BOAT REVIEW Lamont T340 Jet RIB

June 2021 Power Boat Reviews
Words by Norman Holtzhausen, Photography and video by Roger Mills.
OUR RATING
4.5 STARS
Performance
Economy
Handling
Value
Build Quality
Specification
MODEL DETAILS
MODEL Lamont T340 Jet RIB
BUILDER Explorer Boats
CONSTRUCTION GRP hull, Hypalon tubes
PRICE AS TESTED $POA
SPECIFICATIONS
LOA 3.4M
BEAM 1.73M
DISPLACEMENT 320kg
ENGINE Yamaha TR-1 100hp inboard four-stroke
HIGHLIGHTS
  • Eye-watering performance
  • High quality finish
OBSERVATIONS
  • Plenty of space for a 3.4m hull

Although a new name on the New Zealand boating scene, Lamont Jets has an excellent pedigree. The brand’s been launched as a luxury range of custom-crafted jet-powered inflatables from Explorer Boats based in Kumeu, Auckland.


Rather than provide another product that’s common at this smaller (length) end of the market, managing director and owner Andy Lamont has instead taken the approach of tailoring every vessel. Every commission is built to suit buyers who wants a compact tender or small runabout to suit their launch or yacht.

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Part of the re-branding rationale is to target the overseas market. Although Explorer is a well-known and respected local brand, the name’s also used by an international brand of luxury motor yachts. So, when Lamont revamped the jet tender design for that export market, it presented the perfect opportunity to position the new brand for international appeal.


This model – the new T340 – is in the final phase of pre-delivery testing for its new owner. It’s an ultra-low-profile boat, designed to fit into a vessel’s low-height storage bay. The highest point on the T340 is the carbon-fibre steering wheel, and even that can be unclipped from the steering column – much like a F1 race car to further reduce the height.

The powerplant
It’s hidden below deck, under the offset centre console. This is where the new model differs most obviously from the earlier models. This has an entirely new engine and jet unit. After some issues with reliability of the previous drive unit, Lamont has switched to Yamaha’s compact TR-1 high-output four-stroke engine.


This unit delivers an astonishing 100hp from three cylinders displacing just 1,049cc, and weighs only 75kg. This engine is well-proven – for the past four years it’s been the standard powerplant in the Yamaha VX WaveRunner range, as well as for Yamaha’s range of snowmobile products. A great design feature is that all the service items are accessible from the top, making maintenance easy within the confines of a boat.
The Yamaha drives a Solus six-inch stainless steel water jet, the same unit used in both Yamaha and Sea-Doo PWCs. A multi-directional reverse bucket provides maximum manoeuvrability around the marina, while that 100hp rockets this little jet boat at up to 35 knots. Which feels insane, so the more usual cruising speed is around 20 knots, still an exhilarating ride in something just over three metres long.


In fact, this boat has so much power it’s also equipped with a ski-towing eye and pulling a bunch of kids on a water toy will provide hours of fun. Of course, a tender is intended as a workhorse. The four sealed Hypalon pontoons (combined with the GRP composite hull) provide ample buoyancy and stability for carrying heavy loads.
The 35-litre underfloor fuel tank provides a good range when the throttle is used judiciously. A step-up built onto the squared-off bow pontoon makes it easy to get on and off the boat when nosed up against a wharf.
Despite its very low profile, this is a surprisingly comfortable little RIB. Most boats this size are pretty basic – the T340, by contrast, has beautifully upholstered, two-tone seats that are comfortable and snug. The centre console’s offset slightly to starboard, allowing easier access between stern and bow area by walking around the port side. In addition to the two-person skipper’s seat behind the helm there are two seats in the forward area of the cockpit – the boat’s rated for four occupants.


Every aspect of this RIB is beautifully crafted, from the CNC-cut decking pads through to the pop-up stainless cleats and drink holder set into the centre console. Even the more mundane aspects – like the grab-handles – are perfectly finished. Somewhat unusually for a boat this size, it also has a couple of under-seat storage bins, useful for keeping stuff dry.
There are a number of aspects to this boat that aren’t visible to the naked eye, but which are important for her target market. The vessel has full CE certification, a mandatory requirement for boats being sold into the European Union.
A fire-suppression system is another important feature for the superyacht market, where an engine still hot from use may be tucked away into an enclosed locker area. Hidden below the waterline is a Bluefin underwater light, and the deck drains through an automatic bilge pump system.


Sitting in the skipper’s seat, that small carbon-fibre steering wheel is definitely more akin to a sports car than a family sedan. Instrumentation is simple, with a Simrad MFD doing double duty as chartplotter and fishfinder and a small digital display providing engine feedback. There is plenty of space in the dash for other options, and one of the features of Lamont’s marketing strategy is customising every boat to suit the purchaser’s requirements.
Driving a jet boat is always fun, but this pocket rocket is even more so. The throttle lever combines with a bucket control and interlock, so you cannot accidentally go from forward to reverse. But engaging reverse is a simple process, and she spins around easily – backwards or forwards.

Drive time
Going forwards is the fun part. If you’ve never driven a jet-powered unit, the lack of a rudder can be disconcerting at first. Once you get the hang of it, though, and realise that to turn tightly you actually crank up the throttle, and pretty soon you’re doing donuts just for the sheer thrill of it.
We discovered that even at WOT she skims along straight as an arrow. Despite being so close to the water we remained perfectly dry, although on a windy day with lots of chop you might get some spray. In general, though, faster is likely to be dryer – you simply outrun any spray.


The static pictures don’t do justice to the boat’s stability – even through some very tight turns she banked perfectly so we hardly needed to hold on. The items in greatest danger were our hats, which at over 30 knots had a tendency to go AWOL. Having 100hp in a boat this size delivers eye-watering acceleration – literally. Without a windscreen the wind’s right in your face.
The jet unit of course not only reduces the storage profile but greatly reduces drag, plus there is the added safety aspect – no sharp spinning things in the water when there are swimmers around. It also provides an extremely shallow draft, useful when running passengers ashore.


Our test day was a beautiful sunny day with a light breeze, the sort of day you can imagine cruising around the Greek isles in your superyacht. Using the Lamont T340 jet tender to head to a deserted island. Running up on the beach with no prop to worry about. Pulling the picnic hamper from the lockers and heading up to laze about for the day. We can only dream….
The T340 as tested has a slightly smaller sibling, the T320, and larger models are also available with different configurations.

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