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#25176 - 02/21/04 01:55 PM Jet Boats...What's the latest?  
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athiker Offline
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Lake Norman, NC
Does anybody own a jet boat here?

We are looking at boating on a lake fed by a river where you can go a good ways upstream to sandbars if your draft is shallow enough.

I saw Seabuddy's post of 1/5 re: Sugar Sand...I sent for info on their Calais and Sole (doesn't seem to be much diff btwn the two?). They look very much like a reg family bowrider.

I'm just starting to look at these and would appreciate any insight on brands, engines, pricing, mileage, reliability, special considerations, etc. on say about a 20 footer.

Thanks!


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#25177 - 02/21/04 02:06 PM Re: Jet Boats...What's the latest?  
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Looks like you're off to a good start.

Brands: Sugar Sand, Yamaha, Sea Doo

Engines depend on the manufacturer of the boat, Yamaha puts their own engines into the boat. Sea Doo puts both their engines and Mercury Marine engines into their boats. Sugar Sand is primarily Mercury.

As for pricing, I saw a 18' I think, (I have the picture, I'll find it) Sugar Sand for 19,000 at my local boat show.

As for mileage, it depends what motors you are running.

As far as reliability, just make sure you do all the preventative maintenance and tune ups.


1995 Formula 303 SR-1, 454 MAGs
2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
#25178 - 02/21/04 02:09 PM Re: Jet Boats...What's the latest?  
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Ok, the price was 19,900 for a Tango 4+2 with the 240hp Mercury.

One thing I have to add. If you have never been out in one, it might be a good idea to see if you could go for a test ride this spring. One thing I find with Jet Boats is you either love them or hate them. I am happily in the first category.

One common complaint with jet boats are their handling. The first time out, I had some very big problems trying to control the boat, but by the second time out, I had mastered the controls. Now I feel very, very comfortable in the boat. Trust me, they're a blast!

One more thing to keep in consideration is how you'll be using the boat. If you're looking for a family bowrider then don't get an all open boat. Otherwise, you will not be happy whatsoever.


1995 Formula 303 SR-1, 454 MAGs
2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
#25179 - 02/21/04 02:20 PM Re: Jet Boats...What's the latest?  
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KCook Offline
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Phoenix
The serious river jets are aluminum, not fiberglass ...

#25180 - 02/21/04 04:00 PM Re: Jet Boats...What's the latest?  
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athiker Offline
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Lake Norman, NC
KCook: Where do I find an aluminum one?...or are they custom?

F14: I would like the general layout of a more traditional bowrider. That's why the Sugar Sand looked interesting...two models have a full windshield. I had only seen the more open, extremely curvy and smaller boats before. Which looked fun, but not so practical for a family. I will check out the Yamaha and see what they have.

I had gone to Sea Doo before but couldn't find the boats, only PWC...I found 'em now tho.

I was also under the impression they were poor on gas, but SS's website claims otherwise now.

One other question...does the wake differ a lot from a sterdrive? Say for wakeboarding...or is the deadrise more relevant there. Would it actually be a nicer wake for skiing?

Thanks again.


2000 Cobalt 206 5.7L EFI Alpha 1
#25181 - 02/21/04 04:25 PM Re: Jet Boats...What's the latest?  
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F14bombcat Offline
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At - Here's a link to Aluminum jet boats. http://www.harbercraft.com/Home/

The wake does differ, because the sterndrive will put out a bigger wake. But the wake can still be used for waterskiing, tubing and kneeboarding. Have yet to try the wakeboarding.


1995 Formula 303 SR-1, 454 MAGs
2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
#25182 - 02/21/04 07:06 PM Re: Jet Boats...What's the latest?  
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KCook Offline
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The aluminum jet boats for running rivers are found in the PacNW. Here is a good thread on them - iboats Boating Forums » ... » Aluminum Jet Boats - why not?

Dunno how well they wakeboard,
Kelly

#25183 - 02/22/04 02:33 AM Re: Jet Boats...What's the latest?  
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Newton Ks
I have an old-fashioned jet, as you can see from my by-line, and F14 Bombcat has it all correct. You DO either love them or hate them. The steering when slow is probably the toughest thing to get good at but is amazing once you learn when and how much throttle to use.
The greatest part is they are not very labor intensive as a rule. My pump has a thrust bearing to grease occasionally and a rear shaft bearing that I fill with Gear Lube a couple times a year. I have ruined an impeller once from excessive sand ingestion (won't ever be back on THAT shallow lake again) but that was $260 after 12 years, 14 years ago. Most of my moving nozzle parts are pinned on nylon bushings which seem to last forever.
They are a mixed bag for towing skiers as the holeshot is wonderful but a strong-pulling cutting skier does actually pull the back of the boat around, slightly but it can be felt. The wake is fairly small because of the shallow draft on plane (I need about 6" water at plane, about 3" WFO). The safety aspect is just a bonus, I have NO rotating parts that can be touched by human body parts. About 15 years ago I discovered a battery going bad while on the water. Instead of scrapping a chunk of the afternoon just to replace it, we skied the fuel away and replaced the battery when we fueled up. We just never shut down for 3 hours.


