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Author Topic:   18' Rage Jet Runabout
Mark D posted 04-30-2001 11:22 PM ET (US)   Profile for Mark D  
I have a friend who is considering one of these. Anybody out there have one? Pros/Cons? Good/Bad?
mjd65 posted 05-01-2001 09:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for mjd65  Send Email to mjd65     
I have the 15'6" rage and I love it. A bit underpowered with OMC 115 Turbo jet. I have had it since new (6 yrs). Takes the abuse like any Whaler. Maybe when the motor give out I will Bracket a 115 outboard on, it won't be underpowered after that.
lhg posted 05-01-2001 02:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Mark D: Tell your friend to stay away from that boat. The Rage idea taken to the extreme, which quickly flopped. It was a Meridian/Mastercraft era product. An energy wasting jet in a boat that size makes no sense, particularly with marine fuel heading to $4/gal this summer in some parts of the county. Buying one of those is throwing good money after bad!
B Bear posted 05-02-2001 12:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
Nothing personal to Rage owners or anyone with a jet drive.
Having a jet drive once, I would not recommned it. As noted by lhg, jets are the least efficent drives on a boat, there is no rudder or skag so once you stop making way under power you lose steerage, the reverse is awful, it lacks direction, you can go in astern but it may only be towards the starboard side no matter how you turn the wheel unless you ajust the gate on the jet nozzle and then it may not fully open in the ahead direction. Since the intake sucks in water from under the boat and is pushed out by the impeller (pump) through a nozzle, you are supposed to keep at least 2 feet of water under your keel as to not suck up any stones, mud etc. that would be ejected back through the nozzle and at anyone you may be towing or for that matter another boat. That depth limitation is the same and sometimes more than for many boats with outboards.

I have a friend with a Donzi Jet Boat and he loves it. If your friend understands all these drawbacks and feels there is more positive aspects (like the encased impeller instead of an open prop, tight turning radius) for him to have one, then that is his choice. I can only speak for myself, I would never have another jet again.

Whaletosh posted 05-02-2001 09:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whaletosh    
I don't remember where I read this, I believe it was in Traler Boats magine at the initial stages of the mini jet boat craze.

The article stated that full size jet boats utilizing Berkley, Jacuzzi, etc pumps are much more effecient than the mini jet pumps.

Just some food for thought.


Dick posted 05-02-2001 09:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
I have run and owned many jet boats. The ones with the mini pumps leave a lot to be desired. I have spent many hours on the rivers in Alaska running jet boats with full size pumps that performed very well, not as good as a prop but we didn't have to worry about tearing off lower units. The rule of thumb was if it will go through the grate it will go through the pump, just touch up the impeller with a file once in a while.

I have never seen the 18 Rage but since it ran a Ford V-8 I can't believe it had a mini pump.

B Bear posted 05-02-2001 11:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
You are right the 18 Rage has a 305 redline V8, My experience is only with a OMC 115 turbojet.
As I said I have a friend with a Donzi that runs a 440 V8. He loves is boat and it is fast. I know that these larger high powered Jet boats are used in river runs out west and down in New Zealand, it was these boats that sparked my interest in jet drives. Other than the fuel consumption I can not say very much else.

Tsuriki BW posted 05-03-2001 02:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tsuriki BW  Send Email to Tsuriki BW     
Wind at the dock makes it a bit tricky. Had "junk" enter the pump a few times but was fairly easy to clean out. All in all I don't think I would get another jet unless it had good power (max rating) and a 2 or preferable 3 stage pump.


PS Sold the boat to a guy in Japan whose needs were perfect for it. Bass fishing in lakes and ocean fishing in a calm bay.

Tsuriki BW posted 05-03-2001 03:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tsuriki BW  Send Email to Tsuriki BW     
My first boat was a 17' Jetcraft aluminum sled with a 115 OMC outboard head mounted inboard and connected to a Jet drive. The OMC was factory modified to 130hp but only produced 90hp at the pump. The boat was a lot of fun to run but the pump, being a single stage, tended to cavitate more than I liked. Sorry this post is in reverse order Windooze screwing up again.... Start her then go up.

In my opinion it did not have the power the boat needed to get on plane. Once there, though, it ran fast and smooth.Took it many places that a prop couldn't, or shouldn't go. Shipped it to Japan and ran it in the ocean with no probs, except for the cavitation. Jets are a little hard to dock because you suffer steering ability at slow/no power. With experience you can overcome this prob, pretty much.

Tsuriki BW posted 05-03-2001 03:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tsuriki BW  Send Email to Tsuriki BW     
Sorry for the posting order reversed. Windooze is still giving me fits. Can't post more than a paragraph or so. Therefor I end up having to break up my post.


Mark D posted 05-03-2001 06:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for Mark D    
Whats a "Mini Pump"?
Whaletosh posted 05-03-2001 08:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whaletosh    

A mini pump is what you would find on a PWC (Jet Ski) or mini jet boat (like the smaller Rages). The mini pumps in the mini jet boats use the same power heads as an outboard motor.

This is opposed to the "full size" pumps. These are coupled to a large marinized auto engine, usually a big V-8. This is what you would get in river boats that are used in the Pacific Northwest.

Mark D posted 05-03-2001 02:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mark D    
So, what is Sea Doo putting in thier 17 and and 18 footers?
bigz posted 05-03-2001 03:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Mark you can travel here to find out your answer

Mercury and Rotax ---

JimIslander posted 04-20-2003 02:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for JimIslander  Send Email to JimIslander     
I folks. I have the 1994 Rage 15' with the 115 OMC unit. The boat is quite fun. It only runs 30 mph, which is a little disappointing for supposedly 115 hp, but all in all a great boat. I can launch it up on the muddy banks of our sea islands, cutting the throttle on the way up, and I don't have to worry about a prop. Also nice when you have skiers behind you.

