Boat Review by: Matt Spencer
If you were walking around the 2017 Toronto International Boat Show you might have seen a new face that year for boat entries. Exhibiting for the first time at TIBS was Thunder Jet Canada and we took a little extra time to check out the Thunder Jet Canada Chinook OS
As the name might suggest, Thunder Jet Canada specializes in all-welded aluminum jet boats. But they are certainly not a one trick pony. Browsing their website would reveal to you 18 different models of varying styles, lengths and propulsions. While Jet Boats are huge out in the West Coast (where this boat is made) they do have applications in the rest of the country. The Chinook OS that we looked at is part of the brand’s Offshore series which are outboard powered, with the outboard mounted farther back of the transom on a welded bracket, giving you a little more running surface and giving you faster planing times to get you out of trouble should something come up.
With an overall length of 22-feet with a 96-inch beam, the Chinook Offshore would be comfortable not only out on the Great Lakes as the name might suggest, but also inland on some of the more rugged waters we have. A perfect Georgian Bay boat, the Chinook OS features a host of features that allows it to be more than just a cottage commuter.
Standard features on this boat include a full welded windscreen with wipers and walk through. This boat was on display with the optional half hard top, which looks like a radar arch, with beefed up sides including full sliding windows for airflow. This boat also had canvas closing the gap between the top and the windscreen, creating the effect of a full enclosed pilot house, but should the day turn nice, you can take down the canvas and get some sun and air in there.
Another benefit of the Offshore version of this boat with the transom bracket is that you now have a large swim platform style area to board the boat, then you walk through the starboard transom gate and you enter into the spacious rear cockpit. This area is open and ready for fishing. It has a very large transom fish box, stainless rails, speakers and all the hatches and compartment lids are done in checkerplate.
Should you wish to mount downriggers, and I don’t see why you wouldn’t, there are downrigger mounts welded right onto the gunnels to make this task easier.
There is a drop canvas curtain that encloses the area under the optional hard top and once you walk through that you will find center facing bench seats on each side of the boat. These hinge open to offer plenty of storage. I like the idea of putting them off to the side to keep the center flow of the boat in tact. Above these you will find checker plate shelves integrated into the hard top, along with a grab handle up top for stability.
There are twin, spring-base pedestal seats for the captain and companion, and the two consoles again blend a complementing mix of painted aluminum and check plate. And that’s really the ongoing theme of this boat. I think when people think all welded boats they think about these rough aluminum boats, but I’ve always appreciated the artform that goes into these boats.
It’s evident the team at Thunder Jet Canada puts a lot of craft and care into every boat they build, probably one of the many reasons they have been in business for over 30 years. One of the other reasons is that they just simply build a really strong boat.
The Chinook Offshore features 125 gauge aluminum on the sides, 190 gauge on the bottom and 250 gauge on the transom, where it matters. These are put together all as one piece sides and one piece bottom. Essentially, the more uniform you can make your design, the less seams you have because seams can be a weakness. Obviously these are welded together with the highest integrity, but if you simplify it, a piece of paper folded in half is stronger than two taped together. There is a fully welded keel guard that will protect your investment, and lifting strakes and a reverse chine will give you quick performance, great handling and lots of giddy-up and go when you need it.
The boating world is so diverse. If you ever get a chance to travel around North America, take a look at the different boats you see. Depending on the region, there are some pretty cool boats that you may not see at home. All welded boats are big out west and are slowly starting to make their way east because, well, there’s no reason not to.
|Dry weight:||2,625 lbs||1,193 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||42 US gals||159 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Mercury Verado|