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Jet Boats in Salt Water?

Old 04-23-2015, 04:09 PM
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Default Jet Boats in Salt Water?

I live in downtown Tampa and am looking to buy a boat. I'm looking for something easy to maintain, cruise around to dock bars, water ski here and there and every now and then take to the beach. I'm leaning towards a bowrider as it seems like the best option to accommodate 4-6 people comfortably. We don't fish at all and are just looking for a boat that we can lounge around in and waterski off of. I'm considering the Yamaha SX192, but wonder how jet boats do in salt water. Would very much appreciate any insight.
Old 04-23-2015, 04:42 PM
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I owned a jet outboard once that I used to fish redfish that had their backs out of the water. A couple memories come to mind; avoid running over floating mats of weeds or debris because it is going right into the intake in mass quantities. The other thing is have it services early and often. Even if the lower end doesnt need repair it needsto be taken apart and lubed religiously (once or twice a year) or hardware will seize and you will be going from the mechanic to the machine shop to have bolts without heads removed and the holes redrilled. No experience with inboard jets, but my guess is all jets share these characteristics.

ptag
Old 04-23-2015, 04:54 PM
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there are many many options; I am not a jet boat fan for several reasons, low speed control being one of them. There are also plenty of more seaworthy hulls out there. What's your budget? You looking new or used?

(That having been said, there are plenty of folks who love their jetboats).
Old 04-23-2015, 04:57 PM
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I'm not a jet boat fan either. Just get a simple 17-20 ft open fish with a single and enjoy ease. Parker makes a great 18ft.
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Old 04-23-2015, 05:13 PM
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Them damn jet skis don't seem to ever stop! Have you looked at a dual console boat? Less cushions but the same layout as a bow rider. More of a fishing boat with little vinyl to clean. No carpet either.
Old 04-23-2015, 06:59 PM
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The biggist concern would be weather you plan to wet slip or dry store. Jet boats don't do well left in the water. I don't know the pros to having a jet other than shallow runnning .
Old 04-24-2015, 02:54 AM
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Pros: Fun, get on plane quickly, safe ..no prop to cut kids in water skiing and boarding.Cons: stay out of weeds, dished hull rough in a chop.
Old 04-24-2015, 04:23 AM
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I run a Yamaha SX230HO and my buddy just bought a Yamaha SX210. Previously I owned a 23' Carolina Skiff.

These boats are great all around boats and believe it or not are rather seaworthy. I have spent a lot of time around the Tampa Bay area and the only issue I have ever had was with the floating mats of weeds. There are clean out plugs that you can access from topside so it's not that big of an issue.

The past two days I was out running in water that was less than 2' deep which is something that most boats out there can't do. I had 6 people with me.
Old 04-24-2015, 04:51 AM
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the Hamilton jets we run on our RHIBs have corrosion problems between a stainless ring around the impeller and the aluminum housing.
Old 04-24-2015, 04:58 AM
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You may want to talk to your neighbors. There are not a lot of days that you can run out and back from downtown to the beach in Tampa Bay comfortably in only a 19 ft boat. You may be better off with a deep v if you make that run frequently. There is a lot of big open water between you and the beaches. The bay kicks up to some nasty chop. Good Luck.
Old 04-24-2015, 06:16 AM
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A buddy of mine has a Yamaha jetboat of some type. Can't recall the model. He keeps it dry stored at a marina along the intercoastal. For his use, it's fine. He spends the vast majority of his time in the ICW. Takes his kids out for shallow fishing, etc.

