TEDthebear

2016 226 SSI vs 226 VRX

18 posts in this topic

Looking at the difference between a 2016 226 SSI and the VRX

SSI has 6.2 Merc 300HP with B3 dual prop.

Looking for opinions on the pluses and minus of SSI vs VRX (jetboat same size).  Thanks

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Well you are looking at two different types of propulsion here. I too was looking at the Jet boats so here is my opinion. I really liked the layout of the VRX with its seating along with the unobstructed walk through, an excellent set up in my opinion. The biggest difference is going to be the engines. I personally don't care for low displacement high horsepower engines...they are generally higher maintenance and burn more fuel especially when operating in the higher RPM range which you almost have to on a jet boat. The VRX does have a closed loop cooling system so if you plan on operating in salt water its highly desirable. Also with the jet drive, it draws very little water. The 6.2L B3 in the SSI I can say is an awesome package. Tons of power and pretty darn quiet too when compared to the VRX. The down side is that its a much heavier package and draws almost twice as much water. I say if you want a sporty handling boat that draws little water and don't care about fuel burn, go with the VRX. If you want something a bit more traditional but still has a ton of power and your not operating in shallow water all the time, go with the SSI. Just my 2 cents.

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If possible I'd test drive both. I personally like the layout if the VRX better, but prefer the engine and outdrive of the SSi.   Jets can be loud and a little tricky to handle at slow speeds, plus they don't have trim.  

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All valid points above and spot on.  However, while jets don't hang low, in the shallows they can be easily fowled by sucking up debre off the bottom.  Which is more prevalent with the single engine models. 

I/O's also shouldn't be surfed behind, while you can on a jet boat.  I've seriously considered a jet for my next boat.  The main reason is I think the maintenance is less per hour, with no lower unit or transmission.   On the flip side I really like the lower growl of my V8 i/o, that a jet just can't duplicate.  Now if I could hear more blower whine, that may be cool as well :) 

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1 hour ago, Duane2135 said:

All valid points above and spot on.  However, while jets don't hang low, in the shallows they can be easily fowled by sucking up debre off the bottom.  Which is more prevalent with the single engine models. 

I/O's also shouldn't be surfed behind, while you can on a jet boat.  I've seriously considered a jet for my next boat.  The main reason is I think the maintenance is less per hour, with no lower unit or transmission.   On the flip side I really like the lower growl of my V8 i/o, that a jet just can't duplicate.  Now if I could hear more blower whine, that may be cool as well :) 

Give a jet a good sold test drive.  I just came from a jet (albeit smaller), and, while it had its pluses, low speed maneuvering was a huge negative.  I'm already, after 4 trips out, far more comfortable moving through crowded waters at slow speeds than I was in 2 years with the jet.  The lack of a true neutral was also a bit of an annoyance.

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While I realize that there may be an intrinsic bias to give negative reviews, I don't recall seeing a really positive review from VRX owners on this site.  Am I wrong?  Are you out there happy VRX owners?  

 

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15 minutes ago, sburke91 said:

Give a jet a good sold test drive.  I just came from a jet (albeit smaller), and, while it had its pluses, low speed maneuvering was a huge negative.  I'm already, after 4 trips out, far more comfortable moving through crowded waters at slow speeds than I was in 2 years with the jet.  The lack of a true neutral was also a bit of an annoyance.

I agree.  I've driven one (Yammy 244L) extensively.  While I'm still timid in crowded waters on my friends Yammy, he is very confident, but has 6 years experience with it.  Jets don't track the same, and at low speeds and many manovers are not intuitive to an I/o pilot.  But if you know the boat, they seem to be very manoverable for an experienced captain.  That said, I don't want to take 6 years to learn how to drive, lol.

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48 minutes ago, Duane2135 said:

I agree.  I've driven one (Yammy 244L) extensively.  While I'm still timid in crowded waters on my friends Yammy, he is very confident, but has 6 years experience with it.  Jets don't track the same, and at low speeds and many manovers are not intuitive to an I/o pilot.  But if you know the boat, they seem to be very manoverable for an experienced captain.  That said, I don't want to take 6 years to learn how to drive, lol.

There were certain things, maneuvering-wise that were just awesome with the jet.  My favorite was the ability to come up to a crowded dock, crab the boat sideways by working the throttle forward and back, and slide into an open slot, with boats on either side.  I'm still trying to 'unlearn' the muscle memory for that so I can back my i/o up without reversing my corrections.

That said, the 'rudder effect from the drive' is so much more effective when in neutral, and just having a neutral is a big plus.  I'd love to have some combination of both!

 

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I think the jury is still out on the reliability of the Rotax engine.  Time will tell but it won't be too long before we begin to learn the real pluses and minuses of these power plants. 

