Jet boats are proving their value in the small bow rider world, but they’re also gaining popularity in many other areas. Consider the 22′-24′ runabouts. This size range is very popular. They are still small enough to be trailered, but large enough to take on larger waters and accommodate more people. It may surprise you to learn that the 23-footer isn’t powered by an outboard motor or sterndrive, but rather a jet. The use of a jet boat in Perth, specifically, underscores the versatility and adaptability of these watercraft in various geographical locations and preferences.
Jets have overcome the stigma that they once carried and are now just another option for propulsion. Others, such as the Yamaha 190 FSH, are also becoming more popular in the fishing industry. Let’s not forget the Scarab ID 255 or 235 for 2024.
Why is jet boating being used for more and different types of boating? Why are they so popular? Jet boats have many advantages.
Jet Boat Advantages
Safety: Jet-driven boats are touted to be safer than prop-driven boats because there is no rotating prop that can strike a skier or swimmer. Boating is very safe, regardless of the type of engine you use. However, knowing that there’s no propeller below the waterline gives parents an extra sense of security.
Draft: Jet-drive boats have long been praised for their superior draft, which can range from 12 to 17 inches. A jet drive’s typical draft is the same as a sterndrive, but only to the depth of the boat. This allows them to navigate in shallower water with ease and reduces the risk of a stern drive causing damage or running aground.
Acceleration: Jet Boats are generally fast to plane, with a bow-rise of less than 20 degrees. This gives them an advantage in visibility, since the captain is rarely blinded by the boat as it takes off. A motorist may lose their forward vision on some propeller-driven vessels for up to three or four seconds. Jets are able to accelerate at a rate that is thrilling and with a throttle response that is instantaneous. Other propulsion systems cannot match this.
Handling: Jet boats offer a sportscar-like experience. Jet boats are a great way to bring out your inner teenager, whether you’re an adult or not. Jets are fast and agile because they can re-direct their thrust in an instant. Your average jet can leave other ships behind if you give the wheel a quick jerk and punch the throttle. The majority of jets don’t charge as hard, which enhances the driver’s sense of control. You can’t express how incredible jet boat handling is, but our video of the Scarab 165ID, where we make some crazy turns, will give you a good idea.
Jet boats are not for everyone. As with all boats, jet boats have some disadvantages. Some of these negative characteristics can be attributed experience. Boaters who have a background using outboards or inboards will always struggle to hold on to a jet. Jet boat drivers are able to handle their boats with absolute precision. It takes practice, just like anything else. Less is more.
Jet Boat Disadvantages
Shifting to Reverse and Neutral: Jet Boats can’t reverse their impeller’s direction (For those that don’t get it: “This is to say that a propeller’s gears can be reversed to move left or right in direction, giving you the propulsion for moving forward or in reverse.”) This sentence does not imply that the article says that jet boats cannot go in reverse. The reverse system works by dropping a bucket or reverse gate over the water stream exiting the pump. These buckets are used to divert the flowing water so that it goes forward instead of backwards, allowing water to reverse.
The reverse gate bucket can be adjusted to divert part of the air, simulating the neutral. The Scarab Jet Boats come with an INR Module that can be set to a positive or negative number in order to counteract any current pushing the bow or the stern. The boat can be parked in neutral next to a dock and we will not move.
Low speed handling: Jet Boats of certain brands, such as Yamaha, tend to have difficulty in maneuvering at low speeds around the dock because they are equipped with smaller steering nozzles. Yamaha jet boats can have difficulty driving in a straightline, as they tend to drift off one side, especially during windy conditions. A rudder can help improve this situation. Drivers who are inexperienced can be fooled by the slow speed zones and approaching the pier. They may oversteer. It is not a huge difference, but the driver will need to make more frequent course corrections. If you want to steer it like a tractor by over-steering, adding a little throttle will help. The Scarab Jet Boats drive like cars with immediate responses, requiring less input by the Captain.
Performance: Jet boats today are relatively powerful and cost less than an outboard with a similar horsepower.
Volume: 2 stroke jet boats are often louder than propeller-driven vessels, in part because of their higher revs. Boat manufacturers have taken steps to mitigate this problem in their newer models and have also been working hard to reduce noise levels. Jet boats were louder in the 1990’s and had a higher pitch, but this is no longer the case with today’s 4-stroke models.
Are Jet Boats Best?
Nobody could claim with any accuracy that jet boats are generally “better”. You could not call them “worse”, either. They have advantages and disadvantages, just like the other power systems. This makes them better or worst for different people depending on their priorities. They are still a viable option for propulsion and worth considering before purchasing your next vessel. Consider the local depths of your water to make this decision. This will save you from staring at the depth gauge for hours.