Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 28

Thread: Learning the ways of a jet jon boat

  1. #1

    Default Learning the ways of a jet jon boat

    I own a 1860 welded jon/G3 with a center console and a 90/65 jet. Took it out two years ago after buying it and threw the family on a gravel bar. After some red in the face embarrassment and encouragement, I took it out twice more before putting it up and its sat since.

    For those of us who are green operating a jet - and don't know anyone who has one, is there anyone around who gives classes on running rivers, learning to read the water, etc.?

    I'm a little worried about killing my boat and would like to operate the Little Sue and other rivers north of Anchorage. There is some great places to get out and see.. just looking for some more information to be a more proficient operator as hunting and fishing is just around the corner.

    Any help and/or suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Member akhilux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    91

    Default

    I got my boat last spring, with very little jet experience. I could of used a few hours with someone else prior to hitting the river, that is for sure. I did get it high and dry a couple times, but that is part of jet boating. I do not know of any official classes, might be a great idea. What has helped me is to find a river that you like and stick with it till you are comfortable with it. Even the most experienced drivers that go into unfamiliar territory back it off a little and play it slightly conservative. Once you have gain the experience to be comfortable on that river you like to run, you will be surprised how much you have picked up that you can apply to the next river. Experienced jet drivers still get stuck (every once in awhile), they just get farther up river before they do and are quicker at getting unstuck. Don't give it up because you weren't a jet boat stud right out of the box.
    20' Wooldridge Sport 08' 150hp E-Tec
    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

  3. #3
    Member youghguide's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Perryopolis Pa.
    Posts
    27

    Default Jet boats!

    AO, Check out snyderboats.com! They have alot of helpful info on jetboating on their site! I'm not sure what you need to click on once you get on but go over the whole site until you find it! ALSO...there is 2 different www's for snyder and only one has the info I'm talking about. Search them both! Hope this helps!

    Brian

  4. #4
    Member Reel Friend's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska, United States
    Posts
    46

    Default Jet experience

    I was in your same shoes a few (5) yrs ago and I spent quite a bit of time on this forum reading everything I could about running the boat. First take it to a lake so you get a feel for the boat and how it reacts. Second try to find a person to go with you that has some basic experience on local rivers and learn to read the river. Third, remember chest waders because you will get stuck. Remember that every river is different every year! Personally I learn something new everytime out. Sorry I can't be anymore help than that. Good luck and be safe.

  5. #5
    New member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    North Pole, AK
    Posts
    10

    Default Link

    http://www.snyderboats.com/readingrivers.htm


    That should be the info Brian was talking about.

    I wouldn't sweat getting stuck a few times. Getting stuck is enough sweat by itself without beating yourself up. I'm fairly new to jet boats, having just purchased my first this year. So far I've been stuck once in six trips. The one was worth at least two in level of suck. After that, I plan for getting stuck and have some waders, a come along etc. In the event I don't wind up stuck then all the better. Being stuck when you are prepared to get unstuck makes it alot easier.

    The only other advice this newbie can give is, stay on step or as close to step as you safely can. Just like taking an ATV through a hole, alot of stuff you can just drive through but if you pause in the middle of it, you are stuck.

  6. #6
    Member Jimw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    453

    Default

    No power=no stering If you can follow some one (hopfully they know what THEY are doing) is good. Even better is knowing the person and asking questions as to why did they choose the line they did. Gotta agree on taking the boat to a lake and putting through its paces, make some sharp turns and see what happens.

    Have fun!!!
    2005 20' Weldcraft Sabre XL 350 MP
    SD309 AT
    2009 Polaris Dragon 800 163
    Custom Mod's

  7. #7
    Member tjm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    2,125

    Default

    I'd personally get the family out of the boat if I wasn't confident in my driving....

    basically, just get out on the river and drive....you'll make mistakes and soon be a pro at reading water, really not difficult at all...you'll quickly learn what your boat can and can't do, there isn't many places you can't take a boat like yours....perhaps even have a buddy drive you in your boat so you can see what it can do...

    oh yeah, like everyone else mentioned, following a buddy helps, but mainly only to boost your confidence, and that too is important......don't over think it, it is just a little boat...worst thing that is going to happen is you get stuck, no big deal...get out and have fun...
    ------------------------------------------------
    pull my finger....

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    216

    Default

    Visit the Western Whitewater Assn website

    http://www.westernwhitewater.org/index.htm

    You might want to consider ordering their DVD, I did early on and found it helpful.

    Besides there are some neat videos on the site that will curl your toes.

    Guess the best advice I could give, after playing around on a lake, is just don't try to do too much, take some short runs on a easy river, make them a little longer each time. Putting the boat on the trailer is scary at first, practice it. Keep in mind that going upstream is generally easier than coming downstream when you are on the way home and tired. You will go faster and need more water on the downstream part of the trip.

  9. #9

    Default

    Thanks for the help guys.

    I'm going to try and get out without the family - depends on my workload this weekend. I know the last time out I sucked up a ton of gravel and rocks in the shallows... Not being over cautious, just figured I'd ask for some pointers before trying this again to try and save me some cash.

    I think my frustration was working the tiller in the shallow water and reading the river as the water level was low; last thing I wanted to do is plug the jet and start spending money.

    Thanks again.

  10. #10
    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Deltajct
    Posts
    2,499

    Default

    I have to put my 2 cents in here.

    I been boating on the rivers up here for over 30 years. That being said, there is a differance between lakes and rivers. The water on the lakes are dead, as to where the water on a river is running.

    There is a huge differance in control between a prop, and a jet.

    Where as a prop on a lake, you will be able to turn on a dime, a jet will slide, and you could find yourself in trouble if your playing around ( personal exp. ) like you would with a jet ski, or something like that. You slide and hit one of your own waves on the rebound, it will make you pucker. It can be bad.

