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Barrelback jet boat

On August 1, 2018, in Glen-L Styles, by Greg

A lot has been been said whether it would be possible to run a jet in a Barrelback hull so I thought I would give it a try. Now right or wrong the result was pretty good and the boat is a lot of fun. I asked a navel architect friend of mine for a little advice and with a very small bottom change the jet works well. I fitted an old Hamilton two stage jet from the early eighties coupled to a ford 302 salvaged from a mustang which we rebuilt in the shop. The Barrelback already sits low in the water towards the back so the pump really had no problem with priming or sucking air.

Editor’s note: Greg has previously built a beautiful Barrelback with the standard inboard as designed and his photos are in our Gallery.


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4 Responses to Barrelback jet boat

  1. Mark Thiessen says:

    hi Greg, just found your post. I have just embarked on building a Tahoe 19 and about to start configuring the transom and keel design to take a Hamilton jet .will run a keel either side of the jet intake from the Transom to frame 3 anything else I might need to consider, value your input.

    • Greg says:

      Hi Mark, the two problems I ran into was the low speed steering which is a pretty standard jet drive problem which we solved with two small rudders attached to the jet ours being an older model Hamilton. There are spring loaded blades available in the US that can be retro fitted to solve the handling problem. The other was that I mounted the jet too deep inboard on the boat and should have had her sticking out more as this affected the ability to reverse as the water was hitting the base of the transom when diverted instead of going under the boat. I fabricated another place diverter which protruded further out which solved this.The navel architect suggested I leave the area forward of the intake for about 3ft as flat as possible for the water flow. This has also worked very well. The only other thing I changed was to build a dam around the rear of the jet with an automatic bilge pump in case of a transom seal failure.

  2. Jim Isbell says:

    I wanted to do this about ten years ago but new jets are expensive and used ones are trash.

    • Greg Walters says:

      Hi Jim,agreed!. I was lucky enough to get my hands on two identical Hamilton jets that were in great condition. The older ones are a lot easier to fabricate spares for and repair.

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