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Jet boats really that bad?

 
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aarona1000rr
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PostPosted: Apr 11, 2010 4:36 pm    Post subject: Jet boats really that bad? Reply with quote

I'm new to this forum, but not new to wakeboarding. I used to WB a lot about 15 years ago behind my parent's I/O searay and it was plenty of wake for me back then. I'm thinking about getting a boat once I sell one the streetbikes and I'm really looking into a yamaha jetboat. Are the wakes really that horrible that you can't recreationally wakeboard, kneeboard, ski and tube? Planning on putting on a tower or boom anyway. I'm looking at getting a boat that is a few years old and I just can't afford the v-drives.

Thanks in advance for your advice!

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vette74
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PostPosted: Apr 11, 2010 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes they are and they burn a lot of fuel. How much is your budget?
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PostPosted: Apr 11, 2010 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

under $10K, for an extremely RELIABLE boat that I can go drink beer on the lake in. Pull tubing girls, and the occasional wakeboarder/kneeboarder. I went out on the lake on wednesday on a friends boat, we were out for about 20 mins and broke down and had to get towed in. I will not be that guy haha
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PostPosted: Apr 11, 2010 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Under 10k and reliable don't really go hand in hand unless you do a lot of preventative maintainance. I would look around for an I/O made in the 90's with EFI.
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PostPosted: Apr 11, 2010 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you can pick up just about any I/O that is pre-2000 for your price. if you get a late 90's, most of them are really reliable. the biggest thing you have to look at is the service history of them. for some reason water/oil/metal/wood dont mix very well. check out this http://forums.wakeboarder.com/viewtopic.php?t=84393&start=0 it gets interesting on page 2. now i got this boat for a steal (1500) but these are things that you have to be aware of. good luck with your boat hunt!!
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FlyZone CR
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PostPosted: Apr 11, 2010 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes they are. Don't waste 10K. What they're saying; get an I/O. Or school yourself in mechanics and get an older inboard. Orrrrrrrrrrrr accept the fact you'll get towed in once in a while. Like I do. Wink
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PostPosted: Apr 12, 2010 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't limit yourself to I/O's only. There are definitely 1990's inboards and v-drive boats in the $10-15K range that you can pull tubes, kneeboards, skiers, and provide a great wake for boarding or surfing. I own a Nautique SAN so CC boats are what I know. Look for something like a Sport, Super Sport, or Ski Nautique, anything 1993 or higher since this is the first Nautique year without wood stringers.

There are other good inboard boats that are listed on a sticky about "Budget Wakeboard Boats", but I wasn't able to find it in the forum. I'm sure someone else will chime in with the link.

Good luck on your search.

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kartman
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PostPosted: Apr 12, 2010 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.wakeboardreport.com/archives/2006/06/budget_wake_boat_breakdown_gra.html
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PostPosted: Apr 12, 2010 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i had a 1982 ski nautique 2001, i bought for 5k. had it for two years. flawless performance. NEVER let us down once.
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PostPosted: Apr 12, 2010 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

aarona1000rr wrote:
under $10K, for an extremely RELIABLE boat that I can go drink beer on the lake in. Pull tubing girls, and the occasional wakeboarder/kneeboarder. I went out on the lake on wednesday on a friends boat, we were out for about 20 mins and broke down and had to get towed in. I will not be that guy haha


A jet boat would be fine for your app. No it's never going to have a killer wakeboard wake, but any model holds beer drinkers butts and pulls tubes well!
Sea Doos can be found in thatat price range and with good maint, they are very reliable. One friend has one with probably 1000hrs or more, runs like a top, but well maintained.
ANother guy has a Sea Doo he gave $10k for, needed a tower, but the boat was like new and runs great.

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hco
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PostPosted: Apr 13, 2010 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sea Doo's are all junk, and all of those jet boats are super prone to breaking down. Do not buy one.
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PostPosted: Apr 13, 2010 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hco, i agree. why would you take 2 jetski motors and put them in a big jetski hull and call it a boat? real jet boats are aluminum.
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PostPosted: Apr 13, 2010 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They're awfully noisy as well.
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OperationROL
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PostPosted: Apr 14, 2010 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a Yamaha and would like the share my thoughts, since I am the only one, so far that is chiming in that actually has experience with a modern day jetboat.

