At Len’s Sportfishing Adventures we utilize first class modern Jet Boats for our guiding operations. There are many different types of these boats ranging from flat hull bottoms for extremely shallow water to deeper degree hulls found the bigger boats that can handle the big white water and choppy water conditions better. You are probably asking what exactly is a jet boat.
There are some very distinct differences from a regular propeller driven lake or ocean boat and a specially designed river jet boat. The first difference is hull degrees, the river boats tend to have shallower hull drafts for river use. These tend to be from 10 to 14 degrees. All our boats are constructed of heavy gauge welded aluminum; this is a great material for boats as it allows us to beach the boats on gravel bars and rocks without any damage to the hull. The other advantage is aluminum is much lighter and stronger than other materials of equal thickness. Most of our boats have 1/4 to 3/8 inch bottoms with some having an extra aluminum, steel or heavy plastic material added on the bottom for extreme shallower and rocky river use. These boats also have heavily reinforced hulls which help prevent denting, just in case of impacts from some sort of submerged obstacle.
The size of boats that we use range from 19 to 26 foot in length, all of the boats we use have covered tops with side curtains to stop the wind and rain when the weather is not very good, these boats also have heaters very similar to a car. All the boats that we use will seat 4 people comfortably with a bit of extra room in the bigger boats. The smaller boats have a definite advantage in that they can travel in much shallower water than the larger boats and that they more agile when it comes to tight turns and sudden maneuvers that are needed on some of the smaller rivers we operate on.
Propulsion is by a jet pump which is attached to the inside of the boat near the transom. There is an opening on the bottom of the hull where the pump is bolted to. From the motor to the pump there is a drive shaft which turns a impeller and draws water from the opening and then discharging it from a narrow nozzle on the transom of the boat. This provides thrust in order for the boat to move forward, very similar principle as a jet plane. Most of the boats are powered with 5.7 to 8.1 liter gas motors even diesel, these motors are very similar to car motors but designed to run at higher rpm for extended times.