That streak that howled by? That was me. Did ya like the roostertail? Big Blocks and Jets Forever
1978 Hawiian 20' Bowrider, 454, Dominator pump
1990 Magnum Mach 1 24' Cuddy Cabin Cruiser, 454, Bravo 1 drive.
1993 Suburban 454 tows the Mach 1 to water.
2001 Blazer 4x4 4.3L gets the Hawaiian wet.
#25184 - 02/22/04 09:24 AM Re: Jet Boats...What's the latest?  
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athiker Offline
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athiker  Offline
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Lake Norman, NC
Lowrider: Thanks...two jetboat sites I came across. Not exactly the kind of jetboats I'm looking for but the Whitewater Racing sure looks fun! \:D

http://www.realjetboats.com
http://www.jetboatracing.com





2000 Cobalt 206 5.7L EFI Alpha 1
#25185 - 02/22/04 09:37 AM Re: Jet Boats...What's the latest?  
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athiker Offline
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athiker  Offline
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Lake Norman, NC
We are thinking something more like this:

http://www.yamaha-motor.com/products/models.asp?lid=4&lc=sbt&cid=10



Video here:

http://boatinglifemag.com/article_content.jsp?ID=9612&typeID=103&categoryID=122

and another at boattest.com

I am hoping to make it to the Rosemont boat show for a few hours today...not sure how many jet boats will be there.

So we have officially gone from sterndrive bowrider to cuddy to deckboat to jetdrive bowrider in our shopping...all while it's been too cold to ever actually drive one! What do you think the chances are our first boat will be THE ONE! \:\(


2000 Cobalt 206 5.7L EFI Alpha 1
#25186 - 02/22/04 10:44 AM Re: Jet Boats...What's the latest?  
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rvitek Offline
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athikier - here's a couple of things to consider when buying a jet boat. I only learned these things because the FIRST new boat manufacturer we visited last year when shopping new boats, was the Sugar Sand dealer (out south, like in Bartlett or something). So you know what, I was in the same situation as you were in!

1. Yes, they have a great shallow draft, however, be careful what you suck in as you may end up diving in to clear out what was sucked up. I believe some of the boats are now coming with intake-clearing devices, so you may want to consider it. In my research, weeds were a big problem for these guys.

2. Horsepower. While yes, the jets may have a lot of horsepower, when the horses actually get to the pump, a bunch of it is lost (I don't know what the number is) when pushing the pump. It can be felt even more when you have the boat loaded up with family and gear. By yourself, you can scream, loaded up, well you'll be wishing for more.

3. Resale may not be as high as a similiarly priced propped boat. Just do some research on some of these boats and you'll see what I'm talking about. When I actually talked to some of the owners, most said they were fun for the first year or so, but left them wanting more which they couldn't get.

4. Reverse. Oh yea, lots of debate on reverse! You can even get a Sugar Sand video that shows the VP (or something) mastering the reverse function of his boat. Well I tell you I'm sure it took a long long time to get there. But like anything, I'm sure you'll get used to it.

Just whatever you do, don't do our mistake. Ride before you sign and if you're getting a killer deal, make a statement in the contract that it's contingent upon a test ride when the ice turns to water.

Good luck!

Ry.


Rinker for Sale... she's sold.

http://rlvitek.com
#25187 - 02/22/04 06:13 PM Re: Jet Boats...What's the latest?  
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Lowrider78 Offline
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Newton Ks
Rvitek has several good points, the best about get a test ride (loaded to the hilt, full family) before you buy. See how it drives before you buy.
The shallow draft is great, to me. My boat has only inhaled a couple of items in 26 years, because I try to stay out of shallow water primarally. I inhaled a rock last year about the size of a cigarette pack from right next to the boat ramp. Got it while picking up family to go tubing. pulled out to have easiest time removing it through the access port. First year dad inhaled about 93' of nylon ski rope he idled over (the dealer told him the rock grate would keep it from sucking ski-ropes at idle ------ WRONG!!!) 2 hours later, we were back out skiing, sans one ski rope in small pieces on shore. It wrapped around the impeller shaft, we had to cut it off in pieces.
I've never had any shortage of HP, even at my max cap. (750 lbs) and still towing skiier / tube rider, but then again, I'm carrying some pretty potent GM iron, rare these days.
The poor resale is probably right, I am sure. The jets just aren't as popular as I think they ought to be (just as soon as the world elects me leader, I'll fix that minor inequity ;\) ).
Enjoy whatever you buy, life is too short to not have fun in this world. Again, I agree completely, try to drive before you buy.


