What size jet motor on 1648 to be legal?


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Nov 27, 2023
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St.Louis Missouri
Hello guys, I am interested in moving from my 1436 with a 1980 4.5 evinrude onto something that can run more shallow. I’m in Missouri and close to the black river, big river, meremac, and the gasconade isn’t too far. I am interested in a jet outboard on something such as a 1448 or a 1648. I usually fish with one other person but would like to bring 3 max. The current debacle I am having is it seems many 1448s are limited to 25 hp and many 1648s are limited to 30 hp. It seems a 25/20 and a 30/20 would just be a dog and may not plane great. Normally I wouldn’t care about hull horsepower capacity but it is important to me that I have insurance to cover my butt. Any ideas on a good hull and motor combination that could point me in the right direction? I want to run a 2 stroke and it doesn’t matter to me whether it is tiller or console or stick steer. Thanks for the help and tight lines!!
I think you would want a 1648/1650/1652 that can handle a 40hp. A guy on our river had a 1648 Allweld w/30hp Yamaha jet. It really struggled with 3 people, and wasn't great with two. I saw this fall, that he has an 18'er now with 80hp jet.
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My...1648 I have a 50/30 jet on it. Runs about 25mph with 2 people and jumps up on plan pretty fast.
A jet running shallow rivers is about keeping it light weight. 2 people it would run ok.
Running skinny is about just being on plane. Not that much about speed.
On a jet it's the lower number that's supposed to match the capacity plate.
My Lowe Roughneck 1652 VT is a jet tunnel hull and it's rated for 50 hp. I have a center console and a 60/45 jet but I think it would run fine with a 50/35 as well, just not as good with 3 people. It looks like quite a few of the 1648 boats are rated for 40 hp and even some of the SeaArk 1548 boats are rated for a 40 hp.
I have a 1448M and a Merc F25 jet is a bit heavy for it. If I keep the jet I’ll install pods. Just want to see how it balances when fully rigged before finalizing the motor selection.

I think a 1655 is pretty good size and it should run a 60/40 jet.
Thanks for the replies guys, I was under the impression that the max horsepower applied to the higher number, not the lower number. That leaves more room for power.
If I remember correctly, there is a blazer boats dealer or manufacturer by you. Stop by there, get there input.
Excel, gatortrax, and one or two others , typically have heavier gauge hulls, which would allow for more horsepower. The downside is, they’ll weigh more. The question is, how does that offset?
Thanks for the replies guys, I was under the impression that the max horsepower applied to the higher number, not the lower number. That leaves more room for power.
Regardless of the horsepower you will also need to consider the weight of the outboard and how it will affect the center of balance. For example a console type boat will have more weight forward than a tiller boat. Placement of the batteries, fuel tank, bow mount trolling motor all need to be considered.

Just because you can get away with 60/40 jet outboard on a boat that is rated for 40hp doesn’t mean it’s a good fit for every situation.
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After doing some research of local builders. It appears many of these boats have commercial tags from the factory so essentially you could put whatever you want on it and be legal I guess.