What to look for when buying a jet boat
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What to look for when buying a jet boat

  1. #1
    Or Seth, either one Budweiser's Avatar
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    Default What to look for when buying a jet boat

    The hull and engine I can handle, I just don't now all that much about jets.
    Are there things I should keep an eye out for when looking at a jet boat?
    Any indicators of pump condition? Any way to know if it's in need of attention or if it's all good?
    Any particular drives to stay away from, or that are more desirable than others?

    Thanks guys,
    -Seth-
    Last edited by Budweiser; 09-23-2012 at 11:39 AM.

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    Senior Member SuperJet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Budweiser View Post
    The hull and engine I can handle, I just don't now all that much about jets.
    Are there things I should keep an eye out for when looking at a jet boat?
    Any indicators of pump condition? Any way to know if it's in need of attention or if it's all good?
    Any particular drives to stay away from, or that are more desirable than others?

    Thanks guys,
    -Seth-
    Obviously check the stringers an hull for delam. As far as pump look into the intake an look at the impeller. Look for chips an dings. Pull the hand hole cover. Grab the shaft and see if it moves at all( shouldn't move). I would stay away from drakes( unless they are energized. And yj/golden eagles.


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    Or Seth, either one Budweiser's Avatar
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    Okay. Lay on the ground and look in the intake at the impeller for damage. And check for any play up/down, side to side, fore/ aft.

    Is there a way to tell if the seals are good/bad?
    Can running it on the trailer tell me anything about the pump? Guessing not, but???

    Never heard of a drakes. Have no idea what energized or yj/golden eagles means.

    Thank you for the input thus far.
    Last edited by Budweiser; 09-23-2012 at 04:58 PM.

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    Senior Member SuperJet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Budweiser View Post
    Can running it on the trailer tell me anything about the pump? Guessing not, but???

    Never heard of a drakes. Have no idea what energized or yj/golden eagles means.

    Thank you for the input thus far.
    Running on the trailer ( for more than a couple minutes "will'' hurt it) won't tell you much about the pump. Most don't recommend running on te trailer. Drakes are not that common, but I have come across a few( almost bought an elim.. With an energized one) yj and golden eagle are both jacuzzi models. They are my as pocketbook friendly when it comes to rebuilds. An energized pump is one that only uses the stock intake and suction housing and te rest is replaced with berkley style components. Makes them more efficient, and easier to for add ons



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    Quote Originally Posted by cordog009 View Post
    Nitrous is like a really hot chick with an STD...you know you wanna hit it, you're just afraid of the consequences

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    Senior Member 74glencoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Budweiser View Post
    Okay. Lay on the ground and look in the intake at the impeller for damage. And check for any play up/down, side to die, fore/ aft.

    Is there a way to tell if the seals are good/ba d?
    Can running it on the trailer tell me anything about the pump? Guessing not, but???

    Never heard of a drakes. Have no idea what energized or yj/golden eagles means.

    Thank you for the input thus far.
    Drake is a kind/brand of pump. There are quite a few manufacturers of jets. Berkeley, dominator, Jacuzzi, Hamilton, panther etc. Energized means the pump basically has a retrofit kit on it that turned it into a Berkeley. Berkeley pumps are the easiest to find parts for, and a split bowl should be your goal if possible. A 454 Berkeley combo is what I would look for if I was looking.

    There are quite a few threads on this already,do a search in the jet forum
    Boating is nothing like cocaine, boating is much more addictive and results in bigger parties!

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    BBC and Berkely based power and propulsion. Cant be beat for performance and money spent.


    You will notice alot of nice boats with a Jaccuzzi or Panther pump for sale for along time. Theres a reason nobody has bit on them. Even if its a good deal I would stick with a berkeley based boat with your choice of BBC or BBF depending on which you prefer.

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    i BOUGHT MINE FROM MY BUDDY THAT IS LOADED, WHENEVER A FRIEND WANTS ME TO CHECK OUT A BOAT THEY WANNA BUY, I MAKE SURE THE HOUSE IS AWESOME ALONG WITH A MOTORHOME AND AT LEAST A BIGGER BOAT THEY PURCHASED. IF EVERYTHING IS TURNKEY, BUY IT. THE DAYS OF SELLING A HOTBOAT TO KEEP THEIR HOUSE IS DEAD. I USED TO CHECK OUT THE CARS IN THE PARKING LOT BEFORE I WENT IN TO APPLY FOR A JOB. SAME GOES FOR BUYING A CAR OR BOAT.

