This is the only Jet-Zet that was ever made, it has handbuilt by a Finnish craftsman named Hannu Viren using mahogany, pine, and the drivetrain from a 1980s-era Kawasaki jet ski.
The boat is a true pocket rocket, measuring in at just 3.7 meters long and 1.25 meters wide (12.1 ft x 4.1 ft) it weighs just 250 kilograms (551 lbs), and it’s powered by a 50 hp Kawasaki jet ski engine capable of up to 35 knots.
Fast Facts – The Jet-Zet
- The Jet-Zet was built in 1995 by Hannu Viren, a craftsman and skilled woodworker who had acquired a working 1980s-era Kawasaki jet ski and decided to make something altogether unique with it.
- He built a small-scale wooden speed boat with seating for two, the inner structure is made from pine, with marine plywood to form the hull. The deck was then veneered featuring inlayed pine in contrast against the dark mahogany.
- All exterior facing surfaces on the boat were then finished with epoxy resin, five coats of two-component lacquer, and a final coat of lacquer applied in an automotive painting booth for further durability against the elements.
- With 50 hp and a weight of just 250 kilograms, the Jet-Zet can reach 35 knots with two people aboard, that works out to 65 km/h or 40 mph.
A Jet-Powered Speed Boat Pocket Rocket
Jet skis and mahogany-trimmed speed boats typically exist at opposite ends of the boating world.
Jet skis remain most popular with a younger demographic and classic handmade wooden runabouts tend to be popular with an older crowd who can afford them, and their oftentimes expensive upkeep.
A craftsman and woodworker from Finland named Hannu Viren decided to create a combination of these two watercraft when he acquired a working 1980s-era Kawasaki jet ski and had a little spare time on his hands.
He built the boat using modern wooden boat building techniques, including marine ply, pine, and mahogany with multiple outer layers of epoxy resin to ensure that water will never get close to touching the wood.
Inside the boat there’s no less attention to detail, the floors and side-panels are finished in mahogany and a dark green vinyl bench seat complements the deck’s finish. Viren also made the steering wheel, throttle grip, and window frames from metal, and there’s a single gauge on the dashboard to show engine RPM.
When asked in an interview whether he would ever build another Jet-Zet, Viren replied “I will not make another one, I don’t repeat it” – so it seems unlikely another will ever be made, making this boat entirely unique and no doubt quite a conversation piece down at the boat ramp.
Jet-Zet is now coming up for auction with RM Sotheby’s on the 14th of May in Monaco, it’s being offered with no reserve and you can click here to read more about it or register to bid.
Images: Jani Talja ©2022 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
Ben has had his work featured on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with millions of readers around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.