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Old 09-02-2010, 08:16   #1
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Jet Ski as Portage?

So as my brother and I spend our Saturdays restoring the Starwind 27, the conversation usually goes towards outlandish design, engineering and what-ifs. When we started working on the motor, a joke was made that we should just buy a couple cheap old jetskis and attach them to the back for propulsion but then have them be able to deploy for portage. It was somewhere along the idea of the Disco Volante in Thunderball where the hydrofoil could shed it's cocoon and speed off. Obviously a jet ski isn't fuel efficient enough for an actual propulsion system, but it got us thinking.

Then we started wondering why you see dinghies everywhere, but you never see jet skis as portage. Are they just too heavy, is it too easy to fall off of them or does the cruising community just dislike jet skis?

It seems like by now you'd see yacht designers extending some of these cockpit designs with the open rear swim decks which would enable Ride-n-Glide ramps to be installed where the jet ski (or dinghy) could pull right up onto the back of the yacht.

Just some ponderings.
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:22   #2
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Heavy, wet, expensive, bulky, noisy, annoying, polluting...
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:30   #3
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The big rental party houseboats up at Lake Travis (Austin) often have a jet ski or two for beer runs, picking up late partygoers and general farting around. I wouldn't want to haul a big load of groceries on one, but it might work for light loads.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:14   #4
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Happiness in a perfect world is open season on jet skies...
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:42   #5
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Now I'm taking a chance here, yeah, I worked for an eco-tour company that ironically, used waverunners for their so-called eco-tours. Yeah, I know, I was a sailor goin' over to the dark side, but after 9 months I left and started up a biz renting out Hobies, Windriders, Lasers, windsurfers.
Well, the bad thing about waverunners is their propensity to suck up sand, mud, oyster shells, thereby clogging their hoses that supply water to the engine, thereby over-heating. When clients would go in areas too shallow, this would happen, and sometimes I could clear the hose, and often I could not fix the blockage then and there, so the "ski" would have to either be towed by another one or tied to a mangrove tree. I have also seen waverunners and ski's capsize in relatively moderate surf that would not capsize an inflatable/fiberglass tender. Plus, their speed, is over-kill for use as a tender, you would only annoy/enrage/piss-off every sailor/cruiser in the hemisphere!
I once worked as a dockmaster in the northeast and noticed some nice jet-powered tenders on some luxury yachts, though this would be unrealistic for most cruisers.
Best to go with an inflatable...
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Old 09-02-2010, 17:15   #6
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I would like one, why not. But it takes a big mother ship to be able to store a jet-ski.

A rowing/sailing dinghy is a quiet alternative.

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Old 10-02-2010, 02:14   #7
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They would make good target practice in an anchorage - once awarded scout's badge - off to to Gulf of Aden with a 30 06 + 4xScope.
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Old 11-02-2010, 09:36   #8
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Jet skis play an important role in resolving the Darwinian Dilemma.
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Old 11-02-2010, 10:30   #9
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They also are not quite as beachable as a tender might be. The biggest issue for me is the cost.
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Old 11-02-2010, 12:23   #10
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Our cruiser came with an inflatable two-man dinghy with little paddles - quite green.

But if I was to design and build my own boat, I think I'd add an extra four or five feet to the cockpit, so that two jet skis or a dinghy could pull up on the back of it. It would be easy in-and-out, plus, it would give you room to work on and repair your tender. Heck, it would just be good working space to repair anything or entertain a few extra people. You'd just float your tender when you needed the space.

Then again, maybe I just saw way too many episodes of Knight Rider as a young impressionable child with that Trans Am rolling in and out of that tractor trailer. lol

I'm also in an area where it's never THAT cold, so I guess I'd prefer the deck space to work on things versus interior space.
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Old 11-02-2010, 13:00   #11
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It also depends on your cruising area. As I understand it the BVIs do not allow jet skis. They are also a poor choice for hauling parts, supplies and people.
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Old 11-02-2010, 13:31   #12
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G'Day Jet,

When you finally get to be a cruiser, you will find that the dinghy is not mainly a means of getting your body ashore -- rather it is your ute. If you are living on the hook (not in a marina) EVERYTHING that you need on the boat comes in your dinghy: fuel, water, food, "things", and so on. You use it to take out extra anchors in nasty conditions, to do things like polishing your hull (if you are into that sort of thing) or even to move your boat or a friends boat by lashing the dink alongside. Try doing ANY of those things with your putative jet ski!

All in all, I think that this qualifies as a dumb-ass idea!

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Broken Bay, NSW, Oz
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Old 14-02-2010, 07:05   #13
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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
G'Day Jet,

When you finally get to be a cruiser, you will find that the dinghy is not mainly a means of getting your body ashore -- rather it is your ute. If you are living on the hook (not in a marina) EVERYTHING that you need on the boat comes in your dinghy: fuel, water, food, "things", and so on. You use it to take out extra anchors in nasty conditions, to do things like polishing your hull (if you are into that sort of thing) or even to move your boat or a friends boat by lashing the dink alongside. Try doing ANY of those things with your putative jet sk ...
Not to mention as your “taxie/bus” to everywhere you go, that’s less than (say) ± 15 miles from your anchorage.

(ie: I wouldn’t move the big boat to go fishing or diving, or to the “other” nearby anchorage/beach, whatever)

Jet Skis are recreational “toys”. If you’ve got the room, money, and desire; and don’t mind pissing off the entire anchorage, add 1 (or more) to your inventory. But, don’t mistake it for a useful tool (vehicle/vesell).
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