Prop vs. Jet

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Plecoptera, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. Plecoptera Active Member

    Posts: 622
    Ratings: +28 / 0
    Thanks to the 1st time homeowner tax credit I will have have some money this spring to get a newer 4 stroke for my 15' Gregor. Right now its got an older 30hp with a prop, but I'm really leaning towards going with a jet. Looking at the Yamaha 40/30 in a jet, or the Honda 30 if I were to stick with a prop.

    Not sure how well the jet would perform on this hull (its an MX model w/ side console), but I know I will have to remove the last 3 feet of the keel to make it work with a jet. Another issue with these boats is although they are welded, the metal is pretty thin compared to most river sleds, so wouldn't want to take it anywhere too extreme.

    The boat would be used about 50% of the time in lakes and salt (maybe a trip to Seiku, E. Vancouver Is.), but I'm wanting to be able to use it on rivers and tidewater areas the other 50% where I would not feel comfortable with a prop. Just curious if anyone has made this switch. Do any of you jet guys run out in the salt too? I know the ideal situation would be to have 2 different boats, but I can only afford to make it work with 1.

    Any input or suggestions are appreciated.
  2. Milt Roe Member

    Posts: 396
    Taco Ma
    Ratings: +14 / 0
    I'd sure avoid running a jet unless you really need a jet (use more fuel with less speed and maneuverability). Trolling or positioning a boat in big water with a little wind in a jet is miserable. Sounds like the only time you really need a jet would be running upstream in small rivers and (maybe) fishing shallow tidewater. My experience has been that tidewater fishing is entirely manageable with a prop unless you plan to troll or run in extremely shallow water with a lot of boulders. I used a 16 ft boat with 70hp prop for years fishng SRC in the salt, you just need to be careful. Now I've got a 175hp that I fish tidewater with (not as brave with trolling or positioning the boat the shallows, but I'm usually anchoring and casting anyway. So it would seem to me that with the jet you only really gain the capability to run upstream in small rivers, but that would come with a relatively high sacrifice in cost, performance, and general enjoyment during all of your other fishing time.

    Also consider the etec 2 strokes - much lighter and higher torque with similar fuel economy and emissions (no stinky exhaust).

    My $.02
  3. Mark Walker Active Member

    Posts: 2,774
    So. Cal.
    Ratings: +229 / 1
    I'll second the E-Tec for consideration.:thumb:
  4. Trout Master Active Member

    the E-TEC is by far the best two stoke out there and burns cleaner then a four stroke. great power to weight also.
  5. Plecoptera Active Member

    Posts: 622
    Ratings: +28 / 0
    Ya, I've looked at those. Nice motors, but I heard bad things about the performance with a Jet. Also, not sure what you are referring to with the power:weight. I just checked their web site and a 40hp E-tec is about 230lbs vs the Yamaha F40 which is 215lbs.

    I'm kind of loyal to Yamaha's, and if I were to get a jet they at least offer them from the factory.
  6. Plecoptera Active Member

    Posts: 622
    Ratings: +28 / 0
    MR, good point about wind and rough water. I've got a bow mount electric that I can try using with the motor up to kind of simulate what it would be like with a jet. Another idea I had was getting a regular Yamaha F40, and then buy a jack plate and a jet unit for it. This way I could raise the motor for the jet. I fish the salt/lakes in the spring and summer, and larger rivers in the fall, so I would probably only need to change the lower unit a couple times a year.The tidewater areas I fish are full of stumps and logs, so it's a little unnerving running a prop, especially if I've just spent a few thousands dollars on one.
  7. Milt Roe Member

    Posts: 396
    Taco Ma
    Ratings: +14 / 0
    Good luck with whatever - Just offerring my opinions based on my own experiences. Trolling or positioning a boat with a prop isn't going to do a lot of damage even if you do run into something. You need to hit someting pretty hard to have a major cluster fck. Different story running upstream in a river and running out of water on a bar or finding a big rock. Just takes a second for a major wreck and repair job. Sounds to me like you have your mind made up, so go for it and let us know how it turns out. I shouldn't second guess your need anyway because I don't know your specific situation.