Prior to 2004, all the above comments are correct. Reliability, noisy, horrible fuel consumption and terrible wake were all huge negatives for jetboats. However, Yamaha has released some of the best boats on the market since then. With the release of their MR1 engine, the Yamahas are arguably the most reliable boats on the water. The engines are bulletproof. If they ever have issues it is fouled sparkplugs.

Moreover, the HO version of the MR1 engine had the BEST fuel consumption numbers in its class. Checkout boattest.com (http://www.boattest.com/boats/Boat_video.aspx?ID=1914#Test-Result).

As for the noise, you are correct they are still noisy. As for the wake, it is frothy in the middle of the wake closer to the boat, but who rides there?

I do have to say, though, that the wake is too wide and it makes wake to wake jumps and tricks difficult.

If I was only wanting the boat for wakeboarding, I would get a true inboard wakeboard boat, but the Yamahas (not the Sea Doos) are a great all around boat.

Just my $0.02.
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PostPosted: Apr 14, 2010 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never ridden a jetboat. But inherently they're bad for pulling riders of any kind. There might be ways to mitigate some of the many problems but over-all you would be happier with an i/o or i.

OperationROL, how is the speed control? Jet technology hitting bumps is going to always struggle to keep a constant speed which is important when pulling any kind of rider/skier/tuber. Even if you get your own speed control down pat, any time you want to get a ride behind your boat you're going to get someone who isn't going to be as accurate.

I would try to stretch your budget a bit and find a 93+ Sport Nautique, or Mastercraft Prostar 205. Or worst case buy a newer model I/O. They're infinitely better at pulling people than a jetboat is.

Jetboats also aren't the most impressive thing to show up to party cove with either.

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OperationROL
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PostPosted: Apr 14, 2010 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speed control has been vastly improved over the years. As a matter of fact, the 2010 come with GPS bases speedometer and a 7 stage cruise control feature, similar to a perfect pass system. Also, many people have installed Perfect Pass prior to the 2010s.

As for being impressive to look at, I think you would be surprised. They (at least the Yamahas) actually look like boats now and not like toys. Here is a picture of mine:


Wakebrad wrote:
I've never ridden a jetboat. But inherently they're bad for pulling riders of any kind. There might be ways to mitigate some of the many problems but over-all you would be happier with an i/o or i.

OperationROL, how is the speed control? Jet technology hitting bumps is going to always struggle to keep a constant speed which is important when pulling any kind of rider/skier/tuber. Even if you get your own speed control down pat, any time you want to get a ride behind your boat you're going to get someone who isn't going to be as accurate.

I would try to stretch your budget a bit and find a 93+ Sport Nautique, or Mastercraft Prostar 205. Or worst case buy a newer model I/O. They're infinitely better at pulling people than a jetboat is.

Jetboats also aren't the most impressive thing to show up to party cove with either.
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PostPosted: Apr 14, 2010 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OperationROL, nice looking rig there. I guess you're right about opinions being outdated.

I'd still say a jetboat is the worst for pulling riders than any other category, but it looks like they've made a lot of improvements.

If you hit a bump doesn't the jet pop out of the water a bit and mess up the speed? Seems like going in reverse would be a problem as well as steering while not under power.

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FlyZone CR
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PostPosted: Apr 14, 2010 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, huh, a jet boat that actually looks like a boat, instead of a playmobil-my first sony-kids' toy. I'm surprised!
Another thing that I noticed while riding behind one, and from hearsay as well, is that they're really hard to steer in a straight line. Is that true, or is that just a bad driver?
"As for the wake, it is frothy in the middle of the wake closer to the boat, but who rides there?"
Well:
"I do have to say, though, that the wake is too wide and it makes wake to wake jumps and tricks difficult."
The Sea Doo's I had to ride behind had exactly the same problem; to be able to clear the wakes you needed such a short line that if you were straight behind the boat the water would be sprayed OVER your board!

I must admit that they seem to be better than I thought now, but still; if you like to pull a wakeboarder/skier every once in a while I'd keep looking for something different.

