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  • Sportjet or outboard jet?

    After waffling on deciding which kind of boat to get, I've got it narrowed down to the Wooldridge Alaskan or Alaskan XL between 17 and 20 feet. I was leaning towards a North River, T-jet style with a V-8 but decided since I will be doing a majority of my running alone, I need a boat that is lighter in case I do get it stuck and want to have any hope of unsticking it. The Wooldridge XL seems like the perfect boat for modest cargo hauling capability while still being fairly lightweight. Now I just have to decide if I should go with a sportjet design or go with one fitted with an outboard jet.

    Are there any advantages of one design over another? If a sportjet is the best way to go, are certain models better than others? Are certain outboard manufacturers better than others if that is the better choice?

  • #2
    I like my sport jet, there are advantages such as a stomp grate with the inboard.

    A four stroke out board will be quieter but heavier.

    Also when I bounce off things I don't worry about breaking the foot on my outboard any more.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
    Unknown author

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    • #3
      I run a SeaArk 1860 tunnel with a 90/65 jet (plenty of power, but am looking at a new 115/80) . It is my second boat. If I get my boat stuck it is too big to wrestle by myself without a winch or something. I also carry ABS pipe for rollers.

      I would consider some kind of sportjet powered boat with a serious UMHW bottom if I were you. They are faster (my cruise speed is 20 and I can top out at 35mph). The UMHW will really slide over a lot that would otherwise stop you so in theory you aren't stuck as much. The UMHW offers serious impact resistance too. I have more dents in my hull from stuff and I am always thinking about adding UMHW.

      Wooldridge, Phantom, or Compeau's SJX all seem good. Do they still make the Merc 250hp model?

      You are also asking about two different budgets of boats. I belive that one of our posters Toshiro In AK debated just like you and ended up with the Wooldridge XL with a Sportjet. I don't remember if he went UMHW though.

      So my vote is what ever builder offers a UMHW hull (not painted on poly but the bolt on stuff) and Sportjet power!

      Sobie2

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      • #4
        I second the UHMW for sure, had it on my old boat and about to install it on my current boat.

        When your talking in the range of 2200 pounds of boat with a sport jet and even a little more with a 4 stroke outboard what is another 350-400 pounds? Its going to suck getting it unstuck either way and why not have a very reliable jet/motor combo? Mount a winch on the boat or carry a come-a-long with you which you will need anyways if your by yourself. I would not look past a aluminum block or even a standard block v8 with a 3 stage Kodiak jet that will eat sticks and rocks all day long and keep going for years jet or Hamilton 212 or a Scott jet if you could fit that into the budget (would be my choice). I ended up going this route in an extreme shallow and will never look back. The power is always there, fuel economy is close to if not better than a sport jet and the reliability of the pump in not having to be rebuild often makes it soooo worth it. Most of these builders especially WB I think would customize whatever it is you want but I wouldn't see a V8 and a quality pump being that much more money if your already budgeted for around 40k.

        Just my thoughts, I just know a number of people that have sport jets and wish they had a v-8 in their jet sleds, but its a lot of work to build your own after words.

        Maybe Glen Wooldridge could chime in and give his thoughts as he is far beyond my experience, I would also be curious to know what Wooldridge would be willing to do as far as out of the ordinary jet/motor combos for a customer.

        -Dan

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        • #5
          Originally posted by DanielApplin View Post
          I ended up going this route in an extreme shallow and will never look back. The power is always there, fuel economy is close to if not better than a sport jet and the reliability of the pump in not having to be rebuild often makes it soooo worth it.
          Just my thoughts, I just know a number of people that have sport jets and wish they had a v-8 in their jet sleds, but its a lot of work to build your own after words.
          -Dan
          I didn't think Jet Craft made the Extreme Shallow with a V-8. Was that a custom build?
          Fighting gravity is never cheap.

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          • #6
            It was custom, had the old motor/ pump out and new one in less than two weeks, it was a lot of work but well worth it.

            I might do a thread on the build not that im not rushing before moose season since I still have a lot of work to do to it to make it look nice and get all my wiring done.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by DanielApplin View Post
              It was custom, had the old motor/ pump out and new one in less than two weeks, it was a lot of work but well worth it.

              I might do a thread on the build not that im not rushing before moose season since I still have a lot of work to do to it to make it look nice and get all my wiring done.
              Someone else on the forum did that as well, with a video, or was that you?
              kind of bad timing though eh? Right at the start of moose season
              Fighting gravity is never cheap.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DanielApplin View Post
                Maybe Glen Wooldridge could chime in and give his thoughts as he is far beyond my experience, I would also be curious to know what Wooldridge would be willing to do as far as out of the ordinary jet/motor combos for a customer.
                If you would like to give your phone number, Glen would give you a call. Our phone # at the factory in Seattle is 206-722-8998. WB
                www.wooldridgeboats.com

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                • #9
                  Hmmm sounds familiar. At last count I have owned 6 'purpose built' river boats (outboard,sportjets,inboards) - by that I mean that the purpose was for use on rivers (not lakes or saltwater). They all have pro's and cons, you need to define your needs and the amount of money you are willing to spend. I currently have an inboard with a 3 stage Kodiak, and it does everything I need. Coming from a sport jet background I would strongly encourage you to consider a true inboard rather than a sportjet - but it depends on use and hours you will put on a boat. I put more hours than most on in a given year and was one of the main reasons I went to an inboard (part and maint cost) Wooldridge is a VERY good company to work with, and they will not steer you wrong.
                  my .02

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                  • #10
                    Maintaining the sport jet is much harder than the inboard v8 with a hamilton pump. I have tore into both, and the sport jet is really picky. You get shallow running performance out of the sport jet, but at a price of reliability, maintenance and noise. If you are dedicated to running skinny water, then the jon style boat with either an outboard or a sport jet may get the nod. If you are not running the ragged edge of shallow water and if you want to carry a heavy load or go long distances, then the v8 gets the nod. If you fish out of it mostly, you may want the outboard just to have more room in the boat. If I was not hunting as much, I would swap my inboard extraplus for the alaskan with an outboard. Still might actually

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                    • #11
                      Just to throw a little more fuel on the fire...count up the # of OB (main) you see (pics) on the boats at the last group trip to the glacier. I don't know what it means...these boats don't lend themselves to OB, the owners like the heat from their motors when it's snowing??

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                      • #12
                        Yes, another good reason for an Inboard is the ability to have an awesome heater.

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                        • #13
                          Go inboard, Go small, Go where others can't.......

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                          • #14
                            I have a 21 foot xtreme shallow, great boat lots of fun will go almost anywhere. However if i was to get a boat again I would do something like the XL or Sport drifter with a tunnel and an out board, large outboard at least 225hp or 250hp. Reason being is versatility. With and outboard you have the ability to change that lower unit out between and jet or a prop. The higher HP because of the loss you get from a Jet pump. I'm not sure if this is common practice here on the road system but pretty normal in western AK. For me its about fuel burn and speed.

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                            • #15
                              inboard sport jet hands down.....

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