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    Senior Member SuperJet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBS933 View Post
    i BOUGHT MINE FROM MY BUDDY THAT IS LOADED, WHENEVER A FRIEND WANTS ME TO CHECK OUT A BOAT THEY WANNA BUY, I MAKE SURE THE HOUSE IS AWESOME ALONG WITH A MOTORHOME AND AT LEAST A BIGGER BOAT THEY PURCHASED. IF EVERYTHING IS TURNKEY, BUY IT. THE DAYS OF SELLING A HOTBOAT TO KEEP THEIR HOUSE IS DEAD. I USED TO CHECK OUT THE CARS IN THE PARKING LOT BEFORE I WENT IN TO APPLY FOR A JOB. SAME GOES FOR BUYING A CAR OR BOAT.
    Why you yelling?


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    Quote Originally Posted by cordog009 View Post
    Nitrous is like a really hot chick with an STD...you know you wanna hit it, you're just afraid of the consequences

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    Look at it in the daylight, if it is not far away look at things that the owner says and research it. I bought a boat and he stated it had such and such. and some of what he said was there but later found out it was not hooked up or broken( like they can tell you it has a AA impellar but you can't see that). If you can test drive it would be a plus, bottom line don't believe the seller unless you can verify it
    1990 ultra 21' open bow. 509, American turbine Jet

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    Or Seth, either one Budweiser's Avatar
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    I looked at one yesterday. It's a small block chevy (not my first choice) and what I think is a Berkeley 12JG. The seller claims he used the GPS in his cell phone and has seen it as high as 58mph at 5500rpm... Seems believable. Guessing B or C impeller???

    The way the boat was situated I couldn't wiggle far enough under to get a look at the impeller, however I did identify a few issues.
    1) The little fins that stick down on either side of the intake were damaged (pieces missing)
    2) One finger was missing from the intake grate (I think that's what it's called)
    3) The reverse bucket was loose, looks like it needs a plastic bushing or something
    4) The nozzle moves left to right a couple inches, indepent of the steering arm.
    5) The shift arm that's on the bucket seems to hit the bowl when the steering wheel is turned to the right.

    I am looking for something to tinker with over the winter. Something that I can get CHEEP, put a little sweat equity into, and enjoy for a year or two. Although, I don't want to get into something that will cost more in the long run than if I had just spent a few extra bucks up front.

    I offered the kid $600. Figured at that price it didn't really matter what the impeller looks like.

    Are any of the things listed above going to be a huge issue? Fins on the intake maybe?

    Thoughts?


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    items 3,4,5 are HUGE safety concerns. those need to be fixed before you go and put your friends/family into the boat. they're cheap fixes independently but its a boat... $20 here, $40 there... pretty soon a $600 float turns into a $1500 float. =)

    how were the stringers and sub floor? how was the interior? any cracks in upholstery? gas tanks clean, look in the fuel filter, look around the bilge. a clean bilge is a good owner and a nice boat. tons of dirt and oil and rust are just more things that require time and money to make right. how was the gel coat?

    jet boats require some basic attention and maintenance. just talk to the guy and get a sense if he took care of it or if he drives it hard and puts it away wet for 6 seasons without even changing the oil. i could tell you (actually i could show you a build thread) every detail about my boat and you'd probably fall over. with it being the end of the season you need to stay away from people who knew they were going to sell their boat at the end of the season, drove the piss out of it, and want top dollar. theres a lot of boats out there and its a buyers market. take cash and slap it in their faces and they'll usually bite. they always say the 2 happiest days of a boaters life is when they buy it, and when they sell it. usually the deciding factor on selling a boat is they just dont want to spend any more money on it and they'll be happy when its gone. their loss, your gain.

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    Or Seth, either one Budweiser's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input ka0tyk.

    Is there any chance the reverse bucket is up-side-down? Why do you suppose it's hitting the bowl? Flip it over and get a new steering arm?

    FWIW, the seller neither accepted nor denied the offer. Had to talk to his girlfriend first. LOL

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    Senior Member hpltree's Avatar
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    Default take your time

    when i got our boat i drove like 5 hours to get it so i did not spend the right amount of time looking it over .. so i paid a bit to much and the work needed = to what i could have got a nicer boat for.. But with that said my boat is very solid and i know every inch , nut and bolt , ...... you get the point.... unless you steal it or get a super deal i think you will always put more cash into a boat than you will get in return.. . i wish i would have waited.. a guy close to me had a 21 ft hawian open bow bbc dom jet for 8 g`s if i new then what know now i would have that boat insted.. but this thing looks sweet all cut and buffed
    Last edited by hpltree; 09-24-2012 at 08:21 PM.

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    Senior Member H20MOFO's Avatar
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    The bottom of the boat is important depending on how fast u wanna go. What are your goals as far as top end ect. A delta pad or a flat keel is gonna be tuff to get to tripple digits....from what I have heard. I havent heard anyone mention panthers. My energized one was fine pump wise. Wouldnt go there again though.
    Another Hot Boat refugee

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