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Jet Tender recommendations

Discussion in 'Tenders & Dinghies' started by marc foster, Sep 13, 2020.

  1. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

    Jul 20, 2007
    Ooh, I dunno, about 35. We had an early Castoldi Jet 32' back in the 90's and right up to new Yams and Williams. All crap.
  2. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Jul 11, 2005
    Fort Lauderdale
    I agree with all of this. I would run the Williams 395 for 2 hours every single month (if we weren't using it on a trip) and would use ethanol free fuel and stabilizer religiously. The Williams would get on plane and run 20-25 knots with 7 adults in it.
  3. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Feb 29, 2008
    Miami, FL
    I haven’t used a jet tender in years but I looked at them 4 years ago searching for a new tender. They all seemed to have limited space compared to outboard.

    we ended up with a 15’ walker Bay which planes with 10 people on board. Not all big guys obviously but 4 couples, a couple of kids plus one crew.

    yes in theory one should never run over a line but when you have a bunch of toys and floats hanging off the back it happens. With an outboard it s a couple of minutes. With a jet ski, and I imagine with a jet tender, it s a couple of hours...

    Otherwise they re cool and fast... my experience with Rotax engines in jet skis is that they are pretty good but still not as reliable as a Yamaha or Honda outboard.
  4. bowtienot

    bowtienot New Member

    Dec 29, 2019
    I own a Williams 395 Sportjet and love it. My 2cents:

    Pros: Like others have said, at this size range being able to seat 7pax in proper seats is unheard of (and plane at 20knots); the speeds and torque she reaches, especially when towing wakeboarders; safety due to not having a prop; available spare parts anywhere in the world due to sharing Seadoo engine parts (Rotax 903 HO, I think the Spark uses it).

    Cons: I did have my fair share of getting ropes wrapped on shaft; debris in system (especially sargassum, oh man, what a plague its become!), but it wouldnt have been much different in a normal outboard; aaaaannndddd the biggest issue is the BUDS system. Williams apparently has a proprietary system that no Seadoo dealer can access (tried in 3 different dealers to no avail). I had to get the freakin maintenance light off as it was annoying me no end. I bought a system from with Natalia for 350USD and boom, complete access to my ECU...

    In the end, as long as you dont keep sucking up crap by riding in seaweed or shallow waters, its definitely amazing.
  5. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Sep 2, 2013
    Fort Lauderdale
    A little update. We own several Williams Turbojet models from 325 to 445 and 445 and 565 Diesels. Also an Avon 330. We like all of them.

    We are also impressed with what we see of AB Rib Jets. Now, the AB Rib Jets are designed as near copies of the Williams Sport Jets. Similar layout and seating, same engines.

    We did not own until this year a Sports Jet. There are a couple of big differences in the Sports Jets and AB's versus the Williams Turbo Jets. First, all the new gas powered Williams use Rotax engines. The previous Turbo Jets we had were Weber/Textron. The other big change is the seating arrangement. The Turbo Jets always had the helmsman in the far aft section. This gives an extra seating row just forward of the Helm. The Sport Jets, have a rear facing seat with a ski pole behind the helmsman.

    I'm not a fan of Bombardier so wasn't please with the change to Rotax. However, after using them for months, I really have no complaints. Will they hold up like our previous engines? I have no way of knowing. Now, I do not like rear facing seats at the stern of any boat, regardless of how popular they've become in ski boats. I greatly prefer the seating arrangement of the diesel models which has a rear bench seat, another seat facing it, backing up to the helm seat plus good seating forward of the helm. I'm also please they've added diesel down to a 415 when the previous smaller was 445 and they've added Solas models.

    So what about diesel vs. gas. The speed difference was never an issue to us, but weight was. On a 100' and above traditional yacht it really wouldn't matter much. However, the 415 diesel weighs 1807 lbs (36 mph) vs. the 395 Sport Jet at 815 lbs (46 mph) or the 435 at 950-1050 lbs (41-52 mph). The 445 diesel weighs 1852 lbs (40 mph) vs the 460 gas at 1212 lbs ( 48 mph). The 505 diesel weighs 1940 lbs (40 mph) vs. the 520 gas at 1311 lbs. (52 mph). The 505 Diesel also carries 9 adults + one child vs the 520 Gas only carries 7 persons. Below 415 the only choice is gas.

    We debated long and hard. What would a 600 lb weight difference really mean. What does it mean on a 100,000 lb boat. It's only the equivalent of 85 gallons of fuel.

    So we faced the decision of diesel vs gas. Now keep in mind we were going to carry two Ribs. The smaller one would be a 325 which carries 4 + 1. Tell us which we chose and why? Answer coming up plus whether we're convinced we did right or not.