That streak that howled by? That was me. Did ya like the roostertail? Big Blocks and Jets Forever
1978 Hawiian 20' Bowrider, 454, Dominator pump
1990 Magnum Mach 1 24' Cuddy Cabin Cruiser, 454, Bravo 1 drive.
1993 Suburban 454 tows the Mach 1 to water.
2001 Blazer 4x4 4.3L gets the Hawaiian wet.
#25188 - 02/22/04 11:21 PM Re: Jet Boats...What's the latest?  
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Tango Offline
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Tango  Offline
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Pelham, AL
 Quote:
Originally posted by athiker:
Does anybody own a jet boat here?
I've owned a Sugarsand Tango for 3 years... see: http://dease.net/photo/boat.htm

It's a 210 HP Mercury 2 stroke. Maintenance is a breeze ... actually it's the same as any 2 stroke Mercury outboard ... and it does not have a transmission to worry with. You only have to lube the jet drive every 100 hours, and it's a do it yourself procedure that takes about an hour.

We love the boat, and have almost 200 hours on the engine in 3 seasons. It's accelleration is amazing (see the graph on the web page), and it's top speed is 54 via GPS... It's got plenty of power, but I'd like to have gotten the 240 HP fuel injected engine if it was available... but the wife liked the special edition blue, and it only came in 210 HP. I've heard from many sources to avoid the Mercury Optimax tho.

Fuel usage is a bit worse than a similar size conventional 2 stroke, but not anything as bad as the rotax powered boats. Sugarsands use a single lever Morse control for throttle/reverse, and it's the easiest thing you could imagine to drive. (Some manufacturers use a two lever system that is much harder to use) A jet drive is always pushing water ... you adjust the reversing bucket up/down in front of the jet stream to accomplish low speed manuvers. Low speed manuverability is actually more flexible than a conventional drive... it takes a little to get used to because in reverse, it stears in the opposite direction of a normal drive... ie... if your steering wheel is to the left, the bow turns to the left in forward OR reverse... that actually allows you to pivot the boat on it's axis without turning the wheel left/right as you change from forward/reverse on the reversing bucket. I've had a dozen or so folks ask how I was able accomplish impossible looking maneuvers around docks.

It has a 12" draft, and we take our into shallow water up rivers often ... but you have to be careful not to beach it on rocky/sandy bottoms. The jet drive owners manual warns you not to accelerate hard in less than 2 feet of water because the 210 HP water vacuum underneath will pick up small stones which will seriously damage the impeller. Ingesting sand is also to be avoided, but small amounts have not hurt mine... I get it on sand 3 or 4 times a season... however ingesting sand frequently for long periods will reduce the top end speed considerably.

If you frequent a lot of vegetation, seaweed type of conditions, a jet drive is probably not a good choice. You can get some optional features such as a manual weed clearing device or a spring loaded intake that allows the jet to grind up the weeds, but they can be less than perfect in heavy vegetation... and you have to take a dunk to clear the intake...

I hope this helped a bit...

Cheers,

#25189 - 02/22/04 11:33 PM Re: Jet Boats...What's the latest?  
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athiker Offline
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Lake Norman, NC
Saw the Sugar Sand Sole at the boat show today. It looked pretty nice, but not exactly what we are looking for space-wise. I like that it uses only a single engine unlike the Yamaha (Maint, cost wise). It uses a 240hp modified Merc outboard engine to drive the jet...2 stroke. The dealer said they started carrying the line 2 years ago and have yet to have a warranty claim. They also offer an 250hp Optimax option.

Didn't see any other jet mfg. there...will check out the Yamaha at a dealer at some point.

Of various deckboats and bowriders in the 21-23 foot range we liked the Crownline 216LS the best. Nice design and layout, quality seating, good fit and style....everything just looked right. We like the 'U' seating and the W/T is integrated nicely. Why they slap a 50k+ MSRP on it only to mark it down to 35k or so I'll never know. Really ridiculous...would think they would scare off a few customers that way who never bother to talk price with a dealer...not that 35k isn't still pricy enough.


