The first thing that comes to people’s minds once the term Jetboat is mentioned is that it might have similarities with a big jet ski. Yes, the major similarity is the jet propulsion that the jet boat and the big Jet Ski use.
Unlike the typical propeller system where the propeller rotation is reversed to give astern movement, a water boat will pump continuously while a deflector is dropped in the Jet stream after it has left the outlet nozzle. For reverse thrust to occur, the deflector redirects forces thrust forward.
Meanwhile, a jet boat is much more similar to a conventional fiberglass runabout. In 2018, jet boat sizes ranged from 16” – 24”. Jet boats under 20” are smaller and typically have one engine, while the larger jet boats will have twin engines. If you wish to know more about different boat ranges, marineservices.co.nz/jet-boats might be a good resource.
Advantages of owning jetboats
Jetboats have various advantages over conventional stern drives. These advantages can be enough to make you pick a jet boat over a typical stern drive depending on where and how you intend to boat.
Typically, there is nothing hanging down under the boat as the jet boat doesn’t have a driveshaft/prop or outdrive. So potentially, a jet boat can be operated in as low as 12 inches of water or less (not that this is recommended). A jet boat is an excellent option for you if the lake you intend to boat on has stumps or is shallow.
With a glance inside most modern-day jet boats, you will immediately notice that the amount of space in the cockpit is undoubtedly larger than the cockpit in a stern drive. This is because of the positioning of the jet motors in the boat. They sit further and lower back. They don’t need any sun pad above and can have the cockpit area extended from 12 – 18” unlike a stern drive that is similar in size. With this, you could probably get the interior of a 24-inch stern drive in a 22-inch jet boat.
Jet boats are capable of performing in ways that the stern boat wouldn’t even dream of. Jet boats have an unrivalled turning ability and superb acceleration. They are capable of having fantastic top-speed, but this is depending on the setup of the engine and its horsepower rating.
There are no exterior propellers on jet boats. This means that the risk of spinning prop related accidents is non-existent. Even when the motor is not running, the prop and outdrive could get in the way when diving or swimming. There is nothing to be found exposed behind a jet boat. This makes the jet boat an appealing choice for parents who have small children.
This is related to the safety advantage in a way. Wake surfing is now possible since there is no prop sticking out behind the jet boat. Though a fairly new trend in the world of water sports, it has far surpassed wakeboarding and skiing by being the most popular water activity. It involves the use of the wake behind a boat to propel a small surfboard while you are standing on it without the use of a rope. Typically, it is done close to the back of the boat, which makes it unsafe is the boat has an exposed outdrive and prop. You can only use an inboard boat, a jet boat or the new Volvo FFD to wake surf safely.
How are jet boats maintained?
Unlike outboard powered boats and the stern drive, jet boats have far less moving parts. A fewer number of moving parts in a boat spells less wear and tear as well as lesser maintenance for the owner to worry about. To anyone familiar with the most commonly used acronym in the boating world, “B-O-A-T,” meaning “break off another thousand,” this fact is attractive. Expressions like these come from the misconception that boats are too expensive to own. With its simplicity, ease of serviceability and reliability, the modern jet boat has changed this misconception.
This means that your jet boat will not require too much work, and if it does, you won’t find it difficult to do; For instance, the leading company in jet boat sales, Yamaha Jet Boats, requires only a couple of maintenance items annually. A change of spark plug and one oil change. There is no need for winterization.