Converting a prop outboard to jet

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coosa
Posts: 20
Joined: 07 Aug 2019, 20:53

Converting a prop outboard to jet

Post by coosa » 30 Oct 2019, 20:09

Hello all - I have a 2010 G3 with a 50 hp Yamaha 2 stroke set up with stick steering. I've had it a few months and have already damaged 2 props while fishing the rocky rivers close to my home. I was thinking of buying a jet boat if I bought a new one, but found this prop boat at a good price and decided to get it.

I don't regret buying it; with it fully rigged I've got about $7k in it so I think I could get most of my money back if I decide to sell and get a new one. But as I research things I am thinking that the best thing to do might be to keep this boat and convert the motor to jet drive. It looks like I could do that for around $3k, and a new boat like I want with a jet outboard is gonna run at least $20k.

Another advantage of keeping this one is that I would still be able to convert it back to the prop. Where I live, the rivers are fishable only from about May through November. To fish the rest of the year I've gotta go to a reservoir and a prop would be much better there.

How reasonable of a plan would it be to put the prop on in December and switch to the jet in May and just plan to do that every year? Jet outboards are rare in this area. Not only have I never fished in one, but I've never even seen one on one of our rivers. I am no great mechanic by any means, but I can usually figure something out if I have decent directions. Is this a job an average guy could do, or is it something for a skilled mechanic?

The G3 hull has a lot of wood in it and weighs 800 lbs. I think that my 2 stroke Yamaha has a lot of power for its size, and I think it will have sufficient power. I would have no need to go fast with the jet setup on the river. Right now I can fish only about 2 miles of river with the prop. I could stretch that to 10 with a jet, but if it would go 20 mph that would be plenty. It will do 32 with a prop, but it's basically idle speed on the river now. It's loaded with rocks just under the water.

So is it worth considering a jet conversion, or should I just sell this boat and buy another one? Thanks for any ideas

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JL8Jeff
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Joined: 26 Oct 2013, 14:56
Location: Ewing, NJ

Converting a prop outboard to jet

Post by JL8Jeff » 31 Oct 2019, 10:38

What size is your G3 and how many people or how much gear do usually have? It sounds heavy as it sits and extra people and gear would slow it down more. I have a 1652 with a 60/45 Mercury and with extra people it's just enough. If you had to run the jet at full throttle the whole time, it might drive you crazy because they are louder than the prop setup. That might be a marginal combination running a 50/35 jet with a bigger boat (17-18'). I'm not sure what's involved in swapping the jet setup for the prop setup but with the right motor with the jet, you could still use it on the reservoir with the jet. Your gas mileage wouldn't be as good as the prop or your top end speed if you got caught in bad weather. The amount of chop on the reservoir would be another factor if trying to run a jet there.
2001 Lowe Roughneck 1652 VT with Merc 60/45 jet 2 stroke

eeshaw
Posts: 7
Joined: 05 Oct 2019, 09:06

Converting a prop outboard to jet

Post by eeshaw » 31 Oct 2019, 11:14

Maybe look into having a tunnel added to the hull and some float pods and keep your motor? You'd have to farm out the work but it wouldn't cost you any more than the jet probably. Just an idea.

CedarRiverScooter
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Joined: 13 Nov 2014, 08:01

Converting a prop outboard to jet

Post by CedarRiverScooter » 31 Oct 2019, 11:53

How about a surface drive motor? You could keep prop outboard for the lakes & change to the surface drive when you go on shallow river. Have both!

coosa
Posts: 20
Joined: 07 Aug 2019, 20:53

Converting a prop outboard to jet

Post by coosa » 01 Nov 2019, 23:03

CedarRiverScooter wrote:
31 Oct 2019, 11:53
How about a surface drive motor? You could keep prop outboard for the lakes & change to the surface drive when you go on shallow river. Have both!
Thanks for all the comments. I'm not very familiar with the surface drive setup either, but I will look into it. I'm mainly being drawn in to the jet setup by all the videos that show folks running wide open on shallow rivers that look just like mine. Every time I watch one of those I think that this is the answer.

My boat is 1652 Eagle PF. Dry hull weight is 800 lbs, which seems like a lot for a boat that size. I could have a custom boat made that is plenty big that would weigh 500. That kinda makes me think the smart thing to do is to sell this boat and have one made to my specs. But it's hard to do that with zero jet experience.

