Thoughts on a fist boat with a Jacuzzi 12YJ Pump
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Thoughts on a fist boat with a Jacuzzi 12YJ Pump

  1. #1
    Member Hibbitz's Avatar
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    Default Thoughts on a fist boat with a Jacuzzi 12YJ Pump

    Hey all...

    I'm new to the form and looking to start with my first Jet Boat. I've been trying to do as much research as possible and want to seek the opinions of some experts before a possible purchase.

    I am looking at a boat that I though had a Berkeley pump on it. After sending a photo to a sales/service company they informed me it was a Jacuzzi 12YJ pump. They said it was a "decent" pump but parts were really expensive.


    I just wanted to get some thoughts on if this pump should steer me away from the purchase. The boat is ok but nothing super rare that make it an absolute must have.

    1. How we do they perform
    2. Are parts really that much more expensive then Berkeleys
    3. Are they harder to service than a Berkeley
    4. Are there any options to swap to a different pump that don't required a ton of work (ie. installing a new intake in the hull)

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated

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  3. #2
    AKA OhOneWS6 Last Mohican's Avatar
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    All depends on what your goals are. I have 2 boats with YJs. My 25' cruiser loves the stock YJ. My 18' boat prefers the converted pump. You can buy a kit to convert a YJ to a Berkeley style bowl & impeller. It will then accept all the Berk add ons like wedge and diverter. There are a couple of kits out there. The XLerator kit from Tom at jet boat performance is one option.

    Long story short if you want more than 60 MPH or to put more than 400 HP in it you will be better off to keep looking. If you want a reliable 60 MPH family boat with 400 HP or less the YJ is fine.

  4. #3
    Member Hibbitz's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for the great information and I am a bit of a car guy testing the water with a jet boat project. I've been around boats my whole life and share a 21' center console with my brother but have always wanted jet boat.. this would be a bit of a project.

    The boat in question is more of a 20' runabout/ski boat style vs the super sleek typical jet boat. The plans for the boat would be a fun and reliable boat that we could use on the lake or to take to the beach and certainly do some tubing with the kids. It has a Chevy 350 in it now that may have a cam but I would think is otherwise pretty much stock. I'd hope the boat would do over 40mph but again I am new and don't really know.

    I've rebuilt engines and restored a few old cars so I'm decent with the tools but really just wanted to get a sense if a Jacuzzi 12YJ was something that I should stay away from based on cost of parts or complexities to service. I guess from my limited research and exposure I had it in my head that Berkeley was the "Chevy" of pumps in that they are 1. common 2. easy to service and 3. have a ton of service/support

    It sounds like the parts are there if I need them for the Jacuzzi and with 400 hp or less (not an issue now) I could have a pretty reliable pump without having to spend a bunch of money on upgrades.

    Thanks again for the information and I just wanted to make sure that a Jacuzzi YJ wasn't a deal breaker or at least significant disadvantage.

    A question though... what is the advantage of converting them?
    Last edited by Hibbitz; 08-14-2012 at 01:28 PM.

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  6. #4
    Senior Member 1975sleekcraft's Avatar
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    Default YJ

    the biggest drawback i found was you can never through a rooster tail...it cost me almost 3 grand to convert mine...now i through a monster tail...i ran my YJ for years always wanting to through up the tail...But couldn't...for 3 grand i could of bought a complete fixer upper boat with a berkeley...the energized YJ gets out of the hole alot better but isn't much faster top end...throughing 425 horse at it...

    my advise is to look for a different boat with a berk-----------------

  7. #5
    AKA OhOneWS6 Last Mohican's Avatar
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    Can you post a picture of the pump? It may have already been converted.

    My experience was similar to 75 Sleek. My first jet boat (I still have it) was a 19' 74 SleekCraft Rebel with a Jacuzzi YJ and a Pontiac 400. It took a lot of work and a lot of tinkering but I finally got it to run 59 MPH with the Jacuzzi YJ. Later down the road I bought my 25' SleekCraft Ambassador (Still have it too). It had a Jacuzzi YJ that had already been converted with an Aggressor conversion kit very similar to what Tom now sells as the XLerator kit. I swapped the pumps between the two boats and it was an improvement for both boats. More after market parts and tunability for the little hot rod boat and better low speed maneuvering and quicker to get on plane for the larger boat.

    The YJ is not any harder/ more expensive to rebuild than a Berkeley AS LONG as key parts are in good condition. If you need an impeller, wear ring or shaft they can be hard to come by and quite expensive if you have to buy a new one. In fact I am not even sure if they can be had new any more. NAMJ is going through some changes from what I understand. They are more focused on their larger pumps. The bearing, tail busing and gaskets are no big deal. They can be found and are no more expensive than Berkeley stuff.

    If you decide you want to go faster, the YJ is not a good choice even when converted IMO. There are very limited options on loaders. You are tied to the YJ intake and suction housing.

