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Thread: SJX Boats

  1. #1
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    Default SJX Boats

    Can I get some opinions from folks who own this boat, or have first hand experience from knowing someone who does?

    Seems we've "outgrown" our riverboat and need to get into something a bit bigger that can haul more weight.....we've looked at going with a fwe other boats, especially one where you can stay out of the rain and cold for the long trip to our property, but they all have so little space! We need something with a wide bottom to carry materials, six wheeler, etc.....

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    If you looking for wide boat and carry heavy loads look at the sea ark predator.

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    don't know anyone that has one but their hull's are built over seas. i own a predator and love it, the sea arks are cheaper also. and i know my boat will float in less water then a phantom or sjx.

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    akriverunner is correct they will float in let water than phonton or sjx. They have a predator at dewey right know for 29,995 thats 6 grand cheaper than you can buy one at that place in fairbanks.

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    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    I have also heard the hulls are made in China, that doesnt make it a bad boat.
    It just seems to me they should be a whole lot cheaper than one made in the US or Canada. Someone is making a killing on cheap labor...........
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TMS View Post
    We need something with a wide bottom to carry materials, six wheeler, etc.....
    all of the sport jets are going to perform very much alike as far as hauling ability, shallow water performance, and handling....

    what's really important is how much you'll be hauling most of the time and where you're going to be taking it...the SJ's are fun boats that can get most jobs done....they really shine in the shallow water but fall short in other areas, for example rough water of any kind....I know I would dread to haul a heavy load bucking an upstream wind creating a 2 foot chop on the river...lol

    you mention you would need to haul to your cabin...where is the cabin located?....where else do you plan on running it?...

    you mention room is a priority...look closely at the layouts of the different boats, they allocate the space quite differently...I certainly have my preference where I want my room but many others prefer it different...
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    I have a SJX and love it. I have 5 people in my family and three dogs with all our gear and never have had a problems I think its a great boat. Im not going to get into which boat is better they are all good boats just depends on what you want. I have had no problems with my boat and it goes any place I need it to. Feel free to ask me any question you might have.

  8. #8

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    While I respect skybust's approach to the topic, I'd like to some information for those using the forums and researching this topic like I did over the past year.

    The information below is based on my own personal research and numerous discussions with other boaters, sales rep's, and dealers in and out of Alaska after spending time at Compeaus and looking at a Phantom and SJX side by side for the better part of two days. I'll try to be brief. With that said I'm sure there will be allot of brand loyality in this thread, which is normal. Personally, I came to my own opinion after a year of research and not being able to run shallow enough to get to my hunting grounds with stored fuel and gear waiting for me. (water levels fell to 2-4" making my old boat useless) While others may offer more indepth analysis, here are some points I considered when making my decision:

    Note: I mean no disrespect to anyone with a SJX, SeaArk, or other boat not listed with my opinions below.

    To be fair, I first looked at the SeaArk but didn't want to deal with Deweys (live in Anchorage) and felt they didn't have the same functionality as other boats. I also didn't like the layout of the boats I saw and the fact Deweys said there wasn't that large of a market for the SeaArk with an inboards in Alaska (re-sale is always a factor in buying boats). Most SeaArk's I saw had outboards and huge cracks in the transom after a year or two of use. They were basically tanks so I shy'd away. I still havn't seen one with a canvas package - if anyone has one I'd love to see it. I guess their last inboard sat for over a year in their yard before it sold. Due to these points and the poor customer service I had expierenced at Deweys sales counter, I started looking into other options and moved towards the Sport Jon. Here is the information on the Predator from their website - which I liked, but due to everything else I decided against it. I believe these are made in the USA.

    Quote Originally Posted by akmike30 View Post
    akriverunner is correct they will float in let water than phonton or sjx. They have a predator at dewey right know for 29,995 thats 6 grand cheaper than you can buy one at that place in fairbanks.


    I'd like to see your predator in action - we have to do some river running this year. Who know's.. we may even get Josh out of the house for a weekend or two. Seriously, I liked the Predator but pictures can only do so much for a guy.
    Personally, I wouldn't order a boat blind from a catalog and Deweys had no intention on ordering any to sell.

