Some people may say “Wow”. others may say “I’m not sure”, but I say “It’s about time!”! HamiltonJet NZ has designed and built something completely departing from tradition and that’s something worth crowing about.
After two years of researching, designing and building the all new 470 Sportsman HamiltonJet NZ has finally delivered a jet boat that departs from its traditional ‘river-only’ application and looks set to challenge the ski and lake market as well.
The method of construction is the only similarity between the new Hamilton Jet 470 Sportsman and other Hamilton boats and that is the fully welded aluminium hull and a G.R.P. deck. The advantages of using fibreglass for the deck is that it can be designed with more intricate flowing lines and every deck coming out of the mould is the same. In addition most of the assembly work can be done before being fitted to the hull.
This 470 Sportsman is powered by a Marine Power LS3 J6.2 litre fuel injected all alloy new generation Chev V8 engine. It develops around 440 hp when coupled to the HJ212 jet unit using a 2.4kw turbo impeller. Standard features of this engine are top mounted starter motor, heat exchanger, remote oil filter and easy drain oil tube.
The 4.7m x 1.5m, 16 deg deadrise hull is the same as the traditional HamiltonJet 151A, but with the new deck design the 470 Sportsman provides more interior room than its predecessor.
The hull construction is the same as all the other HamitonJet models and is welded by ABS certified tradesmen. It has a keel thickness is 12mm, side bottoms 5mm , bow sections 5mm, with a stem down centre plus extra reinforcing plates on each side and 3mm sides and transom. Eight planing strakes give some extra lift to the hull plus grip on hard cornering.
Seating position for the driver is nestled into a well-supported bucket seat with all controls nicely positioned and all instruments can be easily seen. The rear bench seat caters for three adults although my concerns about the squab depth being a little narrow and not supporting your thighs, has been addressed by HamiltonJet in subsequent models.
A good-sized glove box in the dash with an upwards opening lid, provides ample space for small items however a lightweight gas strut or friction ram would be a useful addition. There’s also a USB charging socket inside.
The freshly designed and styled windscreen complete with opening section in centre, allows easy access in and out of the boat via the deck. A handrail borders the windscreen and has been positioned behind the screen to provide protection from the weather on those cooler days as well adding to the ‘lines’ of the windscreen.
A large moulded fibreglass foredeck hatch gives good access to the under bow area where lightweight gear can be stored such as life jackets and wet weather gear etc. Further storage is available under both front seats and good sized side pockets line the inside hull walls. The interior sides are lined with marine carpet and the floors are coated with a product called ‘Hippo-Liner’ which has a non-skid finish and is a very hard wearing product.
Two separate bilge pump systems are fitted as standard, one auto / manual combined and the other manual only. A 140 litre fuel tank is mounted under the rear seat and the fuel filler is mounted directly to the tank on a raised tube. This helps reduce the likelihood of spillage via filling or an accident. We all know the 212 jet unit performs very efficiently, however I think a well designed cover over it would finish off this particular model.
Now to the exciting part of – the river test. Firstly the river conditions were not very kind to me as it was very dirty and on the high side after three days of heavy rain. After warming the engine up out in the main stream of the Waimakariri River and with very little throttle, the 470 Sportsman jumped up on the plane and was attained at a mere 2300rpm while a nice cruising speed could be found between 2600 and 2800 rpm.
There was no real V8 burble as included in the exhaust system are two stainless steel mufflers, which worked very well. This made the 470 Sportsman very quiet and smooth ,even at full throttle. Maximum rpm was 4,800 and that really gave me a buzz with mid-range acceleration very impressive – it really pushed me back in the seat! Seat height in relation to the new styled windscreen was great as it provided good protection from the elements while still maintaining uninterrupted vision.
Hard cornering at speed was no problem. Definitely no sign of the old “Hamilton Hop” as some people called it in the older boats where the boat sometimes had a tendency to hop when cornering.
In the high river flow it was hard to find many skinny channels however what I did find was I could throw this boat around at any speed and that took me back to my jet sprinting days.
The trailer is steel construction and fully galvanised with the hull supported by four plastic covered steel skids (no rollers at all) which makes getting the boat on and off the trailer very easy. All the normal trailer specifications include LED lights, jockey wheel, spare wheel and moulded mudguards with step pads front and rear are standard.
The Hamilton Jet 470 Sportsman is of the usual high quality finish – an established motto of HamiltonJet for many years. All upholstery was nicely colour co-ordinated with the Hamilton flying ‘J’ logo embroidered into the seats and a fully upholstered engine box with surround gives the 470 sportsman a quality internal finish.
HamitonJet’s new release is perfect if you require a family styled new generation jet boat suitable for the rivers with some bling and buzz you’d traditionally expect of a lake boat. If that’s what you’re after then look no further – contact HamiltonJet NZ.
I know my background at HamiltonJet NZ possibly leaves me a little biased but this 470 Sportsman jet boat is certainly something HamiltonJet NZ can be proud of.
- Make & Model: HamiltonJet 470 Sportsman
- Price As Tested: $NZ95,000.00
- Type: Jetboat
- Construction: Alloy hull/ GRP deck
- LOA: 4.70mm
- Beam: 1.5m
- Deadrise: 16 deg
Author: Colin McCall