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Folks-- whats the good/bad/ugly on the jet powered ribs? not looking for generalities, looking for insight from people that have owned one.  the main reason that i would go with a non propeller RIB would be for safety-- my boys are very young, but living in south florida being a land lubber is not an option...  my older son already has an opti, so would be nice to have a support boat for my wife to drive while i sail the opti w the lad.

i'm well aware of the slow speed handling and noise issues with these vessels.  they suck down gas a good rate i understand.  safety trumps these limitations, but how is reliability on these vessels generally?

I'm looking at an early 2000's nautica that has supposedly been recently repowered w/ a 175hp merc jet drive.  i think zodiac did a jet version, and perhaps nouvurania as well

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While you sail the Opti with the child, good luck with that. Rib jet boats looked fun, we took one in a St. Pat's day parade on a trailer. I don't think it worked. All the pain in the ass of a jet ski no benefits expensive. Get a regular RIB outboard with prop guard and don't stick the old lady in a 17' Zodiak with a 90 hp that'll do 50+mph

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On 4/8/2018 at 5:29 PM, hobie17li said:

While you sail the Opti with the child, good luck with that. Rib jet boats looked fun, we took one in a St. Pat's day parade on a trailer. I don't think it worked. All the pain in the ass of a jet ski no benefits expensive. Get a regular RIB outboard with prop guard and don't stick the old lady in a 17' Zodiak with a 90 hp that'll do 50+mph

Thanks.  We've been out a couple times in the opti together, he's only 3, so will be a few years before he can go solo in anything but the backyard pool.

How is a jet ski a pain in the ass? I've owned a bunch of different boats in my life... and ridden a jet ski for about 4 total hours.  let me be clear, I dont like jet skis, but i never found them to be a pain the ass.  the benefit would be that theres space for a couple people and a small amount of gear in the jet boat.

I'm aware of the option to put a prop guard on a regular outboard, was more curious about the jet boat option, as far as specifics from people that have owned them.  how is maintenance on the jet engine?  how hard is it to change out the impeller, etc?

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45 minutes ago, MikeR80 said:

Thanks.  We've been out a couple times in the opti together, he's only 3, so will be a few years before he can go solo in anything but the backyard pool.

How is a jet ski a pain in the ass? I've owned a bunch of different boats in my life... and ridden a jet ski for about 4 total hours.  let me be clear, I dont like jet skis, but i never found them to be a pain the ass.  the benefit would be that theres space for a couple people and a small amount of gear in the jet boat.

I'm aware of the option to put a prop guard on a regular outboard, was more curious about the jet boat option, as far as specifics from people that have owned them.  how is maintenance on the jet engine?  how hard is it to change out the impeller, etc?

Daughter’s boyfriend had one and a good friend had one as his motoryacht tender. Like any marinized Rotax engine (snowmobiles and jet skis) they are fine until they aren’t. Fresh water flush after use is essential for long life. There is a reason the one you are looking at has been repowered. Engine access is often poor but brand specific. As to ride and handling? Typical jet drive. Similar to a jet ski. 3 people is about tight. 4 in a pinch depending on the placard. Quick but a fairly hard ride in chop. 

For the right price, why not? It will likely die before your 3 YO wants to solo in it and it’s only as fast as an adult user wants it to be. 

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I have owned a jet boat and a jet ski.

The jet boat was the second most fun powerboat to drive of my life and always gave me a "throttle fever" grin. Like this:

throtlfvrw.jpg

I discovered how to spin it accidentally on our first outing. Scary that time, but great fun afterwards.

We owned it for one summer. As the seasons changed and the water temperature went down, I explained to my wife that, while it was mildly irritating to go overboard and clear the seaweed from the jet intake in warm water, it was absolutely NOT going to happen once the water fell below 80 degrees, unless she did it. The boat was sold within a month.

The other thing about it that bothered me was the draft. Jet boats can plane into water that won't float the hull. At slow speeds, the jet can suck stuff from the bottom from an impressive distance. I like to explore, meaning go into places where it might or might not be too shallow. The consequences are easier to deal with when using an outboard.

The good news? The impeller that drives the boat IS the water pump impeller. And you probably won't have to change it like those disposable ones in outboards.

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14 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

I have owned a jet boat and a jet ski.

The jet boat was the second most fun powerboat to drive of my life and always gave me a "throttle fever" grin. Like this:

throtlfvrw.jpg

I discovered how to spin it accidentally on our first outing. Scary that time, but great fun afterwards.

We owned it for one summer. As the seasons changed and the water temperature went down, I explained to my wife that, while it was mildly irritating to go overboard and clear the seaweed from the jet intake in warm water, it was absolutely NOT going to happen once the water fell below 80 degrees, unless she did it. The boat was sold within a month.

The other thing about it that bothered me was the draft. Jet boats can plane into water that won't float the hull. At slow speeds, the jet can suck stuff from the bottom from an impressive distance. I like to explore, meaning go into places where it might or might not be too shallow. The consequences are easier to deal with when using an outboard.

