Prop vs. Jet

I own both prop & jet.
2 thoughts:
a. Do not fall prey to thinking that converting a prop to jet drive and visa versa is a wham bam is not.
b. If your primary water has floating debris,grass, weeds, kelp....the jet will suck it and often plug it.
Clearing a prop is far easier than clearing an impeller.
My .02 cents
I run a couiple of jets and have had props in the past. Most of the comments already offered are dead on.

Weeds are a problem in the salt and in the lower rivers where brackish water lives. My jets usually suck up minor weeds, chop them up and spit them out. Occasionally a clump will lodge against the grate but I find I can raise the outboard jet and clean weeds pretty easily simply by leaning over the transome. (I always wear a PFD).

Jets are approximately 30% less effecient than props. They also lack maneuverability at slow speeds and have almost no maneuverability in reverse. You can learn to deal with this. Just be careful at first and when approaching other boats and docks.

Your Smoker is probably a "V" bottom. Not too good for jets unles you want to do some mods. A flat mottom works great. ( I have a jet on both types.) I don't use the "v" bottom (its only a 10 Degree hull) in skinny rivers but it works pretty well in deep rivers (1 foot or more), lakes and in the Sound. Again watch out for the lack of manuverability in rivers. You can get trapped or grounded getting turned around. Also be careful getting started. The jet will squat down pretty badly accellerating to get on plane and can easily set itself down in the mud. That brings you to a halt rather quickly and is hard on wear rings and impellers.

But a jet is the only thing in skinny water when on plane. They also bounce off logs and rocks easily but I still try to avoid them. I would have been dead in the water many times in the rivers with a prop. My flat bottom has made it over bars with 2 inches of water without any problem many times. You can usually get out and drag it over a bar if needed. Just get out and do the portage before you run aground and plug up the pump.

I had my flat bottom jet in both rivers and the Sound many times before I got my bigger jet with the "V" bottom. The V-bottom has a windshield and canopy which is much more comfortable in the sound with wind and chop. But I won't give up my flat bottom.

Let us know what you end up doing. You will enjoy yourself which ever way you go.



Active Member
I'm still waiting on my check, so nothing has happened yet.

Nightdancer, I'm curious as to what you are referring to with the switch procedure from prop/jet? I wouldn't think it would take much more than about 3-5 hours. I know you have to change the throttle linkage, raise the motor, and then swap out the lower units (new gaskets/sealants too?). Is there something else I'm overlooking?

Roy, the boat is a Gregor and has a fairly flat bottom, coming to about 2-4 degrees at the transom. The only issue with the hull is the keel that spans the length of the boat. On a plain it creates a 3" wide V in the otherwise flat water apron off the back of the boat. I have a friend who is a welder who can remove the last few feet of it which should eliminate this problem.


Well-Known Member

Switching back and forth between prop drive and jet must not be that bad. A friend bought a 225 hp E-tec Evenrude to repower his 22' sled last year, and after the first change out that took a few hours, he can do it now in just over one hour.

For a small boat like your Gregor, I don't see that much disadvantage of using a jet drive. I have a 16' SSV Lund that has a bit of a vee hull. I stuck my of 50 hp Evenrude jet on it, and it works great. Didn't remove any keel or any metal from under the boat hull. Just added a riser transom to get it set at the correct height. When I want to troll for salmon, I have a 4 hp 4 stroke Yamaha I bought for all kicker motor purposes. At 50 pounds, it's pretty light for a kicker, and I have just enough room for it along side the larger jet powered outboard. Of course it's not as fuel efficient as a prop drive, but it's a small boat, and I consider my fuel expenses to be a pretty minor consideration overall. I spend a lot more on gas towing the boat to the Columbia River. And for trolling, the 4 hp kicker uses about a half gallon in a long day on the water.

Oops... Didn't mean to insult your Gregor. Good boat. Removing the last couple of feet of the keel should give you a flat wake at the transom. That's important and just what you want.

Let us know when you do it and how it works.