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Zodiac's and jets

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  • Zodiac's and jets

    I found a used 14' zodiac but it has no motor. I was thinking about a jet but wanted soom input first. Is it really needed and what are the pro's and cons.

  • #2
    I assume you'd want the jet to run in shallow water. That being said, I'd very nervous about running a rubber boat in the shallows. I think it would just to easy to tear a hole in it when used in those conditions.


    • #3

      I run a jet as well as a prop. I like the prop for the big water bear hunting and halibut of calm days. But, the jet is probably the best way to go. As you have probably read, I did mess up my boat running shallow water, but that was because I hit a rock, I didn't tear any rubber, just broke the transom. Could have happened to an aluminum boat I assume but the zodiac will still float full of water. The Zodiacs that were made of Hypalon are the best ones to get. Hypalon is very tough and durable. Rocks don't really hurt the boats bottom unless your in the salt and hit sharp ones on the beach. River rocks are usually pretty smooth. I would take a Zodiac with a jet over an aluminum boat anyday. Just my 2 cents.

      27' Wooldridge Super Sport Offshore Pilothouse PRIME TIME!
      Kodiak Custom Fishing Tackle Pro Staff
      Heavy Hitter Fishing Crew
      MMSI# 338232859


      • #4

        Check with some people who run them with a jet and see how they perform. Some setups cause the jet to cavitate quite a bit and cause poor performance at higher speeds.

        Just something to check out before spending the $$.

        The porcupine is a peaceful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....


        • #5
          Only 2 Inflatables That Can Run With A Jet

          the bottom line is that there are only 2 inflatable boats that are currently being manufactured today in the market place that are specially designed to run an outboard jet without cavitation. you are wasteing your time and money trying to make one work on any other inflatables out there, period.

          (1) Gary Kings Alaska Jet Ranger

          (2) Aires Power Traveler


          • #6
            Most everyone I know who's run a jet on an a conventional inflatable has had miserable performance.

            My thoughts are, get a conventional ~35 horse prop unit and enjoy the heck out of it on lakes, saltwater and deeper rivers.

            If you want to run the shallow stuff, get a jon boat and either a jet pump o/b or a muddy buddy / go-devil type unit.
            Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

            If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.


            • #7
              Jet Ranger

              Alaska Koda is right on the money. I have the jet ranger and it is AWESOME. 3 inches of water. It is not the fastest boat, and it can not haul a ton, but it can do things that no other boat out there can. simply amazing. I would buy another one in a heartbeat, and people who have ride in it want one also.


              • #8
                Jet Ranger

                Is the way to go. It can't carry a whole lot of weight but it's the best option. The aire power traveller is much more expensive and it's not built nearly as tough. Aire uses the same material as they do on their river rafts. I haven't run an aire yet, but Tracy at alaska raft and kayak didn't make it sound like beaching with a lot speed would be a good thing. As anyone with a jet ranger will tell you it's that grizzly hide fabric on the bottom that makes it possible to beat the heck out of the thing and not put a hole in it. That's what makes the Jet ranger great. Beach the thing no problem. Drag it over the shallows and get going again. It definately has it's limitations but is the only way to go for a jet inflatable.


                • #9
                  I had a 12' Quicksilver that did just fine with a 25 horse Mercury jet; except it wouldn't carry a lot. just one or 2 guys and fishing gear, it was fine, but that's about it. It did cavitate some, and I imagine a longer, less rigid boat would be worse. If I were doing it over, I'da got a 16 ft john boat with a 40-60 HP/28-42 jet. My 16 ft MonArk with 40 horse and jet was a world better than the Quicksilver... even if you don't compare the power difference.


                  • #10
                    best part

                    The best part about the jet ranger is that you can hit boulders going full speed and bounce off of them. My jet foot on my motor is pretty beat up, but the raft is in perfect shape. By beat up I mean I have chunks missing from the foot, and the grates are completly trashed(I need to get a new foot) and NOTHING has happened to the bottom of the boat, simply amazing.


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