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Aluminum jet boats -sleds

Question:
Iam in search of any information pertaining to the aluminum jet boats (sleds) that they tend to use out west. I am particularly interested in Wooldridge jet boats . Some other builders are Weld Craft, Duckworth, Norht River , Thundercraft, Heliarc, Jetcraft, and more. I am not speaking of fiberglass, plastic toy-like boats with lame engines. I am talking about 350 Chevy engines with 3-stage Kodiac jet pumps. Does any one own one? Has any one been in one or knows someone who has? How are they on gas, handling, etc? I want to buy one , but I am in Massachusetts. We do not even have these kind of boats at the Boston boat show. Please help.


Answer:
-You might give Design Concepts of Chico, Ca. a call. They,ve been bulding 'sleds' for over 20 years now. I remember freezing my --- off in the garage of the original builder while he was putting together boat #3 in Paradise (up the hill from Chico) back in the late 60's early 70's. Some of the early hulls were gussetted everywhere you could emagine, making them one of the toughfest rough water river boats built.

-I have a 21 ft Jetcraft 351 Ford, Kodiak jet. new price about $37k, 26k in '91. I have their Bluewater version which is a V front end. Draws about 5" more. will draw about 5" or less at speed, I will run in 1 ft of water. there is a new kodiak pump that is supposed to be more efficient, but on a 18' should see little difference. I recommend the V bottom as does't beat you up like the flat bottom and only sacrifice couple inches of draft. running up and down the Calif Delta at 4000 RPM I get between 1 3/4 and 2 MPG. (67 gal tank) Salmon fishing off the Cal. coast I may use 15 gal in a day. But I do like to run it wide open when not trolling. Not as efficient as a prop boat but have not had to spend to replace or repair prop as on former boats. Also I don't commute in it. All round I love the boat. Water ski with a 100' rope to avoid rooster tail. If you check with the marinas and tackle shops on the Oregon and Washington (Calif- Eureka north) coast they get used ones listed on their bulletin boards. Do buy the folding rake that will let you clear the jet intake grate when you stop in weeds or kelp and then take off. If you run through the weeds at speed does not clog the intake.


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