ALUMA-JET- Duracraft 1648 SV Jetboat Conversion

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PSG-1
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ALUMA-JET

Post by PSG-1 »

bigwave wrote:Have you found a new project yet....I am still waiting to see a twin jet, lets say 21 polarcraft or something like it...... :lol:

Not yet. This summer, I've been busy between working, and also working here in the backyard....I built a pond (including all excavation, plumbing, wiring, and masonry work)

I've got it stocked with a handful of bream right now, but when fall comes, I'll put some other fish in there, like a couple of bass, and even a few rainbow trout (my cousin has a place in TN, just over the NC line...it's about 6 hours from here..... and he's friends with the guy that raises trout to sell to trout farms)


But this coming winter, I think I'll do another boat project for sure. I'd really like to take a DuraCraft "Basic Bay 2074" and install twin 4-Tec Sea Doo engines in there.

BTW, the 4-Tec is a 215 HP supercharged engine....so, that would be 430 HP in a 20 foot boat!!

But two engines is twice the money, twice the labor, and twice the PITA. So, I think I'll stick with a single engine, but, I definitely would like to go with the supercharged (post-2007 models, as earlier ones had major problems with the supercharger impellers)

If not the supercharged, it's going to have to be another High Output, as I really have been enjoying this engine in my Aluma-Jet, I can't say enough good things about it. It was a major hit to the wallet, having to throw down 3 grand for the engine, but IMHO, worth every last red cent of it!

It's so nice never having to lift the cowling and deal with a tempermental b!tch like that old Tigershark I had before. Just turn the key and get it. Not to mention being cleaner, quieter, and fuel efficient.


On a final note, I really think if there were a demand for boats like mine, I could get into building them, and building them to where they could easily be insured, etc. I say that because I had a marine surveyor do an inspection of my boat, for insurance purposes, and he was really impressed....and he could find no major issues that would disqualify the boat from meeting ABYC standards. So, for someone who's not a professional boat builder, I'd say I did pretty good!
ALUMA-JET project:
https://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopi ... 21&t=22023


Fishing, jet skiing, target shooting, jet-boating, and even a little oyster harvesting with Larry The Cable Guy.
Watch it all right here:

https://www.youtube.com/user/HKPSG1Shooter?feature=mhee

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bigwave
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Post by bigwave »

I will be looking forward to your next build....You did a great job on alumajet, especially with the video commentary. My friend has a river jet boat that has a 302 v8 engine in it..that thing is bullet proof, and it really hauls the mail. I will try to get some pics of that thing...it is all aluminum 23'. He says that everyone that commercial salmon fishes use this type of boat....it reminds me of your boat.
1984 14 Deep Fisherman Mirrorcraft
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PSG-1
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ALUMA-JET

Post by PSG-1 »

I've also thought of the possibility of building my own hull, and using heavier material for the bottom, like 3/16" aluminum, with a provision to bolt UHMW panels to the bottom, to make it rock proof. But then again, fabricating a hull is going to take a lot of time, and that's time better spent on doing other things, like installing the engine, etc.

I guess we'll see what we see, when we see what we see. :LOL2:
ALUMA-JET project:
https://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopi ... 21&t=22023


Fishing, jet skiing, target shooting, jet-boating, and even a little oyster harvesting with Larry The Cable Guy.
Watch it all right here:

https://www.youtube.com/user/HKPSG1Shooter?feature=mhee

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Post by fender66 »

I guess we'll see what we see, when we see what we see. :LOL2:
Hmmmmmmm.......I see.
Peace,

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Lowe 2070 CC
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ALUMA-JET

Post by Lowe 2070 CC »

I've got it stocked with a handful of bream right now, but when fall comes, I'll put some other fish in there, like a couple of bass, and even a few rainbow trout (my cousin has a place in TN, just over the NC line...it's about 6 hours from here..... and he's friends with the guy that raises trout to sell to trout farms)

I don't know where in SC you are, but I don't know anywhere in the state where a shallow pond will support rainbow trout. They typically won't tolerate extended water temps above 75 degrees for any extended period and don't eat when temps rise above 65-70 degrees. They also require higher oxygen levels than the bass and bream you mentioned. Sping and well water typically can't support these oxygen demands with out some form of running water or aeration system. Brown trout will tolerate warmer water, but not much warmer.

Getting a deep enough pond to keep cold water simply leads to that cold deep water having too little oxygen.

Trout may be fine for put and take fishing during the colder months, but summers (even upstate) will likely do them in. I'd stick with Bass, bluegills, channel catfish, and maybe some threadfin shad for food in SC. Stocking rates would really depend on pond size and your goals as the owner.

