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uffdapete

Jonboats and jet outboards

15 posts in this topic

A friend of mine stationed in Fairbanks and I rented a 16' jonboat with a 35 hp Honda jetdrive conversion for a week to go up the Yukon river about 5 years ago.

It seemed to be a little slower than a prop motor, (ie: 30 mph vs 27 mpg) and the steering response was defintely slower, but it certainly worked fine for our purposes. The steering was more a matter of adustment on our part. We ran some very shallow spots in several rivers with little problem. We got some small stones in the grate at one point and had to clean those out, but that was fairly easy.

I've wondered many times why these units aren't utilized more in Minnesota or the midwest where you're running either rivers with shallow spots or lakes with dangerous shallow reefs. Jet drives and airboats are very common in Alaska.

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I have tons of info on outboard jets,jons made for them, and their setup.I did alot of research before buying my last jet rig.Email me and I will send you all that I have.I ran one for a few years and it was nice.But if you are going to get a jet rig especially of that size (18ft)you should consider a RiverPro.With all honesty, they just can't be beat for price,performance,durability and ease of operation.I know I sound like a commecial but the difference is, I believe it!
If you are planning on being at Eddy's Frog Stompin B-Day get together I will have my HiPro there and give you a ride.Otherwise I will be up on the Rainy River in October.I think thats up in your neighboorhood?

------------------
Minnesota River Guided Fishing
"fishhead"
fishheadds@yahoo.com
www.mnriverguidedfishing.com

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Fisky,
I went out sturgeon fishing on the Columbia with a guide who ran a much bigger jet boat. His biggest gripe against the jet vs. prop. is the amount of gas he used on the jet. That's all I know on the matter.

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Thanks for the info guys. I'll take more iffin anyone has any! Dennis I'll shoot you a e-mail shortly, appreciate anything you could send my way. Those River pros are sweet indeed. I've seen their HSOforum and also got a quick look at someone's on the Saturday of the GFKS tourney a couple weeks back. Models they have now don't quite fit my needs as well as I feel a Jon would. The Hipro model is something like 36 inches deep, and I wonder about range with that big Merc and the inefficiancy of jet drives? Price and weight of a deeper boat with larger engines such as these is also a factor. I do like the layout of that model. Did some on-line shopping and some of those outboard powered jons are almost affordable! Question for you.... Being these are somewhat deeper boats {yours} freeboard wise, and have a slight V to the bottom what is their roughwater ability like? Occasionally there is a decent chop on the Rainy, but most use of the boat I purchase will be on the Red and some tribs of the Red, pretty flat on those waters! Riverpro HSOforum mentioned new models coming. Know anything about what they may have in store for the near future? I won't be heading south to Fargo, but I do spend alot of time at my trailerhouse near Wheeler's access come the fall season. Maybe let me know where and when you'll be up and I could check yours over and maybe get a quick spin.

Thanks again guys....Fisky

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fivebucks,
Fuel economy and range are some of my biggest concerns. This is the main reason I'm thinking 4stroke outboard jet over some of the other options. Odds are I'll end up going the prop route. I make some fairly long runs on the Red now and then, and a few 2 day overnite ramp to ramp trips as well, streches of the Red I fish are okay for a prop boat most years. This year I'm shutout of some spots on some of the tribs I fish due to low water unless I do float trips via small Jon. Main reason I'm contemplating a jet jon. Talk about gas hogs, 2 years ago I went out to Lake Michigan to do some Salmon fishing with my younger brother, we hooked up with a buddy of his who had just purchased a 22 foot Alumaweld if I remember the brand right. This was one sweet rig and all decked out to the tune of about 50k, V hulled, hardtop, the works.....also a 350 Vortec powering a jetpump. This thing was harder on fuel than my uncles 454 inboard Baha Cruiser....Yikes! This guy has plenty of coin for such a machine though! Must be nice.