Thanks for your thoughts.


2000 Cobalt 206 5.7L EFI Alpha 1
#25190 - 02/22/04 11:49 PM Re: Jet Boats...What's the latest?  
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athiker Offline
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athiker  Offline
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Lake Norman, NC
Tango...musta been writing when you posted. Sweet looking ride!...seems like the 'fun factor' pops a bit with a jet boat. Like the pups too...we used to boat with our shorthaired dachshund as a kit...he loved it. Now we have a 90+ lb lab...he loves the water too of course...used to be tough keeping him IN a boat!

Interesting about the Optimax....this guy sounded like it was a real upgrade.

Sand ingestion...does it just hurt the impeller or does it do more serious damage?

Sugar Sand guy did show me the jet outlet and how reverse works...very interesting. I didn't know about the bow moving the same direction regardless of fwd/rvrse...must be strange until get used to it. Pivoting with a single drive is pretty cool tho.

I've read a little about the Rotax engines...nothing good I don't think! That's not anything like the current Yamahas is it? Yamaha uses their MR-1 engines (twin) in their 230 models. They are 4 strokes and I believe are used in other applications for them. Know anything about them?

Thanks again.


2000 Cobalt 206 5.7L EFI Alpha 1
#25191 - 02/23/04 12:29 AM Re: Jet Boats...What's the latest?  
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Kev M Offline
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Kev M  Offline
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Eastern PA
I'm a real jet fan, and would have purchased one if not for the fact that we picked up our outboard runabout CHEAP (and I needed it for a work project).

Anyway...

Love the Yamaha SX230! Space, features, luxury, very nice.

Like the Sugar Sand Calais... but don't know much about them.

LOVE the Sea-Doo Utopia, comes in both 18 and 20 ft versions with optional pop-up privacy/changing area and porta-potty.

Rotax motors, I've owened and taken apart a few. Personally I think they are wonderful and very reliable machines (also darn easy/cheap to repower on a whole). Don't know about the knew 4-strokes, except that I would suspect they'd be even more reliable.

Of course, the size Sea-Doo's you'd be talking about only come with Merc powerheads these days, so don't worry about Rotax anyway.

You'll notice that all the jets I've mentioned above come with full wrap-around winshields and traditional bowrider seating. Although I've played around in the smaller ones like the Sea-Doo Sportster and the old Sea-Rayder (from Sea-Ray), they're just jet-ski's for 4 people, while the larger ones are BOATS with jet power.

I play in the upper Chesapeake, which gets shallow and sandy very often (like I repaint my outboard skeg every season), so if not for my outboard, I'd probably go jet.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Kev


Kevin M
Seloc Publications


Toys:
The Mightly Little 2001 Silverline 1600SS (90 HP FICHT)
I love Boats and Bikes and all my toys...
#25192 - 02/23/04 09:47 AM Re: Jet Boats...What's the latest?  
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Tango Offline
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Tango  Offline
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Pelham, AL
 Quote:
Originally posted by athiker:
Sand ingestion...does it just hurt the impeller or does it do more serious damage?
What I have read about sand is that excessive ingestion will erode the impeller, especially on it's ends where it runs very close to it's housing. Maintaining a very tight fit between impeller and it's housing is imperative to maximize efficiency. If it's run in sand, the tolerances are comprimised, resulting in reduced efficiency... but not failure.

As I understand it, the MR-1 engines are Yamaha's first 4 stroke designed for PWC. There is quite a bit of debate about using them in boats, and you can google it to read more ... The only thing I can say for sure is that the MR-1 and other PWC engines are high-tech, lots of HP for weight, and are quite esoteric with specialized parts and technology... The Mercury 2 strokes are much more simple engines with easier to find parts, and any Mercury mechanic can work on them without additional training.

Cheers!

#25193 - 02/23/04 10:38 AM Re: Jet Boats...What's the latest?  
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Kev M Offline
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Kev M  Offline
Admiral

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Eastern PA
Tango speaks the truth...


... but let me add, the affect of sand on an impeller is simple, it's like sandblasting a metal component. It will wear the edoge of the impeller, slowly increasing impeller clearance (the distance between the tips of the impeller blade and the pump walls). Excessive clearance will reduce pump efficiency. Many pumps are designed so that you can shim the impeller in or out of the tapered housing slightly and thereby adjust clearance (to compensate for differences in build speciciation or for small amounts of impeller wear).

Bottom line is that although it is not good to routinely sand blast your impeller by running at high rpm in VERY shallow water, you can run at low rpms often without appreable affect.

