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  • Small jet boat recommendations

    I live in AL and run small rivers that are rocky(bad rocks attached to bottom, not free-stone type stuff) and am looking into getting jet setup. I'm not running big water, just REAL skinny stuff. Mostly want to use the boat to access water for wade fishing but would like to be able to paddle/ trolling motor the boat a little to fish a few deeper rivers. I will typically be carrying only one other person and myself and we are under 200lbs each. I also would like the boat to be as light as possible so that I could have the option to drag up shoals small distances.

    I've done alot of looking and appears that I would not want a boat any smaller than a 1648 or motor smaller than 60/40 merc. Does that sound right to you guys? I'd love to get smaller but sounds like when you consider everything a 16 footer with at least this HP is just better all around. Big question now is riveted or welded boat. I like the price and lighter weight of riveted boat but do you guys think I would destroy much quicker than welded? Could you put something like Duraslick UHMW on bottom of riveted boat to increase lifespan and does anyone have experience with that stuff? Also, would you guys recommend tiller steering or remote for tight small rivers? Basically just want cheapest option that will work but don't want to waste money on total junk in the process. Thanks in advance for any insight.

  • #2
    Your cheapest and easiest way to do this is a 16 or 18 foot riveted boat, wider the better, lighter the better. Minimum would be a 40/30 jet 50 or 60 powerhead would be even better but the extra weight in the back can give you balance issues and then you lose what you may have gained. As long as you aren't packing a ton of stuff, you can easily put two adults and gear in a boat as described and run some really skinny stuff. While the welded boat is attractive for durability, it's also more expensive. Surely in alabam there are riveted jon's in everyone's backyard you can pick up cheap, tighten the rivets and get a plate for the back to mount up the motor. IF you wang it up so bad it's junk.....then get another one and do it again. A tiller will give you the most responsive small water boat. Coat the bottom thoroughly with Gluvit, I did this to a riveted lund and a couple lowe jon boats and it lets you slide off rocks instead of stick, and itkeeps your rivets from rattling loose as much. It also really slicks the bottom up for sliding around corners but do some test runs on flat water so you don't spin out. The stuff on my 18 ft lund actually slicked it enough that I could slide a vee hull boat to some extent.

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    • #3
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      Get one of these and run almost any water you want. UHMW covered bottom, stomp grate, and light enough one person and pretty much drag it back into the water. on step 4" of water is all you need, it will dang near run in a mud puddle
      2005 20' Weldcraft Sabre XL 350 MP
      SD309 AT
      2009 Polaris Dragon 800 163
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      • #4
        Catch It - Where can you buy Gluvit in Juneau?

        Sobie2

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        • #5
          Alweld makes a great welded flat bottom. They build them in Arkansas. Lot of those gator hunting fellas run them. I've been running mine for a couple of years and am more than happy with it.

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          • #6
            I want one of these bad!!!!!!

            Originally posted by Jimw View Post
            [ATTACH=CONFIG]80833[/ATTACH]

            Get one of these and run almost any water you want. UHMW covered bottom, stomp grate, and light enough one person and pretty much drag it back into the water. on step 4" of water is all you need, it will dang near run in a mud puddle
            27' Wooldridge Super Sport Offshore Pilothouse PRIME TIME!
            Kodiak Custom Fishing Tackle Pro Staff
            Heavy Hitter Fishing Crew
            MMSI# 338232859

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            • #7
              What is this thing?
              Originally posted by Rob B View Post
              I want one of these bad!!!!!!

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              • #8
                10 to 12' long skinny water runner. Light weight with either a sowmachine or other small motor powered jet unit. Search the net for mini jet boat alaska.
                27' Wooldridge Super Sport Offshore Pilothouse PRIME TIME!
                Kodiak Custom Fishing Tackle Pro Staff
                Heavy Hitter Fishing Crew
                MMSI# 338232859

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sobie2 View Post
                  Catch It - Where can you buy Gluvit in Juneau?

                  Sobie2
                  No idea, I did this to my boat in Dillingham, but I figure if they had it there, it must be in Juneau as well.

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                  • #10
                    RHINO MARINE, INC.
                    12322 East State Highway 52
                    Hartford, Alabama 36344
                    Phone: 334-588-6274
                    Watts Line: 1-800-786-3049
                    Email: joesmotor@centurytel.net
                    Website: www.rhinoboat.com

                    Jim Starky of James River Jets installs UHMW on the above hulls.

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                    • #11
                      I have a 16' all welded boat with the Mercury 60/40 jet and it is awesome. Lightweight and good power to weight ratio. Went with the Merc because it was a lot cheaper than Yamaha 60/40 and no downsides thus far. Good with 3 people on day trip or two people with overnight gear. Maybe able to haul a moose and two people, but at that point we plan on shuttling loads out. Boat is light enough that I can drag it around myself and get it into some skinny creeks (see photos). Easily runs in 3" water. Would recommend a tiller control or, like I have, a console and put a suicide knob on steering wheel. I would probably get the SeaArk 16' MVJT hull in a perfect world.


                      Questions about moving to or from Alaska? Hit us up:
                      Far North Real Estate, LLC
                      www.myfairbankshome.com
                      contact@farnorthrealestate.com

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                      • #12
                        Also, good friend has a 16' SeaArk with a Yamaha 40/30 jet and seems like it has a good amount of power for day trips with minimal gear. Pretty fun boat to rip around on.

                        Questions about moving to or from Alaska? Hit us up:
                        Far North Real Estate, LLC
                        www.myfairbankshome.com
                        contact@farnorthrealestate.com

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                        • #13
                          If you want the lighted most capable boat for "REAL skinny stuff" I'd stay in the 48" or 54" MAX for the bottom width. As far as length goes, I'd stick with 16' or even 14' if all you need to do is transport two people with fishing gear. I'd look for a 1/8" or 3/16" MAX for the bottom gauge. I'd stick with around 22" side height that is .100 in thickness. I'd definitely get a tunnel hull since you said the rocks are nasty... The tunnel won't necessarily let you go much shallower but will protect your jet foot. As far as riveted vs welded goes, I would ask if you planned on keeping it for a long time. If you only felt like keeping it for a handful of years then riveted would probably... float your boat. I personally wouldn't buy a riveted boat. I'd think about getting pods for the rear for getting up on step faster. The outboard selection depends on the regulations on the body of water you're looking to run. If you can get away with a 2 stroke outboard then I'd look at a Yamaha 40 or 50 hp outboard. Those things are crazy light and have amazing power.

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                          • #14
                            Speaking from personal experience I have had boats stoped in shallow spots because the jet foot was the first thing to make contact wit the bottom of the creek and then it starts slowing you down and plowing rocks or sand until you come to a complete stop, with the tunnel you might touch the bottom but a little but can usually make it through if you are on step. And this is almost always the case to get back to our cabin latter the year, I love having a tunnel and wouldn't own a river boat without one.

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                            • #15
                              And as far as the flotation pods, one of my buddy's has a 16-54 with a 40 yamaha and pods. And on a light trip to do some day fishing we both had sit as far back as we could to get the back end a little lower in the water so the boat would ride better and we are both 200 lb dudes. I am for sure going to get a pair.

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