I have my MS if Wildlife Biology from Clemson if that adds any credibility for ya!

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Post by PSG-1 »

Lowe 2070 CC wrote:
I don't know where in SC you are, but I don't know anywhere in the state where a shallow pond will support rainbow trout. They typically won't tolerate extended water temps above 75 degrees for any extended period and don't eat when temps rise above 65-70 degrees. They also require higher oxygen levels than the bass and bream you mentioned. Sping and well water typically can't support these oxygen demands with out some form of running water or aeration system. Brown trout will tolerate warmer water, but not much warmer.

Getting a deep enough pond to keep cold water simply leads to that cold deep water having too little oxygen.

Trout may be fine for put and take fishing during the colder months, but summers (even upstate) will likely do them in. I'd stick with Bass, bluegills, channel catfish, and maybe some threadfin shad for food in SC. Stocking rates would really depend on pond size and your goals as the owner.

I have my MS if Wildlife Biology from Clemson if that adds any credibility for ya!


Thanks for the info, good stuff to know. My pond is relatively small, about 14 feet by 20 feet, and about 4 feet deep. I do have significant aeration, as I have a 4 foot waterfall cascading over limestone....I'm also using a sand filter, just like swimming pools use, so, my water is crystal clear in this pond, as well as my koi pond, which has the same type of filter system. The water itself comes from a shallow well, has a lot of iron sediment, this time of year, it's about 75 degrees as it comes from the well.

The pond gets full sun from about 11 am to 2 or 3 pm, right now at the height of summer. As the sun moves further south in the fall and winter, the pond will be in even more shade.
I also provide a lot of shade between the oak trees that overhang the pond, as well as lots of pond plants such as hyacinth, lillies, and cat tails.

Even right now, the water temp of the pond is about 82 degrees....I know that's a bit higher than what mountain streams are.

I have no doubt that I can keep trout in the pond from fall to spring, but in the summer, there could be an issue with die-off. But if that happens, I guarantee they won't go to waste, I'll cull them out and cook them!

Given the size of my pond, I'll probably keep no more than 20-30 bream (I have about 10 right now) maybe 1 or 2 bass, possibly a striper, half a dozen tilapia, and maybe 12-18 trout.

I've had the pond going for about the last month and a half, and so far, the water balance seems to be good, I've even got a freshwater mussel living in there (I plan to get a few more of those, as they should help filter the water a little bit)

I don't have any degrees in biology, in fact, I never went to college. Nor did I stay at a holiday inn last night :LOL2: But, I have a little bit of experience in water quality management, as I used to have a 90 gallon reef aquarium in my house, with live corals, etc. A system like that requires some SERIOUS maintenance, (which is why I went to freshwater with that tank...after running the reef tank for about 10 years, I grew tired of the daily maintenance)
ALUMA-JET project:
https://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopi ... 21&t=22023


Fishing, jet skiing, target shooting, jet-boating, and even a little oyster harvesting with Larry The Cable Guy.
Watch it all right here:

https://www.youtube.com/user/HKPSG1Shooter?feature=mhee

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Lowe 2070 CC
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Post by Lowe 2070 CC »

Good to know you have some experience.

I just didn't want you to be upset and confused when all your trout went belly up next July!

Large aquarium experience is a real plus as you've already learned the value of water quality and aeration. Too many folks simply dig a hole and wonder why they can't keep their fish alive.

This drought and heat have led to a number of die-offs, especially after a sudden shower as ponds turn over.

In regards to Tilapia, they are a fish of the tropics and will start dying off when water temps drop below 50 degrees (they get pretty depressed at 55). They prefer water in the mid 80 degree range. Thus they will handle the summer but not the winter. Again the bass and bream are designed (by Mother Nature) to thrive under the conditions where you live. The trout an tilapia can only survive at the extreme hot and cold ends of it.

Good Luck, and ask me questions anytime if I can help.

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Post by PSG-1 »

Lowe 2070 CC wrote:Good to know you have some experience.

I just didn't want you to be upset and confused when all your trout went belly up next July!

Large aquarium experience is a real plus as you've already learned the value of water quality and aeration. Too many folks simply dig a hole and wonder why they can't keep their fish alive.
You're right about that. In a shallow pond, especially a small one, you've got to have aeration and filtration, if you expect to have any kind of water clarity and enough oxygen to keep fish alive, even goldfish. Otherwise, it's a mudhole.

