Cris-Craft Jet boat?
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Cris-Craft Jet boat?

  1. #1
    Senior Member GA Jet's Avatar
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    Default Cris-Craft Jet boat?

    So I did a little research and discovered that Cris-Craft did in fact make a jetboat, the xk-18 I think it was called. Anywho the reason I bring this up is that for many years, around 12, our family runabout/ski boat has been a 1986(ish) cris-craft stern drive inboard/outboard bow rider. Its been a great boat too, we put a chevy 350 crate motor in it and it has ran like a champ. Just for the hell of it I GPS'd it at 50mph @ 4200rpm I think it was...

    Well for 10 years we haven't had to do anything but keep the oil changed in the motor and stern drive then keep the bearings greased. This past summer I was napping on the engine cover and I heard a leak below me. We pulled the boat out and started tracking down the leak and decided it was coming from the steering boot. took forever to change that and it didn't fix the leak. Finally we discovered a whole mess of trouble. The leak was from a y-pipe in the exhaust, replacement cost is about $400 just for parts. So we pulled the motor, planning on just throwing through transom exhaust on it and bam! found more rot to add to our troubles... the stringers where the engine mounts are anchored were completely rotted away leaving only the fiberglass. Further investigation of the rot turned up that the transom was starting to rot out as well (I know this boat is starting to sound like a pile of)


    Well my dad and I decided that it would be very cool and definitely unique to turn this sucker into a Jetboat and have the only cris-craft jet we've ever seen. Really the only pros of this plan is the wow factor and that we have enough pump parts laying around we wouldnt have to buy anything. The cons however are pretty heavy. Its a small block chevy crate motor with a car cam (marine oil pan) so it wont be fast without a good amount of work and we'd have to do pretty extensive keel/hull work. Lastly, lets face it, jets arent the best ski boats


    Heres the boat we're talking about here. What do yall think? Tackle this build and make it a jet or leave it as a stern drive?

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    Not great photos sorry!

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  3. #2
    AKA OhOneWS6 Last Mohican's Avatar
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    Jets do make great ski boats. The sentimental valve of that boat is going to make you want to keep it. Only you can decide weather to do the swap or not. There is nothing logical or financial that makes the swap a good idea.

  4. #3
    deckboat owner rschap1's Avatar
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    Default Scorpions :)

    My first (and repurchased as 3rd) boat was a 1984 Chris Craft 169 Scorpion.
    Powered by a 185 horse 3.7 liter V-6 with a quadrajet.
    Boat hit over 60 mphs. Closed bow.
    Super solid rocking lil' boat that I took all over back then.
    a few years later I got this one (look familiar??)
    Same motor only a lil' slower since this boat was an 18. This one was an open bow.
    Cleaned it up, redid the teak swim platform on rear, and sold for a lil' profit a few years ago.
    LOVE these things!
    Mine were built like TANKS!

    Even having such a fondness for the boat, I would have to REALLY REALLY want a jet to do a conversion like you are talking about.
    I would have to say if you are attached, redo it as a sterndrive.
    If you want a jet, get a jet.
    I do not see that hull as being a good jet candidate. Quite a difference between that Vee and a jet built to be a jet.
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  6. #4
    Senior Member GA Jet's Avatar
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    hahaha man except for those seats mine is identical to that boat!

    We got jets, even a jet open bow, its just the cool factor is very appealing to us. One thing is for sure, we are putting through transom exhaust on this beast. you can kinda see the back seats in this boat, the captains chairs are back to back, then there are two seats, one on either side of the engine cover. I think our boat is a little bigger, the number 23ft stands out in my mind. Not sure if thats this boat or not though

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    heres some shots of the rot

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  7. #5
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    I have skied behind jets for years.....It depends on whether you're a really good skier or a recreational skier; A friend of mine put off skiing behind my CVX-20 for years, then finally tried it and rated it better than some of the certified ski boats...He owns a marina and four different DD ski boats.....The best ride I ever had was behind a Stoker 20' tunnel OB- NO wake, none at all!

    If you can, rig a ski pull in front of the engine at the center of gravity....My CVX has that and doesn't get pulled around at all, whereas my Father's bigger 19' Deep family jet that had the pull at the transom was pulled all over the place.
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  8. #6
    Senior Member GA Jet's Avatar
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    Thats a nice CVX! We got one that we are eventually* gonna work on but so far its lower down on our list. It always reminds me of a james bond looking boat!

    Mostly we liked that cris-craft for teaching people how to ski. We never tried teaching off a jetboat. I got a younger step brother so I know we got a few more years of teaching his various friends as they start to come to the lake with him. Glad to hear someone else say its not too bad though!

  9. #7
    Senior Member GA Jet's Avatar
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    Haha! Got an email from my dad today with this picture in it with the caption "Intake is cleaned up and ready to go in, I'm thinking 454 in the cris-craft and put the 350 in the Jolly Roger"

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    So looks like the start of a build thread to me!

  10. #8
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    Go for it!

  11. #9
    Senior Member DuaneHTP's Avatar
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    That hull will NOT handle a jet installation and a 454 BBC very well. It will bow-steer like crazy. Save your money before you mess up a good old boat. (And I love jets too).

    Duane HTP

  12. #10
    Senior Member GA Jet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DuaneHTP View Post
    That hull will NOT handle a jet installation and a 454 BBC very well. It will bow-steer like crazy. Save your money before you mess up a good old boat. (And I love jets too).

    Duane HTP
    Crap! Droop and jet-o-vater wont help?

  13. #11
    Senior Member DuaneHTP's Avatar
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    They will help on take off and speed, but the problems you're going to have will be on shut down. They will not help that.

    It's kiind of like adding HP to a car that has poor brakes.

    Duane HTP

  14. #12
    Senior Member GA Jet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DuaneHTP View Post
    They will help on take off and speed, but the problems you're going to have will be on shut down. They will not help that.

    It's kiind of like adding HP to a car that has poor brakes.

    Duane HTP
    makes sense. Well looks like we are gonna scrap this idea then. We'll hafta decide whether or not we will rebuild the boat to stock, or just try to sell it off to someone who wants a big project...

    Thanks for the help Duane and everyone else

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