Jetcraft Extreme Shallow

riverboater

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I am dreaming about boats again and was wondering if anyone has or has used and Extreme shallow. Have you seen the new steel bottoms? What do you guys think? How does it compare with the Phantom Sportjon? Thanks
 

Crumm

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I have one and am happy with it. I suppose my only complaint would be the noise but all the Sportjet powered boats are loud. As far as comparing it too a Sportjon there is no comparison. The XS is a much better boat but it also costs a little more. Like they say you get what you pay for. I have only seen the steel bottom in a picture. If a guy was planning on doing some serious rock bashing it would be a wise investment but for normal use the 3/16 bottom is plenty. The XS handles very well and will skim across some shallow water. All-in-all they a great boat for the interior Alaska rivers.
 

riverboater

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XS

XS

What is your fuel burn, speed and weight carrying ability? Maneuverability? How shallow can you actually go?
 

Crumm

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Fuel burn depends on speed. I have a SmartCraft guage which tells you exactly what you are burning at any given moment. You can stay on step and cruise at around 5.5 gph with two adults and three kids in the boat. I suppose around 700 lbs worth. If you open it up and run at top speed (around 48mph) it will burn over 12 gph. I normally run at about 4200rpm and it burns right about 6-6.4 gph at that rpm.

As far as weight it will pack a load. I have hauled a 600 lb 4 wheeler in the bow with 4 adults, camping gear and a couple of small drums of gas. It jumps right on step and cruises right along loaded to the hilt. I have also hauled a Moose and the same load of gear without a problem. I don't know what the exact rating is but I would not hesitate to haul a couple of thousand pounds up a shallow river or twice that if the water was deep.

Maneuverability is great. It handles like it is on rails rather than like you are on ice. It does not slide like most jets so it takes some getting use to.

As far as shallow that is hard to judge. They say 2" but how do you judge 2" when cruising on step? It will skim over some shallow gravel bars without a problem but when the bottom is silt it doesn't skim so well. I have went across places where you would not get the top of your shoes wet if you got out and walked. You can also get stuck like the rest of them when you come to a silt bar that is more than a few feet long and only a few inches deep. With the tunnel design it will run as shallow as any other Sportjet powered craft out there. The only way you are going to go shallower is with a airboat or hovercraft.
 

Crumm

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FarmerGrant said:
The Boat Shop is an awesome place to deal with too.
That is for sure. They understand what service after the sale is. Great bunch of guys to deal with..
 

theclaw

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Crumm,
I was reading an old thread and saw you have an XS. I test drove one at AK Boat shop in Fairbanks and the SJ at Compeaus. The XS is the reason I travelled all the way up there from Juneau because of the tunnel, shallow water ability, and awesome layout/finish. However, when driving it in hard corners it seemed to bog down in the turn. More specifically the inside chine lifts up while the outside chine digs in. At a point the boat sort of popped out of the water and the impeller cavitated. Were we just turning the boat sharper than it's designed limits? Have you experienced this in yours? When I later went to Compeau's and told Greg about that, he said the chines are too large for the XS and that some of the lifting strakes were too close to the center of the keel and tunnel. After my experience, I got home and lo and behold I read something almost exactly as I had experienced on Compeau's website about 'chine walk' from a user who has owned both. I also noted that the XS kind of turns, rather pivots, around the center of the boat rather than carving like a ski or 'sliding & gliding' smoothly through a turn like the SJ. Do you notice the same thing? Since I am brand new to jets I'm not quite sure what to expect or to look for. Is this just a not so suttle difference between the two boats and hulls? Even with the extra 600lbs I thought it performed great but am a little concerned about a moose, ATV, 2 guys and gear. It appears from your post you haven't had any issues? I have a Hond Rincon at a full 7 feet long...do you think it would fit in the bow or will it only fit smaller ATVs? I really like the XS but became a little concerned after the test drive. Since you own one, I thought you might be able to offer some more specific thoughts on its performance. Unfortunately, I don't have a dealer here and can't get that second ride or look. Thanks, theclaw
Excerpt from Marathon Marine on chines in turns: "the lift effect on the reverse chine does not really show itself until higher speeds are reached.
So, you may ask, that sounds great, why do you not use it? The downside of the reverse chine is that it only works well at high speed and in a straight line. As soon as you start to turn, it makes the boat rock from side to side, known as chine walking. On turning, the inside chine generates lift, forcing the side to rise up - but the chine cannot support this extra lift, so the side falls and the chine digs in or ‘hooks’. This process of lifting and
falling or wobbling throughout the turn is called chine walking.
So, going back to our original philosophy, if you want a fast boat and will be doing most of your running at 50+ mph, then a reverse chine boat is probably the one for you. If however, you are like most of us and cruise at 30 mph with occasional bursts to the high 40s and spend time doing lots of turning while wakeboarding, cruising twisty rivers or lakes, then you should question whether you want the reverse chine."
Excerpt from Phantom SJ customer: "The Extreme has a stiffer feel. With its heavier weight, its handling responsiveness leaves much to be desired. The Extreme also had a particular unnerving habit of grabbing water on corners. At the beginning of a sharp turn the boat would lean into the corner, but as the boat speed drops the outside corner will begin to drop back into the water. Then the 90deg chine’s will make contact with the water. It will grab hard enough to make passengers grab onto anything to keep from hitting something. You would also have to immediately compensate your steering as your direction would change"
 

Crumm

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Crumm,
However, when driving it in hard corners it seemed to bog down in the turn. More specifically the inside chine lifts up while the outside chine digs in. At a point the boat sort of popped out of the water and the impeller cavitated. Were we just turning the boat sharper than it's designed limits? Have you experienced this in yours?

