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Jet Boat powered by High pressure Water Pump??? Answered

Hello Instructablers,

I would love some input from some of the great minds in this community for slightly mad project I have been thinking about.

In the spirit of "What Could Possibly Go Wrong" I am planning to try powering a small boat with an engine drive water pump.

We recently got some new pumps in at work that will do up to 80m head (113 psi), or flows to about 750 litres per minute (I think that's about 164 gallons). Powered by 13HP Honda engine. It's a very impressive pump, but will it be able to power a boat?

Here's my plan so far:
  • Either obtain or build a small boat. Perhaps with a flat bottom.
  • I will mount the pump as low and central as I can. Full of water the pump will weigh around 50-60kg.
  • The suction hose would be connected to a tank flange that penetrates the hull at the deepest point.
  • The discharge will penetrate the transom. Various nozzle sizes will be tried to find out the best compromise between flow and velocity.
What do you think?
Considering most of the jetboats I have seen have massive V8 engines in them, could my idea possibly work?
Will it need to be an impossibly small boat?
Will I need more than one pump? How many?
What's more important; flow, pressure, velocity?
Should I stick to oars?

I have other pumps to choose from with greater flows if that makes a difference. Go here to see them: 

Here's silly video of the boys at Pumpmaster in Queensland trying out the new machine...

7 Replies

NXTHacker (author)2012-08-28

seen these water jet backpacks? u should attempt to make one of those!

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cammers (author)NXTHacker2012-08-28

Ha ha ha. That thing is hilarious! I want a cordless one.

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Kiteman (author)2012-08-27
It's already being done. Look at this forum, for instance (ignore the first video links, they're dead).

This video gives a good idea of what you're up against: LINK.

Have a search for Jetboat racing, especially on YouTube (jump to 1:15 if you're impatient):

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rimar2000 (author)Kiteman2012-08-28

WOW! That is unbelievable!

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cammers (author)Kiteman2012-08-27

Thanks Kiteman. Wow. Those things are amazing! If only I had a big block V8 in the shed.
My idea is a bit more W. Heath Robinson. I just want to make for the fun of making. I'm not planning to compete unless it's a scrap-heap challenge or Instructables contest.

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Kiteman (author)cammers2012-08-27

Hey, everybody starts somewhere!

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cammers (author)2012-08-27

Here is a file that contains the performance chart (pressure v flow) if anyone is interested.

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