BOAT REVIEW King Water Jet 4m

November 2020 Power Boat Reviews
Words and pictures by Matt Vance.
OUR RATING
4 STARS
Performance
Economy
Handling
Value
Build Quality
Specification
MODEL DETAILS
MODEL King Water Jet 4m
BUILDER King Watercraft
CONSTRUCTION Aluminium hull, Hypalon tubes
PRICE AS TESTED $55,000
SPECIFICATIONS
LOA 4.0M
BEAM 1.6M
DISPLACEMENT 350kg
ENGINE Yamaha TR-1 waterjet
HIGHLIGHTS
  • Well presented and strongly constructed
  • Exciting handling
  • Compact size
OBSERVATIONS
  • Jet power is a point of difference
  • 45 knots is achievable
  • Great yacht tender

Want a generous dollop of adrenalin-spiking fun? Hop aboard this waterjet-powered RIB and hold on tight.


There are jet boats and then there are RIBs. At least that is how it used to be with the jets carving up the braided rivers and the RIBs performing as yacht tenders and coach boats.

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Thanks to some innovative design and lateral thinking by Canterbury-based King Watercraft these two good ideas have been morphed into one great package that’s set to change the yacht tender market.
King Water Craft has been manufacturing quality RIBs for over eight years. While its outboard RIBs have been at the forefront in recent times, the company established itself with innovative jet RIB designs and has been steadily refining the concept ever since. The latest of these Jet RIBs is the 4.0m and fills the niche of a light, nimble, versatile tender with more squirt than a fire hose.


This compact Jet RIB has the attention to detail you would expect from a company that prides itself on its finish. From the comfortable 6mm U-Dek floors to the well-engineered, welded Hypalon pontoons, the boat is an immaculate package.
With its 10cm draft, shallow water is a snitch and, without an outboard, getting from ship to beach or towing water toys means there’s no danger of losing your toes in the prop.


Despite the shallow draft there is a 16° deadrise at the stern that’s carried through the deep-vee hull – so rough water performance is good; any spray picked up by the hull is deflected by the chines or the pontoons, making the ride relatively soft and dry.
The pontoons themselves have a 380mm diameter and sit on an alloy flange. This allows a large proportion of the tube to sit outside the chine, giving a comfortable internal beam. At rest, the aft sections of the pontoons are well-immersed in the water – there’s good stability for water fun and load-carrying capacity as a tender.


A central feature of this Jet RIB is the starboard helm station console, dominated by the Simrad chart plotter and fish finder and augmented with engine gauges and a Fusion stereo system.
Capping off the console is a small Perspex windscreen with a storage locker beneath. The helm seat and backrest run across the boat as a bench seat. Behind this is the aft lounger which is also the cover and access to the Yamaha TR-1 engine and jet unit. The boat’s stern has a boarding platform and a sturdy tower for water skiing. Forward of the console is an extra seat and a bow locker for anchor gear.


Yamaha’s TR-1 provides more than enough power to lift heavy loads to the mother ship or go like the clappers when the work is over. The power is transmitted to the water via a custom jet unit, which keeps the draft down to a skinny 25cm.
Fuel is stored in twin 40-litre tanks, providing five hours of operation. Cruising speed is around 28 knots with 45 knots possible with the taps opened up. With three chambers in the pontoons, the Jet 4.0m has the stability and reserve buoyancy to handle the worst a New Zealand summer can throw at it. On the water, the vessel has the comfortable ride of a RIB with the deep vee absorbing the bumps and keeping you dry. Behind all this predictable comfort is the zip and zing of the jet boat where carving turns and impressive acceleration make her a hoot to helm.


At rest, her stability was solid (as you’d expect of a pontoon boat) but her manoeuvrability with the jet is exceptional and would eclipse any prop tender in the tight conditions of a marina.
Without a doubt, King Watercraft’s design pedigree has enhanced this unique reinterpretation of a RIB tender. It is this mix of practicality and just plain fun packed full of features which will turn heads as it is lifted onto the deck, or driven into your transom garage.

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