Water Racer: Hydro Jet aims to debut in Destin
Bobbing in the water between the fishing boats, a neon green speed-boat, the Hydro Jet, sticks out along the Destin harbor.
“Every kid who walks by here wants to ride on it,” said owner/operator Jordan Bonner.
Dubbing the craft, “The world’s largest sea-doo,” Bonner has just completed his father, Mike Bonner’s uniquely designed boat and is getting ready to launch tours along the Gulf Coast.
Mike Bonner passed away last April, before the boat was completed, so Jordan carried on the project in his father’s place.
“It was totally his design,” Bonner told The Log. “He’d been wanting to build it for at least a dozen years. I got left with it, and the new Sea Blaster, and I completed both,” he said.
The Hydro Jet is the first of its kind, as it uses a 500-horse-power John Deere motor and a six blade propeller. The boat can reach 35 mph at full occupancy, and can operate in shallow areas.
“It’s gonna be a beach loader,” Bonner explained. “It can go right into shallow waters like crab island.”
Another unique feature on the boat is the seating. All 37 seats are styled after a jet ski, with a saddle-style curve and handle bars.
“This is the prototype, hopefully there will be more,” Bonner said. “I’ll probably change the next one at least 15 percent to evolve the boat.”
Bonnor said he hopes to soon have six Hydro Jets running in the Destin area, with plans to expand the company from Panama City to Biloxi in the future.
“Hopefully we’ll have a fleet of them along the coast, and eventually sell them nationwide,” he said.
Bonner told The Log that the Hydro Jet will be a family-friendly non-alcoholic tour with himself as captain for the initial year.
“I’m gonna run it this year myself, with one-hour long tours,” he said.
Currently awaiting approval from the Coast Guard, Bonner hopes to get tours running before the spring break season is over.