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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After seeing videos and pictures of Whitewater/River Jet Boats (Like the Outlaw Eagles in the below pics), it kind of leaves a feeling that our fiberglass boats are becoming obsolete. Not only do the whitewater race boats look badass, they seem to be DAMN quick and reliable with just moderate power as in Xerophobic's example in his last post. In addition, scrape them against the rocks, drive them onto shore, over logs, etc, they seem to just keep on going! Might as well go rock crawling in them (Saw that video too =)!

Outside of the initial cost, are there any downfalls if any of owning and maintaining a whitewater boat? What are the goods and bads? It seems you can get them with a full interior and any other creature comforts needed to be a wicked family boat.





Also, is there a popular forum for these boat you can direct me to?

Thanks! :D
 

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Maybe a stupid question, but to me that looks like Major cavitation and they jump all the time. What keeps there pump together?
 

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After seeing videos and pictures of Whitewater/River Jet Boats (Like the Outlaw Eagles in the below pics), it kind of leaves a feeling that our fiberglass boats are becoming obsolete. Not only do the whitewater race boats look badass, they seem to be DAMN quick and reliable with just moderate power as in Xerophobic's example in his last post. In addition, scrape them against the rocks, drive them onto shore, over logs, etc, they seem to just keep on going! Might as well go rock crawling in them (Saw that video too =)!

Outside of the initial cost, are there any downfalls if any of owning and maintaining a whitewater boat? What are the goods and bads? It seems you can get them with a full interior and any other creature comforts needed to be a wicked family boat.





Also, is there a popular forum for these boat you can direct me to?

Thanks! :D
If it has a pump, butt loads of hp....your in the right forum....:D
 

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I think you've pretty much nailed the number one downfall to these hulls as initial cost. Im no fibreglass guru by any means but its a simple fact that a typical whitewater boat has ~4-6K worth of aluminum in it, and thats before you've even done anything! Picture a skid of aluminum sheets in your driveway :D

Add into that:

cutting - usually plasma but in fact "could" be done with patterns, a jig saw and some time

forming - not complex or difficult but sometimes requiring an above average brake (simply for the lengths involved)

Jig - aha! bet you though welding was next huh? lol You need a good strong and straight jig to build the boat on to ensure everything stays where you want it during the welding process. Not a hugely complex item but adds cost none the less. Typically in 2x6 and 2x4 steel tube and angle etc Unlike glass boats howebver often the same jig can be used for different models or boats with the same or similar bottom designs.

Welding - an important but crucial step, not only do you want quality welds but you have to do them in the right sequence to avoid distortion of panels and "tweaking" the hull

Cleanup - an often overlooked and quite time consuming process of grinding out and finishing the welds on both the top AND bottom of the hull. The bottom is often very time consuming as it cannot be fully welded properly on the jig

This will give you a bare hull which still needs paint and your typical rigging.

I would estimate the 21 tunnel you showed a picture of takes:

~8 hrs to plasma cut (make sure you table is at least 6 x 25!)

~8 hours to form

~35-50 hrs to weld

~10-16 hrs to cleanup

The advantages as you have already touched on are great performance, unsurpassed durability and of course greqat resale value and longevity. Racers often wonder where the heck all the old race boats have gone because very few are ever scrapped yet you just dont seem to see them very much. Maybe in 30 years they will be like finding an old Camaro or something in a barn haha

I simply cant tell you how fun it is taking someone out for the first time in my 17 and skimming thru 4" of water(and not hitting) bashing a few rocks and jumping some logs the whole time knowing the boat will be fine. Of course 75% of them leave the boat thinking I'm nuts but....

:D

(a really poor quality screen capture from a recent adventure, I havent had time to edit the full video yet but you can see we are very very hard on our boats, especially the adventure boats. Last weekend I had an electical problem and we had no way to get the boat to a suitable launch so we dragged it up a steep bank beside a bridge onto a gravel road using a truck, THEN loaded it on the trailer lol)
 

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Im curious on this as well,how would a sprint boat do on a big lake? Those things do 0-80 mph before you even know what happened,and handle like they are on rails.
 

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Having been in a couple of Eagles, I can surely state that a 21' tunnel is definitely on my xmas list! The downfall is certainly the initial cost, but the hulls will last forever (well, almost... unless you crash into a pressure wave at 70+ mph). But alas, they're fixable! Anyway, I almost bought one last month.... long story short, I went fiberglass one more time.

My only gripe with them is how crappy they sound inside at idle with a SS impeller. Like you're trapped in an aluminum soda can....

Cheers all....
 

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Having been in a couple of Eagles, I can surely state that a 21' tunnel is definitely on my xmas list! The downfall is certainly the initial cost, but the hulls will last forever (well, almost... unless you crash into a pressure wave at 70+ mph). But alas, they're fixable! Anyway, I almost bought one last month.... long story short, I went fiberglass one more time.

My only gripe with them is how crappy they sound inside at idle with a SS impeller. Like you're trapped in an aluminum soda can....

