Originally Posted by reinier
Main problem with the Zodiac Projet and other small jet-ribs --> on flat water, perfect fun and maneuvrability (Zodiac Projet tops out on 38kts), but when it's getting choppier the jet loses it's performance and speed start to fall dramatically! With an outboard engine you don't have that problem. Add up the enormous fuel consumption for such a small boat and the bad maneuvrability at low speeds (because of the jet) and I think you're way better off with a small rib (10/11 ft) with a nice jockey seat and 40hp, unless you're planning on using the boat in swallow water.
We make a jet which is just the opposite of many of the downsides of the lightweight petrol ones, although it is a bit slower, our 6 metre 120hp jet is very economical, very manoeuvrable (with practise!), and has been tested in the Solent in up to and including force 7 conditions (not by choice!), the weight keeps the jet driving at least as much if not more than an equivalent outboard. The other advantages are of course shallow water use, and the safety and fun of a jet - 360 degree crash stop turns are great fun
I believe the small petrol jet boats are good for the market they appeal to - tenders and little fun craft for use in more sheltered areas.