New to jet boats. Need some advice with new stunt boat project.
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New to jet boats. Need some advice with new stunt boat project.

  1. #1
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    Default New to jet boats. Need some advice with new stunt boat project.

    Hi all. I recently acquired this shell and am planning on rebuilding it. I have a few jet ski's, but this is my first jet boat, and I am having a hard time finding out a lot of information about my options regarding engines/pumps. I am not looking for anything crazy, just something that will keep the boat lightweight and agile but still have some power. What I know is this used to be a stunt boat in the 80's at an amusement park called Indiana Beach. I live on a river that tends to be shallow and I am hoping this will not draft much deeper than my jet ski's do. I have been looking around and haven't really seen any jet boats like this yet. Maybe some of you could give me your opinion on what you would do with it and what the limitations will be. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!





    Last edited by Radkins; 04-23-2010 at 10:10 PM.

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    History Repeating Storz's Avatar
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    I do know the Sport Jet was an engine/pump combo by Mercury
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    tintingsandiego krusn56's Avatar
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    Contact the park for history...Then decide. Would be cool to make it what it was.
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    Senior Member old rigger's Avatar
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    I rigged some of these little turds back some 20 odd years and they had the mercury powerhead/pump combo. I only post the pic so you can see how tall the engine cover had to be to cover things up.


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    Looks like a good candidate for a smallblock
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    Quote Originally Posted by Storz View Post
    Looks like a good candidate for a smallblock
    A few people have told me I might have to do a lot of Fabrication to do a SBC setup due to the transom setup? I would be more partial to a turbo 4 cylinder setup myself. I'm pretty sure the Mercury would bolt right in. Not sure what another setup would take.

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    Senior Member Xerophobic's Avatar
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    Thats def a pump box molded into the transom/keel for a Mercury Sportjet
    Likely a 175 or 240 HP from the vintage of the hull.

    Its a great light powerful package(and can pump some serious rocks lol) but you wont break any speed records thats for sure. I run a first generation 240 in my alloy hull.

    Cool boat but for really shallow waters you want an aluminum boat, trust me!
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    If you ain't hittin bottom...you ain't jetboatin!

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    What kind of speed do you think it would run with a Merc 175? I certainly don't need anything too crazy.

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    Senior Member Xerophobic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radkins View Post
    What kind of speed do you think it would run with a Merc 175? I certainly don't need anything too crazy.
    How big/heavy is that hull?

    My boat is about 1100 lbs dry and will do 63ish with 2 guys and a good fresh pump. Yopu may notice in the pic I posted tho that Eagle makes a race style intake and mounts the pump inside the hull. aprently Merc was a lil surprised first time they saw this and wondered what the heck they'd done to their hardware! lol
    It is a faster setup tho which is why it was done(race trim the boats see high 60's with a 240)

    Take away 65 hp and have a less efficient intake and who knowsanywhere from 40 up I guess. Why do you say 175? find a first gen 240 and at least you will have EFI, the 175 has carbs(altho the 175 does have a simplier internal exhaust too)

    The 175 carb SJ and current 250 Optimax SJ engines have unique pumps while the 200 Optimax SJ and both generations of 240 SJ use the same pump. Theres no exhaust holes on that hull so Im guessing it was a 175

    Cheers
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xerophobic View Post
    How big/heavy is that hull?

    My boat is about 1100 lbs dry and will do 63ish with 2 guys and a good fresh pump. Yopu may notice in the pic I posted tho that Eagle makes a race style intake and mounts the pump inside the hull. aprently Merc was a lil surprised first time they saw this and wondered what the heck they'd done to their hardware! lol
    It is a faster setup tho which is why it was done(race trim the boats see high 60's with a 240)

    Take away 65 hp and have a less efficient intake and who knowsanywhere from 40 up I guess. Why do you say 175? find a first gen 240 and at least you will have EFI, the 175 has carbs(altho the 175 does have a simplier internal exhaust too)

    The 175 carb SJ and current 250 Optimax SJ engines have unique pumps while the 200 Optimax SJ and both generations of 240 SJ use the same pump. Theres no exhaust holes on that hull so Im guessing it was a 175

    Cheers
    I'm going to say the hull is 200lbs or less. My friend and I lifted it onto the trailer no problem. It is only 12ft. I am trying to do this on a budget and I think 175hp on the river I am on will be fine. My jet ski's do 45ish and that is fast enough for me. I am more concerned with handling and weight distrobution than getting an extra 5mpm, unless of coarse there is not a big price difference between the two.

    Can someone tell me what a good source for used Sport Jet motors is? I have been trying to find one for sale online this evening and cannot find any. How much can I expect to pay for a decent used engine/pump combo, say mid 90's. I would love to get this thing in the water this summer if I can afford it.

    Thanks so much for the responses guys!

  13. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radkins View Post
    I'm going to say the hull is 200lbs or less. My friend and I lifted it onto the trailer no problem. It is only 12ft. I am trying to do this on a budget and I think 175hp on the river I am on will be fine. My jet ski's do 45ish and that is fast enough for me. I am more concerned with handling and weight distrobution than getting an extra 5mpm, unless of coarse there is not a big price difference between the two.

    Can someone tell me what a good source for used Sport Jet motors is? I have been trying to find one for sale online this evening and cannot find any. How much can I expect to pay for a decent used engine/pump combo, say mid 90's. I would love to get this thing in the water this summer if I can afford it.

    Thanks so much for the responses guys!
    The usual avenues, ebay, CL, Kijiji etc Prices vary but you should be able to find a motor/pump for 4-6kish. You will want to make sure what was in there as I said because the pump may not be a "drop in" if its not the right one.

    You may or may not know the 175 and 240 were discontinued years ago so they may be a bit harder to find. The 200/250 Opti's are still made but will be more $. FYI there isnt any real major physical difference between the 2 generations of 240 either, ones an alternator(newer) and one is a stator, both are EFI. The newer one is smartcraft compatable also. (top covers are distinctly different)

    If the hull is that small 175 will move it very well.

    You may want to find a whole boat with a 175 where the hulls damaged or something
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    I am finding a lot of boats with 90 and 120hp Sport Jets. Will these engines work as well? They seem to be much cheaper and would allow me to get it on the water this season as I doubt I will have an extra 4-6K to put into this thing in the next few months. I doubt I will ever be able to find out exactly what was in this boat. Perhaps I can measure the opening and compare it with measurements from these engines?
    Last edited by Radkins; 04-25-2010 at 01:39 AM.

  15. #13
    Senior Member old rigger's Avatar
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    Hey Radkins,
    I wanted to make sure you knew that when I said I rigged a few of these turds I was referring to the boats that I posted a picture of, not the engine/pump combo.

  16. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radkins View Post
    I am finding a lot of boats with 90 and 120hp Sport Jets. Will these engines work as well? They seem to be much cheaper and would allow me to get it on the water this season as I doubt I will have an extra 4-6K to put into this thing in the next few months. I doubt I will ever be able to find out exactly what was in this boat. Perhaps I can measure the opening and compare it with measurements from these engines?
    Never seen one in person but would be highly surprised if it used the same pump. I'd hold out for a 175 because changing/altering/modifying that pump box to work with anything else will be a PITA. You could likely install a 175 in that boat in a few hours at most
    If you ain't hittin bottom...you ain't jetboatin!

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