    75Sleek nailed it on the rooster tail. If you ever want to throw a rooster tail the YJ will not do it. That was the main reason I wanted to convert my pump.

    As for the motor, You can pretty much throw anything you know about car motors out the window. A jet boat with an open cooling system is a completely different animal.

    Good luck with your purchase what ever you decide to do.

  8. #6
    Senior Member propless's Avatar
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    In my opinion, the YJ is a deal breaker and a significant disadvantage. They are the worst pump you will find in one of these boats. They dont handle any real HP, parts are hard to find and EXPENCIVE, and the "comversion kits" can cost more than your probobly paying for the whole boat. There is no way I would buy another boat with a YJ pump.

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    Member Hibbitz's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the information. It would definitely prefer a Berkeley pump but I think for my goals the Jacuzzi might still work.

    This boat will be more of a family run around boat that we do a bit of tubing off of.

    - It will not see more than 400hp
    - I'm not really interested in throwing a tail
    - Coming out of the hole and more maneuverability would be better than top speed

    I honestly expect to have this boat for a few years and either move on to something bigger as the kids get older or go with a different style boat. if the parts are there (although some are more expensive) to get this pump running in stock form with good performance I may bite the bullet and try it. I was told that the pump is working well and the is not "aware" of any issues but I am counting on inspecting it and doing some seals at the very least.

    Here is the only photo I have of the jet drive which isn't a great one. I don't know if you can tell anything from this photo.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Hibbitz; 08-15-2012 at 06:33 AM.

  10. #8
    AKA OhOneWS6 Last Mohican's Avatar
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    That is defiantly a stock 12YJ. The front seal on those is pretty robust. I doubt it will be bad. The YJ has 2 grease zerks. One up front for the front bearing and one for the tail of the shaft that is right in the center if you look inside the nozzle from the rear. The biggest thing you need to look at is the impeller clearance. A YJ can be run with very close tolerances. As long as the impeller is not so worn that it protruded forward of the wear ring you are probably OK. I have some pictures somewhere of what a worn out impeller looks like. I will try to find them again and post them for you later today.

    Be sure to lake test the boat. How much do they want for it? What part of the country are you in?

  11. #9
    Member Hibbitz's Avatar
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    I am in MA and the boat is really cheap as it needs a new floor. I've been looking for a bit of a project and thought this would be fun (famous last words...)

    Since the current owner already started to take the floor up there isn't an opportunity for a sea trail or test drive. The engine runs but there are some controls and other misc things that have been disconnected for the start of the work that make it so the boat can't be used as of now.

    Thanks for the info on what to look for on the YJ and if you end up locating those photos I'd love to see them

    Thanks

    Kent

  12. #10
    AKA OhOneWS6 Last Mohican's Avatar
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    If it needs a floor I would keep looking. My first jet boat was free. I could have bought a nice lake ready ride by the time I did the floor and all the other work it needed. Be sure you understand what you are taking on. You will never get your money back out of it. If you like to tinker and are looking for a project this will be big one. Not saying it can't be done. Just making sure you understand what you are about to get into.

    You will need to check the clearance between the impeller and wear ring. You can do this by removing the hand hole cover and using a feeler gauge. You adjust this clearance by adding or removing shims from the front bearing. This can be done with out pump disassembly. If the impeller is worn your clearance will be so large that you will end up with an impeller that extends past the wear ring by the time the clearance is set. Hope that makes sense. The pictures should help you undertand. I can't recall what the YJ clearance should be. Seems like it was ~.08 - .10

    This one is OK.


    This one is far too worn.

  13. #11
    Member Hibbitz's Avatar
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    Great photos and very helpful. Thanks for digging those up. If I can check this via the hand hole then I will definitely do so when checking out the boat.

    As for the boat as a whole I have a 21 center console that we use on a regular basis so I am looking for something to work on/restore. Understanding that you can spend a decent amount of money replacing a floor I am under no disillusion that this would be a quick fix OR that I would get my money back out. I've done a couple of different things were I consider my time and money just part of learning something new.

    Thanks again for the pics and I'll see how the "inspection" goes.

    PS - Your cat looks like a pro at determining the proper clearance. Feeler gauge....meh.
    Last edited by Hibbitz; 08-15-2012 at 02:35 PM.

  14. #12
    AKA OhOneWS6 Last Mohican's Avatar
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    LOL. Totally missed she was in that picture.

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    Senior Member Sleek Freak's Avatar
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    YJ intake, suction housing together with American Turbine bowl and nozzle.
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    Last edited by Sleek Freak; 08-15-2012 at 09:03 PM.

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    Default 12YJ with trim

    I have a 12YJ with a tilting nozzle which creates a rather large rooster tail. There's a cylinder mounted on top that moves the upper hinge pin back and forth to raise/lower the nozzle. A VERY fun boat to have
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