Again, those are my exact boating conditions here in the Northeast and I've done more skey dragging and propeller sand blasting than I care to admit.

If I replaced the current Silverline I'd go with a larger outboard boat OR one of the jets I mentioned above.

I used to own a sterndrive in this area and it was a lot harder to avoid skeg and prop damage with it. Not impossible by any means and we definitely COULD own one, but the advantage of a jet would outweight the disadvantage to us.


Kevin M
Seloc Publications


Toys:
The Mightly Little 2001 Silverline 1600SS (90 HP FICHT)
I love Boats and Bikes and all my toys...
#25194 - 02/23/04 11:57 AM Re: Jet Boats...What's the latest?  
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YAMADOG Offline
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YAMADOG  Offline
Lieutenant JG

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 43
Maryland
** Copied mostly from an older post of mine **

Hello,

I’m a Yamaha jet boat owner, for what its worth to you. My wife and I have a 2001 LS2000, and we love it. We did a lot of research, spoke to people on a lot of boards (including this one), and got a lot of valuable opinions. You will likely find that most are pro prop, and jet skeptical. Jets have their drawbacks, as do props, either way you go there are going to be advantages and disadvantages. We like the jet drives because they are just so much fun to operate. Prop boats can’t compare with the acceleration of a jet drive. Time to plane, less than 2 seconds for our LS2000. Maneuverability would be hard for most prop boats to match, as would shallow water operations. Not to say that jets don’t have disadvantages, because they do. They are not as efficient as a prop, so for the same power, you will usually see a lower top speed, and similar fuel consumption. Weeds have to be the number one drawback, as many will point out. They can be a pain, but you get better at learning to see and avoid them. I’ve not yet seen a jet drive with a “screened” intake that would filter debris, though the Sea Doo/Mercury jet drives use a tinned gate over the intake, the Yamaha does not, having only a single tine to keep from ingesting small children. The Yamaha engineers were nice enough to design in clean out ports that allow you to reach into the jet drive tunnel, and clear debris without going overboard though, and they do come in handy.

Yamaha builds a nice solid boat and overall product. The hulls are hand laid, and foam injected, with a decent gel coat. Even the details are pretty well done for the price of the boats. Yamaha Marine engines have built a well deserved reputation for reliability, few will argue. Many contend that these motors were never intended for a boat, and that you are asking for trouble. I’ve talked to many Yamaha Owners with 100, 150 even 200 hours on their LS2000’s, and no issues, so you decide. Keep in mind though that the SR230 has Yamaha’s newly designed four stroke motors. These motors are considerably more complex than the two strokes in the LS2000’s, and are not yet widely proven, though so far no major issues I have heard of after being in service for a solid year now. They turn 10,000 rpm at full throttle, considerably more than the 6,800-6,900 rpm of my two strokes. To me this says not only increased stress, but more top end weighted power, and less bottom end, but I’m speculating here.

As for Salt water use, I can see no issues. We run ours in salt water about 90 % of the time. I don’t keep it in Salt water, and I flush the motors religiously with Salt-a-way, as well as the rest of the boat, and it works well. Granted, our particular boat is only half a season old now, but I have noticed no seriously ill effects of salt water running. It is definitely more maintenance to keep the boat in good shape than fresh water, but it is what is most readily available to us to go boating in. If you want to get in touch with more Jet Boat owners, check out the following forums. The Yamaha SR/SX230 owners experiences are starting to filter through, though there still is relatively little owner experience information to be found in comparison to the LS series, and ….

For Yamaha Jet Boat Owners:

http://www.yamahajetboaters.com

For Sea Doo & Sugar Sand Owners:

http://www.jetboating.net


You may also want to check out some threads on various other boards about Jets:

http://boards.trailerboats.com/cgi-bin/t...t=001197#000017


~Scott & Nadia
Currently Boatless }:^(
#25195 - 02/23/04 12:04 PM Re: Jet Boats...What's the latest?  
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Skibrain Offline
Admiral
Skibrain  Offline
Admiral

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MN
Someone mentioned the pumpng losses on a jet application.

Looking at the Mercury Marine website, their 80 hp jet outboard uses the 115 hp powerhead. That is 69.5%. Someone else may have more information, but if that efficiency holds true for the Sport Jet drives, the 250 hp woud be the equivalent of 174hp jet.

I really like the packaging of these, especially with the single larger displacement Merc V6 motors. Much lower overall package weight as compared to an I/O.

While they do spool up quickly and have great acceleration, from all I've read and obesrved, they are not real happy running at low speed plane. They seem to require lots of rpm to keep them moving in the mid to high teens speed range.

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