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Thread: Thinking about a sportjet

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    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    Default Thinking about a sportjet

    I just can't seem to get the wife convinced to spend the money on a decent ocean boat so I am starting to lean towards a sportjet. This would give me the ability to get out on both the ocean and rivers and at least do some fishing. If anyone has experience with these I would be happy to hear about your opinions. I am interested in boats such as he Hewes Sportsman. I know North River makes one as well but they are pretty rare up here. Also, there was one with white Hewes with a dual axle trailer on Craigslist a couple weeks back. Anyone know if its still available or anyone have one available that isn't too wore out.

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    Member tjm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patrickL View Post
    I just can't seem to get the wife convinced to spend the money on a decent ocean boat so I am starting to lean towards a sportjet. This would give me the ability to get out on both the ocean and rivers
    SJ's are not a good option for the ocean...at all
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    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    Well that was quite vague. Why do you say a sportjet is no good for the ocean. I have heard of several guys taking them out. Does this apply to both sportjets and big block jets?

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    Member akshrop's Avatar
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    I have seen a ton of SJs out in Valdez area. The sound is not the ocean and I still would not go to far from the shore in one, but you can get in the salt somewhat. I have taken my river jet in the sound, but would not go further than 3/4 mile from the shore. Once the seas get over 2-2 1/2 feet, I get out and I always keep an eye on the weather and beaches in case I need a quick get away.

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    New member fishnhuntr's Avatar
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    Default SJ

    Patrick,
    I'll keep you in mind memorial day weekend depending on who all ends up going, we usually end up taking a small armada of boats to Valdez. If I got room I'll show you what I do with mine if you are up to driving to Valdez. Take er easy.
    Cody

    We do of course watch the weather as well and have some "bad weather" fishing holes but except for one day memorial weekend 3 years ago that caught a BUNCH of people unaware, **** weather report lol, we haven't had a problem.
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    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    Thanks for the offer Cody. I would definitely make the trip if you had the room. Problem is I will probably be out on the Yukon Delta for work over Memorial Day. I'm trying to get out of it so you never know. Anyway, thanks for the offer.

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    Member tjm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patrickL View Post
    Well that was quite vague. Why do you say a sportjet is no good for the ocean. I have heard of several guys taking them out. Does this apply to both sportjets and big block jets?
    my bad, I hear 'sportjet' and instantly think 'phantom' or 'XS' or 'Predator' (and now a few other too..lol)..

    ..flat bottom tunnel hulled SJ is what I'm talking about...a lot of guys take jets out in the salt, it is not the motor that scares me away from the salt, it is the hull...open bow, low sides, tunnel+jet is a bad mix for open water..

    I have the XS and anything more that 2' water you're either cavitating or not on step...A boat like fishhuntr's seems like it'd do substantially better that mine in the salt....

    there are guys that do take the 8deg tunnel boats out in the salt, but for the most part they aren't getting out of sight of the harbor...
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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Patrick there is a big difference between a Sport John (SJ) and an inboard jet boat, yes both use an inboard but the boats are vastly different for different needs. SJ's have lower sides and shallower drafts, typically SJ's use 8* deadrise while most inboard jets have a 10*-14* this is at the transom, bow deadrise varies a lot between manufacturers and models.

    I run my inboard jet 70-80 miles out of Whittier and Valdez and have no issues and feel completely comfortable with that. As far as distance from shore that thought has never even entered my mind, I just pick a location and head for it. Its not like one will swim 3/4 of a mile in that ocean without a dry suit on before being incapacitated by the elements.


    If you want to see what a SJ looks like take a look at the Jetcraft Extreme Shallow (SJ) and the Phantom Sport John. Another SJ option is Compeaus in Fairbanks, they are know making their own SJ but I forget the name of it.

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    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    TJM....I guess I should have known the confusion as I see you posts all the time when talking about SJs or Sport Jons. Seems like you've had quite a bit of fun with them. If you ever need a partner to go on a ride with you, I'm always available. I'm even willing to be your weight in the front when you are trying to get outta the hole .

    So I guess I should have been more clear about it. A sportjet is NOT a Sport Jon or SJ type boat. Most of the sportjets I have seen are like fishnhuntr's. A great example is the Hewescraft Sportman. It has either a 175 or 200 Mercury Optimax outboard motor located inside the boat like an I/O and mounted to a jet pump. The result is a lighter weight, smaller package, with good economy with the advantages of a jet boat. The Hewes Sportsman has a 22 Degree deadrise at the bow, 11 midship, 10 aft. It also has 27in inside depth. Now I realize this isn't perfect for the ocean but on a limited budget may allow me to get out in both the salt and on rivers for hunting. In addition to hewes I have seen them on North Rivers, Thunderjets, and maybe a few others.

    I just wanted to see what people thought about doing this kind of stuff with a sportjet. Sounds like from what Bronco and Fishnhuntr said it may not be ideal but it certainly would be fine if you were careful with the conditions.

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    Member tjm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patrickL View Post
    I'm even willing to be your weight in the front when you are trying to get outta the hole .
    thanks!...it is nice to know I have someone to call if I ever need some ballast in the bow..lol....