If you plan on using it primarily in the bay, then I'm sure it would be fine. Rinse it after use and run it. If you plan to venture offshore with it, I'd pick something else. On a good day, you could, theoretically, take it offshore a bit, and I see plenty of boats near-offshore that are not really suited for it. The gulf conditions can change quickly, so if this is in your plans, a boat more suited would be better.
Old 04-24-2015, 06:29 AM
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I live south of you down in Naples, one of the boats I own is a Yamaha 232 Limited. Its actually surprisingly seaworthy. Not the driest of boats mind you but it has a good bit of deadrise and I take it offshore quite a bit when I dont want to run the intercoastal. It is my first jet boat and I had heard a lot of nay say about it's slow speed maneuvering capabilities. But I have to say that now I'm used to it, I can do way more in it than I can on any outboard boat I've owned. It's just different and takes some getting used to. The twin drive on it makes tight dock maneuvering just stupid easy. It also has an idle setting for no wake zones which is really nice. I trailer mine and haven't had an issue with it as far as being exposed to saltwater goes. Its so much better for entertaining, going to the bar, or partying at the beach than any CC I've owned.
Old 04-24-2015, 08:25 AM
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Jet boats suck for everything but skinny water running. Sucks gas, loud, sucks in weeds and trash, higher maintenance, parts are expensive. Low resale value generally and lower reliability. The only way I'd consider one is for running rocky skinny water, certainly never for pleasure boating or cruising.
Old 04-24-2015, 10:56 AM
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While I would hesitate to recommend a jet for the OP's purposes...but it is close....from my 25 year experience, 10 years with an OB jet and 15 years with an inboard jet, I would clarify your post a bit. OB jets suck gas. INboard jets are MORE efficient per powerhead than an OB prop. My INboard jet, in 15 years, has had ZERO maintenance.....OR parts....until this year when some routine lubing was done.

Lower reliability? Yes, for an INboard IF one is talking about sucking weeds and debris. THAT depends on the water environment it is run in and the brains and sensitivity of the operator.. And, think about it, an OB jet has many fewer parts, moving parts, and exposure to serious hazard than ANY prop is. Price of parts?? I wouldn't know, haven't had to replace anything in 15 years. The Unreliability of a prop doesn't occur to someone operating out in blue water, but my friend who guides out of Chokoloski has had to replace his lower unit twice and lesser work for gear damage several more times. We had a fishing day ruined and limped back with gear damage. Now, I would not recommend a jet either in that skinny, backcountry Everglades environment, but when it comes to reliability....well....it all depends now, doesn't it.

And, the resale value of inboard jets here, in the NW at least, is excellent.
Old 04-24-2015, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim311 View Post
Jet boats suck for everything but skinny water running. Sucks gas, loud, sucks in weeds and trash, higher maintenance, parts are expensive. Low resale value generally and lower reliability. The only way I'd consider one is for running rocky skinny water, certainly never for pleasure boating or cruising.

I don't think he's talking about a jet boat like you are thinking. Years ago I had a 1977 Sleekcraft with a Berkely jet drive on a 455 Olds engine. That was fit your description to a T.

The new Sea Doo or Yamaha jet boats are nothing like what you described above and you darn sure don't want to run rocky water with them.


Old 04-24-2015, 02:51 PM
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I had an inboard powered jet boat with Hamilton pump. The hull was made to run shallow water, so any chop hurt. But, that's a hull issue, not a propulsion issue. We have the same high-output 6.0L V8 and pump in two other boats (22' and 23') with a deeper V to them and they run just fine in the chop. They do eat more fuel to cover the same distance and speed as the identical hulls that we have 200 HP Yahama 4 strokes on. The inboard motors/pumps are louder and eat up room inside the boat. The maintenance is just like having a V8 in your truck, but worry about the corrosion issue. Another con is that inboard jets HAVE NO NEUTRAL. You are either going forward a little, backward a little, or going in something like a circle. So, if you want to just sit in place with the motor running, you get to stay at the wheel and have to pay attn. AS said above, an inboard jet will steer like a snake at slow speeds. It take thrust to steer an inboard jet (rudder, like an outboard). I've sucked up heavy test mono and braided fishing line into my pump, twice. Cost about $1,200 each time to drop the motor, R&R the pump, and reinstall the motor.

What's the advantage of the inboard pump?
- can run in crazy shallow water (if on step)
- other than a straight line at slow speeds, I can out maneuver a prop boat (slow or fast speeds)
- I will never spin a prop or knock the lower unit off at the launch ramp

Would I get another inboard jetboat? Only if I was going to be running calm water, shallow water, or shallow rocky areas.
Old 06-26-2015, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by k9medic View Post
I run a Yamaha SX230HO and my buddy just bought a Yamaha SX210. Previously I owned a 23' Carolina Skiff.

These boats are great all around boats and believe it or not are rather seaworthy. I have spent a lot of time around the Tampa Bay area and the only issue I have ever had was with the floating mats of weeds. There are clean out plugs that you can access from topside so it's not that big of an issue.

The past two days I was out running in water that was less than 2' deep which is something that most boats out there can't do. I had 6 people with me.
Ditto - Love my 242 Limited. On a lift on Shakett Creek in Nokomis. Awesome boats and no problems with salt water.

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