So do most of you folks think the idea of swapping it from jet to prop once a year is a bad idea? It seems like getting it set just right each time could be difficult.

I've also thought of just buying one of those devices you bolt to the skeg to protect the prop. Can't run as fast, but I can live with that.

Bottom line is that no jet experience makes it hard for me to commit to this. Thanks for any more ideas

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JL8Jeff
Posts: 646
Joined: 26 Oct 2013, 14:56
Location: Ewing, NJ

Converting a prop outboard to jet

Post by JL8Jeff » 02 Nov 2019, 09:53

Have you searched around your area for a complete jet outboard? For the cost of the jet unit, you might be able to find a jet motor and just swap motors. You may also want to look into a prop tunnel hull so you can run the motor higher and then you might not need the jet. With the weight you have, I don't think you would be happy with your 50 hp prop converted to a 35 hp jet.
2001 Lowe Roughneck 1652 VT with Merc 60/45 jet 2 stroke

coosa
Posts: 20
Joined: 07 Aug 2019, 20:53

Converting a prop outboard to jet

Post by coosa » 02 Nov 2019, 23:31

JL8Jeff wrote:
02 Nov 2019, 09:53
Have you searched around your area for a complete jet outboard? For the cost of the jet unit, you might be able to find a jet motor and just swap motors. You may also want to look into a prop tunnel hull so you can run the motor higher and then you might not need the jet. With the weight you have, I don't think you would be happy with your 50 hp prop converted to a 35 hp jet.
I don't think I could likely find a jet outboard in my area. They are just very uncommon and I have never seen one in use. I think my only option is buy a conversion unit for this one, or just sell it and buy a new jet boat.

I have thought about a tunnel hull with a prop, but I've read all sorts of conflicting info on whether they would work for what I want. I think I may get a chance next week to talk to a boat manufacturer and maybe I can get a better idea of what I should do. Thanks for all the replies

jtf
Posts: 248
Joined: 12 Jul 2017, 11:00
Location: Northwest NC

Converting a prop outboard to jet

Post by jtf » 09 Nov 2019, 10:45

I run a 2 stroke jet on a 16ft welded hull, no tunnel. The shop that set up the boat is about 2 hours away. It needed to be adjusted just right because I didn't use a jack plate. This shop builds hulls and often will switch the foot to prop, we have waters for each in the area. But, all his hulls have tunnels and jack plates.

Imo, you will need a jack plate if you switch the foot. The suggestion to buy a second engine is reasonable. Find a dealer that sells motors and have a new one ordered. The 16ft welded boat runs on a 50/35hp, so if your hull is bigger, you may want more hp.

Jets have to be set up right on the transom, jack plates, splash plates and transom wedges are common. What I'm getting to is if there's no shop that knows jets in your area, you are going to be traveling to find one. I don't like to tow back and forth to the shop and river to tune the setup for two hrs one way.

If you like your hull keep it and add a second motor and a jack plate for $10K?
My next hull when my boat sells will be a prop tunnel/jack plate.

coosa
Posts: 20
Joined: 07 Aug 2019, 20:53

Converting a prop outboard to jet

Post by coosa » 20 Nov 2019, 15:31

jtf wrote:
09 Nov 2019, 10:45
I run a 2 stroke jet on a 16ft welded hull, no tunnel. The shop that set up the boat is about 2 hours away. It needed to be adjusted just right because I didn't use a jack plate. This shop builds hulls and often will switch the foot to prop, we have waters for each in the area. But, all his hulls have tunnels and jack plates.

Imo, you will need a jack plate if you switch the foot. The suggestion to buy a second engine is reasonable. Find a dealer that sells motors and have a new one ordered. The 16ft welded boat runs on a 50/35hp, so if your hull is bigger, you may want more hp.

Jets have to be set up right on the transom, jack plates, splash plates and transom wedges are common. What I'm getting to is if there's no shop that knows jets in your area, you are going to be traveling to find one. I don't like to tow back and forth to the shop and river to tune the setup for two hrs one way.

If you like your hull keep it and add a second motor and a jack plate for $10K?
My next hull when my boat sells will be a prop tunnel/jack plate.
Thanks for all the info. With no dealer close by to help me, I think I just need to forget about the idea of switching this motor to a jet. I don't have the expertise to do it myself, so I will either just live with this boat, or sell it and buy another one.

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