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#170508 - 12/29/02 08:37 PM Have questions about jet sleds.
josh870 Offline

Registered: 11/28/00
Posts: 76
Loc: Everett, WA, usa
My parents are looking for their first jet sled and are wondering about the bottom contour. is there much diffrences between a 10 degree and 12 degree bottom? how shallow can one run? they are also looking to use it in lakes and limited sound use. they have been looking at 19 ft alumawelds and willies i think. also where is a good plase to see boats besides online? they went to 3 rivers already. we are in the north end. thanks.
I'm the NRA.

#170509 - 12/29/02 09:26 PM Re: Have questions about jet sleds.
TJN Offline

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 577
Loc: Tulalip, Wa
Well, if you've already visited Three Rivers Marine then you're in for a dissapointment when you take a look at other dealers and their "off" brands. Take it from someone who just took a big loss on a Thorbuilt (me). Resale value should be a big factor in your decision. Stay with a name brand like Alumaweld and a straight shootin' local shop with a reputation for good service and you will not go wrong.
Good Luck!
Every Saturday 6-9am on 710 ESPN Seattle
Check out podcasts, videos and blogs @

#170510 - 12/29/02 09:30 PM Re: Have questions about jet sleds.
DaleD Offline
Juvenille at Sea

Registered: 12/05/01
Posts: 124
Loc: Washington
We fish the ocean, strait, sound, lakes, rivers, etc. and we, after careful deliberation, chose an Alumaweld 20' Intruder w/sportjet. It has 14 degree V, but my dad was valuing it's saltwater driving capabilities over it's extreme shallow water river capibilities. We wanted to keep our v-6 SUVs to pull it with.

Serious shallow-river folks, who haul 4 or more passengers, might choose an inboard V-8 jet engine, however.

They say, up on plane, folks can do 6" water (talking about a 10 degree V, I think.) Our test drive w/the 10 degree Alumaweld was a bit bumpy for my dad on Lake Washington...14 degrees much smoother...we got the $700 (each!) truck seats in ours and it's so smooth of a ride you can't believe it. If you get the sportjet, get the sportjet "cleanout"....helps us get weeds etc. out of the thing w/out having to swim or pull the boat out of the water. Well worth it.

A 12-degree-V Wooldridge 19-20' boat is maybe the best bet if you do 50/50 mix of rivers/salt-water. 14 degree Alumaweld is great too!

One surprise we ran into AFTER buying our boat was that the ONLY LEGAL way to take a jet boat on a "electric-motor-only" lake is to REMOVE the (outboard) jet, and use an electric motor.....legally you can't even keep the gas motor on board and out of the water (I'm serious!) Gas/oil can and does still drip into the water unless you remove the motor. Can't remove an inboard jet least I'm not going to bother! A 150 hp outboard motor is also not fun to remove unless you take it to a shop or get some kind of hoist and motor holder for once you remove it from the boat. You MIGHT legally be able to do it if you remove the outboards bottom-end and drain the fluids out?

Absolute FLAT-bottom boats can be lethal in big waves....don't use one in the sound.

The biggest mistake most people make in jet boats is not getting a powerful-enough of engine...don't skimp here.

If you take it in the sound don't get less than 26" sides on the boat (based upon a 19' boat). This is one problem the Wooldridge Alaskan has (my first choice, initially) It's 9 degree V would be very poor in the sound vs. a 12 degree w/a sharper bow.

I'd call Wooldridge and take Dave Mullin's jet-boat class ($150 I his boat?) before buying one.

Fishing and Hunting News has a 3-part article on jets in their recent issue.

#170511 - 12/29/02 09:47 PM Re: Have questions about jet sleds.
JimB Offline
Juvenile at Sea

Registered: 01/27/02
Posts: 235
Loc: Chehalis
Your close enough to the Sportsmans shows to wait and be able to talk to all under one roof.


#170512 - 12/29/02 10:28 PM Re: Have questions about jet sleds.
DaleD Offline
Juvenille at Sea

Registered: 12/05/01
Posts: 124
Loc: Washington
We found the BEST place to see jet boats was that PORTLAND sportsman's show, not the Seattle boat/sportsman's shows. Seems like more shallow-river fishermen down there than the more sound-based Seattle boaters? Seattle shows are great if you want to buy a 70' Grand Banks yacht....

Also grab that Boat Trader magazine at convenience stores, to get an idea about used boats, and/or resale value.

Jet-boat sites from my computer's "favorite places":

We visited the Wooldridge factory in Seattle, they gladly gave us the whole tour, and you can see how jet boats are built. Learned a lot.

If you are doing only LIMITED sound boating, then the 10 degree V would probably be the best choice if you do want to go as shallow as possible in rivers, yet still not get too terribly pounded by the waves in the sound.

My guess is that a 12 degree is about 2-3" deeper than the 10 degree, but I'm not real sure. The 14 degree is another 2-3".

I've heard that if you want to run potentially-dangerous WHITEWATER, DON'T get an outboard, don't get 9 degree V or less, don't get 17 degree or more, don't get a sportjet, don't get a tiller-steering model, don't not get a windshield, don't not get a self-bailing bow, and don't underpower it!

We were tempted to save money by buying the Alumaweld Stryker model. But their Intruder model was more money, but, for us at least, well worth it.

