around for shallow Alaska rivers.



  3. #3
    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    I also agree with the Jetcraft XS. Hopefully picking the new one up this weekend. Very light for an inboard jetboat and plenty of power.

    We've had an airboat for 3 years and personally loved it. I WILL have another again. After spending time in these jetboats this summer we sold the airboat. We can go almost everywhere we've been in the airboat(in our area) and it's a lot better on fuel. This is compaired to the 454 which got 11 to 15 gph. The Jetcraft is the next best thing to an airboat IMHO.

  4. #4
    Member calndux's Avatar
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    Default Airboat draw back....

    Mod elan....

    Let us know how you do on fuel consumption when you get it broke in...I have a 350 in a heavy airboat and I burn on average 7 to 8 gph...not as good as most jetboats and the other thing is insurance. If you have to finance a airboat, insurance is twice as much...with that said I do prefer the airboat for my wants/needs, but when I hit the lottery I will by some sort of a jet cause I can't afford another boat now.

    My wife said I could have one toy...so I picked the airboat. There are some things I would like different, but I am greatful I could by this boat.

    gremlin....I had to wait many years, I hope you don't have to wait so long...

    Good days on the water and hope to see you guys on the rivers.

  5. #5
    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    I bought an 03' 19' Thunderjet with a 175hp Sportjet. From what I was told, they don't sell them anymore with the sportjet so I am glad I got this one when I did (due to emmissions). It offers more room to fish out of the back than one with a V8 stuffed in there. It performs very well even with a full load. Part of the reason I chose this boat is that I grew tired of running the same old river all the time or got bored between runs. This offers the ability to search the salt water in those off times. Now that I have a couple years in this boat I have found that I enjoy the salt alot more. You never have crowds and there is much more to be seen. The wife and I have been discussing getting rid of the Thunderjet and getting some sort of ocean boat that we can at least spend a weekend on comfortably. That being said I have done and have alot more research to do. Its looking like I will have a similar 2 yr goal. On another note, Inboard jets with a similar reversing cup design to the sportjet will outmanuever any outboard jet. There is alot more performance if the river gets tricky with an inboard but at the same time if you stick one they don't remove as easy as a jon boat. If I was strickly going to get a river boat I would seriously entertain the Phantom Sportjon if you like shallow water.

  6. #6
    Member Jimw's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I like my big river tub. 7 people and two coolers full of soda up 20 mile to the forks this past weekend and it did'nt miss a beat. 1300 lbs worth of people and gear running 28 mph up stream and 34 mph down at 8-10 gph it sucks some gas,but I can live with that.

  7. #7
    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    Default XS update

    First of all I want to say I'm not selling anything. This is just an update on the new boat for those of you that asked.

    Over 200 miles on the Jetcraft XS this weekend and love it. About 12 hours for the weekend and averaged 5.48 gph. I ran the numbers several times as I did not believe it. This was running 20-25 mph on the GPS with 3 people in the boat and our day trip gear, so it was a lite load. Looking forward to seeing what it uses with a load in it. The Smartcraft gauge is worth every penny. It was dead on for fuel used every time at the pump. The boat is loaded with all kinds of options.

    In addition I will regrettably admit the new is now knocked off. I have to recalibrate my airboat instincts for this type of boat. It will go very shallow, but does not fair well on a step-up gravel bar even with water flowing over the bar. Another guy gave us a trick to try for the next time, but I'll hold off on that for awhile. Doesn't help when the copilot yells "gunnit!" either. Oh well, a couple small dents and some scratches build character. With two of us in the water we had this super lite boat turned around and back in the channel in 20 minutes. Safe boating!

  8. #8

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    I checked out the Jetcraft XS website and watched some of their shallow water videos. Looks impressive if you ask me. I suppose you do not get any shallower than a bone dry gravel bar huh? :-)

  9. #9
    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    Very impressive. I'm just glad everyone saw it coming and no one was hurt. Slaming into the windshield doing 40 probably wouldn't be a good thing Hmmmmm..........seatbelts for novice drivers might help!

  10. #10
    Member Crumm's Avatar
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    mod elan, I see you are in Glennallen. I lived there for a few years myself. Do you have any plans of running your XS up the Klutina? I was taking a hard look at it this weekend when on the way to and from Valdez. I think it would be doable in the XS but I want you to try it first I now have around 60 hours on my XS and have enjoyed every minute of it. No regrets here either. You will enjoy it more now that the new is knocked off. I waited until my second trip to knock the new off of mine..