Fisky

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I spent 2 summers guiding in alaska up on lake creek. We used 18' Lowe semi-V w/ 45hp evinrudes (we called them jetsleds). Fun ride w/ 2" draft! With a 45hp and a jet conversion I think you lose about 1/3 power so it's actaully more like a 28hp but that was plenty to haul me and up to 4 people on plane. Jets can get you just about anywhere and are much better as far as erosion in rivers as well-Good luck and have fun!
redhooks

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The Merc Sport jets are much more efficient than outboard jets.The water is only deflected a small degree.The impelar is horizontle and the water flows thru the jet.In an outboard the impellar is verticle and the water makes a full turn.Its sucked up and goes in a circle before leaving the nozzle.You also don'tlose much power from the motor.I have a 175 Merc Sport Jet and its a 200hp head.I think it produces 183hp at the jet but they call it a 175 becuase thats catchy! smile.gifOutboards loose 25 to 30 percent of the head rated HP.
My RiverPro gets just a hair under 4 mile to the gallon if I am behaving.Just running her at cruising speed around 3500rpms.She will go about 70 miles on the 19 gallon tank.I usually use just about 4 gallons on a typical trip.
I used to run a smaller jon with a jet and used about 3 gallons per trip.I also couldn't go where the RP can go or take all my buddies with!Weight was a very limiting factor in that OB jet rig.

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The River Pro would be my recomondation too.

The rig you may have seen in Grand Forks was Dean Opitz's rig (flathead guide/cop), he found himself in second place.

There are new options for Mercury inboard jets thet would upgrage fuel efficency and performance. The Mercury 200 OptiMax Jet Drive and the Mercury 250 OptiMax M2 Jet Drive have some nice features that would help. If ordering new, I would look hard at these options for a drive.

200OptimaxJetDrive.jpg

Mercury 200 OptiMax Jet Drive
Specifications
HP @ Impeller: 200 (149 kW)
Max RPM (WOT): 5150-5650
Cylinder/Configuration: V-6 (60 degree)
Displacement (CID/cc): 153/2507
Bore & Stroke (in): 3.50 x 2.65
Bore & Stroke (mm): 88.9 x 67.3
Fuel Induction System: 2-stage direct fuel injection
Ignition System: PCM Digital Inductive
Alternator: 60 amp/756 watt (belt-driven)
Weight (lbs / kg): 367/166 (engine and pump)
Lubrication System: Electronically controlled, multi-point, variable ratio oil injection
Flush System: Standard
Cooling System: Self-draining
Starting: Computer controlled, electric with auto-prime and turn-key
Operator Warning System: Engine Guardian - over-speed, overheat, low oil level, low batter voltage, oil system failure, water in fuel, low water pressure, engine sensor failure
SmartCraft: Yes
Pump Type: Mixed flow/high volume
Impeller Diameter (inches): 7.25
Impeller Diameter (millimeters): 184
Impeller Type: 4-blade progressive pitch stainless steel
Trim System: Adjustable plate
Gear Ratio: 1.25:1
Exhaust System: Tuned through-transom with dual mufflers, 3" outlets
Gear Shift: F-N-R with high thrust dual outlet reverse gate
CARB Star Rating: 2

Features & Benefits

Large 7.25" diameter pump pushes more water through the pump for greater thrust, superior effeciency, maximum acceleration and ski towing capability.

Rubber-isolated engine mounting system isolates engine vibrations to give you a smooth, comfortable ride and never requires adjustments or alignment.

Unique, multi-step painting process includes chemical treatment, EDP and chrome epoxy primers and abrasion resistant acrylic paint baked to a hard, corrosion-resistant finish.

Stainless steel impeller with variable pitch provides superior propulsive efficiency, performance and durability.

Low maintenance pump requires only annual lubrication maintenance on all pump bearings, no need to disassemble pump parts to change oil.

SmartCraft compatible engine allows for up-to-the-second engine gauge information and gives advanced warning of possible problems.

Automatic bilge siphon system keeps your engine compartment dry whenever the engine is running, even when the electric bilge pump fails to operate.

High-thrust, dual outlet reverse gate provides unmatched reverse thrust for backing off trailers and maneuverability when backing up.

Fully integrated, easy-to-use engine flush port helps keep cooling system clean from saltwater corrosion and debris.

