http://www.g3boats.com/gator_tough_jet_ ... _jon_boats
However my question is about the 16'5" model. they have it rated to hold a 60hp....which puts out approximately 40hp. I'm concerned it won't have enough get up and go with this size motor. Any thoughts on motor options since a conventional prop drive is out of the question? or any other boat options that are similar?
A 60/40 HP jet will push a 16.5' pretty good once you get on step. Jet boats only run at speed so they are on step and it takes a little getting use to running in shallow water at top speed. My experience with jet powered Jon boats was in Alaska and they were work horses more than fishing boats. Here are some things to think about based on my experience.
1. This boat and other Jon boats I see used for jet boats have .100 bottoms. In Alaska we added a 3/16" to 1/4" plate across the bottom of the boat for the last 3' or 4'. When you run flat out on step this is the part of the boat that is in the water. If you hit a rock or run up on a rocky sand bar that extra protection was welcomed. This help to increase the longevity of the boat. I don't know how that would work with this tunnel hull.
2. The tunnel hull is not a big deal. with the wide flat bottom the short area of the tunnel doesn't help much if any. You can see in this photo that the jet is sitting just about where it would be if the tunnel was not there. If you see a Jon without the tunnel that you like, I would not hesitate to get one with out the tunnel. There is little difference in the performance between the two as far as shallow running.
3, If you get an outboard jet like in the above picture you need to carry a tool kit. You need to remove the bottom of the jet at home so you know how to put it together. The impeller is down there and the drive shaft fits into the impeller. Once you get the bottom off and ready to put back together you might need a special tool to align the drive shaft back into its gear. I made a tool out of 1/8" aluminum to help guide the drive shaft. I can tell you how to make one if you need. My experience was several years ago and they may have solved this problem. Just make sure you know how the jet goes together before you hit the water. Make sure you have wrenches on board that fit the bolts holding on the bottom unit. The adjustments for the impeller as it wears is here also.
4. Carry a water-a-long in the boat and 50' to 100' of wire cable. The 1/8th diameter is good. You also need a 24" steel bar that is sharpen on the bottom. Something like a horseshoe stake. Also carry at least a 2 pound hammer. You use this stuff when you run up on a sandbar and get stuck. Most times you can find a tree on the bank to hook you cable to. In a big, wide, shallow river you might have to drive the stake into the river bottom. Always make sure that the cable is fastened around the bottom of the stake. With these items I was always able to get unstuck with just me and my wife along.
5. Outboard Jet Jon boats are a great way to run rivers but they are not without their problems. As mentioned you have to run at speed and this can get you really stuck. If you lose power it is really hard to control them floating down river with the currant. You will need some long handles paddles so you don't have to bend over to paddle. A good anchor for a river boat is a bell anchor. If you have to dead stick down river you can drag the anchor in the water or on the bottom to help keep you straight. With out the something dragging in the water you will be sideways or spinning around most of the time. A loaded Jon boat is really hard to paddle.
- Reel Old Geezer
- TT Gear Crew
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- Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2005 11:19 am
- Location: So Shore of Lake Lowell
I have wondered for a while what kind of boat you ran, if you're running the 18' deluxe then I must be on the right track! love seeing all your pics and stories of the Snake river smallies you always seem to get on!Reel Old Geezer wrote:I own the 18' deluxe version of that boat. I have had it for 6 years and really have enjoyed the boat. I fish for smallmouth in the Snake River in Idaho for 150+ days each year and it does the job for me. Mine has a 90/60 on it.
You have an idea of where I would be then as well. I'd be using this boat to run the upper Allegheny river, Juniata River, Yough River, and occasionally Susquehanna river as well!BHfishingFL wrote:I ran a 16 foot alumacraft with a 60/40 on the susquehanna in PA for many years.I am still using it now in Florida.The motor will push the boat fine.You will problary do around 30 with it.PM me if you have any questions
FrankW, thanks for all the input. I still have a year or two before I actually am able to get a boat as I'm still in college now. However I like to have an idea of what I'd be looking for. If I'm gonna spend the money, it's gonna be exactly what I want and you guys have helped me out.
