Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Wooldridge boats suggestions?

  1. #1
    Member Armed_alaskan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Palmer, Alaska
    Posts
    281

    Post Wooldridge boats suggestions?

    I'm in the market for a boat and just started to search and ask questions about wooldridge type boats. I've seen the web site and like the Alaskan II, 20'. Would that size work well in the Little su, deshka etc..? Do they make one thats 72" wide or longer than 20 foot? Should the boat be shorter to work better in the Alaskan rivers? I will use the boat to haul around 2-3 adults and gear with an unknown size motor. May use it for hunting in the future.

    Any advice on motor size to fit a 20"-23" foot 68"-72" boat size?

  2. #2
    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    1,244

    Default

    IMHO no 20' riverboat belongs in the Little Susitna. It is the crookedest river I have ever been on. Boats of that size create a hazard when meeting other boats on some of the 90 degree turns. I have witnessed boats beaching or ramming the shorelines trying to avoid one another. It is not a place for speed for sure. Having said this it sure would be a blast to run it in my boat but I like to think I have a little more respect for the river and my fellow fishermen.

    As far as the remainder of the Susitna River drainage, that boat will take you alot of places and you will enjoy it although I'm not a Wooldridge fan. Get as much HP as you can afford it will be cheaper in the long run.

  3. #3
    Member Armed_alaskan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Palmer, Alaska
    Posts
    281

    Default

    IMHO no 20' riverboat belongs in the Little Susitna
    .

    I've only been on the Little su once and that was with a local guide service and he was running a 24 foot open tiller type boat. We went up river and I didn't see a problem with the hazards you're talking about, Maybe down stream?

    Any suggestions on boat types and motor types? you didn't say what size of boat you're using?

    Just looking for information and points of view on wooldridge and other similar boats.

    Your personal view on yours driving habits in the little su or that of others is fine, but it doesn't help me at the moment.

    Comments about your political views dealing with river, boat, enviromental, wake size etc... can be posted on the forums asking about those topics.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    chugiak, ak
    Posts
    630

    Default i bought a 20' sport because it is wider

    I was also looking for a boat and got a 20' wooldridge sport because it is wider, and has slightly higher sides. I have asked ALOT of people which boat they would prefer wooldrigde or something else, and all the wooldridge owners said they would buy another one, and non-wooldridge owners said they wish they had bought a wooldridge. Horsepower, do you ever have enough??? If your going to put a jet on it as i suspect you will, don't forget you lose 30% of the rated horsepower because of the jet. So Get as much as you can afford or the boat can safely hold. Mine came with a 150hp merc, I wish it had a 200hp. This is all outboard talk, when you go to inboards that a whole new ball game of which I have not researched much yet. good luck with your search. There is a guy on here"sport drifter" who is very knowlegable with wooldridge, he may chime in here sometime, he has an inboard, so that would help if you had any questions about that. also do a search on wooldridge, there is tons of info on here about them.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    3,568

    Default

    You can have the Alaskan II stretched out to 23 feet if you like. All it takes is a call to Wooldridge and some finger work to write a bigger check!
    If you want a compromise boat that you may use occassionly in the salt then the Sport Drifter if probably a better choice.
    If you want a boat just for river use then the Alaskan most likely wins hands down. I talked to many owners before ordering my 23 footer (due to be built this July) and the Alaskan is highly praised for its ability to travel shallow water and to turn sharply without sliding. One look at the bottom of the boat will give you an indication as to why. It does have a thinner bottom metal but I do not think this is as a big of deal as some people would have you believe. The construction of the hull is more important than what covers it. I talked to a lot of guys who use the Alaskan II for running rocky river's in the lower 48. Glen, the owner of Wooldridge offers a lifetime hull warranty to the original owner. As another poster mentioned, Sport Drifter is a wealth of information on Wooldridge boats and he helped me in my purchase as well.
    Unfortunately Wooldridge increased there prices 4% effective 15 Feb so now they cost more than what they did at the boat show.
    If you get the 20 or 23 footer you would most likely want a 200 or 225 hp outboard with a jet. Without going into all the specifics on a package like this you are looking at spending in the low $45's to get the boat,motor, trailer combo. I am having mine built with the purpose of readding the prop lower unit back on for running up the Yukon and Koyukuk for moose. There is a fair amount of information on this forum about the Alaskan so a search would give some more reading.
    Good luck and drop me a line if I can be of any more assistance.
    Tennessee

  6. #6
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    SE Alaska-Summer Columbia River-Winter
    Posts
    2,007

    Default

    I have a 1993 Wooldridge 20' Xtra plus. Itís now paid for. It came with a 200HP Evinrude with a jet. A few years ago, I invested in a 2005 250HP Evinrude and stuck the new power jet on it. It actually gets better fuel economy than to old carb 200HP.