I personally don't like the noise or the fuel consumption.  Watching people load them on trailers is fascinating!

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Reliability comparison is impossible.

No jet boat cruises for hours on a low speed FULL PLANE loaded with people.

.  It IS a go fast design. It should be driven that way.

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1 hour ago, cyclops2 said:

Reliability comparison is impossible.

No jet boat cruises for hours on a low speed FULL PLANE loaded with people.

.  It IS a go fast design. It should be driven that way.

Agreed.  My old boat was much easier to pilot fast than slow.  I do miss 3 second planing though :)

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It's crazy because it is against common sense but jets can't operate in shallow water nearly as well as you'd think.  As much as I love Chaparral style as I'm on my second but older than my first one now (both props), I can't believe they didn't go with the Yamaha engines that are a cylinder larger and are detuned versus the smaller 3 cylinder rotax.  Yamaha for reliability and longevity and service intervals but Rotax for much higher tech associated with their Sea Doos.  The newest Yamaha boats finally have an actual rudder system to make that low speed lack of control less noticable.  I honestly don't know what the Chap models have.  I seriously considered a Jet boat when buying my current Chap this spring but there were just too many strikes agains the Jets for me.  I decided that I would be just fine with having my speed and acceleration fixes on my supercharged Yamaha waverunner I bought last season.  It was then that I realized that I think a single waverunner with a supercharger might use as much fuel as an actual jet engine because you are always revving it way up high.  Waverunners and Sea Doo's have had a sort of 'brake' utilizing the reverse bucket and true neutral as well as power trim for a long time (based on manufacturer and year).  It is just a matter of time I think until all of that it shows up on boats.  

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On August 8, 2016 at 6:22 PM, TEDthebear said:

Looking at the difference between a 2016 226 SSI and the VRX

SSI has 6.2 Merc 300HP with B3 dual prop.

Looking for opinions on the pluses and minus of SSI vs VRX (jetboat same size).  Thanks

I never tried a VRX - but really love my 226 SSI Elite w 350 Mag and B3...  Plane time is 3 seconds or less regardless of how many people.  I do like the layout of the jet boats.  My friend has a Yamaha 243 and it's got a lot of room - but very noisy and does not ride as smooth as my 226.  Maybe the Chaparral versions are much better than the Yamaha's I'm thinking?

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As a 1 year 223 VRX owner and past 30 years behind a stern drive or outboard I can say I actually I like the jet better for skiing and handling.  Yes I am still learning but control is infinite with the jets you just have to nudge the control lever forward or back and you can make the boat slid any where are direction. turns on a dime, no more having to worry about putting it in and out of gear without damaging the gear box.  There is a perfect neutral that you can hold the boat at station.  You just can't walk away from the steering wheel.  You will have to trim the steering some. You can pull up to the dock at a vary slow speed instead of idling forward.  But try and hold a stern drive in 3 mph currents at a stand still is hard without always going in and out of gear.    Easy to pull skiers and adjust the rope.  I have the 500 horse power and yes if you get on it will burn gas.  If you drive it right it is not much worse than my 20 ft with a 5 litter.  We just did a afternoon of skiing and wake surfing and used about 10 gallons. Louder than a I/O but about the same as a outboard.  just different sounds.  The kids love the sound of the superchargers. I do not expect maintenance to be more than my old boat.  Between several props, one lower unit, and tune ups even I/Os are not cheap to run.  We boat in rivers and lakes where to bottom is not always known.  But why have a nice toy if your not going to use it.

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On August 9, 2016 at 7:28 PM, VAboater said:

While I realize that there may be an intrinsic bias to give negative reviews, I don't recall seeing a really positive review from VRX owners on this site.  Am I wrong?  Are you out there happy VRX owners?  

 

Extremely happy.   2015 223VR owner.   Twin 150's

and you're right.  Bias here is most likely why you don't see more vortex posts.   Shortly after getting mine, I found this site.   Came across more than a few posts that went along the lines of "thinking/looking into getting a jet boat - suggestions?" And the replies went along the lines of "don't, just get a real boat".     

I'll check in here from time to time and it is getting better in regards to informative posts on the jets.   And I do enjoy reading about the other models (I just love boating and all things related).  

I have about 80 hours on my boat and it has been great.  We ski, tube, kids swim behind with no bumping into prop....    And I honestly say after just driving it a few times ( less than 10 hours) I had the handling down.  Doesn't take 6 years believe me.    I boat on what some say is the busiest inland waterway in America (chain o lakes, il) and I never feel uncomfortable in boating in close quarters.   Actually with the responsiveness of the boat, I feel even more comfortable in tight channels than I use to in my old stern drive.  

Enjoy boating all.  

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Sounds like it's what all you get used to. I just can't get away from that big block grunt and I'm gettin close to maneuvering the ol b3 around pretty good. 

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