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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I am new to this forum. I am about to take the plunge and buy my first jet boat...OK, first real powerboat (I have a 16' Alumaweld Guide Classic DB).

I am looking at a North River Sportster, 19', with 175 Mercury Sportjet. I have a couple of questions regarding this boat and power...

1. Any reliability issues I should know about with Mercury Sportjet?

2. For those of you with a Sportjet, what do you think about it? Would you do it again?

3. Linking a kicker with main boat steering? Can't find a good way to do this. Anyone know a good way?

4. I want the kicker to be both tiller and remote controlled, i.e, I want to back troll via tiller, but when in deeper water, drive from up front. Can this be done? Anyone done it?

5. If no solution can be found for questions 3 and 4 above, I was thinking of springing for TR1 system...which is spendy. Anyone have it? Do you like it and would you do it again?

Thank you in advance for your answers and suggestions.

-RTB
 

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Here we go again. Check the archives for more than enough information on Sportjets. I'll leave this one alone. :smile: Hey Boater, you out there!! :grin: As far as the kicker, look at Jet Troll to link your kicker to your pump. Better yet, go with the TR1. You can steer and adjust speed from anywhere in the boat and can use the kicker in manual mode. Expensive, yes. Worth it, definately. Good Luck.

Green Machine
 

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Unless your locked in on a windshield sled, open tiller boats have a lot more room to move around and fish out of. (IMHO) But you are vicitm to the elements as well. There has also been alot of conversation lately about SJ's on other boards as well. So check around.
 

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Hey RTB, welcome aboard. Please tell us a story. As it is a custom here on the board to hear a good story from a brand new Ifisher. Then we will help anyway we can. Thankyou, SPACE
 

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I have that exact boat, and love it. No serious issues with the Sportjet - it's cold blooded on winter days, but not fatally so. The manual doesn't tell you how you are supposed to start it - ask the mechanic. Other than that, oodles of power, and reliable for me in the first 70 hours of operation. I get about 15 gallons per hour at wide open throttle (44 mph) is my only complaint. I'm told that this is high, and that I may have a tuning issue.

Great power, great form factor for Portland area fishing. Like any windshield boat, it's not the best form factor for side drifting. But, with the top down, it's fine for three guys. For Columbia salmon fishing, well, a guy anchored next to me two weeks ago described my boat as a mansion on the water, and that's how I feel about it, too. They're nice.

You'll have to search long and hard to find a way to link the kicker and the steering wheel. I've not not seen the answer. Nor have I wanted it too much.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
OK Space Fish?

Here is my story:

I was fishing for Fall run Chinook in the Alsea last October just below the bridge at Taylor's landing. This was my first day at this fishery and I did not know what to expect. We were in my uncle's 14' Lowe trolling along. I had a new rod and reel just for the occasion (Berkley IM7 7' single piece with Shimano Catala 401 reel).

I was driving the boat with my rod bent over double and started jerking like I could not believe. I put the motor in neutral and grabbed my rod. I started reeling away when the reel came out of the seat! I look at my uncle and told him to grab the rod while I attempted to put the darn thing back in the seat, all the while the fish was going crazy. I somehow managed to get the reel back in the seat and starting fighting the fish, totally amazed it had not gotten away. The fish pulled our little boat around for about 15 minutes and finally tired out. We brought it aboard...a nice 36 # bright hen!! What a first catch. Needless to say, I am now hooked for life.

A real story, I swear!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Originally posted by willametteriveroutlaw:
Unless your locked in on a windshield sled, open tiller boats have a lot more room to move around and fish out of. (IMHO) But you are vicitm to the elements as well. There has also been alot of conversation lately about SJ's on other boards as well. So check around.
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">Thanks for the info. I did some checking, but was hoping for more information that what I found.

I am looking at a windshield boat for a couple of reasons:

1. Family. Wife and kids will be coming along, so protection from elements a must.

2. I will use on high lakes (like Odell...and it can be a bear up there!) and want protection from elements for myself when snowing sideways.
 

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Newbie,
The 19ft North River Sportster is an excellent choice for a 1st boat/family boat. I just took delivery of mine in October and I love it. You may get some different opinions from the hardcore guy's with the open boats with outboards, but there have been many days that I've anchored/trolled next to these type of open boats when it was freezing cold & pouring rain, and it didn't look like much fun. It's pretty nice to turn on the T.V., heater, and still enjoy the day out there during the winter/spring/fall months that can be so miserable at times here in Oregon.

