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  1. #1
    Bucket's Avatar
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    10 Foot Mini Jet Boat Build in PA

    Hey all. I just got my boat legal here in Pennsylvania. I thought I would share some build pics and thoughts.

    The hull design is from Emperorracing.com in BC, Canada. I bought the .dxf files from him and cut everything myself. There were really no directions, just files so it was not friendly to someone who is not a fabricator. However, I am very pleased with this design. The boat planes very quickly and is stable at all speeds. Top speed so far is 53mph. I have some ideas on how to improve that. Probably won't get much over 55 though.

    This video is of my first run in the boat in the Juniata River in Huntingdon County, PA. The water level is very low and I am a rookie at reading it as you will see.



    More about the boat. Hull is 5052 Aluminum. I welded it with 5356 filler both TIG and with a MIG spool gun. I mostly stuck to the plan, but went with 1/4" bottom instead of 3/16". The ride plate is of my own design and I put turnbuckles on it so that I can adjust the angle. It is initially set at 3 degrees up angle. Other than that, I went by the drawings.

    Engine and pump came out of a 2004 Waverunner 1200XLT which is a power valve engine. I did my version of blueprinting the pump and replaced the bearings. The shaft was too long, so I had to cut and re-spline it. There was no way to fit the factory muffler in the space required, so I chopped, gutted and re-welded it. She barks a bit at full tilt boogie, but not terribly loud.

    I bought a very nice cast aluminum intake from https://rsracecraft.com/store/HYDRO-...KIT-p134252646. Very nice. I bought the upgrade hardened steel grate bars. I decided against the stomp grate and may regret it but we will see. I have already had to clear leaves from the grate. It wasn't so bad to clear. I have some ideas about using compressed air or CO2 should it be a persistent problem.

    The US Coast Guard publishes a book called "Safety Standards for Backyard Boat Builders". I followed the book since here in PA, we have to pass an inspection from a maritime surveyor ($375.00!). Getting enough flotation in the boat was a pain, but doable.

    If I were to do it over again, I would do the windshield differently. Maybe a more squared version like I've seen of some of the other mini jet kits. I do like how it looks, but it restricts the passenger compartment and leaves a small dash area.

    I decided to make the passenger and engine compartments separately water tight, giving both their own bilge pumps. I deleted the bilge suction tube from the pump.

    This project took me about 8 months of actually working on it. I started the end of July, 21' and ended early July, 22' with about 4 months of being sick of working on it in the middle. Building one of these is not for the faint of heart. I am sure a kit would be much easier, but still a lot of work. I imagine there are quite a few unfinished kits in people's yards and garages.

    As you will see below, boat and trailer fit in the garage of my camper. I intend on traveling with it. A lot. Any other mini jet guys that want to show me the rivers in your area hit me up with a PM. Obviously, closer to PA is better, but I don't mind driving for fun.

    Pictures in no particular order:

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  2. +1 by:

    N8R

  3. #2
    John's truck's Avatar
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    Looks great! Hopefully you have room to get to the carbs without removing the exhaust. That was the worst part of the gp1200r

  4. #3
    Bucket's Avatar
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    Thanks John. The carbs are easy to get to w/o messing with the exhaust. Good thing too since I took them out and rebuilt them while waiting for PA Fish and Boat to approve my boat.

  5. #4
    Bucket's Avatar
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    River Trip

    I finally got a nice day with a decent water level. This is after coming back in from the river to get my jacket. First shallow section is at about 8:00 minutes.


  6. #5
    John's truck's Avatar
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    That looks fun. This week I’ve been driving all over PA on 84 and down the turnpike through breezewood to Maryland and the snow’s been melting off the hills. Bet that water’s cold!

  7. #6
    Bucket's Avatar
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    Yes, it is cold. The ice really surprised me though.

  8. #7
    steve45's Avatar
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    That boat is impressive!

    Nice shop, too! Clausing mill, CNC plasma cutter, welders...

    Do you do plasma cutting professionally, or just for fun?

  9. #8
    Bucket's Avatar
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    Thank you Steve. I cut things for people here and there, but mostly for my own projects (like the boat).

    One more video. Some hard hits going downstream with a guest appearance by a bald eagle.
    Change the resolution to 1080 for a better picture.




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