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Thread: boat advice for the new guy

  1. #1
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    Question boat advice for the new guy

    I moved to Fairbanks from the lower 48 last spring. I came up initially to take a year or two off between college and grad school to enjoy the Alaskan outdoors, but am quickly realizing that after finishing school I will return to Alaska.

    I have also realized that one of the essentials to enjoying this great state is a boat (or two or three). The problem is that I don't know much about the type of boats needed for use on the rivers here. I hope you all can help to point me in the right general direction. My ideal boat would be something small that I could carry on the top of my Blazer with the motor removed, but if the boat that suits my needs must by trailered, I can live with that.

    The primary use of the boat would be on Interior rivers for hunting float trips. It will need to be able to carry two men, their gear, and a moose. Blazing speed is not important, but it will need to move upstream at a reasonable rate. I am not after a big, console driven craft with a rocket engine, but rather something modest that will serve my purpose.

    Of secondary importance, I would also like to be able to duck hunt out of the same boat.

    What do you all feel would appropriate for me? I have consider both an inflatable raft and a small john boat, both with a jet prop, as I understand that is the only way to go for river use. I have also considered a canoe with a transom, but I have hunted ducks from a canoe before and prefer something with more stability. I am also concerned that a canoe would not be able to carry enough weight.

    Also, what size motor is necessary to move a small boat like this upstream with a jet prop? I have a significant amount of experience with many different types of boats on lakes, open ocean, and deep rivers, but almost none with jet props on shallow rivers.

    I thank you in advance for your help, and also for your patience with the new guy.

  2. #2

    Thumbs up Go with a Mokai

    I think the solution to your problem is the Mokai. It would work for most all the things you mentioned. Its stable, good on fuel, modestly priced and can fit on the roof of your Blazer.

    Two grown men in it… plus your stuff, that’d be a bit tight for my taste… Maybe convince your hunting partner to get one too.

    I’m sure you could pm alaskamoakiman for further information or go
    to: http://www.mokai.com

  3. #3
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Default Surface drive

    Look into a surface drive unit.

    Steve

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    Default

    Two men,at least one moose (maybe 2), hunting gear and fuel.
    Have any idea what all this weighs?
    Before you try to figure out what boat you may want you need to decide how much weight you want it carry and go from there. Small boats will not carry this much without bigger motors.
    Without knowing more I suggest you take a look at Yamaha's series of jonboats. I think they are called G-3's. Another option could be a Sea Ark.
    Good luck.
    Tennessee

  5. #5

    Default Boat

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    Two men,at least one moose (maybe 2), hunting gear and fuel.
    Have any idea what all this weighs?
    Before you try to figure out what boat you may want you need to decide how much weight you want it carry and go from there. Small boats will not carry this much without bigger motors.
    Without knowing more I suggest you take a look at Yamaha's series of jonboats. I think they are called G-3's. Another option could be a Sea Ark.
    Good luck.
    Snowwolfe is right. With that kind of weight you would be pushing it with anything less than an 1848. A smaller boat will run shallow with enough horsepower but don't come off the throttle when you start to hear rocks.
    Check out www.godevilalaska.com for an alternative. They go shallow, push a huge load with the right boat and get incredible fuel economy.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Thanks for the input.

    However, I still have a few questions. What is "enough power" and "bigger motors"? These things are relative, do you mean a 25hp or a 75hp? I realize it depends on the boat, but I am afraid I have no idea of the scale. I was thinking that something in the 25hp range would work for a small boat like I have in mind, does this sound reasonable?

    Also, is an 1848 18' length by 48" width?

    I am very familiar with go-devils from duck hunting down south. I always thought of them as strictly a mud motor, do they work well in rocks?

    I will look into the G-3s and the Sea Ark. Again, I thank you for all of your help and especially your patience.

  7. #7
    Member AKRoadkill's Avatar
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    Default

    For just fishing a40 hp with a jet on a 16 ft jon boat would work. If you're hauling any kind of camping gear, a couple guys and a moose, you'll want at least a 60 hp head and still be underpowered when you have a big load. I'd go with at least a 90/65Jet on at least an 1860 boat...with a tunnel hull, of course. Surface drive sounds like a good option, too, but I have no experience with them.

  8. #8
    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Default

    All the recent talk about surface drive motors has me confused. How can a 35hp surface drive compare to a 35hp outboard prop or a 50/35hp jet? I don't see that one is any different than the other as far as pushing a boat. The only difference is how shallow each will run right? I guess I just don't see a 35hp surface drive pushing much of a load (moose, camp, gear, people, etc) at least not very fast. Am I missing something here?

  9. #9
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    Default

    I did a lot of hunting and fishing with a 19 foot square stern Gruman canoe with a 15 horse Johnson and a jackass lift years ago. They will do a lot of the stuff you want and they are economical to operate.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AKBighorn View Post
    All the recent talk about surface drive motors has me confused. How can a 35hp surface drive compare to a 35hp outboard prop or a 50/35hp jet? I don't see that one is any different than the other as far as pushing a boat. The only difference is how shallow each will run right? I guess I just don't see a 35hp surface drive pushing much of a load (moose, camp, gear, people, etc) at least not very fast. Am I missing something here?
    All I can do is give you my experience and you decide if it is different.
    I have an 18' X 48" riveted Lowe jon boat. It has a 35 hp GoDevil surface drive for power. With 2 (big)people, 45 gallons of fuel, camp, gear and food for a week we went 50 miles up the Salcha for moose. We got our moose the 3rd day and came out the 4th. We ran approximately 140 miles, total, and had over 20 gallons left when we got to the landing. Our speed (GPS) was pretty consistantly 18-19 mph going up and 22-23 mph coming down. There are a lot of boats that are faster but if my boat is floating I can run at idle. Of course, if you hit rocks, gravel and logs The surface drive will kick up, but it kicks up much easier then my old Johnson and my Johnson doesn't have a lower unit made entirely of steel. Oh yeah, it ignores mud, weeds, and brush. I didn't have to file out any nicks in the prop and finished my fall, fishing silvers in the Clearwater and Pike on the Yukon. The fastest I've seen, with a very light load is a touch over 30 mph downstream in the Tanana.

  11. #11
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    Default

    That would be better than 7 mpg - I wish I could get 1/2 that mileage at today's gas prices.

  12. #12

    Default boat advice

    Quote Originally Posted by rambling raven View Post
    That would be better than 7 mpg - I wish I could get 1/2 that mileage at today's gas prices.
    That is exactly what I use to calculate fuel for a trip. I used to have a 25 hp longtail Godevil on the same boat and I would use 9 mpg for planning with that. The problem was it was slower, wouldn't carry as big a load and wasn't as easy to drive as the surface drive.

  13. #13

    Default Boat advice

    I just was shown a website that might give you some info to help in your decision. http://www.ankn.uaf.edu/publications/VS/design.html
    Good luck.

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