Mercury 250 OptiMax M2 Jet Drive

250-OptiMax-M2-Jet-Drive2003Large.gif

Specifications
HP @ Impeller: 250 (186 kW)
Max RPM (WOT): 5150-5650
Cylinder/Configuration: V-6 (60 degree vee)
Displacement (CID/cc): 186/3047
Bore & Stroke (in): 3.63 x 3.00
Bore & Stroke (mm): 92.1 x 76.2
Fuel Induction System: 2-stage Direct fuel injection
Ignition System: PCM Digital Inductive
Alternator: 60 amp/756 watt (belt-driven)
Weight (lbs / kg): 434/197 (engine and pump)
Lubrication System: Electronically controlled, multi-point, variable ratio oil injection
Flush System: Standard
Cooling System: Self-draining
Starting: Computer-controlled, electric with auto-prime and turn-key
Operator Warning System: Engine Guardian - over-rev, overheat, low oil level, low battery voltage, oil system failure, water in fuel, low water pressure, engine sensor failure
SmartCraft: Yes
Pump Type: Mixed flow/high volume
Impeller Diameter (inches): 7.25
Impeller Diameter (millimeters): 184
Impeller Type: 4-blade progressive pitch stainless steel
Trim System: Adjustable plate
Gear Ratio: 1.15:1
Exhaust System: Tuned through-transom with dual mufflers, 3" outlets
Gear Shift: F-N-R with high thrust dual outlet reverse gate
CARB Star Rating: 2

Features & Benefits

Large 7.25" diameter pump pushes more water through the pump for greater thrust, superior effeciency, maximum acceleration and ski towing capability.

Rubber-isolated engine mounting system isolates engine vibrations to give you a smooth, comfortable ride and never requires adjustments or alignment.

Unique, multi-step painting process includes chemical treatment, EDP and chrome epoxy primers and abrasion resistant acrylic paint baked to a hard, corrosion-resistant finish.

Stainless steel impeller with variable pitch provides superior propulsive efficiency, performance and durability.

Low maintenance pump requires only annual lubrication maintenance on all pump bearings, no need to disassemble pump parts to change oil.

SmartCraft compatible engine allows for up-to-the-second engine gauge information and gives advanced warning of possible problems.

Automatic bilge siphon system keeps your engine compartment dry whenever the engine is running, even when the electric bilge pump fails to operate.

High-thrust, dual outlet reverse gate provides unmatched reverse thrust for backing off trailers and maneuverability when backing up.

Fully integrated, easy-to-use engine flush port helps keep cooling system clean from saltwater corrosion and debris.

Specifications
HP @ Impeller: 250 (186 kW)
Max RPM (WOT): 5150-5650
Cylinder/Configuration: V-6 (60 degree vee)
Displacement (CID/cc): 186/3047
Bore & Stroke (in): 3.63 x 3.00
Bore & Stroke (mm): 92.1 x 76.2
Fuel Induction System: 2-stage Direct fuel injection
Ignition System: PCM Digital Inductive
Alternator: 60 amp/756 watt (belt-driven)
Weight (lbs / kg): 434/197 (engine and pump)
Lubrication System: Electronically controlled, multi-point, variable ratio oil injection
Flush System: Standard
Cooling System: Self-draining
Starting: Computer-controlled, electric with auto-prime and turn-key
Operator Warning System: Engine Guardian - over-rev, overheat, low oil level, low battery voltage, oil system failure, water in fuel, low water pressure, engine sensor failure
SmartCraft: Yes
Pump Type: Mixed flow/high volume
Impeller Diameter (inches): 7.25
Impeller Diameter (millimeters): 184
Impeller Type: 4-blade progressive pitch stainless steel
Trim System: Adjustable plate
Gear Ratio: 1.15:1
Exhaust System: Tuned through-transom with dual mufflers, 3" outlets
Gear Shift: F-N-R with high thrust dual outlet reverse gate
CARB Star Rating: 2

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Key Features I like.

PCM computer controlled starting offers optimum starting in all weather conditions.

Most sophisticated system offered.

Electronic multi-point direct fuel injection improves fuel economy up to 60% at cruise speeds, meets 2004 CARB exhaust emission standards, and eliminates smoke.

Dual muffler through-transom exhaust with expansion chamber delivers unmatched quiet running for a more comfortable driving experience while enhancing engine performance.

Self-draining cooling system eliminates worry about draining the cooling system after operating in cold temperatures. Reduces winterization costs.

V6 power head offers a powerful, yet compact and efficient engine package with excellent overall performance.

Hydro-Surge automatic weed clean-out system clears weeds and grass from the intake of the jet while keeping rocks and larger debris out without turning the engine off.

This engine has a 2-star CARB rating.

Besides, it's just plain Cool!

------------------
Ed "Backwater Eddy" Carlson

Backwater Guiding "ED on the RED"
701-281-2300
backwtr1@msn.com

[This message has been edited by Backwater Eddy (edited 08-21-2003).]