    Going up rivers is whole nother story. Going up is easy, coming down is more of a challange if you don't know what you are doing. First look for the V's if you are in skinny water, that most times is the deepest water. Pick up enough speed to get threw this spots and once on top, back off the throttle and pick your next ave. Its easy going up, because you can back off and look at things. Coming down once you dedicate yourself thats it, make the wrong choice and be ready to jump out and save the boat, and youself.

    Don't know if this helps, but if you're ever around Delta we can go for a ride. Where I take off from is a lake that leads into the rivers.

    Nothing to be scared about, just back off the throttle a little.

  11. #11
    Member sevenmag's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    fairbanks
    Posts
    62

    Default

    ya, my first time out i took a trip down the local river and got stuck a few times, sucking up gravel, losing thrust and steering while drifting down river. glad a took a few oars with me just in case, was able to get to shore to gather my bearings. was very frustrating, since then ive gone to the lakes 3 times. going to the lakes, provided me with getting used to launch/landing the boat, and like somone had mentioned earlier, gettign used to the turning /throttle and handling characteristics. later this year i plan to try to tackle the river again, this time with a lot more confidence under my belt. worst thing that can happen is i get stuck again, or suck up mud/gravel, but i will be much better prepared for it this time. i refused to get discouraged. wish you gl mate^^
    sevenmag

  12. #12
    Member akshrop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Pole, AK
    Posts
    448

    Default

    You got to drive to learn. Don't get embarrassed as everyone gets stuck and sucks gravel or mud. I stink at trailering and I still have never bought guides. The only time it bothers me is if I am holding someone up, and so far no one has ever given me a hard time about it. Work bigger rivers until you are comfortable with how your boat handles, then start on skinnier water.

  13. #13

    Default

    I am another newbie to riverboats. I have done a little saltwater work. Trailering is definitely a frustrating thing. I know I will get better as time progress's but I hate holding other people up and looking like an idiot. Especially if the you mess it up and they start giving you nasty remarks even though you were nice and only gave one try while they waited and then let them in.

    akraven

  14. #14

    Default

    The KNIK is a great place to pick up some practice. If you launch there at the Glenn Hwy and run up to the Old Glenn Highway you get mostly bigger water w/ sandbars and some channels to play around in. Keep going upstream from there and it braids out and gets a little more challenging.

    The launch is good for practice too. There's room for several boats to put in at once so you don't have to worry about holding anyone up. Its your basic unimproved riverbank launch so if you can launch/load here, your pretty much good to go on any unimproved riverbank launch.

    Even better than all that is to take an experienced guy with you in your boat. You drive and he sits beside you and doesn't do much unless you're about to cause a major problem. Then he points the way. That worked well for me.

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Juneau
    Posts
    13

    Default

    Look for cut banks. Pay close attention to the horizon of the river, you will see the natural dip of the channel. Wear polarized sun glasses to see more than the glare off the water.
    Your jet will feel sluggish in deep water, not giving a true feel for fast water running. The river looks different coming down than going up, make mental notes on the way up of tight spots and how to run down. Short trips up and back down allows for better memory as you learn to read the river. Most tricky spots have a deep pool below them. Stop in areas with good pull offs, walk the skinny spots and look for the channel before running it.
    Wear chest waders, and don't be ashamed of walking the boat around tight areas.
    Running up-river allows a more relaxed pace, use that time to plan your down river run.

  16. #16
    Member youghguide's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Perryopolis Pa.
    Posts
    27

    Default

    Leave the family at home and drive it like you stole it!

    Brian

  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,892

    Default

    Just take your time.I'm new this year too. The only thing i can tell you is you can go up alot more easily than comeing down. Just take your time. Everytime I go out i learn new things.

  18. #18

    Default you can steer off step downriver

    Going downriver you can come off step, run slow and level, and still be able to steer, the price you pay is you increase your draft and have greater chance of sucking the bottom and/or grounding, but this is better than crashing into a cut bank or a log or launching your family out of their seats if you ground out at 30+ mph .........

    Going upriver if you come off step your transom will sink down due to the speed needed to go upstream similar to when you first take off under full power but have not yet climbed on step

    I am a strong believer in full blown rafting oars for backup, with these you can stop dead in most conditions and/or ferry to safety if needed

  19. #19
    Member akshrop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Pole, AK
    Posts
    448

    Default

    Another couple of thoughts: First don't run by yourself and tell your buddy to point out dangers in the water. Both of you looking and communicating is safer and a good learning tool. As have the drill to drop anchor if you loose power. That gives you the time to figure out what is wrong. Drifting at the rivers mercy can be real bad.

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    45

    Default Learning the ways of a jet jon boat

    There's no substitute for time on the river. Got any friends that use the rivers that you can follow?

    A coupla suggestions:
    When you're learning a river, turn around frequently so you get a look at it from both directions - they look very different depending on which way you're pointing. You can also tell a lot about the depth of the water you just went through by what your wake looks like. You can see your wake pile up on sandbars & shallow water. The general rule for skinny water is keep the power on, but sometimes it's a good idea to slow down and pick through a place that you're unsure of. As long as you're still floating, you can always turn around. Get yourself a rope comealong (not the regular type) and a big earth anchor from AIH (and some pipe to twist it into the ground), and at least 100 feet of their blue steel rope-it doesn't stretch and it's strong. Definitely keep a couple long oars, tools and on board. Some guys keep a couple 4' pieces of 2-3" thick wall pvc to stick under the boat if you do go high and dry. If you can afford it, it's not a bad idea to keep a spare impeller in case you suck up some major gravel.

    Go out have fun & be safe.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

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
  •