Cheers all....
Thats good point which I forgot to mention

I imagine that could be made alot more reasonable with full interior carpet and well just an interior period lol A bit more attention to actually wanting the boat to be quiet would help too, most guys dont care tho to be honest. ridgid motor mounts etc dont help

The most freaky thing EVER in an aluminum hull is just floating in one and having prop boats idling around or near you. You'd swear there were servo motors actuating under the deck/in your bow etc, the hull picks up noise from the water that well. Its very stange to get used to that. In alot of fast rivers we run you can actually hear sand/silt in the water sliding past the hull when the engine is off.
 

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My eagle (Gator) is fully carpeted, dual console, has a glove box, cooler, cd/mp3, livewell, dual 7' rod lockers and other cavernous storage compartments. It is a great family bass boat. It does in the low 50's with a 320 HP SBC and it will run class III rapids. Mine has the polished large exhaust manifolds and other bling added under the strut supported hood / deck. I've run through 6 footers on Lake Champlain, but it is better in the skinny water of the CT River. Check out the unlimited configurations and paint schemes at http://www.gatorjetboats.com/Fish-N-Sport.html. Tell them Dave from Massachusetts sent ya.
 

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Well for those of you wondering about the sprint boats in SoCal, we will have one out at Martinez Saturday for some testing and if all goes well it should be at this years Power tour (giving rides?)
 

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Thats good point which I forgot to mention

I imagine that could be made alot more reasonable with full interior carpet and well just an interior period lol A bit more attention to actually wanting the boat to be quiet would help too, most guys dont care tho to be honest. ridgid motor mounts etc dont help
Ya know, I've always thought this was true. Although rarely have I seen an Eagle that was more purpose built for luxury than for hauling a$$ and running shallow. Although, we did line the bow of my buddy's old boat with several hundred dollars of dynamat to improve his stereo sound....LOL. It was a 24 footer that he bought out of Oklahoma with a big Ford in it. Cool boat, just a little too big for the river.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all the insight Xerophobic. I can definitely see one of these in my future, although far in the future. Is there a forum you can recommend regarding the boats and the sport? Thanks!
 

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For me there is no down fall,they are the best boat out there.Just switching boats from my old glass one picked up 10 mph and I will have this boat fore ever.The cost is just like any other thing you get what you pay for.
 

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Those river boats are pretty bad ass, however in my area there are not rapids or real shallow water so it would be a waste for someone like me.. Besides a new Eagle cost like 40- 60 K (according to their website) and for that kind of jack you could get a real BAD to the bone glass jet...

I mean seariously.. how much motor and jet can one buy for 40 K?:)devil
 

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how sweet would one of these look pulling up to the sand bar with no paint and if it was fully polished!!!! a high gloss shine! awesome!!!!!
 

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Those river boats are pretty bad ass, however in my area there are not rapids or real shallow water so it would be a waste for someone like me.. Besides a new Eagle cost like 40- 60 K (according to their website) and for that kind of jack you could get a real BAD to the bone glass jet...

I mean seariously.. how much motor and jet can one buy for 40 K?:)devil
But I think you're comparing a fully rigged new boat to what? If you price out a fully rigged "new" glass hull, while I concur it will be less, its probably alot closer than you think. The big gap seems to be in the used market but again thats an advantage to these hulls as you dont lose your shirt the min they leave the lot so to speak. A used aluminum hull is never going to be $1500 and a turn key used alloy boat isnt going to be $5k on a trailer, but then you get what you pay for I guess

A bare 21 tunnel hull is $13500 CND which is about $12500 USD

What does a high quality bare glass hull run these days?? (Im actually seriously asking)

The advantage is performance, durability, longevity and resale, not just bashing rocks and jumping logs etc ()which incidentally the tunnel isnt designed for)

For example you're probably more likely to run hard in choppy water at high speeds in an aluminum boat because the worst you may do is put a dent in the hull while in a glass boat you could crack it or worst case suffer catastrophic failure and possible serious injury. Tin boats just look funny when you drive em back to the trailer and they dont quite "fit" the trailer properly anymore :D

(note this boat is still floating - would a glass boat be?)

 

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But I think you're comparing a fully rigged new boat to what? If you price out a fully rigged "new" glass hull, while I concur it will be less, its probably alot closer than you think. The big gap seems to be in the used market but again thats an advantage to these hulls as you dont lose your shirt the min they leave the lot so to speak. A used aluminum hull is never going to be $1500 and a turn key used alloy boat isnt going to be $5k on a trailer, but then you get what you pay for I guess

A bare 21 tunnel hull is $13500 CND which is about $12500 USD

What does a high quality bare glass hull run these days?? (Im actually seriously asking)

The advantage is performance, durability, longevity and resale, not just bashing rocks and jumping logs etc ()which incidentally the tunnel isnt designed for)

For example you're probably more likely to run hard in choppy water at high speeds in an aluminum boat because the worst you may do is put a dent in the hull while in a glass boat you could crack it or worst case suffer catastrophic failure and possible serious injury. Tin boats just look funny when you drive em back to the trailer and they dont quite "fit" the trailer properly anymore :D

(note this boat is still floating - would a glass boat be?)


I didnt think of the price of a new glass boat. I actually have no idea how much one of those hulls would cost.. and no if my boat hit something that would make the bow do that it would have shattered into a million pieces ...
 
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