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hco
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PostPosted: Apr 14, 2010 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They have gotten better but I would take any old inboard over a jetboat. I still see tons of them brake down all summer long, doesn't matter what year they are (although the newer models aren't in every week like the older ones).
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PostPosted: Apr 14, 2010 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wakebrad- thanks for the compliment. I understand where your statement comes from about the other types of boats being better for wakeboarding and I almost fully agree. The Yamaha is a great all-around boat. If you wakeboard everytime out and want the boat primarily for that, I would get a traditional Inboard engine wakeboard boat. As for the jet popping out of the water and messing up the speed, that would be unlikely in wakeboarding conditions. The jets don't pop out of the water unless you are in some rough water, jumping waves. And reverse, is not the greatest feature. On my boat, the gate shifts to propel the water down and forwards, but it is not very powerful.

FlyZone CR- The problem that I think you are refering to about steering in a straight line is only at no wake speeds. Since the boat relies on the jet streem to propel it, it is harder to control at no wake speeds if you are not use to it. With that said, it does not take long to get use to it and there are aftermarket fins designed to assist with that.

hco- Again, I have to agree that if your purpose is to wakeboard, you should find a traditional wakeboard boat. But if wakeboarding is only a part of your use, then a late model Yamaha will do the trick. Also, I have to disagree with you that it does not matter what year the boat is. While the Sea Poo's are still unreliable, Yamaha is making a very reliable boat. I guess that is why the Yamaha AR230 was boat of the year according to boattest.com last year and they continue to move the most boats in the 20- 25' category. Can't beat the bang for your buck.

At the end of the day, I prefer wakeboarding behind inboards, but have no problem getting behind a Yamaha jetboat.

Thanks for listening guys!
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PostPosted: Apr 14, 2010 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In terms of handling and learning how to drive an IO, outboard, and inboard will still handle better than a jet boat, jet boats definitely take a while to learn how to drive. I am not trying to bash on them, but working at a marina I have just seen too much from all kinds of jet boats for me to persuade people to not buy them. But I'm glad your purchase has worked out well for you and in the end it's just good to see people happy on the water.
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PostPosted: Apr 15, 2010 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I can count on one hand how many times we get perfectly smooth water without massive rollers from other boats. And generally we ride in pretty good conditions for the area. If you're running the line with another boat you're going to hit some big bumps and every time you do, the rider is going to get yanked and the boat speed will need to be corrected.

If you want to ever think about progressing in the sport and not just fooling around I would recommend an I/O at worst.

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PostPosted: Apr 15, 2010 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I second the Seadoo's are junk. They break down yearly and will cost you a fortune when it's all said and done.

Budget of 10k. Get a nice early 2000's I/O with a tower and throw some weight in the bow and don't look back.

Just a heads up though. It doesn't matter what kind of boat you end up with, they all cost money to maintain. don't kid yourself or listen to anyone that tells you their brand of boat doesn't cost any money to maintain. BOAT Bring out another thousand is sooo true.

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PostPosted: Apr 15, 2010 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think I was clear in my answer about the jets popping out and messing up the speed. No one will get perfect conditions. That is expected. The jets are at the very rear, lowest most bottom part of the transom. It is rare that they pop out of the water. You would have to be in ROUGH waters (the kind where you would NEVER wakeboard, for that to happen. For the jets to pop out, the entire boat would have to be airboarne, just like the prop on an i/o would have to be. The conditions where an i/o's prop would pop out of the water are the same conditions that would make my jets pop out. The last time the jet came out of the water, I was running on Lake Michigan at 35 mph in 3-5 foot swells.


Moreover, Perfect Pass an the cruise control features work the exact same way as they do in your boats, so the speed adjustment would be handled by the system. I don't have Perfect Pass, so I do any adjusting necessary manually. That is usually when turning.


Wakebrad wrote:
I think I can count on one hand how many times we get perfectly smooth water without massive rollers from other boats. And generally we ride in pretty good conditions for the area. If you're running the line with another boat you're going to hit some big bumps and every time you do, the rider is going to get yanked and the boat speed will need to be corrected.

If you want to ever think about progressing in the sport and not just fooling around I would recommend an I/O at worst.
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PostPosted: Apr 15, 2010 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OperationROL, I see what you're saying. GPS and RPM based speed control systems are crap compared to Perfect Pass though. I find it easier to drive manually than use these systems in an inboard.

Have you had experience riding behind a wakeboat with perfect pass? I can barely stand to ride behind an I/O. I think we're talking about different things.

