Have you waterskied behind a jet drive and was it good?

Designs for inboard or outboard power

Moderator: BruceDow

Waterskiing behind a jet drive is

Great - just like an inboard
0
No votes
Good - just like a sterndrive/outboard
3
60%
Eh - I'd rather not
1
20%
Lousy
1
20%
 
Total votes: 5

dennisolcott
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Have you waterskied behind a jet drive and was it good?

Postby dennisolcott » Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:31 am

I started this thread a few weeks ago, and a lot of people have read it, some were confused because my text asked additional questions, but I only got one vote and that was from a person who hasn't even skied behind a jet drive. Surely someone in the group has waterskied behind a jet drive?

Please vote if you have skied behind a jet drive and can comment on it.

Thanks!
Dennis

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JF Woodworks
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Postby JF Woodworks » Tue Mar 21, 2006 12:54 pm

Dennis,

Perhaps you missed this...

Jadero replied to your previous post and stated the following.

I've never found much difference between jet and prop.

Jadero
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Jet Drive

Postby Jadero » Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:59 am

This time I remembered to cast my vote :)

dennisolcott
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Postby dennisolcott » Mon Mar 27, 2006 4:34 pm

Jadero - thanks. The main reason I re-posted this in a more simple form was to get more responses. I can't believe only one person on this whole group has skied behind a jet.

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brianm
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Postby brianm » Tue Mar 28, 2006 8:27 am

sorry man, props only for me
here's the stiletto with a Yamaha 90 4 stroke

basilkies
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Postby basilkies » Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:27 am

Jet boat equals lousey gas mileage. So once you up your power on the boat aboat 20% above what a prop boat will need it will water ski okay.

It's obvious from your question that you are pretty stuck on the idea of a jet boat. The question is do you have good reasons. Like do you intend to fish up shallow rocky rivers for salmon and steelhead?

As for water skiing, that really depends on a lot of things, but bottom line, your question shows you are most likely a beginner. So, water skiing wise the jet or prop will be less of an issue.

The real question you should be asking is do I have a real use for a jet that outweighs the advantages of a prop?

dennisolcott
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Postby dennisolcott » Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:52 am

Basilkes:

No, I'm not decided on the jet, that is why I'm asking the question. I am doing research, one part of which is asking questions. The lack of response means either that this is the wrong site for the question, or that this is the right site and people generally do not ski behind jets - which may mean that a jetdrive for a ski boat is not a good idea.

I've owned a boat with an outboard, one with two outboards, a sterndrive, and a PWC with a jet drive.

I didn't like the outboards - they are ugly afterthoughts tacked on to the back of the boat, impede the vision of the driver watching people in the water getting ready to ski, they are relatively expensive for the horsepower - especially the new 4 strokes, whereas their redeeming features include ease of removal for maintenance and they don't take up any space inside the boat.

I've never owned an inboard, but do not like the exposed, unprotected prop of most runabouts for the type of boating I enjoy. I've skied behind several friends boats and they are certainly great for waterskiing - all competition boats are inboards.

I like my sterndrive and this is likely the direction I'll go. Relatively easy installation, relatively cost effective to purchase, relatively easy maintenance, known quantity for someone else to do repairs, commonaly available parts, the drive can be raised for beaching, trailering, etc.

With all that said (simply my opinions), I must also add that I REALLY like the simplicity of the jetdrive on my PWC. It is DEFINITELY safer operating around my kids and I've never dinged a prop on it! Yes, at lower speeds they require more fuel for cruising, but at higher speeds the jet drive manufacterers claim they are the same. For waterskiing, they allow full engine RPM to get out of the hole, but operate on a smaller mass of water so I'm not sure how that balances out and was hoping someone here had the experience. Plus, the cost for a Berkely drive is close to that for a sterndrive. Also, there seem to be huge boats using jet drives and I'm not sure what their driving factor is, since not all of them are fast boats. They are certainly the only player in production PWC on the small end.

What started my interest is that the PWC manufacturers have been making larger boats with the same engine/jetdrive combinations as on PWC for a few years and they seem to have a lot of advantages. They now make 24' runabouts with two fairly large 4-cycle jet drives - pretty cool.

So yes, I'm definitely interested in jet drives and anxious to find out as much as I can. Unfortunately, I've only received one response from someone who has actually skied behind one.

D

PS - It's obvious from your response that you are opinionated, but it isn't obvious that you've used a jetdrive.

Jadero
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Skiing behind a jet

Postby Jadero » Tue Mar 28, 2006 5:49 pm

After 40 years of recreational skiing behind pretty much anything on hand (not pro, not even serious amateur) I stand behind my contention that the drive makes less of a difference than some of the other basics, like tow rope mounting.

My only problem with jets is that they suck crap off the bottom so that they sometimes require deeper water than a prop on the hole shot. Unless you like replacing impellers. I assume for the sake of argument that you've already explored the other issues and were just hunting for ski info.

dennisolcott
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Postby dennisolcott » Wed Mar 29, 2006 10:57 am

J:
Sounds like our skiing is the same - decent recreational, nothing serious. I mostly slalom, occasionally barefoot when I'm on my friend's boat, and have started wakeboarding. I'm just looking to have a good time with my friend and family.