Lastly, anyone have any experience with these boats? Some of the models look very interesting to me and what I would be doing.
P.S. they also have a line of tunnel hull jet boats that are not listed on the website but are in their catalog
The Extreme is more of the type of boat you would see in Alaska. The 1/8" hull makes for a very strong boat. Buying a boat with super strong construction is always a plus but the price goes up. There is no need to buy the heavier construction if you don't need it for the waters you run. If you are running big deep rivers with no rocks or sand bars then the more common .100 gauge boats are good. I fished Alaska with a 20' freighter canoe with a 25hp jet. It was a super boat for my wife and me fishing remotely. If we ran up on a sand bar we just stepped out of the boat and it would float off. The big advantage of the canoe was it did not have to be on step to run. I could go just fast enough to move up stream and pick and choice my path around rocks.
I like these Extreme boats. They are fully welded and the pipe gunnel makes the top of the boat very ridged. Tough boats and they do have an option for a heavier gauge bottom.
With an outboard jet the height of the front lip of the intake is very critical in relation to the bottom of the boat. You need quiet water coming into the jet with as little air as possible. The following drawing shows the relationship between the leading edge of the jet intake and the bottom of the boat. This is critical for top performance. A miss-alignment of 1/8" to 1/4" can make a difference. The lip on the back of the boat in the picture is a trick to present quiet water into the jet. We use to use just a flat bar place across the bottom of the boat. Some need them, some don't. However you do need the leading edge of the jet to be close to the boat. The further away you get the more oxygenated water you get into the jet. The more air induced to the impeller the less power created by the jet.
You can see in the picture in the above post that the leading edge of the jet with the tunnel may be a 1/2" higher than without the tunnel. Of course the jet in the above post may not be set correctly. I don't think people use props with tunnels because they run shallower than a jet, but because they run shallow and have more power.
Here is a picture of the best river boat I ever fished out of. We started with Jon boats with a jet but they were too much boat for me and my wife to handle alone in isolated areas. Our 20' freighter canoe was just perfect for us. It was easy to paddle and maneuver for fishing.
First thing, which it seems youre already doing is lots of research.
I,run jet outboards om the Delaware river and suski (when i get time ) both are jon style boats without a tunnel my 16' jon with with stick steer up front and 25/20 jet drafts about 5" of water with the motor down and can idle and take off in that. Very balanced and light weight. My 150lb frame can drag this boat off anything. This boat can sneak in almost anywhere on a shallow river. It wont win any races. My buddy keeps his 18' polarcraft with a 60/40 jet at my place. I operate this boat regularlty, its alittle under powered but run most areas very well. Handles standing waves very well however this boat drafts more water and isnt the greatest when the river are at summer lows. Mid boat side console makes for so so Visibility. Draggin this boat off a shoal sucks!!
Give a good look at snyder jet boats and rockproof boats both from PA near the susky. Both are custom hulls and make both inboard (well snyder has made at least 1 and its awesome) and outnoard jet models. Both have JET tunnel hulls , never seen either without in fact. Both can be had with uhmw applied to the bottom. Riverpro also makes an inboard The inboards are all pricey. Ive been in all three and operated the riverpro (wow theyre fast) and Snyder. Snyder may have a LONG WAITING LIST and he can be SLOW building a boat. Used snyders pop up from time to time priced reasonable. still dont count out the g3 and other massed produced hulls they can serve you well too.
There are prop tunnels and jet tunnels and they are different. Prop tunnels are deeper and dont work well with jets. To tunnel or not to tunnel all depends on the rivers you fish. On the Delaware and North branch susquehanna you can get away without a tunnel 90% of the time. The main stem north and south of harrisburg is tunnel territory. Ledges ledges ledges! And they love to rip intakes and reverse gates off the back of your boat. Running this area without a tunnel you beter know the river and its levels well and still poroceed with caution. IMO go with a tunnel for shallow PA rivers . My next boat will have one and uhmw polymer on the bottom.
Whatever you decide on, learning to read water and knowledge of the rivers and levels is key.