BOAT TEST: BJET SCARAMOUCHE 3.8

By: Dan Trotter


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Don't let its diminutive size fool you, the bJet Scaramouche 3.8 will rock your world — as Dan Trotter discovered...

BOAT TEST: BJET SCARAMOUCHE 3.8
BJET SCARAMOUCHE 3.8

Every so often in boating you get an opportunity to try out something new and totally different. Just such an opportunity came my way recently in the form of a bJet Scaramouche 3.8 - a fun-packed and thrilling jetboat that is the result of a highly-skilled boatbuilder's unique vision.

A compact package that's easily stored, the Scaramouche 3.8 can also be launched and retrieved singled-handed, making it an ideal proposition for solo power hounds.

 

 

LOOKING GOOD



On first laying eyes on the Scaramouche I was surprised by its "dimorphic" appearance, which is to say it has all the attitude of a much larger boat, despite its modest dimensions. Certainly, a quick glance aft reveals a boat that puts performance right up the top of its priority list.

The polished stainless steering mechanism and black jet bucket protrude from a deep-set hull that gives rise to a small transom boarding platform. From here the curved decking that encloses the engine bay creates a full-bodied appearance, hinting at the power lurking within.

The pointed bow and fine entry lines combine with the glinting finish of the paint to give the boat the appearance of a drag racer, whilst the plush bucket seats and sparse cockpit are reminiscent of a luxury sportscar - it's all about stark and stylish function, with little fuss.

 



LAYOUT AND DESIGN



With custom-made boats come some inherent (and expected) qualities - things like attention to detail, quality craftsmanship and clean, slick finishes. From first impressions through to a fastidious inspection, the bJet embodies all these things. Edges in the engine bay and cockpit are smooth and clean; nuts and bolts are neatly tucked away; all fittings are flush-mounted and the 'glass work, gelcoat and paint are smooth, glossy and near perfect. One peek into the engine bay tells you all you need to know about the care and attention that has gone into this boat's construction.

Inside the moulded and fully-lined cockpit the story is the same; there's ample room for two seated adults, and the dash has sleek, beautifully finished lines with brushed-alloy, gun-metal analogue gauges all in easy view. The switches, throttle and forward / reverse controls are customised to fit neatly into the skipper's right hand under the gunwale liner, and our test boat had an optional "hot-foot" foot throttle, in addition to the standard hand control - a great safety feature in a boat that's designed to be driven hard and fast with both hands on the wheel.

 

 

HANDLING, RIDE AND DRIVE



Firing up the beast results in a pleasing rumble from the 143hp Weber turbo engine - it's music to any petrol-head's ears. As we slowly made our way past boats lying idle on their moorings on Sydney's Pittwater, we were greeted with perfect test conditions. It didn't take long for those still waters to be transformed into a playground for Chris, the owner of Sydney-based bJet Marine, to push the Scaramouche to warp factor 10, as he gracefully arced the boat from side to side and repeatedly slid it into hard-tucked turns.

The photos tell the story: this boat is designed for the race car driver in all of us. The roar of the engine sends a tingle up the spine, the power is instantaneous and the handling at speed is out of this world.

As its name suggests, the bJet drives like a rocket. It's lightning-quick off the mark and it turns on a dime. The steering and handling at pace is easy and the boat responds immediately, but it pays to have both hands on the wheel as it's easy to over-steer, which causes the transom to slide out - a design feature of jetboats that is part of the fun and exhilaration of the ride.

The hull tracks true and straight up to an impressive 80kmh-plus top speed. Pulling into turns when you hammer down requires concentration and timing, but with a little practice it's easy to get comfortable. You wouldn't say the bJet is surefooted at pace, but then that's not the boat's aim. It is, however, confident and stable - powering out of turns and back onto a straight line had me feeling like Mark Webber on a hot lap.

At rest the hull is stable and two adults can stand if necessary. It's also worth noting that while the bJet isn't really designed for rough, choppy water, it can safely handle deteriorating conditions, although you'll probably get bounced around and a little bit wet.

Incidentally, there are designs in the pipeline for a customised fishing version as well as a ski and wake model. Jetboats have an inherently shallow draft, so fishos in particular will appreciate the bJet's access to fishing spots that would otherwise be off-limits to other craft.

The bJet Scaramouche 3.8 is built in Tasmania by Wentorf Marine. With a 12mm balsa core construction, the cavity between the hull and the lined cockpit / engine bay is foam filled. This not only improves flotation, making the boat virtually unsinkable, it also affords a quieter and softer ride. These boats can be launched and retrieved solo and towed behind any standard family sedan; the boat can be purchased by itself, or with either a Dunbier or custom bJet trailer.

Designed to be fun, fast and manoeuvrable, these awesome pocket rockets are sure to find homes on the bows of luxury cruisers and in the garages of thrillseekers the world over.

 

 

 

SPECIFICATIONS - bJET SCARAMOUCHE 3.8

 

 

HOW MUCH?


Price as tested: $22,500
Options fitted: Custom metallic paint, Fusion four-speaker stereo, teak decking on transom boarding platform
Priced from: $19,000

 

 

GENERAL


Type: Jet-propelled fun boat
Material: GRP
Length: 3.8m
Beam: 1.6m
Depth: 1.5m
Weight (hull): 270kg
Weight (BMT): 440kg

 

 

CAPACITIES


People: 2
Max. HP: 143
Fuel: 2 x 25lt inbuilt tanks

 

 

ENGINE


Make/model: Weber MPE750 Four-Stroke Marine TC HO
Type: 143hp, four-stroke, turbo twin-cylinder
Weight: 86kg

 

 

SUPPLIED & MANUFACTURED BY


bJet Marine
1710 Pittwater Road
Bayview, NSW, 2104
Tel: (02) 9999 6221
Web: www.bjet.com.au

First published in TrailerBoat # 277

Find bJet boats for sale.

 


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