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Dennis I sent you an e-mail earlier. Holy moly Ed what an informative post, you a sales man for merc now! Thanks for the info guys, but I'm still leaning towards that Jonboat. I never have more than myself and 2 others aboard, cost considerations are the biggest obstacle holding me back from the HiPro, The price on the HiPro is a darn good, no it's a great price for what all a person gets with that rig also, not many 18 foot boats with a motor of that size of any type would come in under that price. Leery of those big block Opti's as the 3 folks I know up here that have ran these had problem after problem and hate them, but I've read here and there that these problems have been fixed on more current engines. Whole different beast on a sportjet setup too I spose. I did find some info on-line regarding outboard jets, and those Merc sportjets, those Merc's do indeed seem the way to go for these higher horsepower rigs for sure. The RP is already quite a bit over what I'm looking to spend, and if I were to option it with one of them Opti's it just pushes it up higher yet. Now if I fall into some unexpected coinage in the next couple months my choices would be less budget limited! Odds are I'll power this boat with a 60-70hp propped 4 stroke anyways, but I'm kinda just fishing for opinions and expieriences from others who've got a bit of info as to the pro's and con's of a rig of this type.

Dennis any chance you could describe your last rig a bit, call me curious G!

Can a kicker be installed somehow on the HiPro with that platform it has on the transom? I troll on occasion in the fall.

Like I said I sure did like what I saw of that guys HiPro in EGF, if I get a chance I'll take a spin in one sometime. If I could only get you 2 up here each twisting on each of my wifes arm's that would probably help too!

Anyone else have any thoughts on this subject feel free....go ahead and keep twisting my arm, you never know!

Thanks much gentlemen....Fisky

[This message has been edited by fiskyknut (edited 08-21-2003).]

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Fisky,
I have to chme in here and tell you that the River Pro is one sweet rig.

That thing goes over rocks and limbs sticking out of the water. I believe the boat drafts water over them at speed. When we were done with the trip, not a scratch on that hull from the ride.

Very comfortable, manuevarable, and it it gets you there in style.

If you don't have $18 for a new one, then you might want to look for a used model.

I've seen a few nice Jons, and yes some are nice, but they sure aren't a River Pro.

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I will be shopping for a new skinny water boat and I am debating the option of a 4 stroke jet outboard powered 18' Jon vs. a propped outboard. I have only been in a boat of this type once and that was a few years back, for a short trip. Does anyone have expierience with these type of rigs? Does anyone know of any websites where these are dicussed, ie. set-up, pros and cons, and what not?

If you know of any links to said info please let me know, fiskyknut at yahoo.com

Thanks all....Fisky

[This message has been edited by fiskyknut (edited 08-21-2003).]

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Sure a bow or transom mount kicker, gas or electric, or both, may be used as a trolling option on River Pro's.
NAFC_image.jpg
You have lots of room for options on the River Pro, that is another selling point in my eyes.

------------------
Ed "Backwater Eddy" Carlson

Backwater Guiding "ED on the RED"
701-281-2300
backwtr1@msn.com

[This message has been edited by Backwater Eddy (edited 08-22-2003).]

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Yes I would require mounting a gas kicker. Looks like that one in the pic Eddy posted is mounted right to the transom platform??? Maybe some kind of optional bracket? Does the HiPro have rod storage?

Saw a post by Dennis Turner saying he is somewhere without internet access at this time. Anyone have a clue as to what they may have in store with the new models coming mentioned on their HSOforum? Possiblly it is the optional power Eddy mentioned prior? Or could it be something else all together? I'd like to see something with the open lay out like the HiPro but with a bit less freeboard. Kinda inbetween the Hi and the Lo, center console, without the rear casting deck, ala HiPro!

A used one eh. This may work into my budget a bit better, any ideas where one may be?

Got your e-mail Dennis, thanks tons....A total plethora of great information!

Fisky

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Kevin Turner did mention some new models might be coming out next year.I am not sure but I think there may be a mid size RiverPro in the the works?
Kevin will know and should have access when he gets back home or to his place in Monti.

I do have a transome mount trolling motor on my HiPro.I just made a bracket from some iron I got at the hardware store.Works good and it back trolls very nice.

I found a couple more articles for you fisky.I will send them when I get the time.I gotta run.Gettin' ready for tonite fishin'
Hey fisky I overloaded your email! Sorry. I told you I had tons of info.Email me when you can handle more! smile.gif

[This message has been edited by Dennis Steele (edited 08-22-2003).]

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Yes Dennis you sure did your homework back when!!! Tons of info filled my mailbox, got the goods stored and have room for more!

Thanks....fiskyknut

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