Been through trial and error with my girlfriend's koi pond, after a couple of years, I finally got it figured out, and one thing I realized is that a pond needs an overflow system, for surface skimming, as this is what keeps the water clean. So, when I built my new pond....I designed it based on what I knew would work...and so far, so good.

The water in both my ponds is crystal clear, and it's so clean, you can drink it, there's no fishy taste, no iron taste from the well water, just a little organic taste, like river or lake water. So, the image you normally think of when you think of a pond.....my setup kind of deviates from the normal, they're really more like swimming pools with fish.

Conversely, I have dealt with the issues that can arise from improper procedures of maintaining water....I've crashed a reef tank a couple of times, killed hundreds of dollars in fish and coral over the years. I also crashed the koi pond one time about 4 years ago, killed several large koi that were nearly 10 years old, like almost 2 feet in length...that's enough to make you sick. But, things like that teach valuable lessons, I suppose.


This drought and heat have led to a number of die-offs, especially after a sudden shower as ponds turn over.

In regards to Tilapia, they are a fish of the tropics and will start dying off when water temps drop below 50 degrees (they get pretty depressed at 55). They prefer water in the mid 80 degree range. Thus they will handle the summer but not the winter. Again the bass and bream are designed (by Mother Nature) to thrive under the conditions where you live. The trout an tilapia can only survive at the extreme hot and cold ends of it.

Good Luck, and ask me questions anytime if I can help.

Thanks for the info. I did read that about tilapia, that they are a tropical fish, and may not be able to over-winter in this climate. I didn't know what their temp threshold was, so, thanks for letting me know. Since I know that the water temp gets as low as 40 here in the winter, and there's no way I'm going to try to heat a pond...that's simply too cost-prohibitive, I think the idea about tilapia may be out. If their temp threshold was about 45, I'd be willing to chance it. But if they start shutting down at 55 degrees, there's no way I can keep them here in the winter.

I've also read that rainbow trout won't survive above 75 degrees, at least without aeration. Since I am able to put the aeration into the pond with the waterfall, I'm willing to take a chance with trout...but maybe I should try the brown trout instead, since you said they are slightly more heat tolerant than rainbow trout.

Like I said, it's a relatively small pond, and I'm going to keep the fish load at a reasonable level, maybe once in a while thin out the population by catching and eating a few of the fish, but I'll probably never have more than 50-60 fish in total at any given time. But I definitely need some more bream...I enjoy watching those guys attack worms, crickets, or anything else I toss into the pond!
ALUMA-JET project:
https://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopi ... 21&t=22023


Fishing, jet skiing, target shooting, jet-boating, and even a little oyster harvesting with Larry The Cable Guy.
Watch it all right here:

https://www.youtube.com/user/HKPSG1Shooter?feature=mhee

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ALUMA-JET....finishing touches

Post by PSG-1 »

Every time I get something done on my jetboat, I keep saying, "It's finally done" But then I think of something else that can be improved. I swear, I'll be 80 years old one day, hobbling around with my cane, saying, "well, it's finally done." LOL

Anyhow, here we go:
100_0559.JPG

One thing I did was to buy a news set of tires and rims, as the ones that were on the trailer were used when I bought the trailer, and that's been over 5 years ago. And since the trailer didn't have a spare, and I like to take it on road trips, I used one of my old tires as the spare. I was amazed at the difference a new set of rims makes. It almost makes the whole rig look like new!

But notice something else? Like, a larger rear seat? And maybe something sticking up from the transom? Yep, those are 2 MORE improvements. Let's check 'em out:

100_0546.JPG
My new swingback seat! And I made it, everything except the upholstery, that is.




Already had the seat cushion, it actually came out of a boat my mom used to own, she had a thicker cushion made for the helm bench seat. For the past couple of years, I've been using it in the jetboat, by setting it on the floor in the bow, for my girlfriend to sit on, using the front of the console as the 'back' of that seat, since the life ring is on a hanger on the front of the console, so it does make a nice object to lean against. That system did work, although, to sit there, she had to sit indian-style, and there isn't much room to stretch out and relax between the console and the forward deck. Plus, she's all by herself up there....


So the more I thought about it, the more I thought, 'there's got to be a way to bring us closer when we go boating' :mrgreen: So, the first thing I did was to fabricate the lower frame, as shown in this photo:
100_0548.JPG
This is made of 1/8" x 2" aluminum angle, except for the 2 side pieces that rest on the floor, those are made of 1/4" x 2" angle. You'll see why when you read further.




