Best Value light barsRewards Program LED Light Bar Free Shipping Free Shipping Lifetime Warranty on LED Light Bars Lifetime Warranty
Extreme LED Rewards Program
You have no items in your shopping cart.
Back to All Blog Posts

Built to Perfection: River Raptor Jet Boats build high performance jet boats for fishing and water rescue

River Raptor Jet Boats on designing the best river jet boat, building search & rescue boats, and exceeding customer expectations

River Raptor Jet Boat with Extreme LED light bar


In this blog, we had the opportunity to connect with Jeff Kanagy, Co-Owner of River Raptor Jet Boats, to learn more about the company.  For the last couple of years, River Raptor Jet Boats has been using Extreme LED light bars in their builds. We are always thrilled to hear that our products are trusted by such an innovative and reputable company. 

River Raptor Jet Boats specializes in designing, manufacturing, and selling high-performance jet boats. These boats are shallow water, high performance aluminum boats used for a variety of purposes, including fishing, trapping, hunting, river rescue, high water rescue, and law enforcement. These boats are manufactured with durability, speed, and versatility in mind, all crucial to perform in various emergency situations. The company’s jet boats have a reputation for longevity, agility, and ability to operate in challenging water conditions where traditional propeller-driven boats may struggle. River Raptor Jet Boats emphasizes quality craftsmanship, innovative design, and reliable performance in their product offerings.

Read below to learn about how a passion for fishing and finding the right fishing boat led to the creation of this amazing company.  

Extreme LED Q&A with Jeff Kanagy of River Raptor Jet Boats


Q: What is your background and what led you to develop River Raptor Jet Boats?

A: I have degrees in Chemistry & Geology but worked for years in the shipping industry. My business partner, Rob Plank, has degrees in Physics & Mechanical Engineering and formerly worked in the agricultural machinery industry. We were roommates in college and have been fishing buddies ever since. Around 15 years ago, I was looking to buy a jet boat for fishing shallow rivers, so Rob and I visited our local boat dealers to see what was available. To make a longer story shorter…in doing the research for my potential boat purchase, we concluded that there was room for improvement in the shallow water jet boat market. We started thinking about how we would design a boat and looking at potential propulsion systems. Once we had a design, we couldn’t help but build it. That first boat worked well…but we saw so much potential in it that we kept refining the design. Others saw how well these boats performed and asked if we would build boats for them. The result of this continuing refinement process fueled by the desire to build the highest quality boats possible has resulted in the world-class jet boats you see us build today.

River Raptor Jet Boat with Extreme LED light bar

Q: How did River Raptor Jet Boats get into building search & rescue jet boats?

A: The search & rescue industry found us…we were approached by a fire company that recognized the quality and shallow water capability of our boats and they asked if we would build them a boat for shallow water rescue operations. We were happy to work with them and soon realized that, to our knowledge, no one was building heavy-duty, shallow water capable aluminum boats that were purposefully engineered for what first responders do. When we started designing watercraft for this purpose, the market segment really opened and now it’s a huge part of our business.

River Raptor Jet Boats and Extreme LED Marine Lights

Q: What are the key differences between building a recreational jet boat and building a search & rescue/commercial jet boat?

A: We build both 100% aluminum boats and rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) that have aluminum bottoms and inflatable urethane collars for sides. The basic hull shapes and propulsion systems are similar for both our hard-sided recreational and commercial boats. The differences occur in the engineered features of the boats that are purposefully designed for how the boats will be used. Search and rescue boats are built with their own internal layout, typically a walk around center console. They are also designed with different features such as davit crane receptacles, tow tower receptacles, tiedown tracks and pods, recessed boarding ladders, extra grab handles and T-tops. They are also typically highly accessorized with search lighting (spot), scene lighting (flood), warning lighting, sirens, imaging, and communications. Recreational boats have different internal layouts, typically raised fishing decks or open hulls for cargo. They are also accessorized differently with items such as recessed bow trolling motor foot control trays, recessed retractable rod straps, trolling motors, and shallow water anchors. They do have another thing in common…everyone loves the bow recessed light bars!!


Search and Rescue Jet Boat for Law Enforcement with Extreme LED Lightbar

Q: You install Extreme LED Lights on your boats. Why do you install LED lights on your boats? What are the benefits?

A: We install LED lighting on our watercraft for multiple reasons:

  • They are energy efficient.
  • They handle high-vibration environments well.
  • They have a long service life.
  • They don’t get hot.

We choose Extreme LED because:

River Raptor Jet Boat with Extreme LED light bars

Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job?

A: There are many rewarding parts of my job. I love it when I know we’ve exceeded a customer’s expectations on both how good the boat looks and how well it performs (I get a lot of hugs from customers). It’s also rewarding knowing we’re giving boaters access to waterways they couldn’t run in previous boats. But the most rewarding thing is knowing we’re providing a better, safer tool to serve the first responders that selflessly serve their communities


Thanks, Jeff! The way you, Rob, and the River Raptor Jet Boat team relentlessly pursue creating world class jet boats is inspiring.  And the quality craftsmanship you deliver is truly impressive!

Write a Comment Close Comment Form