    Predator 200 AK

    Length: 20'6"
    Beam: 94"
    Bottom Width: 72"
    Side Depth: 26"
    Gauge: .125"
    Rating: 200 hp
    Weight Cap: 1620lbs
    Approx Weight: 1450 lbs
    Base Price: $29,995

    Today, if I were going to buy 'new' I would buy a new 2010 Phantom Switchback but would customize it to include a side console so you could haul a second four wheeler or use of a full console/canvas. The Phantom may not have as many 'deluxe standard options' as the SJX, but you can easily afford the boat and upgrades customizing it to fit your needs and still save a significant amount of money compared to buying the SJX. Not only is the Phantom (IMO) superior to the SJX and cost less (with upgrades), they are 100% made in the USA (which to me is important), and have improvements the SJX doesn't have at 2009 Phantom prices (includes 29" sides, full flotation, and Hardkor which is superior to, and weighs less than, UHMW). While I'm sure the SJX is a good boat, Compeaus copied/stole Phantom's designs so I can't justify paying more for a knock-off - even if it has a few good idea's behind its 'upgrades'. There is also the issue of the warranty. I'm not sure what other's expierences have been, but when I talked to Compeaus, they wanted to charge extra for a warranty on the SJX - the same warranty I found standard on the Phantom with no additional cost. After spending a significant amount of time at Compeaus, I decided against the SJX as an option. Here is some information on both boats:

    2010 Phantom

    Length: 20'3"
    Beam: 91"
    Bottom Width: 72"
    Side Depth: 29"
    Gauge: .125 (bottom upgradeable to .190 or 3/16")
    Rating: 200 or 250 hp
    Approx Weight: 1370 - 1500 lbs
    Made in USA: yes
    Base Price: $29,750


    2010 SJX

    Length: 21'
    Beam: 94"
    Bottom Width: 72"
    Side Depth: 26"
    Approx Weight: 1500 lbs +
    Made in USA: No, hull made oversea's
    Base Price: $36,950

    Even though I prefer the Phantom to the SJX, there are a number of SJX accessories I like and plan to buy in the future. These include the SmartCraft Gauge package ($800), the single-lever remote box for the stomp grate (est. $300), and their windshield pillow cover (est $180).

    If you do go with a Phantom or SJX, make sure you buy a double axle trailer and install four 4 bunks to properly support the bottom and give you enough strength to haul a load. Personally, I wouldn't buy this boat with a single axle trailer.. it's just not enough support to transport a boat and fuel, let alone gear.

    Full Disclosure: I bought a 2007 Phantom a few months ago because it was to good to pass up and had the custom tank upgrades I wanted including more warranty than Compeaus offered me on a new purchase. I bought the boat since it was already in Alaska with a dual axle trailer and the price was to good to walk away from saving me even more money.
    "He should have been packing a more powerful gun...you have to be a very good shot or very lucky to stop a brown bear with a .357 Magnum." - Rick Sinnott, Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist after a double attack by a grizzly.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TMS View Post
    we've looked at going with a fwe other boats,
    good idea to look at all the SJ's if that is the type of boat you want....you'd be doing yourself a disservice by limiting your search to just the Phantom/SJX...unless those are simply the ones you like, as that is ultimately going to be the main deciding factor....there isn't anything that anyone of the SJ's can do that all the others couldn't do as well....they are all cool boats..

    ...and of course, there's that pesky little detail called price...
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    Outdoors man I had to laugh when you said get josh out of the house. I think all these sj are the same. With differant little things about them. In each boat. We'll get out this summer I been in phantom/sjx. have been the SJ'S. I like them all. As far as spare room to haul thing I like my green tank.


    If I looking for a new sport jon and didn't nned one this year i would wait and see tjm new wooly looks like and all. i can't wait for that one.


    TMS when you choose a boat i'm sure you'll be happy in which one you choose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tjm View Post

    what's really important is how much you'll be hauling most of the time and where you're going to be taking it...the SJ's are fun boats that can get most jobs done....they really shine in the shallow water but fall short in other areas, for example rough water of any kind....I know I would dread to haul a heavy load bucking an upstream wind creating a 2 foot chop on the river...lol

    you mention you would need to haul to your cabin...where is the cabin located?....where else do you plan on running it?...

    Our property is located in a slough off the Yentna (up past Big Bend). Running the river is typically fine and we don't encounter rough water too often. This boat MUST however, be able to handle that 2-4" of water. We run the river as late as we can in the season, and we also up past Lake Creek.

    The riverboat we have now can go ANYWHERE and take some reallly skinny water. We just need something bigger (it's an 18') and with a stronger motor (we currently have a 90hp). A canvas cover, or the option of, would be a great bonus as well for those trips with the little ones.

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    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Sounds like you need a airboat..............
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

  13. #13
    Member akriverunner's Avatar
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    i have a cabin right past Luce's on the yentna. I have hauled alot of stuff into my place, about as much as you can load in the boat it will haul it. i run until freezing temps during the day, as i have a 175 sport jet and the carbs ice up when its cold out. with the 200's you wont have that problem. i like all of the sport john style boats, you cant go wrong with either one, it just seems to me that the price they are getting for an SJX that the hull is built over seas would be cheaper then the competitions. i know my boat runs plenty shallow enough for me, 3 inches is plenty when on step when lightly loaded.