So, at that point, it was just the frame, and the flat cushion, it didn't have a back yet. We tested this out last week, by taking a 60 mile round trip up the ICW. While the cushion was comfortable, and it was nice being able to put 2 people at the console..... without a back to lean against, after a while, it gets uncomfortable. So, I knew I had to fabricate a back, and have the upholstery guy match it to my seat cushion.

I used some 3/8" x 2" flat aluminum bar, and then some 1 inch x sch 40 aluminum pipe to make the frame for the back. I used a hole saw, and cut holes into the 2 side pieces of flat bar, so the tube could be inset, and welded on the outside, as well as the inside. I used 3 cross members.

Also, the top and bottom ends of the flat stock were radiused nice and round. Then, I cut some slots on the bottom of the 2 flat pieces, as well as a couple of 1/4" holes, for the adjustment mechanism....shown here:

100_0547.JPG

The 'comb' is made from 1/4" stainless plate (I already discovered that 3/8" aluminum wasn't stout enough....the 'teeth' immediately bent on my first attempt of adjusting the seat) The comb is bolted to the lower member of the seat frame, which is made of 1/4" x 2" aluminum angle. 3/8" SS bolts with washers and lock nuts are the pivot point. Since the flat stock has slots cut, this allows it to slip up. This upward slip allows the 1/4" SS bolt to slip up from between the set of teeth in the comb, for adjusting the frame forward or backward. Then slip it back down into the desired setting, making sure each side is pressed in, and gravity holds it in at that point.




Having done that, I took the frame, and the existing cushion to a local guy that does really good work. He installed foam on the frame, then matched the material to the existing cushion, so it would look correct. I dropped it off late Monday afternoon, and I picked it up late Thursday afternoon....man, I love it when people have the same work ethic as me, and get things done quick! And not only that, but he did a good job, too.


As you can see, the mechanism allows for the seat to be flipped back, and it can also be flipped forward, for use as a leaning post:
100_0549.JPG

Out-freakin-standing!! This is kinda what I wanted to put in the boat when I first built it back in 2005, but it was just one of those things I never got around to doing, and I just settled for the single seat at the helm for all this time, as most factory swingback seats are 32"+...this one is only 30" wide.



And just to make the boat a little more passenger-friendly, not to mention easier to climb in and out of when it's on the trailer, I used this old johnboat transom handle, as an "O-sh!+ handle" Cleaned all the old paint off, then etched with acid, zinc chromate primer, then nice bright red paint for visibility:
100_0551.JPG



Also, I happened to have some aluminum tread plate channel left over from another job, so, I put it to good use as a kick plate on the bottom shelf of the console:
100_0550.JPG
Now, THIS is a LOT better than what was here before, just an up-turned edge of aluminum that was only 1/8" thick, not exactly a comfortable surface to rest your feet on, especially bare feet!







All right, well, on to the next improvement......

Since I love to waterski, I decided the boat needed a ski pole. But not just any ski pole, it needed to be tall enough to pull from a higher point, for wakeboarding. Wakeboard boats have fancy anodized towers on them for this purpose. But I don't want a tower. I want a removable pole.

So, after a lot of figuring, this is what I came up with:
100_0554.JPG
The vertical member is made of 2 inch stainless steel pipe, and the braces are made of 1.5" thin wall stainless tubing.


To make it easily removable, yet rigid, I made use of the pintle mount on the transom:
100_0555.JPG
The plate on the bottom of the pole is 1/4" stainless plate. Inset and TIG welded into this plate is a length of 3/4" SS solid round stock, this fits into the rear pintle mount.



The braces attach with 1/4" SS carriage bolts and wing nuts, to the gunwales:
100_0556.JPG


Also, to make the ski pole easier to break down and store when not in use, I made a set of internal sleeves, out of solid aluminum round stock, turned down on the lathe to be a snug fit inside the thin wall tubing. Then I cut the tubing, and on either side of the cut, I installed a 1/4" SS bolt with washers and lock nuts.
100_0557.JPG

Also tested this out last week, waterskiing on the ICW, even took some video and put it on youtube. Anyhow, this ski pole works out GREAT!




Finally, for those who have seen my youtube channel, you may have seen the video 'finishing touch' where we fabricate a custom wire harness cover for the jetboat. If not, here's a few pics:
100_0552.JPG
100_0553.JPG
Now, that looks a helluva lot better than all those runs of cable and watertight conduit running down the gunwale!

Also, for those that saw the video.... I went back and took out the SS self-tappers that held it in place, and instead used rivet nuts, with 10-24 SS machine screws, as these won't strip out over time like sheet metal screws.


