Williams Minijet 280

Jet power to the people.

by Gary Reich
There are many advantages to jet power on a boat: The lack of a dangerous propeller makes watersports and other waterborne activities safer; jets provide swift acceleration and like-it’s-on-rails cornering performance; and jet-powered boats often draw much less water, which makes them perfect for adventuring into skinny water, creeks and coves.


  • LOA: 9'2"
  • Beam: 5'1"
  • Draft: 1'
  • Weight: 465 lbs.
  • Fuel Capacity: 7.4 lbs.
  • Water Capacity:
  • Power: 45-hp BRP Rotax Ace 900
  • Price: Contact dealer


But until recently you didn’t see jet technology integrated into smaller boats like dinghies and tenders. That was until Williams Jet Tenders hit the scene.

We got a look at the company’s Minijet 280 model. The smallest model in Williams’ lineup — at 9 feet, 2 inches overall — was designed to bring affordability to the lineup and to compete with tenders typically equipped with outboard power. Though the 280 doesn’t have the high-octane performance that Williams’ larger jet tenders do, the 45-hp Rotax three-cylinder engine is no slouch and is able to propel the 280 up to a top speed of 36 mph. Getting there is fun, too, with an amazing power curve that literally plants you back in your seat. Three people and a driver can go for a ride, or you can pare it down to a driver only and pull a 160-pound waterskier across the water.  

The Minijet 280 is built on a rigid fiberglass hull with large-diameter wraparound sponsons that provide excellent stability, whether you load up with provisions or take the crew out for dinner. The 280’s 465-pound weight does mean you’ll need to have a retrieval system on-board, but most folks who buy this type of tender will already have such equipment installed. Inside, the driver sits straddled on a saddle-type seat behind the helm while passengers can make themselves comfortable on the cushy sponsons.

Ron Silvia, vice president of sales for Jefferson Beach Yacht Sales, summarizes: “For the past decade Williams Jet Tenders has been the leading manufacturer of jet tenders worldwide. In an effort to make jet tenders more affordable and competitive with outboard tenders, the Minijet 280 was developed. Boaters can now enjoy all the advantages of a jet tender (sleek, fast, safe and watersports oriented) for the same price as a competing outboard tender.”

Jefferson Beach
Yacht Sales

Six Great Lakes locations, including service to Ontario, Canada



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