  11. #11
    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    Default Klutina

    I don't know how soon we'll try the Klutina. I was in a Phantom 20-06 on the Copper a while back. They have a deeper tunnel hull and it really didn't like the rough water. It kept cavitating bad and we couldn't run very fast. I'm thinking the XS will be a little better with the shallower tunnel and a little more weight than the 20-06. A friend of mine has a '87 Alamar? with a 351 in it that we'll probably go up it in first. We already took his up the Tazlina to the lake this summer and it wasn't too bad. It takes the waves a lot better than the XS does though. We're waiting for the factory to figure out the plastic for the bottom, then we'll probably try the Klutina after the plastic is on. I raft it so I'm familiar with the bad sections. If you can keep off the rocks, but still run in the shallows and skirt the rough stuff it should be a breeze in the XS. The biggest thing on the Klutina is during fishing season dealing with all the traffic. Throw that in with coming down stream and things can happen fast!

    Crumm-Did you take yours out fishing in Valdez last weekend? We're going this weekend and was curious how it does in the big water.

  12. #12
    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    Default Crumm

    Also was curious on why you went with a dual axle trailer. Does it ride smoother with two lighter axles instead of one heavy axle?

  13. #13
    Member Crumm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mod elan
    I don't know how soon we'll try the Klutina. I was in a Phantom 20-06 on the Copper a while back. They have a deeper tunnel hull and it really didn't like the rough water. It kept cavitating bad and we couldn't run very fast.
    If you notice on the 20-06 and the Sportjon which are the same hull the console, fuel tanks, seats and everything else is way in the back of the boat. The reason is without most of the load in the back they will cavitate. The XS has a different design and does not cavitate near as easy. I have hauled a 4-wheeler in the bow with nothing in the rear of the boat and did not cavitate at all. You cannot do that in a Sportjon. You will cavitate a little over the big stuff but nothing like a phantom. Problem with a river like the Klutina in a open bow boat is taking waves over the bow.

    Quote Originally Posted by mod elan
    Crumm-Did you take yours out fishing in Valdez last weekend? We're going this weekend and was curious how it does in the big water.
    Yes I did and I also had it down there last year. They do OK in the big water but don't expect a Cadillac ride. I went out to Jacks Bay and coming back I had to hold it back to about 30 mph to keep from beating out my teeth. Really the only gripe I have from the trip is the top does drip a little when it rains on it for 3 days straight. The XS is not the ideal hull for water like Valdez but for the once a year I make it down there it does just fine. Any boat better suited for Valdez would not do the shallow stuff like the XS is designed to do. I have a battery mounted in the bow to run my recovery winch but before I headed down there I removed it and all the recovery gear I pack in the bow compartment to lighten up the front. With nothing in the bow except a couple of coolers I never came close to taking any water over the bow and I did encounter some fairly large waves from time to time.


    Quote Originally Posted by mod elan
    Also was curious on why you went with a dual axle trailer. Does it ride smoother with two lighter axles instead of one heavy axle?
    Rides much better with two axles especially on our fine roads in Alaska. The axles are not necessarily lighter as the tandem axle trailer has a weight rating of something like 4800 lbs as where the single axle that comes with the XS is rated at 2800 lbs. The better ride comes from the rocker box in between the axles and the two axles spread the load over more than one bump at a time. I had a single axle trailer last year when I went to Valdez and the ride this year was 100% better with the tandem. The tandem axle also has hydraulic 4 wheel disk brakes and while not necessary they are nice in a panic stop. Having two extra tires to replace when they are worn out is the only drawback. Having the two extra tires is also nice if you get more than one flat as you can remove a flat tire and chain the axle up making it a single axle.

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    Member Crumm's Avatar
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    I forgot to add that when you load up a 4-wheeler, weeks worth of hunting gear, full tank of gas and few drums of gas and then return home with a few moose the 2800 lb trailer is very overloaded. With the single axle you have to load all the gear in the truck and then trans-load it at the landing.

  15. #15
    Member Crumm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Gremlin
    I checked out the Jetcraft XS website and watched some of their shallow water videos. Looks impressive if you ask me. I suppose you do not get any shallower than a bone dry gravel bar huh? :-)
    Are you talking about the videos on The Boat Shops website or is there some other videos out there? As far as I know Harbercraft/Jetcraft does not have any XS videos on there site. I don't want to miss a good video

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