Well, that's about it....for now, at least! I would say I think I've finally got 'er done....but like I said, every time I say that, I end up doing something else.

Anyhow, these are very welcome improvements to the boat, especially the seat, I know I'm going to enjoy this a lot more than the little standard-size boat seat I was using.
ALUMA-JET project:
https://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopi ... 21&t=22023


Fishing, jet skiing, target shooting, jet-boating, and even a little oyster harvesting with Larry The Cable Guy.
Watch it all right here:

https://www.youtube.com/user/HKPSG1Shooter?feature=mhee

GrogHog
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Post by GrogHog »

Nice build I run the Santa Fe here in Fla. I put in at the hwy 129 bridge. I also run out of Horseshoe beach for my fishin.
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Post by bigwave »

Bravo =D> =D> Very nice improvements.....you cease to amaze me. The seat turned out really nice.....so did the tri-pod. I will have to look up your video of the pole in action.....
1984 14 Deep Fisherman Mirrorcraft
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PSG-1
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Post by PSG-1 »

Thanks. Like I said, the seat is a VERY welcome improvement. Haven't got to test it yet, as the weather has been kinda crappy here the last several days, but we need the rain, so, I'm not gonna complain about it too much.

As for the pole, I built it last year, around September, but I previously had 'guy wires' to support it, made from 1/16" SS cable. Well, the first run out, one of the crimps pulled loose on one of the cables, and that was all she wrote. Didn't lose the pole, but needless to say, that was the end of the waterskiing for that trip.

Which, to be honest, I was glad, because my gut feeling said that the guy wire idea was a piss-poor idea to begin with, if nothing else, out of concern for 'clothes-lining' oneself on the thin-diameter wire! :shock:

So, I had to re-do it with better supports, and the thin wall tubing I used is plenty strong for this application. I put it to the test, waterskiing behind the boat, and I never saw any kind of flexing or bending of the ski pole when I was cutting and jumping.
ALUMA-JET project:
https://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopi ... 21&t=22023


Fishing, jet skiing, target shooting, jet-boating, and even a little oyster harvesting with Larry The Cable Guy.
Watch it all right here:

https://www.youtube.com/user/HKPSG1Shooter?feature=mhee

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PSG-1
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Post by PSG-1 »

GrogHog wrote:Nice build I run the Santa Fe here in Fla. I put in at the hwy 129 bridge. I also run out of Horseshoe beach for my fishin.
Since I'm not familiar with that area, I had to do some recon, courtesy of satellite images and photos posted to google earth...which is what I do to familiarize myself any time I go to any body of water that I'm not familiar with. If you know how to read sat images, you can tell where shoals are, etc. Not to mention you can also use some of the map tools for doing things like measuring distance, for plotting out fuel consumption/cruise range, etc.

Anyhow, from what I could tell, that's some tough terrain! Looks like a jetboat is about the only practical boat to use throughout most of that river, for sure! And from what I saw on a couple of the photos posted to google earth, I'd be nervous going through some of those areas!
ALUMA-JET project:
https://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopi ... 21&t=22023


Fishing, jet skiing, target shooting, jet-boating, and even a little oyster harvesting with Larry The Cable Guy.
Watch it all right here:

https://www.youtube.com/user/HKPSG1Shooter?feature=mhee

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Post by rabbit »

Was bopping through the country and managed to snake a ride on the Aluma-Jet.
That thing was too cool. Smooth smooth and quiet. Nothing around had an exhaust note like it. Purred
like a kitten till you bust a hole then it was all business. Flying through water so thin you could count the pebbles.
I was a pure blast. Caught a bunch of fish too.
People were trying not to look. I'm sure the other tourists were wondering what the heck kind of tin boat runs
like that. The locals know and I know.
Thanks for the ride. Awesome is an overused word but that's what it was.
Thanks again

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PSG-1
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Post by PSG-1 »

Yes, sir! Glad you stopped by my neck of the woods and did some fishing with me, and glad you enjoyed blasting over those shoals and oyster rocks!

Nothing beats some fresh caught trout fried up in the cast iron skillet, huh? :mrgreen:

If you're ever down this way again, give me a holler, we'll do it again.


Take care,


Dan
ALUMA-JET project:
https://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopi ... 21&t=22023


Fishing, jet skiing, target shooting, jet-boating, and even a little oyster harvesting with Larry The Cable Guy.
Watch it all right here:

https://www.youtube.com/user/HKPSG1Shooter?feature=mhee

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