baby barrelback

Designs for inboard or outboard power

Moderator: BruceDow

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jet drive or inboard w/prop

jet drive
inboard w/prop
Total votes: 13

Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2003 1:16 pm
Location: gilbert, az

baby barrelback

Post by rossi198 »

i just ordered the plans for the squirt and will begin construction as soon as the 12' cedar strip dinghy i am building is completed. i have looked at all the squirts in the list and have concluded that i want to build it more as a classic barrelback runabout type.

the main issues i have issues with are: would it be better to go with a jetdrive setup or an engine/transmition and prop type setup and how difficult would that conversion be to implement?

thanks for any and all feedback.


Baby Barrelback

Post by Chris »

Rossi, if you haven't already, you should contact one of the builders that built the boat with the Jet Drive setup. Prime examples are John Gage and Eric Kessler. John's contact information can be found in the project registry section of the site. While Eric's can be found in the Customer Photos section, under archives. Eric has a website, here is a link to it.
I hope this helps you, and good luck in your project.


Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2003 1:16 pm
Location: gilbert, az

Post by rossi198 »

i have emailed them both and gotten great replies.

i am just unsure if i want to go with the jet drive or with the more traditional. so far the poll is leaning towords the prop/engine but i am going to wait until i get the book on how to install them before i get set on one way or another.


Post by Guest »

I would think that an inboard set-up would put too much weigh, too far forward. Though not traditional the jet ski motor has a great power to weight ratio and would put the weight in the back where it belongs. It was designed as an outboard. That thing would rock! Thought about doing it on a Tiny Mite. The "V" angle at the transom will be a factor in your choice.

My .02,

John H.

Posts: 230
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:28 pm
Location: Bellflower, CA

Post by Barry »


JohnH is right. It will be difficult to find a motor small enough for which you can get water-cooled manifolds and other parts necessary for cooling. There would be too much weight forward and you would be strattling the prop shaft. It is unlikely that you would be able to get any reasonable shaft angle.
JohnH was also right with his comment about a vee at the transom. The jet manufacturers recommend a vee (in order to keep the intake in the water). This is why we added the DynoJet.
Having said this, several builders have put jets in flat bottom boats, including the Squirt, TNT and Thunderbolt. Builders have given good reports, but there is a potential of the intake coming out of the water at high speed, causing momentary loss of power and steering.

As far as find a how-to book, I don't know of any, but Larry Pullon has allowed Glen-L to put his how-to information on the Glen-L web site. See:
Contacting other builders who have done this is probably at least as good as listening to "expert" advice.



Squirt w/ jet

Post by PDay »

Agree that the Squirt looks more dignified without the outboard. The jet approach also offers electric start and is marine ready. There is no telling what the boat will do on plane if your not careful about how you patch in the pump to the hull, however.

I'm building my Squirt with a 580cc from a 1990 SeaDoo; John Gage's served as the inspiration. Currently fitting the jet pump region of the of the SeaDoo to the hull of the Squirt..very hard to cut into those lines! Slow work but the ride plate extends well past transom and may provide some stability on plane.

Hope to provide photos soon.


Jet Drive in the Squirt

Post by TerryMc »

I've just started construction of a Squirt (cut out the first frame parts last weekend). My original plan was to use a "classic" outboard (I had my eye on an '56 Johnson) but my wife took one look at John Gage's jet versions, and it was decided we were going to do an inboard version!

I did a fair amount of research over about 3 months before deciding to go with a jet - in my case a '89 550 Kawasaki that I got off e-bay ($610). Engines are a problem, most anything you can get that is "marineable" is waaay to big and heavy for the Squirt. The jet ski engine is a good idea - I considered several options including using a jet ski engine coupled to v-drive (couldn't find a small transmission - the ones for the big boys are heavy and expensive) and I even considered electic (hybrid) proplesion - I suspect in a couple of years this might be a viable option.

Afte 3 months of consideration, I just concluded that there are really only two options - jet and outboard.

Terry McIntyre

Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:12 pm

Re: baby barrelback

Post by tsquance »

Good day,

I'm new here, please have some patience

I would like to build Jon Gage's Squirt but i'm not able to contact him, it says email address no longer valid. Maybe someone has current contact info.

What was the original boat plan he started out with?


Posts: 1070
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:08 am
Location: Brighton, MI

Re: baby barrelback

Post by JimmY »

That would be the Squirt plans.
Nothing says poor craftsmanship like wrinkles in your duct tape!

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