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PostPosted: Apr 15, 2010 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hear you. I am definetly not saying that the jetboat comes close to rivaling a true inboard wakeboat for wakeboarding, I just wanted to clear up some misconceptions. For wakeboarding, you cannot beat a true inboard wakeboard. I have been behind a few now, and I do appreciate the experience over wakeboarding behind my boat. As a matter of fact, my neighbor is picking up a Moomba next week and I can't wait to get behind it.

As for the GPS based Perfect Pass system, I love it because I don't have to put another hole in my boat, but I understand that the paddle wheel is more accurate.


Wakebrad wrote:
OperationROL, I see what you're saying. GPS and RPM based speed control systems are crap compared to Perfect Pass though. I find it easier to drive manually than use these systems in an inboard.

Have you had experience riding behind a wakeboat with perfect pass? I can barely stand to ride behind an I/O. I think we're talking about different things.
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PostPosted: Aug 26, 2014 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just bought a 2013 Yamaha AR192 jet drive boat after owning five I/Os. Just got tired of dealing with the mechanical and maintenence issues with an I/O. I don't know about other jet drive brands but, I am impressed with the quality of the Yamaha boats, very good. Plus, not having to worry about a prop when you have a bunch of kids in and around the boat is a dream. Granted, I/Os may, and I say may, produce a slightly bigger wake but this boat produces a very nice wake for wakeboarding and is also great for tubing, skiing and just setting the anchor and hanging out. We were just out this past weekend with seven adults and my 15 year old son (boat was loaded!) and it popped our wakeboarders right up out of the water (2.5 GPH). Low speed handling is surprisngly good also with Thrust Vectors installed, just cruised right onto the trailer no problem. It's easy to say this is better than that about any product but, until you've owned both perhaps it would be better to not comment. Both an I/O and the new jet drive boats are good boats and it's up to the owner to decide which fits their lifestyle better.
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PostPosted: Oct 06, 2014 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My neighbor at the lake had a Yamaha AR jet boat with tower, ballast, perfect pass etc. It was newer, I think they bought it new in 2010. They thought they loved it, they used it to take their kids out, to drink, tube, wakeboard, use it as an all around multi purpose boat. Then we got our 2011 Malibu 23 LSV. I had them out, pulled their kids wakeboarding, let them drive it, do whatever they wanted. I was trying to sell them on it, just being neighborly as they've been to me. He was amazed at how much better our boat drove, how much more space it had, how it handled chop and pulled tubers/wakeboarders etc.

What showed up on his dock by the end of summer?... A 2012 Malibu 23 LSV. I know you're looking for a $10k boat, but unless you are really handy, you aren't going to find a $10k boat that is going to be reliable. I second the 90s Sport Nautique or MC ProStar 205, or if you can find a V-drive project boat I'd go for that over a $10k jet boat.
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PostPosted: Jan 08, 2015 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know I am late to the topic, but if the OP is still looking for more info I have owned, maintained, and boarded behind both. Learned to wakeboard behind our Yamaha SX230, and now have a Malibu LSV. As stated earlier, the Yamaha's with the MR1 engines are extremely reliable. And they have no transmission or V-Drive to maintain (makes them more reliable). Boat looks good, has a great back deck as well for hanging out. It was pretty easy to pull people up and teach them to wakeboard on that boat, and we did not even have a tower.

But... once beyond the basics, the wake just was not very good for jumping. We came back from taking lessons in OBX, and the next time out on our Yamaha we were like "where the hell is the wake". Useless for getting any sort of air (granted we did not have ballast in the boat). Wound up buying an old Tige V-drive over the winter over the wifes objections. But it turned out the next year that was all we used. In the end it was the wife who said to sell both boats and get a newer V-drive (Malibu LSV).

Yes, the Malibu costs more to maintain. It is also nicer inside and runs smoother. Not mention a killer wake compared to the Yamaha. But it is NOT as versatile as the Yamaha. The Yamaha was faster, handled rough water a little better and rode smoother, and was much better for tubing little kids and guests on. It was easy to fling the 4 person tube outside of the wake on the Yamaha. The Malibu tracks so well it has to work hard to provide that level of tubing excitement.

So it comes down to what you want to do and where you are in life. All around reliable boat with the added benefit of being able to go in shallow waters without worrying about bending a prop or shaft? Yamaha is great, especially for a newbie boat owner. But if you really want to advance in your jumps and tricks, you will probably want something else. For us, 5 years ago the Yamaha was great. Now the Malibu is what we want.
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