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Old 02-19-2019, 12:39 PM
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David Anderson David Anderson is offline
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Default 25 hp Jet or Prop

I have a 14 foot Jon boat with a 1990's merc 25 short shaft prop drive I use for the upper Mississippi River. The motor was hard to start so I brought it to the dealer who just informed me that the second cylinder was scored. I am looking at buying a new outboard and looking at Mercury's, they have both a 25 hp jet and a standard prop drive. My current motor was a prop and even with a scored cylinder I got about 20 mph going upstream which was fine. Years ago jet drives were simply put on a motor, say a 25 hp then because of the inefficiency of the jet drive, you would get the performance of say an equivalent 15 - 18 hp prop drive. I am not sure what to expect from today's jet drives, does a 25 hp jet drive offer somewhat of a close performance to a 25 prop or is one to expect a 20% drop in HP vs Performance. I have a rock guard on the old prop drive and that slowed things down maybe 2 - 4 mph. Boat originally had a 15 hp Evinrude but that could only do 12 mph with 2 guys so I bought the 25. The jet drive looks interesting but weighs more and if it only does say 15 mph with 2 guys, I'm not really sure I want to go backwards. Shooting through the 6 inches of water would be nice! Any thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 02-19-2019, 01:19 PM
wildmtwalleye wildmtwalleye is offline
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I fish 99.9% of the time in a shallow Rocky River with a 1636 Jon. I was on a jet phase for a while, but thankfully I kicked it. It is nice to think about planning out in less than a foot of water, but a jet is incredibly loud and creates a ton of water disturbance. There is no way to sneak with a jet because low throttle = low steering. The way a jet works is through the water being shot out through the lower unit, thus the more water, the more maneuverability. On a prop motor, you can steer pretty well at idle; a jet takes a lot of throttle to equal that same maneuverability.

Also, trolling with a jet sucks.

If you want to fish holes and only holes, a jet will get you places a prop motor can only dream of. But if you do not want to be limited, a prop motor will outperform a jet any day of the week.
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Old 02-19-2019, 01:35 PM
bfish bfish is offline
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25 hp jet will have a 35 hp head, hence the weight difference. Also jet outboard will usually need a taller transom (I believe they are 22 or 23" "shaft").
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Old 02-19-2019, 03:39 PM
grizzley grizzley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildmtwalleye View Post
I fish 99.9% of the time in a shallow Rocky River with a 1636 Jon. I was on a jet phase for a while, but thankfully I kicked it. It is nice to think about planning out in less than a foot of water, but a jet is incredibly loud and creates a ton of water disturbance. There is no way to sneak with a jet because low throttle = low steering. The way a jet works is through the water being shot out through the lower unit, thus the more water, the more maneuverability. On a prop motor, you can steer pretty well at idle; a jet takes a lot of throttle to equal that same maneuverability. Also, trolling with a jet sucks.

If you want to fish holes and only holes, a jet will get you places a prop motor can only dream of. But if you do not want to be limited, a prop motor will outperform a jet any day of the week.
Pretty well sums it up! Also jets are a vacuum cleaner, anything that gets near the intake will be sucked against the grates and will need to be cleaned off, the slower you go the worse it is and they are a royal PITB if there's a lot of grass on the river.
I have a 40/30 jet on a 1648 MV Tracker GRIZZLY to be able to fish holes in a shallow rocky river that I could never get to with a prop, other than that you couldn't give me one! If you want to troll, the best bet is to shut the jet off and use an electric trolling motor.
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  #5  
Old 02-20-2019, 03:03 PM
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seidl9 seidl9 is offline
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If you are getting around OK with a prop I would go back with a prop. If you constantly want to run shallow say 6” of water range then go jet. Going to a jet usually requires transom brackets if your boat doesn’t already have the tall transom. Jets are more sensitive to setup and weight distribution to work correctly. The advantage is it can get you places that most wouldn’t dare to venture with a prop. There is additional upkeep on the jet. The impeller requires shimming as it wears for optimum performance. Also Note a minimum of 48” hull bottom width is recommended to effectively use the jet. Surface area and low weight are your friend when it comes to a jet on a john boat.
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:18 PM
REW REW is offline
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With the folks who have run jets and props - they typically run the same boat with about double the hp power head with a jet, compared to a prop for similar performance. This is due to the much less efficient system in a jet, compared to a prop.

All of the other points about a jet are right on.
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:46 AM
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David Anderson David Anderson is offline
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Well, I appreciate the responses and have decided to stay with a prop. The Jet is about $1400 more and your responses got me thinking. I already have hearing loss in my left ear from running tillers, 90% of my running is in 4 feet or more. The 2 areas that are a pain.......well maybe not so much when you think of the overall performance issues as I really want to start slipping some of the deeper holes for walleyes. Besides I can buy a lot of propellers for $1400!

Thanks
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Old 02-21-2019, 05:21 PM
wh500special wh500special is offline
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Something that may or may not matter depending on your specific boat, and you probably already thought about this:

Modern 25’s are a lot heavier than that Merc you’ve been running. If you think weight might be an issue you might want to expand your search to the new Yamaha 25. It’s not much heavier than the old carb two strokes.

I am a die hard e-tec nut, but I’d be looking hard at that Yamaha if I ever repower a small, light boat.

For what it’s worth...

Steve
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Old 02-21-2019, 06:16 PM
wildmtwalleye wildmtwalleye is offline
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Have you considered a used motor?
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:39 PM
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David Anderson David Anderson is offline
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Well, the boat was my BIL's and he was happy with the 1976 15hp evinrude. After he passed I ended up with his boat. Rated for a 25 hp I looked for a used 25 hp and found a mid 1990's 2 cylinder 2 stroke, it was probably about 120 pounds. I was always happy with the performance but it is only 4 years old for me and I suspect the cylinder was bad when I bought it. The hard starting really got bad last year. Typically I fish the river in August/September so at least in the last 4 years, I would run it about 4 times a year. I really didn't need anything fancy. Last year I about killed myself trying to start it, so I will definitely have electric start. I have been looking for a used late model 25 hp, short shaft, electric start motors and they are almost non-existent! I will be retired come June and plan on spending a lot more time on the river as I have very convenient access, maybe even leave it on my neighbors shore locked up. I have been looking at the Yamaha's and yes they are lighter and it looks like they are all about the same price, in the $4000 range. My dealer carries both so I'll be looking at both. It seems insane to put $4000 into a boat I paid $850 for but the boat is in good shape although I might put a different trailer under it. It was my wife's brother's boat so she has the attachment, the new motor should last me the rest of my life, no more motor problems, I am happy, wife's happy we still have her brothers boat. And of course happiness is usually not free, my real boat is a Ranger 620FS with a 250 HO Evinrude on it but that isn't much of a river boat! The Merc has 3 cylinders and a bigger displacement than the Yamaha.........decisions.........decisions!
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