Wooden Wetback: Fast Hydro Boat Project

Wetback Boat Kit

This saucer-like boat project may appear to be one man’s interpretation of a UFO, but it’s actually the remnants of a speed boat kit called a Wetback. Listed here on craigslist for $2,000, I’m not surprised it’s in Florida considering how popular the sport of jet sprints and other competition events is in those parts. This link from Clark Craft seems to indicate the Wetback is one of many kits offered by the company, and is even still available for purchase today (which may cause the seller to have a reality check on his asking price). It’s a single seater and can take a variety of engines up to 30 bhp, and based on the video selection I found here on YouTube, it looks to be a fun way to hit the lakes this summer! Plus, unlike most boat projects, this one is small enough to sit in the garage or carport when not in use. While boating is more enjoyable with some friends along for the ride, the Wetback could be an easy introduction into boat-building. Have any of you ever piloted a DIY kit like this?

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Comments

  1. roger

    Nice Boat.
    Hope that engine runs good.
    Just like all boats designed for 2 stroke outboards the 4 strokes are way to heavy.
    Had a river boat with 40 yamaha,went to check on 4 strokes since the bozos in washington made them quit with 2 strokes.
    Biggest engine that I could use was a 20hp and it was 23 pounds heavier than my 40 yamaha!!!!!
    I just went ahead and sold boat and quit.The new 4 strokes are garbage anyway.
    All my friends are going outdrive or just selling boats.

  2. Justin

    My uncle raced these types of boats back in the 60s and 70s. He had a race that was out of town.
    He told his boss that his grandfather died.
    He goes to the race and wins the event.
    Monday morning, his boss calls him into his office and tosses a newspaper onto his desk. On the front cover is a full page picture with my uncle driving his boat and another of him holding the trophy after winning the event.
    His boss asked, “I thought that you said that your Grandfather died”?
    My uncle said. “He did…18 years ago”.

  3. JW

    Wow if my brother inlaw was closer to me I would see if he wanted to go halfies on this. He’s a journeyman carpenter for years and loves boats, he’s built his own a few times. With that politically incorrect name I’m surprised in today’s world you could even advertise it as it’s correct name without some one threatening to sue you.

  4. jim s

    once you see it next to a person you see how small the boat is. the one in the video looks like it makes a big wake at slow speeds and seem like it does not get up on the plain very easy. but i am not a boater so i could be wrong. interesting find.

  5. Matthew Tritt

    These little hydros are really fast! Low wetted surface area, light weight and brutally hard on the kidneys (and everything else)! For 2 grand you can find a very good fiberglass runabout that is almost as quick, carries 4 X the weight and handles rough water without going airborne. Including a trailer and motor! Stay away from this thing if you’re smart or buy it if you love adrenaline. :-)

  6. Woodie Man

    I’d say it should be called a Wetbutt………

  7. Matthew Tritt

    I’d say you’re right. Those things have very little displacement aft, which generally means that if you slow down too quickly, water washes over the transom and can sometimes cause them to sink by the stern. Ya gotta watch it!

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