Jet boat = fun!

#170513 - 12/29/02 11:01 PM Re: Have questions about jet sleds.
Titanium Cranium Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 09/30/02
Posts: 424
Loc: Sequim
I've been looking at buying a sled for the past year and have done a lot of looking and asking myself. Your parents need to determine their budget, and primary use of the boat. Primary use is important because it may change what you can do/where you can go. A boat well suited for upper river shallow water running may not be as adept at running in the bay depending on wave height. A boat with a windshield on it and cockpit area is not well suited to moving quickly from kicker to power if the water is quick or tricky.

It used to be a given that for shallow water running you needed a flat bottom but over the past decade the trend is changing. A shallow V like 6 degree dead-rise with a white water shoe (a tunnel starting midway down the boat extending to the transom) is more manuverable and will run just as shallow...

Just a couple of things to consider..
Mark Strand
aka - TC

#170514 - 12/30/02 10:52 AM Re: Have questions about jet sleds.
silver hilton Offline
Repeat Spawner

Registered: 10/08/01
Posts: 1155
Loc: Out there, somewhere
I have a 12 degree North River. The factory sez it will run in 4 inches of water - I don't know, and don't plan on finding out. But 8 inches doesn't scare me. On plane the chines are out of the water, so I think I draw about 5 or 6 inches. There is an effect similar to the ground effect in airplanes where in very shallow water of uniform depth, the hull will get more lift than in deeper water. This will let you run over a 4 inch deep bar, but it doesn't help you if you're in 18 inches of water and a rock sticks up to within 4 inches of your hull.

The 12 degree hull gives a reasonable ride in chop, but it's no Grady White. I feel plenty safe in the sound, but on a a rough day its no fun to travel any great distance.

A 14 degree hull will probably be fine in the Cowlitz, Sky or the Skagit as long as the flows are up. It won't be good for the smaller rivers, but it sounds like you might be looking at a larger boat anyway, which would be too much even if you had a flatter hull.

#170515 - 12/30/02 03:45 PM Re: Have questions about jet sleds.
Fishbait Offline
Juvenille at Sea

Registered: 05/08/01
Posts: 182
Loc: Rivers of OR and SW WA.
I have an 18ft Alumaweld Super vee LT. 6 degree bottom w/115. Will run in 2-3 inches. I dont use it in "big or open water" much as the sides are kinda short and the ride bumpy. You will see a marked impprovement in ride with 13-14 or 17 degree bottom. I fish tidewater and rivers mostly so shallow running and a good hole shot were important to me. If you will fish the salt mostly get higher sides and deeper vee..........
You can always tell a fisherman, you just can't tell him much.

#170516 - 12/30/02 11:05 PM Re: Have questions about jet sleds.
ironhead Offline

Registered: 11/17/99
Posts: 58
Loc: Richland,Wa.
hey TJN you made a statement that you lost money when you sold a Thorbuilt?I was curious as to why. My impression is they`re are an excellant built boat .

#170517 - 12/30/02 11:21 PM Re: Have questions about jet sleds.
1steelhead Offline

Registered: 12/17/02
Posts: 4
Loc: Siverdale, Wa
I've got an 18ft Alumaweld Intruder 175 Sportjet W/14 Degree ........ Does very well in the Big Salt. I added some "Bolt on" Railings (a lot less expensive than the Welded Stock Alumaweld Rails ....They work great. Added 10.5 inches With some Gaps to get in and out of the boat. As for rivers ....It does great. Plenty of power. Have Run in as liitle as 8".
Gets on plane very quick. Boat sits at 2075 Lbs. with kicker, gear, and two 200 Lbs Fishermen. W/ 175 horses flies.....

#170518 - 12/31/02 07:19 AM Re: Have questions about jet sleds.
TJN Offline

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 577
Loc: Tulalip, Wa
Ironhead, Richland eh? Say howdy to my buddy Dennis Soldat if you see him.
I took a bath on my 20'x6' Thorbuilt sled partially because of poor name recognition but mainly due to the fact that it was not built very well.
It was a 1998 hull that I had to have welded a couple of times and it's not like I go around crashing into stuff. The aluminum trailer was also an issue as it too had to go to the weld shop when it buckled in the middle. I added some metal to the trailer for a permanent fix but it is the last aluminum trailer that I will ever own!
I could not in good faith sell a leaking boat for top dollar. I discussed the problem with the new owner and I know he too plans to visit the weld shop with it.
In fairness, the boat fished almost as well as my new Alumaweld. Also, Thorbuilt is now under new management and I've heard that the old quality problems are history.
I'll never again buy an off brand boat to "save money". It's false economy at best when you consider the time and coin it took to repeatedly service the hull in addition to the poor resale value.
If you buy a Alumaweld from Three Rivers Marine they will be there to back up their product. If you buy "Fred's Sled" who's gonna be there for you?
Good Luck, T.
Every Saturday 6-9am on 710 ESPN Seattle
Check out podcasts, videos and blogs @

#170519 - 12/31/02 10:24 AM Re: Have questions about jet sleds.
willierower Offline

Registered: 11/03/99
Posts: 510
Loc: Albany OR
Is this the kind of boat your parents are looking for? If it is, drop me a line and I will give the specifics. Whoever buys this boat will get one heck of a deal.


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