    I will tell you Glen sticks by his products and has reimburse me for things like the hinges on the window breaking, Bracket on the gas tank cracking and stuff like that.


    Good luck!

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
    1988 M/Y Camargue YachtFisher
    MMSI# 338131469
    Blog: http://alaskanseaduction.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Beaver Creek
    Posts
    2,267

    Default

    I have a 2006 Alaskan with a 115 Suzuki. Hauls 4 people fine if you keep other weight down. Runs shallow well. Rattles teeth on rough lakes. 38 MPH GPS. My buying experience/service after the fact was less than acceptable.

    I only ran the little Su 3X last year. No problems going downstream all the way to the mud flats. The only thing worthy of note is that I wish that the boat would maintain on step at a slower speed. I believe that it would sacrifice handling to do so though.

    With fuel prices, I believe an outboard is going to be much cheaper to run.

    Get a dark top - it heats up nicely. If you get an inboard you can get a heater.

    Look at all the accessories before you buy. Look at a swim step for getting in/out. Suspension seat at least for the driver. Wipers on both windshields.
    Headlights.

    I believe that the 2006 Alaskan is 7" wider than the 2005 to accomodate the 4 stroke motor weight.

  8. #8
    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    1,244

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Armed_alaskan View Post
    .

    I've only been on the Little su once and that was with a local guide service and he was running a 24 foot open tiller type boat. We went up river and I didn't see a problem with the hazards you're talking about, Maybe down stream?

    Any suggestions on boat types and motor types? you didn't say what size of boat you're using?

    Just looking for information and points of view on wooldridge and other similar boats.

    Your personal view on yours driving habits in the little su or that of others is fine, but it doesn't help me at the moment.

    Comments about your political views dealing with river, boat, enviromental, wake size etc... can be posted on the forums asking about those topics.
    My boat is my avatar. It is a 19' Thunderjet w/175hp Sportjet. I suppose maybe I didn't think about how flat the bottom is on the Wooldridge your looking at. A flat bottom boat such as the guide boat you road in requires much less speed to remain on step than mine. That was my oversight. Nope I've never been upstream but from what I have heard it is no different than the lower portion.
    You asked for an opinion, that's what you got. My apology if it didn't answer your question but you should still consider the river and the results of how you use it. I was simply providing food for thought, guess I won't do that again.

  9. #9
    Member Armed_alaskan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Palmer, Alaska
    Posts
    281

    Default

    I appreciate all the different inputs on boats and motors. I have a lot of different boats to research and nothing beats personal experience.

    Iíve looked online at different flat bottom type boats, been to a few places in the Anchorage area and even got the idea to look at the Alaskan II from a final table of Poker. As a matter of fact I believe it was snowwolfe that mentioned a 23 footer being built to hunt off the Yukon river during that MWR game.


    AKBighorn, as for providing food for thought, I accept your apology.
    I will consider the use of every river, and safety as an ongoing process, just as if driving my car or truck on the road.

    Thanks for all the great ideas.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    3,568

    Default

    "looked online at different flat bottom type boats, been to a few places in the Anchorage area and even got the idea to look at the Alaskan II from a final table of Poker. As a matter of fact I believe it was snowwolfe that mentioned a 23 footer being built to hunt off the Yukon river during that MWR game".

    Yup, that be me!
    Tennessee

  11. #11
    Member Armed_alaskan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Palmer, Alaska
    Posts
    281

    Default

    Thanks Randy,
    I figured it was you, small world huh.

    I would like to know if the boat you're ordering is 68" wide? Since you are having one built and its a 23 footer, will the width be strethched to 72"? or maybe you already post what type of opinions you're getting?

    I did a search looking for other posts about wooldridge and found posts on head lights or light bars etc..and have found comments on other web site saying wider is better, but is it really? comments.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    3,568

    Default

    As far as I know the boat will stay at 68 inches wide.

