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Thread: River Boat Questions/Reccomendations

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    Member cube01's Avatar
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    Default River Boat Questions/Reccomendations

    Hello all,
    I'm in the market for my first boat - I'll be using it for running some of the valley rivers, running over too the Deshka, as well as up the Talkeetna river. It will be used for transporting me and a couple guys and some light gear - no moose.
    The problem is I know little about boats, and through all my googling still haven't come up with solid answers to my two most basic questions:

    Prop or jet?
    Size of engine?

    I'm sure I'll get about as many opinions as the 'what fly rod to use' question gets, but what are the pros/cons of prop vs Jet for what I want to do? As well as engine size?

    I'm thinking something along the lines of a 16ft flat bottom river boat, with a 50 hp two-stroke outboard... Sound about right? (I'm looking strictly at used/older options to keep the price down.)

    Thanks for any advice anyone can give!
    "If our father had his say, nobody who did not know how to catch a fish would be allowed to disgrace a fish by catching him." -A River Runs Through It

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    Your on the right track with a flatbottom, but if you spend a little extra for the four stroke you will save on gas and injection oil in the long run. Without a doubt get a jet! Good Luck!

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    Member cube01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexander View Post
    Your on the right track with a flatbottom, but if you spend a little extra for the four stroke you will save on gas and injection oil in the long run. Without a doubt get a jet! Good Luck!
    That is understandable...
    What about HP (Both two and four stroke)? I don't have any experience in that area - what does everyone around here use for the valley?
    "If our father had his say, nobody who did not know how to catch a fish would be allowed to disgrace a fish by catching him." -A River Runs Through It

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    Member skybust's Avatar
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    Jet for sure. Flat bottom I think is a good choice for the boat, HP just depends running a 50 hourse with a jet you wont be setting any speed records for sure but should do good on fuel unless you have alot of weight. I would go with more HP. Hope this helps Chris

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    Member cube01's Avatar
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    Also, what about length? I have been thinking 16 ft, but is 22 a better choice? Or too long?
    "If our father had his say, nobody who did not know how to catch a fish would be allowed to disgrace a fish by catching him." -A River Runs Through It

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    Member skybust's Avatar
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    I would go with the 16 with the horse power your talking about a 22 would be awful slow. If you can get a wider flat bottom that would be even better dont know if you ever check out what Gary at Greatland welding builds but they are nice and wide and can go shallow with alot of weight and less HP. I think Garys boat are more than you are looking at spending but just go look at one and you will see what Im talking about. Chris

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    One advantage you might want to consider is that if you stuck with 50hp 4 cycle, you would be legal to make the occasional Kenai trip if you want too. Might consider a 18 x 52" boat, the extra room is always nice, and still not too much for a 50 if not overloaded. Bud
    Wasilla

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    Member cube01's Avatar
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    Good information... Thanks guys.
    "If our father had his say, nobody who did not know how to catch a fish would be allowed to disgrace a fish by catching him." -A River Runs Through It

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    Quote Originally Posted by akblackdawg View Post
    One advantage you might want to consider is that if you stuck with 50hp 4 cycle, you would be legal to make the occasional Kenai trip if you want too. Might consider a 18 x 52" boat, the extra room is always nice, and still not too much for a 50 if not overloaded. Bud
    I agree with an 18 ft. I have several 16 foot 5 inch tunnels, one with a new 40 four stroke. 18 ft would be better. I also have a 22 ft. Lowe for frieghting that has two 40 hp props on it and boy can it scoot! Check Deweys for the Yamaha four stroke, their prices are the lowest. I checked AMD and Anchorage Yamaha and they wanted over $8,000.00 for their 40 hp fourstrokes with a jet. I got one at Deweys with controls for $6,200.00.