It does require a bit of practice to learn how to steer near the dock, but only took about two trips to get the hang of it. It planes well, runs well, and is really just a fun compromise. I've run it in 12" of water---not recommended, but doable.

I got this boat for a great price, and it is a nice compromise for the price. Would I do it again? For the money, definitely.


JimIslander posted 04-20-2003 03:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for JimIslander  Send Email to JimIslander     

By the way, guys and girls. Does anyone know if there are performance impellers out there that will improve the speed on my 1994 Rage 15' with 115 hp OMC?


TRAFFICLAWYER posted 04-20-2003 05:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for TRAFFICLAWYER    
Since someone raked this old muck up, this is one time I'll agree with LHG, the 18' Rage sucked! literally!
Kumiega posted 04-26-2003 11:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for Kumiega  Send Email to Kumiega     
It is interesting reading posting about how bad a boat can be from people who never drove or owned the boat. The other interesting thing is the mis-conceptions about jet props. I bought a Rage last year after a lot of reading.

I like the boat but have found people just hate jets. In fact I have had to sue a private lake to let the boat on since the fishmen refused to let anymore jets on the lake since they believe Jets in suck fish. Jets have pros and cons the jet on this boat has been built by American Turbine and is linked to a Ford V8. I would suggest you have your friend call American Turbine since they are very nice people. They will tell you the boat is slightly under powered.

The main question to ask your friend what he/she wants from a boat. Having raced sail boats (30ft to 70 ft) in Lake Michigan for 20 years, I will tell you this is the only ski boat I would take off shore. I took the boat out in 2 -4 chop and it ran fine at 25 mph. I have used the boat on inland lakes for skiing. The boat is definitely meant for off shore work based on the rough day on Michigan and the 2-3 choppy on Kentucky lake. The bow rides up a wave and the scuppers let the water run out the side.

The main con about this boat are
Its top speed of 40.
The ability to park the boat.
Reverse is fine for parking.

Slightly ass heavy. You may also have to tune the fixed trim tab to get the nose down. I may even make a custom tab to be able to dial the nose down better.

Turning a Jet boat. Driving a jet is different since you need to work the throttle to turn. I had to read several articles to understand that you throttle back prior to a turn and throttle up into a turn.

Weeds are a problem for Jets

Over priced due to the name.

Low re-sale price due to the fact ski boat people want a fast boat and whaler people want a fishing boat. Therefore, few people want a cross boat. I think that is why this boat flopped since Seadoo and Yamaha are selling a lot of 7 seater Jet boats. So a 7 seater Jet is a good idea, just not a heavy non-sinking 7 seater jet being sold to a group that mainly wants safe offshore fishing boats.

The pros.
This is one of the only ski boats that will not sink. A major plus if your friend goes off shore where the weather can get rough fast.

It is a lot cheaper to buy than a standard whaler but has a much better layout for skiing and swimming. The sun deck is very nice for kids lay on or to use as jumping platform.

Easy boat access. If you have kids or a handicap sister you don’t have to worry about a prop for boarding. The swim platform is perfect for a double tube to easily load and unload without people going in the water.

Nice ride for rough days. Very little hull rattle in chop. Seems a lot more solid than a standard ski boat.

A simple Ford inboard motor to work on.

No transmission to break since the prop is directly coupled to the motor. Jets have less moving parts. Nothing to hit in swallow water.

I was going to sell the boat so I would not have to sue the lake our family summer house is on, but my wife who hates water told me this the only boat she will go on after the Lake Michigan trip with our kids. Also, it is the only boat with internal floation, a swim platform and a inboard in its class. So it looks like I will have the boat for a long while.

Finally, I have been going to this site for a while and never saw any real discussion about this boat or jet boats. I only hear about how bad Whaler became under Meridian/Mastercraft, and how Jets suck. I think it has more to do with people who love Whaler but hate ski boats. The same person who said this boat sucks would also say that Seadoo’s, Yamaha’s, and lot of new boats suck. However, I see a lot of these new boats 5-8 miles off shore in 2 – 4 chop just flying along.

TRAFFICLAWYER posted 04-26-2003 01:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for TRAFFICLAWYER    
Hey Kumiega:

The boat SUCKS, in MY OP. Is it the SUCKS you did'nt understand? I've been on the 18' RAGE,SUCKS and In a moment of great confusion and disorientation and perhaps under severe stress, I purchased a 1995 RAGE, that sucked too! Don't ASSume I feel all jets sucked, only those two I mentioned.

Kumiega posted 04-26-2003 01:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Kumiega  Send Email to Kumiega     
Maybe it does suck maybe it does not. But I am willing to cross the Lake Micigan, Chicago to Michigan City any day. You can be in a Yamaha or Seadoo and I will be in the Whaler. Only one condition the waves have to be above 3 ft. Just let me know which day you want to cross on.

Also since you appear to be a good lawyer do need a job sueing a lake over property rights over a sucky boat.

TRAFFICLAWYER posted 04-26-2003 01:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for TRAFFICLAWYER    

Since you did'nt invite me for a day of boating and barbeque on the lake, I'll stay

Kumiega posted 04-26-2003 02:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Kumiega  Send Email to Kumiega     
If you are in Chicago or Kentucky Lake for the July 4th let me know. Also, I really would like to take the boat across the Lake just to see how safe it really is so if someone else is going to cross during August let me know.

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