    Sounds like you're on the right track, i need to back out of this conversation because I'm the last guy you want to discuss the ocean with...lol......I only know 2 things about ocean boating...Jack and ...well you can guess the other...

    good luck with your search, I know it can be frustrating..
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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    My boss has the Sportsman and really likes it. He uses it off of the Anchor River in the salt. It pounds a bit, but he does not go out that far. You also have to be careful about sucking kelp and other debris in your intake. I would hate to lose poer in less than favorable conditions. He runs twenty mile a lot in August and September, too. It really is not a skinny water set up, but it does fresh and salt okay. It's not really feasible, IMO, to get a boat that does both skinny water and the salt great. Everything seems to be a compromise. My suggestion is to buy one or the other and then find a friend that has the other. That is what I have done.
    Last edited by spoiled one; 02-17-2009 at 15:19. Reason: forgot info
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    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    TJM...no worries. I have appreciated you posts on the jet threads for sure. Any knowledge is better than no knowledge.

    Spoiled one...your suggestion is what I originally set out to do. I was hoping to get a decent used ocean boat such as an Sea Runner or Ocean Pro for around $35K and then hopefully meet up with someone with a river boat. At the worst I could always get a small used Jon with a jet for pretty cheap a few years from now so I could do both. Unfortunately I just couldn't convince the wife to spend 35K or more on a decent ocean boat and I am hesitant to buy something that might strand me with a problem while out on the water. Most the current people I know don't make enough to afford an ocean boat or just aren't that into hunting and fishing. Guess I should get out a meet a few other folks....

    So the plan is now to try and buy a boat that can do both safely and effectively and hopefully get into it for around the $20K ballpark. It won't be the ideal situation for either but hopefully it will allow me to get out. I missed all of last season and don't want to do that again. Growing up having boats and having one prior to moving up here makes it tough to go without one. Not to mention getting out and away from people keeps me from going crazy.

    If there's a better option I'm all ears though.

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Default craig list SJ

    This one just popped up. It could be the one you ere talking about.

    http://anchorage.craigslist.org/boa/1040390344.html
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    Thanks spoiled one. That was the one I was looking for.

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    New member fishnhuntr's Avatar
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    Default hey patrick

    Ask him if he has a smartcraft guage in there, I'm very skeptical of 4gph at 28mph, he might burn six at that speed with just a couple guys and fishing gear but 4 is way too low. I typically burn 7-8 with 4 adults, all gear, clothes, food, beer, 5 shrimp pots, full 42 gallon tank plus 15 xtra gallons, ect...which is still great in my book, but no way 4gph.
    Smartcraft guage was aftermarket for me but worth it's weight in gold for what I do, show's gph, total fuel used, rpm's, temp, everything really, replaces basically all your gauges. Let me know if you go look at it and have any questions, you'll get the straight poop.
    Cody

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    Member tjm's Avatar
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    good advice fishnhntr...i was thinking the same thing...my smartcraft lies to me though...it is neary 10% off every time I fill up...it reports that my economy is better than it is, it it reads 8gph I'm really using 8.5 or so...I hand calculate after nearly every trip...after a while though, the fuel bill is painfull at any burn rate...lol..
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    Default alternative?

    Quote Originally Posted by patrickL View Post
    TJM...no worries. I have appreciated you posts on the jet threads for sure. Any knowledge is better than no knowledge.

    Spoiled one...your suggestion is what I originally set out to do. I was hoping to get a decent used ocean boat such as an Sea Runner or Ocean Pro for around $35K and then hopefully meet up with someone with a river boat. At the worst I could always get a small used Jon with a jet for pretty cheap a few years from now so I could do both. Unfortunately I just couldn't convince the wife to spend 35K or more on a decent ocean boat and I am hesitant to buy something that might strand me with a problem while out on the water. Most the current people I know don't make enough to afford an ocean boat or just aren't that into hunting and fishing. Guess I should get out a meet a few other folks....

    So the plan is now to try and buy a boat that can do both safely and effectively and hopefully get into it for around the $20K ballpark. It won't be the ideal situation for either but hopefully it will allow me to get out. I missed all of last season and don't want to do that again. Growing up having boats and having one prior to moving up here makes it tough to go without one. Not to mention getting out and away from people keeps me from going crazy.

    If there's a better option I'm all ears though.
    this is just an idea but maybe two boats. pick up a jonboat of some sort with a jet and then build a tolman skiff. you could get the jet for between 5-15k and build a skiff for a total cost of about 4k+a motor which could be picked up fairly reasonable.
    hope it helps

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    Member fishin_ak's Avatar
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    Default fuel flow

    While we're kinda on the subject I'm going to install a fuel flow guage on my Sportjon whe i get outa the sandbox and was looking at the FloScan and Northstar lines. I also have seen that mercury makes one that would match my motor. Haven't seen the Smartcraft. Any opinions here?
    " There's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore like an idiot" - Steven Wright

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    Member fishin_ak's Avatar
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    Ok, now i feel stupid. Looked it up and see that the Smartcraft is the Mercury gauge. Still looking for any opinions as to differences or benefits. Thanks
    " There's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore like an idiot" - Steven Wright

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    Member Ellamar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishin_ak View Post
    Ok, now i feel stupid. Looked it up and see that the Smartcraft is the Mercury gauge. Still looking for any opinions as to differences or benefits. Thanks
    The Smartcraft is a pure plug and play if you've got the 200opti. Mercury to Mercury. No wiring or harness issues to deal with like you'll run into with the other units. On our hunting trips down the yukon every fall, the Smartcraft has been dead on for gallonage each time. Like stated above, they're worth their weight in gold, especially if you travel long distances.

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