Yes, I'm reviewing the tech details in other ways and mostly want to find out about the skiing impact. Actually, I have skied and barefooted behind a jet - a PWC - and didn't like two things: some spray from the jet and the fact that I could steer the PWC from the backend of the rope based upon how hard I pull. A lot of that probably stems from how small a PWC is, but not having a skeg in the water is also part of it. Some of the jet drives have a rudder plate hanging below the jet which would partly alleve this. Proper trim of the jet would hopefully fix the spray.

The lakes in the mountain west where I live are generally quite deep and clean, so while actually waterskiing (hole shots), I'm not worried about sucking crap into the jet. However, we often camp for a week at a time and explore canyons so we are constantly beaching the boat and driving very slow in areas where the water isn't too clear and we don't know what is below us. The jet would be beneficial for that.

Quite honestly, my primary driver is the safety of no exposed prop for my kids. The new twin Yamaha boats are pretty cool, but the layout of the interiors is horrible and not well suited to my needs. Also, lots of cheap features inside, like unsupported/unprotected fuel lines going through a storage area? Scary.

Again, thanks for your input. Seems you are the only one who can speak from true experience to my question.

D

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Good to go

Postby Jadero » Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:11 pm

It sounds like you've got all your bases covered. I've skiied behind some small outboards and you can steer those a bit, too, although it's mostly the driver that really knows what's going on. In fact if you are just tied off on one of the lift handles on the transom, you can flip the boat! At least I'm quite sure you can--we had the prop in the air :lol:

Wakeboarding is fun. I've never had access to a fast enough boat for long enough to ever get the hang of barefoot. For a real experience, you should try aquaplane. Crack the whip on one of those and your life will pass before your eyes :) Definitely not for the faint of heart if you're a wild one, but with a sensible driver, even a 4-year old can get up in 2 or 3 tries and be perfectly safe.

Good luck and let us all know how it works out.

basilkies
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Postby basilkies » Fri Mar 31, 2006 4:57 pm

It's been so long ago, I don't remember what all the boats I skiied behind were. Just the same, I don't recall boats that had the tow bar mounted more in the center of the boat back then. I think that alone would do a lot for solving issues of having the skiier pull you from side to side.

My biggest issue with skiing was the boats wake. Some boats had better wakes for different things. I mostly enjoyed wake jumping so I preferred larger wakes. I wish they would have had boats like todays professional boats with tanks to hold water so you can weight the boat to get the wake you want.

Now, you might be able to manage the same effect by trimming your motor different ways, but that would mean, outboard. You could also use trim tabs if you had a jet or inboard motor.

As for jets getting the same mileage at planing speed. Yah, I bet they do if you compare them to prop inboards. It seems to me the biggest problem with ski boats was having enough gas to last all day or sometimes for the weekend. Inboards use more gas and have the double disadvantage of having less room for larger or extra tanks.

Just the same the gas mileage thing doesn't ring true for me. So what if they get the same mileage as another inboard at high speeds. You don't always drive at high speeds, even when water skiing you have to slow down to go to shore, pick up skiers that fall or idle around getting the rope to the skier for a shore start. It all adds up.

I also understand your point about price. Those 4 cycle engines are pricey. I haven't penciled it out, but you might be able to buy a lot of gas with the money you save going inboard. But the way gas is getting more expensive, miles or hours per gallon is getting more important as a cost factor.

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Dave Grason
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Postby Dave Grason » Fri Mar 31, 2006 5:42 pm

I have an idea! Let's all find a jetboat and go waterskiing. I'll bring the beer.
Isn't it amazing!! The person that never has the fortitude to pursue his own dreams, will be the first to try and discourage you from pursuing yours.

Jadero
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OK, but where?

Postby Jadero » Sun Apr 02, 2006 7:23 pm

That's a good idea Dave! The skiing is not too bad here right now if you hurry. Oh wait; that's the downhill or cross-country variety. Not much open water yet :)

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Dave Grason
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Postby Dave Grason » Sun Apr 02, 2006 8:40 pm

LOL

Yeah, from sno jet to water jet!
Isn't it amazing!! The person that never has the fortitude to pursue his own dreams, will be the first to try and discourage you from pursuing yours.

Gordon
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Postby Gordon » Tue Apr 04, 2006 4:56 am

Hi Dave and Dennis,

I have a jet boat and you are welcome to come skiing behind it. In fact if you get here to go skiing I'll supply the beer!

I have skiied behind all sorts of boats including V8 jet boats, inboards and outboards. The best by far are the inboards with a prop. Outboards are pretty good and jets are not so good. They are not that bad either.

There is a boat on our lake with a V8 and jet and they have lots of fun going wakeboarding, kneeboarding etc. You can always hear it coming as it sounds like a car with a slipping clutch.

We have skiied behind our Dyno-Jet and it's lots of fun but the skiier can pull the back of the boat around heaps. This happens on a larger jet boat as well but to a lesser extent.

The lack of a prop is a plus but swallowing ropes is not so good. Remember that with a jet the pump is always pumping even in nuetral and will suck in all sorts of things like ropes.

Gordon
Tasmania, Australia


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