You can turn too sharp to the point where the boat will pop up and spin right around(comes in handy sometimes when you want to turn around in a hurry). When turning sharp you have to work the throttle and steering to keep the intake in the water. When turning not so sharp they handle like they are on rails. They do handle differently than most jets as they don't slide as much, they cut more. Once you get use to the different feel you will find that they are very predictable. Only time they slide rather than cut is when the water is very shallow or when you hammer the throttle in the turn.


I later went to Compeau's and told Greg about that, he said the chines are too large for the XS and that some of the lifting strakes were too close to the center of the keel and tunnel.

Tell Craig that the bottom on his Sportjons are too thin and guys are getting tired of having them welded up. When you have a boat that cracks just from being hauled on the trailer just how long will it float? They are lighter though.

I also noted that the XS kind of turns, rather pivots, around the center of the boat rather than carving like a ski or 'sliding & gliding' smoothly through a turn like the SJ. Do you notice the same thing?

They do turn rather than slide like a SJ. The XS hooks up and corners like a sports car on dry pavement rather than a jalopy on ice. Very predictable.

Even with the extra 600lbs I thought it performed great but am a little concerned about a moose, ATV, 2 guys and gear. It appears from your post you haven't had any issues? I have a Honda Rincon at a full 7 feet long...do you think it would fit in the bow or will it only fit smaller ATVs?

My Honda Rubicon fits just fine. I don't think the Rincon is any larger. 2 guys, ATV, Moose and gear would be no problem. The XS is heavier but that is because it is thicker.

Some guys like the SJ, some like the XS. It all comes down to personal preference in the end. If you get back up here next summer drop me a line and I will take you for a spin in mine. Just jumping in at the dealer for a quick ride does not really give you a feel of just how well they handle. There are definitely some improvements that could be made but side by side the XS is a better unit than the SJ in my opinion. I checked both out long and hard before I purchased mine.
 

mod elan

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Thought I'd throw this in. A guy in Fairbanks with a center console XS cut the strakes off the back few feet of his boat. He noticed a difference right away. I came from running airboats so I'm used to varying the throttle in tight turns and became comfortable in the XS immediately. I also prefer the build and features of the XS to the SJ.
 

broncoformudv

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I have no experience with either boat but have heard of enough issues with the thin and poorly structured bottoms on the SJ to stay away from them. When a boat bottom fails just from being trailered there is a serious problem.
 

theclaw

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Thanks for the additional info and offer for a ride Crumm. If I don't end up ordering something in the next 2 weeks, (we have the advantage of running year round down in Southeast and I want to have something by early spring), then I may take you up on the ride offer. Thanks for the photos of the Rubicon; turns out it's exactly the same length as my Rincon. Looks tight, but it is nice to know it will fit! I bet getting to the front from the helm is a bit of a trick since you can't open the door!

Aztec has built SJs with 5086 3/16" and 31" sides ( a friend has one ), but they retain the same stringers/headers. They put lifting strakes and a very small reverse chine since they can't bend ice runners into the hull. It's definitely heavier. As far as the handling, I suppose it's just what you like and are used to. I'd be reluctant to cut anything off of my factory hull. When I met with Glen Wooldridge a few months ago, he was adamant that a jet boat should never slide out, and should track on step in a hard turn and I think that is what the XS is shooting for. If pushed to far it's at the expense of speed and possibly popping & falling off step. SJ users prefer the "slide" as the boat doesn't slow or settle into the water in the turn which could be important if you have to do a quick 180 in shallow water. If you fall off step, you may not have the water to get back up. And of course this is at the expense of control.

In any case, I think I'm on board for an XS very soon.

The next major concern is noise; I think the XS is definitely the loudest in the bunch of sportjets I've heard. I know there's some other threads dealing specifically with this issue, but it seems to me that the manufacturer really needs to address this. Boat Shop said they were trying to get Jetcraft to use hushmat instead of bubble wrap but I haven't heard if this has gone through yet.
 

broncoformudv

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I will vouch for Wooldridges ability to keep tracking no matter how hard you cut it. Yes it does cause a bleed off of speed but then again no matter what load I have I can let go of the steering wheel and it stays straight. It is nice not having to constantly fight the steering while in the lakes and ocean.
 

fishin_ak

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SJ Owner

SJ Owner

Don't want to get ambushed among all the XS owners...lol Not having ridden in an XS I would have to feel what they handle like to say that the SJ slides around a turn. I've ridden in and driven some outboard jets and they DO slide. Like Crumm said, you have to learn to work the throttle in a sharp turn or the SJ, just like you experienced in the XS will eventually turn sharp enough to lift the intake out of the water. My '04 SJ has the 210 merc and I get almost identical fuel numbers as mentioned. I guess I better crawl under that puppy and check for cracks...lol. Mine is holding up just fine. I also try to keep it off the rocks as much as I can. Bottom line is like everyone will eventually tell you. It all boils down to preference and what you're willing to spend. I got a steal on mine used so didn't do alot of comparison shopping. Which ever boat you choose, you'll have a blast. Take the thing to a lake and put it through it's paces to see how it handles and then hit the river and give 'er hell. BTW, the only complaint I have about my SJ is the noise. I can't wait to get back from the sandbox and try out some of the advice I've gotten on quieting it down.
 

