There are many types of boats on the market, but one that doesn’t seem to get enough attention are jet boats.
I’m a huge fan of jet boats, but there was a time that it seem they would disappear.
I want to talk about what kind of jet boats we have, what happened to many of them, and see if one is worth it for you and your family.
What Is A Jet Boat?
A jet boat is like any other boat, but what makes it different is how it’s powered.
A jet boat uses a jet ski engine and jet pump to propel it through the water. Where a normal boat will have an exposed prop, a jet boat will have an enclosed impeller that creates a jet of water to move the boat.
Since a jet boat uses jet ski engines and jet pump, they tend to have more space in the cabin and more storage as the motors are small and tucked away. Also, jet ski engines tend to be simpler and easier to deal with than most boats. For many inboard boats, they use a repurposed SUV engine, while a jet boat uses an engine made for water from the start.
They Still Make Jet Boats
Jet boats are still a thing and now stronger than ever with Sea-Doo entering the pontoon market with their Switch Pontoon Jet Boat.
Yamaha has always been going strong with jet boats and dominating the market since Sea-Doo got out in 2013.
When Sea-Doo got out of the jet boat market, Scarab bought the bodies and used Rotax engines, which BRP who owns Sea-Doo supplies. At the time, BRP saw the money in the engines more than the jet boats, so they never made 2013 models.
Sea-Doo has come back in the jet boat market with a Pontoon they call the Switch, and it’s been a breath of fresh air to the whole boating world. Sea-Doo is most likely to never make traditional jet boats again, but that is fine because the market wants affordable pontoons then any other boat.
Why Sea-Doo Stop Making Jet Boats – For A Little Bit
The last year Sea-Doo made a jet boat was in 2012, and during the 2013 Sea-Doo event to release new models they decided to say they were going to stop making jet boats and only do jet skis and sell the engines to other manufacturers.
The news that Sea-Doo would stop making jet boats came as a shock, Sea-Doo even had 2013 jet boats ready for display at their event but told them to turn around; so the news was quick and sudden.
The money is in the engines and the world was coming out of a recession in 2013 and things needed to change. The Sea-Doo jet boats accounted for very little of the revenue, along with the cost to make them, it was not worth it for Sea-Doo at the time.
The golden ticket was the Rotax engines as they packed a lot of power, had closed loop cooling and just a fantastic engine for marine use. So other boat manufacturers started to make their own jet boats with the Rotax engine and some boat manufacturers, like Scarab, came back to life and bought everything Sea-Doo had and pretty much picked up where Sea-Doo left off on their jet boats.
Yamaha Never Stop!
I’m a big Sea-Doo fan, but I got to give credit to Yamaha on their jet boats.
Yamaha never stopped nor hinted they wanted to stop making jet boats, and because of this, they dominate the jet boat market.
Yamaha has kept up with technology, added new things never seen before on jet boats, and kept pricing quite reasonable in unreasonable times. If you’re looking for a jet boat, I would start with Yamaha, as they have everything cornered in the jet boat market (expect pontoons).
I find Scarab jet boats to be Sea-Doo jet boats but more grown up with nicer materials.
Sea-Doo is back in the game of jet boats since 2022 with the pontoon jet boat, which no one but Sea-Doo has (thus far).
Sea-Doo Switch Is Changing Everything!
The Sea-Doo Switch is what the market needs.
All boats, even pontoons, have become expensive and cumbersome. The Sea-Doo Switch fixes that and brings new life to the boating world.
If you are eager to learn more about the Sea-Doo switch, this write-up and video does a fantastic job!
Is A Jet Boat Worth It?
A jet boat is a little different from other boats, better at some things and worse at others.
If you never owned a boat before then a jet boat is a great starting place, especially the Sea-Doo Switch as it’s so much more forgiving than any other boat.
I have a post on the pros and cons of jet boats here, and it will give you a better understanding if a jet boat is worth it for you.
The one negative I get from people looking to buy a jet boat is that they think they use a lot more gas than a standard boat. I got this question so much that I wrote this post to answer it and show you the reality of about boats in general.