As for hooking up the trolling motor to the jet.....it cant be done on the Merc SportJet's. Yes you will need to get a TR-1. I'm in the process of getting the Tr-1 right now, and can't wait.

If your looking for a good boat that can be used to satisfy your fishing, crabbing needs that the family can enjoy all year round, and still be able to ski, tube, get on the water in my opinion your on the right path.

My .02,
P.A.
 

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Make sure you check out Thunder Jet. the 240 sj is fuel injected and have no problems on cold days. no to metion great power. Wind sheild for sure if you want your wife and kids going. TR-1 from nautamatics, I have had one for 1 yr and love it. Big investment but well worth it. Make sure you add all the extras to if you are financing. Good luck and welcome :cheers:
 

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Many boats have the option of a snap on flip up cover that has all of the windows and enclosure you'd need for trolling or anchoring. Make sure to look at these options. I have fished out of alot of different boats. IHMO an open boat is nice beacuse:
1. for side drifting you can fish more than 2 guys.
2. I bass fish a bit up at crane and on the willamette, and being able to fish out of the front is a real plus.
3. when a big fish goes nuts, you can get at him wherever he's at, without being impeded.
4. you'll get 19ft of usuable boat instead of 15.5.

The TR1's are sweet from the one expirience I have seen with them.
Then again, this is your decision, not mine.. Get exactly what you want.
 

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RTB,
Welcome Aboard!

The wife and I have a 2001 19' sportster with the 175 sportjet. We love the boat. We have not had any problems in the first 100 plus hours.

You mentioned running in the lakes with it. What rivers do you plan to run? Do you plan to run some of the smaller rivers or is it primarily going to be a Columbia River/Coastal Bay/Lake boat? Reason I ask is that the 12 degree hull can be a rough ride at times.

Over the first 100 hours, I have averaged 5.84 GPH. I seldom run over 5000 rpm's. It does start to get quite thirsty above say 45oo rpm's. Top end at about 5600 rpm is 46 mph measured on gps.

Don't know any solution on your kicker steering other than a TR-1. I wish there was a solution for connecting your kicker to the steering of your pump. Would be nice.

Would I do it again. Definately North River. Maybe look at a Seahawk though. Might be a bit more friendly for big blue.
 

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I did some checking, but was hoping for more information that what I found.
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">I just did a
using the word sportjet. I came up with 5 threads in the 2000 archives, 50 threads in the 2001 archives, 48 threads in the 2002 archives, and 46 threads just this year so far (2003). There is plenty of reading on this subject.

Good luck on your decision. Lots of good boats out there.

Welcome aboard!

:cheers:
 

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Welcome RTB
If your intrested, I have a 2000 Thunder Jet I need to sell. It is 19'6", V-6 and loaded. If intrested give me a call at 360-225-1392 home or 503-519-5141 on my cell. The boat has only 128 hours on it.
 

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Seefood man-
Was this boat for sale about a year ago?? Some pictures and price might get you some interested parties. :smile: If I remember right, this was an awesome boat.

Green Machine
 

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Dont get a windshield you`ll regret it, get an open boat, with a nicely set up canvas for those days. There are many nice days to fish without the top, and just dress for success. Its up to you, but I remember when I bought my first one I was 19 and I still have it, 17`6 Wooldridge open model, its great. the biggest thing is, dont go less than 18 and dont let it be underpowered. You`ll have fun whatever you get, just thought Id let you know what I think. If your not sure, take them for a ride, thats alot of money to get into something you have never been in. North River makes a sweet open 17 foot with a plenty wide beam. Have fun
 

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What will you be doing? Will you be having the missus out on pleasure rides?? Will you be taking a few water-skiing trips? Maybe a family outing up the Clackamas?

Define exactly what you're doing first...If you said yes to any or all of the above, I would HIGHLY reccomend the boat you're looking at!! For pure fishing, you can't beat an open sled with a tiller handled outboard pump...but, to me, it's limited.

Sport Jet...


NorthRiver...


My .02

TR

P.S. Of course, I'd look first at a BoiceJet!!!


[ 05-08-2003, 06:27 AM: Message edited by: TheRogue ]
 

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Windsheild is the only way to go. When it's cold, raining, blowing just turn the fire up a little and take your coat off and relax. :grin: You will have plenty of room and more comfort. Don't forget to look at the Hewes Craft there is a new one for sale in Rainer that you could get for a steal of a deal. It didn't sale on ebay but it sounds like they are almost giving it away.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2411226182&category=26430
 
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