  14. #14
    Member tjm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akmike30 View Post
    If I looking for a new sport jon and didn't nned one this year i would wait and see tjm new wooly looks like and all. i can't wait for that one.
    not a bad point Mike....time will tell how the Wooldridge will perform but I have a feeling it will really shine in handling and hauling ability....I hope I'm correct, we'll find out this summer....

    Only reason I'm commenting is you mentioned that a lot of room is important to you, room is the only part of this boat that I'm sure of....the first time I looked at the XL it made me giggle, the amount of room in that boat is impressive...but it should be as the boat is 6" wider than my last boat (extreme shallow).....

    Hey TMS, is your cabin on river right about 20 miles up the Yentna?
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  15. #15
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I would call glen and see about getting a wooldridge AK XL with a center console. I would be interested to hear what kind of ideas he had to get you exactly what you want as far as cabin space. With a tunnel hull and about a 200hp OB you should be able to fill it up to the gills (6x6 included) and get out to your place no problem.

  16. #16

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    I saw a 20 XL headed to the boat shop in Fairbanks a week or so back set up as an open boat with a console.
    Glen makes a model with the windshield in the rear as well, kind of like the SJ models.
    As far as hauling a 6 wheeler I haul mine across the sport rails in the rear of the boat on a sheet of plywood on top of the engine cover, you could put some support under the middle on an ob boat and it would do fine.
    http://www.wooldridgeboats.com/progallery/alaskan_xl
    number 11 in the photo gallery
    http://www.wooldridgeboats.com/progallery/alaskan_xl
    number 7 in the photo gallery
    http://www.wooldridgeboats.com/progallery/alaskan_ii
    number 10 in the photo gallery

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskanOutdoorsman View Post
    While I respect skybust's approach to the topic, I'd like to some information for those using the forums and researching this topic like I did over the past year.

    The information below is based on my own personal research and numerous discussions with other boaters, sales rep's, and dealers in and out of Alaska after spending time at Compeaus and looking at a Phantom and SJX side by side for the better part of two days. I'll try to be brief. With that said I'm sure there will be allot of brand loyality in this thread, which is normal. Personally, I came to my own opinion after a year of research and not being able to run shallow enough to get to my hunting grounds with stored fuel and gear waiting for me. (water levels fell to 2-4" making my old boat useless) While others may offer more indepth analysis, here are some points I considered when making my decision:

    Note: I mean no disrespect to anyone with a SJX, SeaArk, or other boat not listed with my opinions below.

    To be fair, I first looked at the SeaArk but didn't want to deal with Deweys (live in Anchorage) and felt they didn't have the same functionality as other boats. I also didn't like the layout of the boats I saw and the fact Deweys said there wasn't that large of a market for the SeaArk with an inboards in Alaska (re-sale is always a factor in buying boats). Most SeaArk's I saw had outboards and huge cracks in the transom after a year or two of use. They were basically tanks so I shy'd away. I still havn't seen one with a canvas package - if anyone has one I'd love to see it. I guess their last inboard sat for over a year in their yard before it sold. Due to these points and the poor customer service I had expierenced at Deweys sales counter, I started looking into other options and moved towards the Sport Jon. Here is the information on the Predator from their website - which I liked, but due to everything else I decided against it. I believe these are made in the USA.



    I'd like to see your predator in action - we have to do some river running this year. Who know's.. we may even get Josh out of the house for a weekend or two. Seriously, I liked the Predator but pictures can only do so much for a guy.
    Personally, I wouldn't order a boat blind from a catalog and Deweys had no intention on ordering any to sell.

    Predator 200 AK

    Length: 20'6"
    Beam: 94"
    Bottom Width: 72"
    Side Depth: 26"
    Gauge: .125"
    Rating: 200 hp
    Weight Cap: 1620lbs
    Approx Weight: 1450 lbs
    Base Price: $29,995

    Today, if I were going to buy 'new' I would buy a new 2010 Phantom Switchback but would customize it to include a side console so you could haul a second four wheeler or use of a full console/canvas. The Phantom may not have as many 'deluxe standard options' as the SJX, but you can easily afford the boat and upgrades customizing it to fit your needs and still save a significant amount of money compared to buying the SJX. Not only is the Phantom (IMO) superior to the SJX and cost less (with upgrades), they are 100% made in the USA (which to me is important), and have improvements the SJX doesn't have at 2009 Phantom prices (includes 29" sides, full flotation, and Hardkor which is superior to, and weighs less than, UHMW). While I'm sure the SJX is a good boat, Compeaus copied/stole Phantom's designs so I can't justify paying more for a knock-off - even if it has a few good idea's behind its 'upgrades'. There is also the issue of the warranty. I'm not sure what other's expierences have been, but when I talked to Compeaus, they wanted to charge extra for a warranty on the SJX - the same warranty I found standard on the Phantom with no additional cost. After spending a significant amount of time at Compeaus, I decided against the SJX as an option. Here is some information on both boats:

    2010 Phantom

    Length: 20'3"
    Beam: 91"
    Bottom Width: 72"
    Side Depth: 29"
    Gauge: .125 (bottom upgradeable to .190 or 3/16")
    Rating: 200 or 250 hp
    Approx Weight: 1370 - 1500 lbs
    Made in USA: yes
    Base Price: $29,750


    2010 SJX

    Length: 21'
    Beam: 94"
    Bottom Width: 72"
    Side Depth: 26"
    Approx Weight: 1500 lbs +
    Made in USA: No, hull made oversea's
    Base Price: $36,950

    Even though I prefer the Phantom to the SJX, there are a number of SJX accessories I like and plan to buy in the future. These include the SmartCraft Gauge package ($800), the single-lever remote box for the stomp grate (est. $300), and their windshield pillow cover (est $180).

    If you do go with a Phantom or SJX, make sure you buy a double axle trailer and install four 4 bunks to properly support the bottom and give you enough strength to haul a load. Personally, I wouldn't buy this boat with a single axle trailer.. it's just not enough support to transport a boat and fuel, let alone gear.

    Full Disclosure: I bought a 2007 Phantom a few months ago because it was to good to pass up and had the custom tank upgrades I wanted including more warranty than Compeaus offered me on a new purchase. I bought the boat since it was already in Alaska with a dual axle trailer and the price was to good to walk away from saving me even more money.
    This sounds like the same or similar boat that a good friend of my brother has. He is having power troubles with his. Have you had any issues with yours?

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigsub View Post
    This sounds like the same or similar boat that a good friend of my brother has. He is having power troubles with his. Have you had any issues with yours?
    Has he taken it to the dealer for service?
    "He should have been packing a more powerful gun...you have to be a very good shot or very lucky to stop a brown bear with a .357 Magnum." - Rick Sinnott, Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist after a double attack by a grizzly.

  19. #19
    Member f0zzy2's Avatar
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    Default Here is one that's over looked

    I have a 2008 model with a 200 SJ. It comes standard with 3/16 bottom and 30" sides and any optoin you can come up with. I really wanted a wooly but the SJ was not an option at that time and I was looking for the power to wieght ratio. I think there is a dealer in Kenai but im not sure. I drove to Oregon and picked mine up. Thier single axle trailer are custom built and come with 4 bunks. I have put alot of miles on the entire package and love it. I've ran out of Deep creek, the Yukon, the Copper, the upper Koyuk out of Cold Foot and live on the Tanana. Alot of guys run these as an open boat with a 50 hp O/B for guiding on the Kenai so their over looked as a forward helm inboard package. As far as warranty goes any dealer that services Merc will do warranty work on a SJ. The hull is life time but as with all boats if you open it up with a rock warranty is void. Truthfully I think most boats in AK are over priced and thats why i looked in the lower 48. I'm all about keeping my money in AK but with the price of fuel I'd rather put the money i saved in my fuel tank.

    http://www.willieboats.com/predator.htm

  20. #20
    Member AK LIVIN's Avatar
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    Default SJ-X Boats

    TMS,

    Your original question asked if anyonw had info on the SJ-X.

    I have over 130 hours in my SJ-X and have taken it in every type of water or even no water, excluding any salt water's. Not once have I had any mechanical difficulties or anything for that matter. We have a cabin that is 75 river miles one way from the landing then up the Yetna. I am always very loaded in our SJ-X and it always picks up the load without question and the fuel consumption is exceletent. Also once we get to the lake we utilize the SJ-X to pull tubes and knee boards and it does it effortlessly, and the kids truly enjoy it.

    We simply love it and don't have any regreats in our purchase. We have a family of 5, a dog and all stay dry under the top, and worm from the heater, with more than enough room to haul material or what ever. There are several boats out their to choose from and they are all great boats and all of them could be analized with pros and cons all day long. When we made our choise it was for what worked best for our family and did not care what anybody thought or said for its our investment.

    Should you wish to PM me for any other questions feel free and I'll be happy to responde / provide any more help I can. In short words can't say enough about our SJ-X and it does everything and more the dealer says it will do!!!!!

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