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I've had a jon boat and a multi species Deep V boat before but the Susquehanna river is full of ROCKS! This has caused me to move on to kayaking and i love it but sometimes I want to be able to go further without paddling.(dunno if you guys know that! lol) So I've been in my buddies boat a few times and he has a 16' jon with a jet motor on it and we can go in water just inches deep when up on plane. My only problem is, will I have the "guts" to put the throttle down and go through rocky areas on plane, and is this something I can learn and be safe with? I have a HEALTHY HEALTHY fear of the river and I am not a wild man, I want to be safe but be able to use the boat to its full potential. The boat I'm looking at is a USED 2008 grizzly all welded 14' (yes 14) with a 25hp on it. Your thoughts?!?!
 

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Get the plastic small pontoon boat Gander Mountain sales they go anywhere cant sink or tip them. Bass Raider I think. Ithink the largest is 10' though.
 

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I run a jet boat pretty often in rocky freshwater rivers throughout KY, TN, and GA. I've taken it over shoals and riffles that look pretty treacherous without much of a problem. The first time I went through a really rocky area made my butthole pucker but its been pretty smooth sailing since. In general, flat pools make me more nervous than running riffles or even small 2' drops into plunge pools on the downside of riffles. The reason being is that in pools, you can not see the big rocks as easy as the water does not often break around them. Riffles are not a worry as you can usually see where all of the rocks are.

I would say that if you can run a prop motor through the area at low speed, you should have no problem running a jet through the same area on plane. Little rocks and cobble are generally not much of an issue but the big rocks are going to stop you regardless of whether you have a jet or prop outboard or a kayak. If you have 4-6 inches of water over the rocks, you should clear them when on plane. However, you have to make a commitment as if you throttle down or hesitate it could be problematic. This will be especially important when near boulders as they don't move and an object in motion tends to stay in motion regardless of if the boat stops.

I run an 18 foot SeaArk with a Mercury 80 Jet. I run 30 mph when up to speed regardless of if its only me in the boat or if its loaded down with 8 people and dive gear. I've skidded across large sandbars with 8 people in the boat and through 2-3 inches of water. I did feel the boat going across the sand, but it kept going. I have also glanced off of the top of one good size boulder in a pool and my intern also did the same thing.

More experience will help you build more confidence but you may make small mistakes from time to time.

One thing to consider with jet outboards is that there is a difference between a 25 HP motor with a jet powerhead and a 25 HP jet. A 25 jet is 25 effective HP at the powerhead whereas a 25 HP with a jet powerhead reduces your effective HP by about 30%. This means that a 25 HP with a jet powerhead would push the same boat about the same speed as 17 HP prop motor. However, a 25 Jet is essentially a 35 HP motor with a powerhead on it that makes it 25 HP.

Jet outboards also respond much differently than prop motors as the reaction time is a bit slower so you have to plan ahead when navigating shoals. They also do not steer unless under power as well so they don't maneuver well at slow speeds. The other downside is you have to watch idling them over shallow areas (<2') as the mud and sand will be sucked into the powerhead and can either damage it or clog it up.

The biggest downside I have with them is that they are worthless if large beds of submerged vegetation is present or when leaf fall occurs as the powerhead grate will clog within 50 yards of heavy leaf fall. Easy fix but by the time you get the motor going again you have drifted fairly far down river which isn't a good thing if you are trying to run upriver.

Other than that they are great and I wouldn't want anything else.

Hope this helped.
 

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I would recommend a jet to anyone fishing the susqy.. Just because you can, doesn't mean you have to, but it's an added piece of mind. You don't have to run 4" of water on plane, but the susqy isn't like most rivers with gravel bottoms and shoals that you're running, it's full of boat busters that don't always show themselves. Anyone that has run the river much has had plenty of instances where they look down and realize how close they just came to a boulder..

It takes a while to get used to operating a jet, and even longer until you feel comfortable. You start to learn to read the water and running skinny water becomes much easier. Having said that, the time you become complacent and think you know the water is when you'll hit something. Having a fear for the river is healthy, it takes way too many people.

As far as the boat.. I haven't personally had experience in a 14' jet with a 25. I'm assuming it's a 48" bottom being a grizzly which is fine for a jet. The thing with jets is you can't just change the pitch to get better performance, what you get is what you get. You're going to run the same rpms whether you're plowing water or up on plane, and you'll be pushing the same amount of water through the motor, but the load in the boat can affect the boat severely. Not sure what the hull is rated for (probably 25), but I would definitely max the hp with a jet (the amount re-rated for the pump). Because you'd lose 30% of power you're 25 is more like an 18. It would probably be fine if you're by yourself, but start loading it up with 2 guys and gear and getting on plane may be tough. If you check outboardjets.com you'll get a ton of info. The bigger the motor the less drop in performance you'll have. My 17' with a 90/65 does 35 when I'm by myself, but duck hunting with the blind on, decoys, 2 guys, guns, gear, etc, I'll see low 30's (these are all GPS'd). Jets are a completely different animal than props, and there is a ton of info out there. Definitely educate yourself as best you can.
 

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I do not hunt or fish the Susky but, I hunt/fish the upper Potomac River in MD.
Have busted many a props on the everywhere rocks esp. in the dark of early morning.
Have switched to a 6.5 HP GoDevil and that has made a hugh difference.
I don't go out on flooded water nor do I travel that far.
Would like a jet motor but the down side is that I know guys with jet motors whose boats look like a patched quilt.

Good comments, insights and considerations from lwrusq and wiz.
 
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