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I found this quote from ToshiroAK along with a couple other videos.

"I don't grind rocks much. If I did, then yes it would do tremendous damage to the hull. The XS is NOT a tough hull. The structure is pretty crappy. For example, only welded on the inside and the internal structure (verticle ribs) aren't even welded to the sides. I was told that it is done that way for the 'preflex' design but I think it is just to save time and make the boat look better from the outside (no weld lines visible) The XS is not a rock basher. It will run shallow though"
 

tjm

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wow, a spam post managed to bring up a fun topic from the archives...:D...

The XS isn't a rock basher.....if you want that look elsewhere...

If you can drive and avoid hitting too much it is pretty neat where these things can go....but then again, if you can drive, there are a lot of boats that go to all the same places...:D
 

Ellamar

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Try 'em both...

Try 'em both...

Test drive them both, they're both great boats. That's what I did and ended up with a SJ. I felt that the SJ was easier to handle and the power to weight ratio made the SJ a bit more responsive. We haul huge loads moose hunting and the SJ has proven to be a moose hunting machine...all that room in the bow fits 8 quarters nicely. Weight was also a factor in my decision since I have 2 young sons who love to fish but wouldn't be too much help pushing the sled off a sand bar...

The only requirement the wife had was a heater which the SJ has...for some reason the Boat Shop guys can't quite get figured out for the XS, so that was another point for the SJ. Sure you can retrofit an Espar or Webasto, but that was another $2K plus and you've got a separate diesel tank, etc. and you'd have to cover the large gaps that the XS's have between the bulkhead and the bow to hold the heat in.

I like to stand when I drive which at 6'4" I could easily do in the SJ, in the XS I had to bend way over. This was still the case in the '09s and I'm sure it could be retrofitted, not sure at what cost.

The bottoms were a concern, but the rivers I run are sand or gravel, so it wasn't a big factor in my decision. I figure if the day comes that my '06 SJ needs a new bottom, I'll have Karold slap a thicker one on for $4k and my pocketbook will still come out ahead.

They're both godawful loud...not going to get away from that. On short trips it was no big deal, maybe a set of muffs from Arctic Fire...on long trips down the Yukon an iPod and a pair of Bose noise cancelling headphones worked great.

Again, drive them both as they're both great products, it's like buying a pair of hunting boots...pick the one that fits you best.
 

Hoyt

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Been in both, both are nice boats. I perfer Wooldridge :). The guys at the Boat Shop are very nice, cool guys. I really like Mike and Randy. They will talk to you forever. Crumm do you work there, or are you just that into the XS? LOL. Craig is Craig, but it's hard to take away from the fact that the guy comes up with some pretty cool ideas. SJ weighs in at around 1750 LBS, give or take dependingon the options you get. XS is more around 2300 lbs. Heavier boat, less options, but a nice thick bottom. By the way, it is my understanding the cracking on the SJ's was a problem awhile ago, and it had to do with the positioning of the boat on the trailer, the problem was fixed. Again, I don't perfer either boats, although they are nice. Both places will let you take them out and test drive them. I am the type of person that will research the hell out of a $200 fishing reel, imagine what I'm like when it comes to dropping 40K on a boat! Research, test drive, buy what YOU like (not what everyone else likes)!
 

Hoyt

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I wil also say that my buddy, who is an SJ owner, called Karolds before his bought his SJ to see what they had to say about the report that SJ's were in there all the time. The answer he got from them was that they work on both the SJ and XS about an equal amount of time.
 

AkRascal

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The only requirement the wife had was a heater which the SJ has...for some reason the Boat Shop guys can't quite get figured out for the XS, so that was another point for the SJ.


Don't know about the heater bit, our XS came with one, yes, wife requirement, and it will cook us out.. sorry, don't know the brand it is whatever the Boat Shop installed.
 

emartens123

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what about Thunderjet-Denali

what about Thunderjet-Denali

Hi guys, anybody up there own one, looking for any feedback good or bad. I had a good look at one and listened to all the usuall bla bla bla from the salesman on how their boats are the best of the best.The rep from Thunderjet told me that they brought in a SJ, tore it down and tried to improve on all the bad points from a SJ. The only real difference that I could see was the Denali has a thicker bottom .190 with the glue on UHMW, also had a sticker price of 52K :eek: I thought maybe with these hard economic times prices would have come down a bit :D

Thanks
 
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