    I'll re-ckeck the weight issue - 240 seems like a lot for a 40hp 2 stroke. My 175 etec is only 420lbs. When I was younger and guiding in AK I used to toss a 40 hp motor over my shoulder and carry it a fair distance. Seems like 240 would be too much for that but that was 20+ years ago, and I was in great shape.
  8. shawn k Member

    Posts: 697
    buckets worldwide
    Ratings: +19 / 0
    get a bay kit for your outboard so you can switch back and forth between a prop and jet. It costs some coin but will be cheaper tan buying a motor.
  9. willieboat Member

    Posts: 444
    Lacey, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I'm not familiar with your boat. But about your question about using jets in the salt. I run my 115 HP Yamaha jet in the salt all of the time. It takes a little more effort when you get home though. First the newer Yamaha's come with a hose attachment for flushing. You should do this for approximately 15 minutes without running the motor.

    Then you should buy either the ear muff type or the flushing attachement that you screw into the bolt that's located between the lower unit greese hose. With these your you start up the motor at run it for at least 15 minutes. I also rinse the exterior motor down with the garden hose.

    I have a small Yamah kicker that I do the same thing to when it's been in the salt.

    I hear about how the jet drink fuel, is loud and on and on. I find that at least Yamah had worked out these issues and I can't imagine how either would be an issue. Rivers, lakes, sound, go for it! :cool:
  10. ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

    Posts: 3,209
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Ratings: +112 / 0
    Unless you plan on running nothing but really shallow rivers or setting gillnets there's little upside in a jet.

    You could get a motor that you can switch to a jet drive if you ever really need one, 1 motor 2 drives
  11. eimaj New Member

    Posts: 31
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I went trough this debate a few years back on my 14ft Jon boat. I planned on using mine in about the sam situation that you are talking about, but more shallow rivers for me. Even still I went with a prop. The key things for me were that a jet's operating range is 3/4-full throttle, a jet will not get a much load up onto plane as the same size prop, with a small outboard jet you might as well remove the reverse bucket because a paddle would work better :p , and depending on what your salt water looks like jet don't like kelp or seaweed. For got to add wear rings and impellers don't like pitting or build-up so if you do go that route you gotta make sure the whole thing get's flushed down well.
  12. Jerry Daschofsky Moderator

    Posts: 7,787
    Graham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +689 / 5
    Unless you're running rivers alot with it, go with a prop. I only had a sled because alot of the places I fished were rivers with a ton of shallow areas that a prop would've given me problems with. And I'm a HUGE fan of the Yamaha's myself. If I'd have kept my old sled, I would've upgraded the old Evinrude jet and kicker to a Yamaha 90 jet and the Yamaha 8 high thrust (loved that motor on my Dad's boat. But for my use, I needed the jet. For anything else I'd have went all prop.
  13. Plecoptera Active Member

    Posts: 622
    Ratings: +28 / 0
    Thanks for all the input. I think I'm going to start looking for a 40hp with a prop (preferably Yamaha), which would put me at the max hp rating for the boat. Looks like a jet may not be worth the hassle for a lot of the places I fish.

    There are still quite a few places I would like to fish that I can't get to with a prop, so later on I may invest in a jet unit and fab a removable transom riser. This way I could install the jet when I start fishing the rivers in the fall and then put the prop back on in the spring.
  14. longstick Member

    Posts: 280
    North West
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    You need to stick with the prop. that boats is more of a sound and lake boat. the prop with make that boat hall ass and the also stick with the Yam. That boat was not design to run shallow water so stick with the prop and you can run the columbia, lakes, and the ocean. i would not run a pump in the salt, you can troll alot easier with the prop over the pump. Good luck
  15. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 4,138
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +791 / 1
    My first jet-boat was a 16' Lowes with a 50 hp Merc -- owned for about 5 years and used exclusivey on the rivers, Cowlitz, Satsop, Wynoochee, Lewis. My second was a, 18' Wooldridge Alaskan w/90 HP OB which saw time on those same streams + Hood Canal and south sound. I liked both of them, but quite frankly like not maintaining boats period -- my pontoon boat and fatcat are the extent of watercraft today. While pumps are less efficient, they are way more versatile if you plan on spending anytime in rivers.
  16. winknot New Member

    Posts: 27
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    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
  17. RoyS Member

    Posts: 125
    Shady Cove, OR
    Ratings: +8 / 0
    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.

  18. Plecoptera Active Member

    Posts: 622
    Ratings: +28 / 0
    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.
  19. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,578
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,704 / 0

    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.

  20. RoyS Member

    Posts: 125
    Shady Cove, OR
    Ratings: +8 / 0
    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.