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    Member cube01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexander View Post
    I agree with an 18 ft. I have several 16 foot 5 inch tunnels, one with a new 40 four stroke. 18 ft would be better. I also have a 22 ft. Lowe for frieghting that has two 40 hp props on it and boy can it scoot! Check Deweys for the Yamaha four stroke, their prices are the lowest. I checked AMD and Anchorage Yamaha and they wanted over $8,000.00 for their 40 hp fourstrokes with a jet. I got one at Deweys with controls for $6,200.00.
    All things being equal, what are the pros/cons of a longer/shorter boat... I assume handling, but have no experience to back that up.
    "If our father had his say, nobody who did not know how to catch a fish would be allowed to disgrace a fish by catching him." -A River Runs Through It

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    the basic pro for a longer boat is bigger, heavier payload

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    Quote Originally Posted by cube01 View Post
    All things being equal, what are the pros/cons of a longer/shorter boat... I assume handling, but have no experience to back that up.
    If you want to haul more people or more weight, longer does it better. With more bottom area the boat will float in less water, be more stable and plane ezer. The bottom area is like wing on a airplane more area gets on step at a slower speed and less distance [ slower stall speed]. With that said if your normal load is a couple of guys going fishing a 16 ft with a 50 would work great. Glen

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    Member pacific23's Avatar
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    Glen, can you post a picture of one of your boats that fits what he is looking for ?

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    How bout that new 17ft Alaskan XL. I see they have the first one done. Here is a pic of one on thier page.
    http://www.wooldridgeboats.com/blog/...round-the-shop
    I bet you could find some good used 17 Alaskans come spring.

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    Before you decide anything you need to establish a budget. Buying used can easily save you 35-50%.

    How much were you planning to spend?

    A 50 hp with a jet on it means about 35 actual hp to use. Two or three guys on day fishing trips are doable but anymore weight than 3 of your typical Alaskans and the excess gear we tend to carry will be making you second guess the decision to stay with a 50 hp outboard jet motor.

    Light and small is a great combination, provided you have the restraint to keep it light and small.

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    Member cube01's Avatar
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    Great question...
    I'm looking to spend between $2,500 and $5,000.
    Ideally it will have a steering wheel and windshield, and have the ability to attach a canopy to it.

    I really won't ever be hauling more than a couple guys, and our light tackle.

    Hopefully that is reasonable within my budget

    Thanks again for the input!
    "If our father had his say, nobody who did not know how to catch a fish would be allowed to disgrace a fish by catching him." -A River Runs Through It

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by cube01 View Post
    Great question...
    I'm looking to spend between $2,500 and $5,000.
    Ideally it will have a steering wheel and windshield, and have the ability to attach a canopy to it.

    I really won't ever be hauling more than a couple guys, and our light tackle.

    Hopefully that is reasonable within my budget

    Thanks again for the input!
    Although it's not in the budget you've stated the 17'6" North River Revenge sounds like something your looking for. Check out:
    http://northriverboats.com/boatmodels/revenge.

    This boat with an Ez-loader and 60hp Honda runs only $9870.

    Good luck in your search!

  18. #18

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    This boat with an Ez-loader and 60hp Honda runs only $9870.
    Should have typed with motor options up to 60hp. Price doesn't include the motor. Sorry for the confusion.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by pacific23 View Post
    Glen, can you post a picture of one of your boats that fits what he is looking for ?
    It's a good idea to buy an older used boat for your first boat to get experience. If you find a good buy and it still looks and runs good in a year or two you should get most of your money back.
    At that time if you are like many, you will want a little bigger boat with a semi-v, maybe a windshield and top.
    We have many customers that are first time buyers, but the easiest customers to show why certain features are desirable are ones with boating experience.
    To repeat myself, buying an older used boat in good condition is a great way to start. When you are ready for the next step I would love to share some thoughts. Glen

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    I followed exactly what Glen recommends and feel it is the smart way to go. I bought a 93 model Wooldridge AK with a 2001 merc on it and it has faithfully taken us to the fishing holes. The best part of the Wooldridge is that Glen and company have treated me and my questions as if I bought it brand new. Eventually my 3 boys will get big enough that the 17.5' boat won't fit us and I will start talking to Glen about building something a bit bigger. At that time I will have the experience to keep it off the rocks and know exactly what we like to do. That will make it easy to build what we know we want.

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