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Thread: Electric motor inflatable boat

  1. #1
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    Default Electric motor inflatable boat

    My wife and I are planning a 4 month trip to Alaska from Trinity, Texas. I am planning on purchasing a Sea Eagle SE8 inflatable boat and power it with a 40# thrust electric motor. I plan to use this on various lakes in Alaska and Canada, thinking this would be a great way to fish and see wildlife away from the campgrounds. I would like to hear from anyone that has done this and any complications they had. I am having a difficult time understanding Alaska and Canada laws on this type of motorcraft. Do I have to register this type and do I have to pay a boat launch fee if I do not use the boat launches. I can launch this boat almost anywhere I can walk to the water.

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    Since it sounds like you are going to be a nonresident just vacationing up here the boat would fall under the following exemption from the AK DMV website as long as you're in state for 90 days or less:
    Boats that are not principally used in Alaska. (Alaska residents such as military members or college student that live outside of the state cannot register their boats in Alaska. They must register them in the state where they are currently living or using the boat. This is required by federal law and there is no exemption for any group.)Exempt under State Law from Registration in Alaska:
    • A boat with a valid registration from another state or country that is not operated more than 90 consecutive days in Alaska.
    • A boat owned by the United States or an entity or political subdivision of the United States, or a boat owned by a state or an entity or political subdivision of a state.
      NOTE
      : Under FEDERAL law, recreational - type public vessels of the United States must be state registered. [3
      3 CFR Subpart B Sec. 172.11(b)]
    • Non-powered boats. (Effective 2/10/05: Sport Fishing Guides are required to register their non-powered boats.)

    • A documented boat. The documentation may be either from the U.S. or a foreign country.





    I haven't heard of any place around AK that would charge a launch fee if you didn't use the launch facilities. There may be some places that have fenced or reserved parking and parking there would be considered use of the facilities, however.

    Canada may be different, I don't have a clue. There are many other people on here who would know. Enjoy your trip!

  3. #3

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    Have you considered how you'll keep your electric motor powered in remote areas? And what you'll do when your charge runs low? There's a reason most folks up here use gas. And on many of our lakes, you'll need an extra margin of safety to get back in case the wind or weather suddenly kicks up. Make sure you carry what you'll need to survive, both on the water of course, but also on the shore in case you can't get back to your vehicle, it does happen!

    You'll have to register somewhere, whether it's Alaska or Texas, due to the motor. If you're coming for four months, that's more than 90 days, so you'll have to register in Alaska. You'll also have to carry required safety equipment, here's the most recent thread that discusses it: http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...and-Jim-Wilde-.... but if you search there are several older threads that discuss it in even more detail. Canada has its own laws on motorized craft and you'll have to follow those as well. Good luck!

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphina View Post
    You'll have to register somewhere, whether it's Alaska or Texas, due to the motor. If you're coming for four months, that's more than 90 days, so you'll have to register in Alaska.
    Sorry, I misspoke, as sibir said you'll probably have to register it in Texas to use it here, even if you're here over 90 days. http://doa.alaska.gov/dmv/reg/boat.htm

  5. #5

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    I think that bringing an inflatable boat and using an electric trolling motor sounds like a great idea. But with my not being familiar with that brand of boat, I'd be sure it's a quality boat because as you know ending up in the water in Canada or Alaska is lots different than ending up in the water in Texas.

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    I would use something like a 2hp gas motor. They will weigh less than an electric with batteries, and be more reliable and less complex since you don't have the charging issues. I have an electric on a skiff, but it is for drift fishing and is coupled to a main gas motor for charging. I would not want to use this as my only power source.
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    For the same money you could get yourself a Kevlar canoe. It'll be light enough to easily portage between lakes, and very easy to paddle. There are many lake systems that are great to explore, but you will be portaging between lakes. You're not going to portage that raft. Even if you didn't plan to portage between lakes, many lakes require some hiking from the trailhead to the lake.

    You'd really limit yourself on where you could go with a raft, and with the slightest headwind, they are a nightmare to row.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    I used that same set up except with a smaller electric motor for a number of years up here. My kids and I had lots of fun on the stocker lakes up in the valley and even here in Anchorage. Unless the regulations have changed, electrics are exempt from registration in Alaska.
    I will tell you to NOT even think about using that raft on rivers and use common sense on the trout lakes in regards to weather conditions. I am assuming you have thought out the recharging of your deep cycle battery....so I would say have some really good fair weather fun !

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    Default Fishing Alaska Lakes

    Thanks for the feedback. I have done a lot of thinking about fishing in Alaska with a Sea Eagle 8 inflatable boat. I will really be looking at the weather each day before I go out on any lakes. We mainly want to get away from the crowd and cruise the lake shorelines where we are camped looking for wildlife. I am trying to find information now on what lakes in Alaska would be best for remote wildlife viewing. We will also fish as we learn the techniques of fishing in Alaska lakes. I see a lot of tour companies have rent rafts for floating certain rivers in Alaska. I was thinking that if I could get someone to take us and our raft several miles up one of these rivers, we could spend the day floating a safe river looking for wildlife and fishing . My wife & I will purchase a one year out of state fishing license. I plan on having a 70 pound thrust electric motor on the boat and a spare 30 pound thrust electric motor. I will carry one deep cycle battery and a spare truck battery. I will have a Honda EU3000 generator for my camper and two battery charger stations set up in my truck camper shell. Anytime I am running the generator for the camper, I will also be charging the boat batteries. I would appreciate any information you might have on fishing Alaska lakes, which ones can get dangerous and which ones are best for wildlife viewing. My wife loves watching bears and we both love fishing. We will mostly catch and release.

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    Thanks for the reply, jrogers. The reason I chose electric is because I have been reading that a lot of lakes in Alaska do not allow gas motors on them. I will be using a 70# thrust electric motor and charging the batteries with my generator.

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    We are not youngsters so we will not be hiking to any lakes dragging a boat. I chose the Sea Eagle 8 because it only weighs 39 pounds folded up, has five different air chambers, can handle very rough water and is large enough for my wife & I, fishing gear, small ice chest, a large and small trolling motor and two batteries. We will only be going on lakes that we can drive up to, take out the raft, air it up and carry it a short distance to the water. I wish I were younger and could hike to the lakes you are taking about and fish.

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    I would be interested to know what trout lakes you would recommend for fishing. Also, I am do not know what kind of bait to use for lake fishing. I see a lot of talk about fish eggs, but would rather use artificial lures instead. I would like to cruise slowing with my trolling motor around the lakes I visit and troll a artificial lure and the same time look for wildlife. I don't know what kind of lures to use and how to fish them. Can I troll these lures or do I need to be bait casting like I do in Texas for bass? Would sure like some information on the best lakes in Alaska to do troll fishing. I am also in question on how heavy of fishing gear I would need. I have adequate gear for bass fishing in Texas which will handle a 10# bass, but don't know exactly how big a fish I may encounter in Alaska lakes. We mainly like to bait cast or troll, but that may not work in Alaska.

    I would appreciate any information you can give me. Would like to communicate with you by e-mail or even by phone. My e-mail is hstansel24@verizon.net

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    I'll kick off and recommend an easy one: Quartz Lake, near Delta Junction. It's not remote (by AK standards) and it's a well-known place; you certainly won't have the lake to yourself...but the trout fishing is great. Do you have a route planned while driving around the state? That might help folks suggest other lakes.

  14. #14

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    Just some clarification on the 90 days in AK for registration. From my research it is 90 days of use not days in AK. If some knows different let me know as I use a boat based on this information.

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    Rules for Lakes River Boats and motors


    http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/boating/...ctions2009.pdf

    And if it has a motor (even electric) it has to be registered
    From DMV
    What Must Be Registered:

    All powered boats (including non-powered boats with auxiliary power units) used on any water of the state. (This includes all rivers, streams, and lakes, regardless of size, and all salt water within 3 miles of land.)
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  16. #16

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    I should of clarified, if your boat is registered in another state then you aren't required to register your boat in AK unless your going to operate the boat in Ak for 90+ days in a given year.

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    Hello, jrogers. I have been researching trolling motors and just found out a 70 pound thrust trolling motor requires 24 volts which1 requires 2 batteries. I will not be going that route. I will be dropping down to a 50 pound thrust trolling motor which only requires one battery (12 volts). I will still carry an extra battery and 30 pound trolling motor for backup. The Sea Eagle 8 should handle this with 2 people and fishing gear without any problem. I will be very careful of the weather before I go out. I am still looking for information on good lakes in Alaska (road accesable) to fish artificial baits and also for wildlife viewing. Thank you for your reply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hstansel View Post
    . I am trying to find information now on what lakes in Alaska would be best for remote wildlife viewing. We will also fish as we learn the techniques of fishing in Alaska lakes. I see a lot of tour companies have rent rafts for floating certain rivers in Alaska. I was thinking that if I could get someone to take us and our raft several miles up one of these rivers, we could spend the day floating a safe river looking for wildlife and fishing . .
    The Sea Eagle is not a high quality raft. If you were just doing lakes, I think you'd be OK, but I would not think about taking this boat on a river. The companies that rent rafts are designed to take rock scrapes and some dragging. I checked into one of these (because they were cheap and lightweight) and after 1 use, I returned it because the seams leaked. Whatever you decide, definately try it out a few times before bringing it up
    "What is it about a beautiful sunny afternoon, with the birds singing and the wind rustling through the leaves, that makes you want to get drunk? --Jack Handy

  19. #19

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    My only concern is the construction material- vinyl. It will work fine, but it's REALLY easy to puncture while launching or landing. Any little sharp twig or beaver cut will do it. That's neither here nor there if you're prepared for it, which means carrying a good vinyl repair kit. We use the various Sevyor versions to float small rivers in our waders to fish scattered holes. Let the air out, roll them into a daypack and cross the oars over your pack for the hike back out. It cuts the walks in half while letting us reach holes lots of folks don't bother walking to. But we manage to hole them almost every time.

  20. #20
    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    I'm not saying this is the exact boat you should get http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-2011-Inf...item2c63a3eed8 but I would spend a little more and get something that is quality or you may quickly regret it. Being out on vacation is not the time to figure out that you bought a poor quality craft.

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