    Options I ordered for my boat include:
    Pair of suspension seats for driver and passenger
    Swim step (helps to stand on this while cleaning out the jet)
    Bow rails (good for securing items in the bow)
    Headlights mounted in the bow
    Extra cleats
    Tilt steering
    No feedback steering
    Second windshield wiper for the port window
    Transducer bracket
    Trailer Guide on's and slick bunks along with a spare tire.

    After talking to some others who have similar Wooldridge boats I deleted the seats and storage boxes that would go behind the suspension seats. I also remembered in my previous river boat what a pain the big boxes became because once they were filled up you had to rummage through everything to find what you wanted. In there place I plan on adding two smaller seats mounted on locking swivels on 18-22 inch storage boxes once the boat is finished. Having swivel seats in the rear will allow any passengers to look anywhere they want while we are traveling. Plus they can be rotated back towards the motor so I can sit my lazy butt down while fishing
    I plan on having Buster's in Anchorage built a canvas top of the boat. His work is first rate and he will make any height you want so you can stand up while underneath it.
    Presently my first choice for a motor is the Yamaha V Max 225 with the high volume pump on it. I still have a year to decide on the motor so that could change.
    The dealer in Washington has done an outstanding job of answering all my questions even after I changed the boat order about 5 times once it was placed initially.

    Is wider better? I guess that depends on how long the boat is. I am guessing I will have the same size square footage of storage space as a 21 foot Sport Drifter with it's 84 inch wide bottom. But seeing the Alaskan is flatter it should still float higher and stay on step easier at slower speeds. My main concern is how this boat will perform in a river while carrying a nice load. I have no desire to run rapids and see how many rocks I can bang off of. We just want to get into far away places and carry all the gear to have a good time. When I changed the boat to the 23 foot model the extra 2.5 feet gave me the ability to carry 170 gallons of fuel on deck while still keeping the same amount of room that the 20 footer originally gave us.
    All it takes is a fatter check and a bigger motor, lol. I'll be at the MWR poker game if you have any more questions.
    Last edited by Snowwolfe; 04-04-2007 at 11:17.
    Tennessee

  13. #13

    Default Wooldridge boats

    Hard to beat the Alaskan II, they are very popular here as well as in Fairbanks. They can only build them 68 wide the bottom and sides are one piece formed with the bottom corragations (ribs) in them. The boat is two pieces seamed down the middle. The 20 should work fine with a 150-200 hp engine. With the power jet, they will haul a much larger load and get on step quicker but are 2 mph slower on top end.

    I have a friend that just ran his new 20 AK with an Etec 200 small block with the standard jet on it yesterday, this engine will not handle the power jet the big block 225 will. I will try and post some pics.

  14. #14
    Member Armed_alaskan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Palmer, Alaska
    Posts
    281

    Default

    Nice list of Options Snowwolfe,
    I don't know much about boats so getting things like extra cleats, Transducer bracket, trailer Guide on's and slick bunks, I have no clue what all that stuff is or what help it will be for a boat owner, care to enlighten me.
    Thanks

  15. #15
    Member Armed_alaskan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Palmer, Alaska
    Posts
    281

    Default

    Originally Posted by: sport drifter
    I have a friend that just ran his new 20 AK with an Etec 200 small block with the standard jet on it yesterday, this engine will not handle the power jet the big block 225 will.
    Etec 200 is this an outboard? or and inboard you're talking about?

    I have no idea what the differance is between the standard jet and power jet.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    3,568

    Default

    Etec 200 is an outboard motor.
    You tie a rope to a cleat and then tie the boat up to the dock. To a lesser extent, you can also use the cleats to help secure items inside the boat.
    Slick bunks are pieces of slippery plastic that the hull of the boat can glide over as you are trying to put it back on the trailer. Trailer guide on's help you get the boat back on the trailer in the correct position.
    The transducer bracket is simply a small piece of metal welded to the back of the boat where you mount the transducer. The transducer is the part of your depth finder that will send the signals to the bottom of the water to determine its depth.
    Tennessee

  17. #17
    Member Armed_alaskan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Palmer, Alaska
    Posts
    281

    Default

    After reading your reply, I have to say I feel pretty dumb about the cleats, the other stuff are great ideas, you must be a current boat owner or at the very least been around boats.
    Tony

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •