Flat bottom vs tunnel

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Blue Dawg
Posts: 43
Joined: 20 Aug 2013, 18:59
Location: New Midway, Maryland

Flat bottom vs tunnel

Post by Blue Dawg » 26 Mar 2019, 00:23

Gonna buy a new to me tin. I go into skinny water but rarely under 12-18”.
Am I better getting a flat bottom with a jet or a tunnel and use a prop with a jack plate?
Trying to get the most bang for my buck.
Thanks in advance for your comments.
Blue Dawg
1 Blue eyed blonde, 1 old white squirrel dog and 4 grandkids that call me Pap Pap! What could be better!

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JL8Jeff
Posts: 629
Joined: 26 Oct 2013, 14:56
Location: Ewing, NJ

Flat bottom vs tunnel

Post by JL8Jeff » 26 Mar 2019, 09:59

Sandy bottom or rocky bottom? I think a boat with a tunnel loses some buoyancy but with the ability to tuck the motor up higher it offers better protection. They make jet tunnel hulls as well and that's what mine is, a nice combination. Do you normally run far from the ramp? Jets are bad on gas so if make long runs you might be better off with a prop motor. Give us some more details on how/where you plan on using it.
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2001 Lowe Roughneck 1652 VT with Merc 60/45 jet 2 stroke
1993 Jetcraft 13' sprint boat with Chevy ZZ3 350 engine and Hamilton 772 jet drive

Blue Dawg
Posts: 43
Joined: 20 Aug 2013, 18:59
Location: New Midway, Maryland

Flat bottom vs tunnel

Post by Blue Dawg » 26 Mar 2019, 22:55

I fish mainly in the upper Potomac. Rocky bottom. Other than there the Susquehanna river but confine myself to deeper water. Had a small Evinrude 48/35 jet, sucked the gas and really didn't give me the performance. Conversely, I had a 30hp Honda prop which ran great but I knocked the skeg off the lower unit. Been told you can run a prop motor with a tunnel and save performance and yet still be safe in 12" - 15" of water. Just asking for advise so I make the proper decision. Money also enters the equation. Larger jets are so damn high. Your thoughts?

Blue Dawg
1 Blue eyed blonde, 1 old white squirrel dog and 4 grandkids that call me Pap Pap! What could be better!

turbotodd
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Joined: 24 Dec 2011, 22:06
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Flat bottom vs tunnel

Post by turbotodd » 26 Mar 2019, 23:36

I've run a few jets on different hulls, mostly in the last 4 years. What I know for certain is that a 4 stroke jet uses less than half of the fuel as a 40/30 2 stroke-of any brand. You may find that you may be a good candidate for a 40/30 4 stroke jet. You already know one downside of a jet (excess fuel usage), but also the noise issue is there. The 40/30 Yamaha's I've run are no louder than a 2 stroke with a prop. Usually slightly quieter even at full throttle. They work awesome for skinny rocky bottom areas. The hull is a BIG part of the equation too, and there are hulls specifically designed for one of the most well-known rivers in the US (White River in Arkansas), that are designed to run a jet with a small tunnel. They typically have a draft of a few inches when on plane and yes I've run them in literally inches of water dragging the gravel (rentals). I do not know your rivers but the White is wide in most areas and about a foot deep in a lot of areas. These boats (supreme, Shawnee, topwater, etc) are designed for drifting and running these areas, and they do it extremely well. They're on plane almost instantly despite the length, the banana shaped bottom with no strakes and ribs will run real shallow and if you do get stuck, just walk to the other end of the boat to rock it off. They do not handle very well in a turn though, and they do not take side-wake all that great. I'm not sure there's another boat that would do that job any better on the upper White river, but again I'm not sure how the areas you fish are similar or different since I've not been there. Might be worth looking into, though.

I've run my propped outboard on the white and you do have to be mindful of where you are at in relation to the bottom. It's misleading and kinda stressful because the water's crystal clear and you're watching the gravel rush by you at 25mph (upstream) thinking that anytime now I'm gonna rip the skeg off. Really I'm using the wrong tool for the job, which is why a couple times a year I'll rent one of the jet outboard boats for a few hours.

The evinrude 48/35 cannot be compared to a newer 40/30...the newer ones are FAR superior in every way.

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JL8Jeff
Posts: 629
Joined: 26 Oct 2013, 14:56
Location: Ewing, NJ

Flat bottom vs tunnel

Post by JL8Jeff » 27 Mar 2019, 10:09

Some of the boat manufacturers make a prop tunnel hull as well as the jet tunnel hull. I've never been in a prop tunnel boat so I can't comment on how they run. I like the way my boat runs/handles and the 60/45 jet is enough power since I'm never in a hurry and don't run WOT. But I run upstream and float back down most of the time so there is not much fuel usage coming back down. If you do a lot or running from one spot to another, the prop motor might be the better choice. We have a lot more jets running on the Delaware River where I am and some of them are loud and slow. So the further you go, the noise and fuel usage might get to you. It still might turn out that you stumble onto a boat at such a great price you can't pass it up. I always paint myself into a corner looking for a specific year/model of car/truck/boat and then it becomes almost impossible to find one.
2001 Lowe Roughneck 1652 VT with Merc 60/45 jet 2 stroke
1993 Jetcraft 13' sprint boat with Chevy ZZ3 350 engine and Hamilton 772 jet drive

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