The good news? The impeller that drives the boat IS the water pump impeller. And you probably won't have to change it like those disposable ones in outboards.

suck a rock or 2 and come back with the cost of an impeller 

was at river one morning, SUN come UP Time to fucking start the day Morning person or not

so dude 30' away preps boat for an EarlyMorning GLASS Run before breakfast

I start Popping Cold Ones and have breakfast

Dude gets Boat ready and pushes it off the shore enough to still climb it

Skier/driver both about to try a shore start for the 1st time ever

I mention to my Lady Friend the lack of coiled ski-rope in the hand of one on shore

Well All Ready, As Boat starts to pull away a loud Pop noise and motor dies

they Sucked Every Inch of rope and popped the handle off the end

the Sun went down after i had a bitchin Day ... yet they Never got the Rope Out

It was ONE with the impeller and jammed up against the pump like the inside of a golf ball

OutBoards have the place

of note as I was 180 miles from home I had an extra Pump and Engine ready to save the day if I needed it for my Skiz

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If you think a jet drive boat is safer than a prop drive boat for your kids you are barking up the wrong tree.

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On 4/17/2018 at 12:42 PM, BarfBag said:

If you think a jet drive boat is safer than a prop drive boat for your kids you are barking up the wrong tree.

Perhaps you could explain how a prop drive boat is safer for kids than a jet boat?

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I cannot, but I didn't say that a prop boat was safer than a jet boat now did I?

Again, you're barking up the wrong tree.

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Ha. uh, ok.  Yes, I will admit that I believe that a sharp piece of metal turning at thousands of RPMs is more dangerous than a stream of fast moving water.  Crazy, yes I know.  Definitely not barking up the wrong tree, BarfBag.

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On the safety front the lack of slow speed control makes it more dangerous. This issue has been analyzed and hashed out with many junior sailing organizations and programs.  Jet drive lost. Prop guards won. 

On reliability. There is  a reason you don't see many of them around. And does your local shop mechanic have the right size impeller and parts and experience to get you back on the water a day after you suck something thru it? 

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Prop guards are incredibly inefficient, but I agree they are better for junior sailing.  ive been driving powerboats for over 30 years, a bit more experienced than your average junior instructor...  The centerport yc tragedy would not have happened w/ either a jet boat or prop guard.  

when i was a coach we beat the living crap outta the coach boats, so again that context favors the standard outboard w/ cage.  theres really no need for the coach boat throttle to ever be wide open, so the inefficiency is minimixed in that context

Not worried about quick turnaround on repairs, year round boating and other options for getting on the water here.  but i hear ya, hoping to do most of the maintenance and repairs myself

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MikeR.08

I'm not going to try and educate you if you give me down votes right outta the gate you dumb f*ck.

Take a safe boating course and learn something.

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On 4/20/2018 at 8:31 PM, MikeR80 said:

Prop guards are incredibly inefficient, but I agree they are better for junior sailing.  ive been driving powerboats for over 30 years, a bit more experienced than your average junior instructor...  The centerport yc tragedy would not have happened w/ either a jet boat or prop guard.  

when i was a coach we beat the living crap outta the coach boats, so again that context favors the standard outboard w/ cage.  theres really no need for the coach boat throttle to ever be wide open, so the inefficiency is minimixed in that context

Not worried about quick turnaround on repairs, year round boating and other options for getting on the water here.  but i hear ya, hoping to do most of the maintenance and repairs myself

9 hours ago, BarfBag said:

MikeR.08

I'm not going to try and educate you if you give me down votes right outta the gate you dumb f*ck.

Take a safe boating course and learn something.

Darwin is hoping he goes for the jet boat.  

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On 4/12/2018 at 7:55 AM, derelicte said:

what about a regular rib with one of those jet drive outboards?

https://www.mercurymarine.com/en/us/engines/outboard/jet/fourstroke-jet-outboards-25-80-hp/

if you get sick of it you can replace it with a regular ob and sell the jet ob.

 

I work for the company you linked. I wouldn’t wish one of those jet outboards on my worst enemy unless you absolutely needed it to run shallow water. They have all the bad habits of a jet ski, combined with any bad habits of the boat you attach it too. 

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22 hours ago, BarfBag said:

MikeR.08

I'm not going to try and educate you if you give me down votes right outta the gate you dumb f*ck.

Take a safe boating course and learn something.

I'm not going to hold my breathe for you to educate me on how a sharp multi-bladed piece of metal revolving at thousands of RPMs is safer than a stream of fast moving water.  Then again you are a canadian, who's been around here for 10min... you can go back to your 2 month long boating season and cursing at people you don't know on the internet

 

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4 minutes ago, Monkey said:

I work for the company you linked. I wouldn’t wish one of those jet outboards on my worst enemy unless you absolutely needed it to run shallow water. They have all the bad habits of a jet ski, combined with any bad habits of the boat you attach it too. 

thanks for the info.  seemed like a very odd design...

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1 minute ago, MikeR80 said:

thanks for the info.  seemed like a very odd design...

They are a very purpose built engine. Great if your goal is shallow water running, but absolute garbage for most uses. I spent a lot of time using one on a small RIB long before I ever worked for the company that built that evil beast, and I hate them with a passion. 

The average jet ski is designed to deal with using the throttle to steer. Most ribs, not so much. 

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12 hours ago, Monkey said:

I work for the company you linked. I wouldn’t wish one of those jet outboards on my worst enemy unless you absolutely needed it to run shallow water. They have all the bad habits of a jet ski, combined with any bad habits of the boat you attach it too. 

that's funny. thanks for the heads up!

 

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I ended up going with a RIB w a regular outboard, since it was a suzuki w/ 50 hours on it.  After driving a few, the problem with jet RIBs are noise and reliability, they make sense for certain people such as people that have a space limited yacht garage on the back of their 100' footer...

Anywho,

need to fit a bimini on the zodiac (with new after-market tubes)

need prop guard.  are the prop guards specific by mfg? what are the best prop guard companies?

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