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Old 07-04-2019, 08:23 PM   #1
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Why do I see so little discussion about jet drive tenders?

I saw a Williams jet RIB this week and read up on the idea, but found very little discussion here. While most seem over powered for tender duty, they seem ideal for the application. What are their shortcomings, if any?

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Old 07-04-2019, 08:34 PM   #2
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Weight?
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Old 07-04-2019, 08:48 PM   #3
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The Williams Minijet 280 weighs 462 pounds.
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Old 07-04-2019, 09:08 PM   #4
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Cost?
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Old 07-04-2019, 09:27 PM   #5
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I very briefly looked at them. Cost, weight and limited sevice centers were enough to extinguish my modest interest.

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Old 07-04-2019, 09:29 PM   #6
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That might be a big one. It looks like the If you have to ask... rule is coming into play. Five minutes on Duck Duck Go produced no list price for the 280.
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Old 07-04-2019, 09:39 PM   #7
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we used to have a jet drive tender on the last big boat.. it wasnt great, slow speed handling was non existant, was heavy, but it would haul quite a bit.

But the idea is cool.. maybe they have perfected it.. its a great idea.
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Old 07-05-2019, 01:12 AM   #8
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The low speed handling is very poor, IMHO. As you approach the transom on your (real) boat, it is a complete lottery whether you will reach the desired location gently, or not at all, or in a manner/speed that will damage something. Over time, it turns into a real pain in the arse and you then go and buy a ‘conventional’ tender with an outboard.

In my case, I went and bought an AB RIB and have never looked back.

Just my view.

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Old 07-05-2019, 05:35 AM   #9
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Heavy, expensive, handles like a drunken cow on ice, but a great concept! I agree with the AB recommendation, particularly with an aluminum hull.
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Old 07-05-2019, 07:14 AM   #10
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I saw a Williams jet RIB this week and read up on the idea, but found very little discussion here. While most seem over powered for tender duty, they seem ideal for the application. What are their shortcomings, if any?

We had 2 jet drive tenders and did not think they were a good choice vs the standard out board tenders, our reasons were:
- heavier
- slower per hp equipped
- above hp gave lower efficiency with fuel use
- hard to work in the engine space
- more difficult and expensive to work on jet drive
- plugged intake grate requires you to get in the water to clear
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Old 07-05-2019, 07:49 AM   #11
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Weight?
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The Williams Minijet 280 weighs 462 pounds.

That'd be too much, for us. Our 310 plus 15-hp 4-stroke, battery and gas weighs about 262 lbs.

Our stern mount is rated to something like 450 lbs and I could add a bit to that with some additional struts, but... that much extra weight on our stern would be even more of an issue than currently.

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Old 07-05-2019, 09:47 AM   #12
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There were/are members here, "B&B" that said they owned one. Maybe they will chirp up, or you can do a search and find their discussions of same. Seemed to be very happy with it.
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Old 07-05-2019, 10:29 AM   #13
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There were/are members here, "B&B" that said they owned one. Maybe they will chirp up, or you can do a search and find their discussions of same. Seemed to be very happy with it.

Yeah, they have had several over the years from I remember and enjoy them.

For me and my boat, the problems are weight and cost.
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Old 07-05-2019, 10:36 AM   #14
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For many of the same reasons, not all boats have jets....yet some do and are great for those that are happy with the pros vs cons.


Advertising seems to parallel the split of reality.
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Old 07-05-2019, 11:42 AM   #15
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Little inboards crammed in a humid engine box. Life expectancy is not too long, and not easy to work on.

An outboard dies and it can be fixed in 15 minutes. Just stick another one on.
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Old 07-05-2019, 12:10 PM   #16
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Little inboards crammed in a humid engine box. Life expectancy is not too long, and not easy to work on.

An outboard dies and it can be fixed in 15 minutes. Just stick another one on.
Since a jet tender is just a fancy jet ski, do they also have unreliable motors with a short life expectancy? I have no idea how long they last if kept stock, but I see them everywhere. I do know that once you start to hot rod a small engine, you’ve started down the road to perdition!
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Old 07-05-2019, 08:31 PM   #17
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Excellent feedback, folks. Makes complete sense. Thank you.
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Old 07-05-2019, 08:46 PM   #18
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My understanding is that jet drives do not last long in salt water. Just my recollection.
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Old 07-05-2019, 08:55 PM   #19
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My understanding is that jet drives do not last long in salt water. Just my recollection.

not necessarily true, jets suffer at slow speeds in handling and fuel economy.. way less at speed.
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Old 07-05-2019, 10:55 PM   #20
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The tender I am planning to build for my boat is about the same as an 8' fully inflatable dink with PVC snap-in floor, so about 50 to 65 pounds all in. I plan to run a 2.5 to 5 hp engine, about another 50-65lbs including a small 3-gallon tank. So let's say 65+65=130+ lines and a small anchor, 175lbs max. If I had to pull my boat aboard by hand, I could unload it, remove the engine, and pull it aboard. I could probably rig something up with rope and cleats to aide me. No way I could do that with the Jet Dink. Some with larger boats could probably hoist it aboard. Those with the tip up davits may have engine troubles after the jet dink has been on its side for a while. Also, I will have a cabin top cradle for my dink. My roof can't hold 400+ pounds while pounding through the slop. Also, my boom probably wouldn't be my friend after asking it to lift something that heavy.


I think they are a novelty. Will the jet drive have problems running dry? I can see these losing water flow in certain situations.
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