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Thread: Hudson Bay vs Small Jet Boat

  1. #1

    Default Hudson Bay vs Small Jet Boat

    One day, Iíd like to downsize to a smaller boat. The discussions here about canoes and surface drives seem very promising.

    Hereís the application:

    Operate in a silty, braided river with current speed averaging 5 but sometimes 10 mph. There are plenty of gravel bars, sweepers, shallow sections, and occasional rocks. Average trip length is 20 miles. I would usually operate single-handed, but occasionally with two other people and light camping and fishing gear.

    Iím wondering what all of you would think about a Hudson Bay vs a small jet boat probably with remote steering.

    Scott Hudson Bay canoe (250 lbs.) + Mud Buddy Mini 23 (165 lbs.) = 415 lbs. total
    1552 aluminum skiff (345 lbs.) + Yamaha 40/30 jet (227 lbs.) = 572 lbs. total

    Which has the advantage single-handed (especially avoiding getting stuck or getting unstuck)?

    Which has the overall safest design for the river described (skiff has 20" side and transom height)?

    Which can get on step in the shallowest water?

    Which can run the shallowest over a gravel and sand bottom?

    Which would cruise faster at 3/4 throttle? WOT?

    Which would step the heaviest load?

    Any other considerations between the HB canoe and the skiff?

  2. #2


    All I can hear are crickets chirping.

    .....Yes, just crickets.....

    Okay, Iíll try this another way:

    Your uncle from outside wants to come to visit his south central river cabin for three weeks every summer. When he used to live here full time, he got to the cabin in an old jet boat he used to have.

    Anyway, he knows you really like freighter canoes. All he knows is jet boats. But, heís read about these freighter canoes by Scott called the Albany and the Hudson Bay and is really interested. Heís read that canoes are very fuel efficient, and likes the idea of a surface drive, but wonders about these other considerations.

    So he gives you a list of things that are important to him (see original post) and offers this deal:

    If youíll figure out which would be better, the described canoe or the described skiff, heíll buy it. If you get it rigged and maintain it, you can use it whenever he is not in Alaska. You usually run the same river that he will.

    So, which will be most suitable for you and your uncle, the canoe or the skiff, and why?

    Any experiences, opinions, exaggerations, rumors or tall tales would be gratefully received!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Default Watch out for a jet on a freighter

    I would have thought that a jet on a freighter was a good idea, but a fellow forum member here, a guy that knows 10 times more about freighters on skinny waters than anyone else on here ever knew posted here that he took the plunge, and was very unhappy about it, and was going to sell the jet (and not the freighter).

    I'm going strictly from memory, but I believe it was a 20HP jet on a Scott HB.

    Go SD and don't look back; that's my advice.

    Second place goes to a lifted OB.
    Last edited by FamilyMan; 04-15-2012 at 01:05. Reason: P.S. Tell my uncle to leave the keys to the freighter right here for me; I'll take good care of it and his cabin while he's gone. ;-)

  4. #4


    Keep in mind the material of the boat. Personally, if I knew I was going to be mostly running rivers with rocks/gravel, I would not go with a "plastic" boat material. Grumman freighters are good for gravel, but it looks like the HB's might be a little less durable when frequently hitting rocks. I can't say for sure, just what I would think from a distance. I would probably lean more towards the skiff out of your two options just based on the duarbility of the boat itself. If it were more lake or slower river, the HB would be my choice.

  5. #5


    If you add big lakes and interior rivers in the mix then the big freighter canoe is going to be safer in big waves and following seas.

    Plus carrying capacity have to have a lot of HP to keep most boats on step with a big load, economy and long distance and load capacity
    is where the big freighter shines.

    I wanted a boat to safely run Skilak & Tustemena LKs that was light enough to take out of the LK when when it kicked up, that is doable with the Freighter.

  6. #6
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Delta Junction


    In a work boat, fiberglass is better for two reasons: it doesn't stick to rocks like aluminum, and it's easily repaired. Have you ever tried to pull a loaded aluminum boat off shallows? I have, and I can see why some guys have winches installed on their boats. Some of us do nothing but hit gravel and rocks all season long in fiberglass and plastic canoes. The guys with plastic canoes.......simply wear them out over a given time period and they don't stick to rocks, so they're easy to drag. A little gel coat in the really thick gouges......good to go for many years.

    The guys with fiberglass canoes, bash into all sorts of stuff, and simply do maintenance whenever they feel like it. You can't do this with aluminum. I'd prefer fiberglass freighters over aluminum any day of the week on shallow rivers, especially if I lived in a remote location with nobody around to do real aluminum repair. Some epoxy filler in the gouges, and some gel coat.....every year, or whenever you feel like it. You could run a fiberglass canoe in shallows for many, many years with very little maintenance. My solution, was replaceable UHMW runners, but I can't figure out how to wear them out because they're so thick.

    One thing you can do in a freighter canoe is GO SLOW when you encounter abusive shallow sections. Your motor and boat doesn't have to hit things at a high speed like a planing hull. We can steer our boats and manuever around shallows at any speed we want with even the largest load.

    Fiberglass and readily available UHMW is my top choice for serious work on class l-class lll shallow rivers and creeks. Every Alaskan can get his hands on fiberglass cloth, epoxy resin, and UHMW. If you wanted it to look purdy.......gel coat is pretty easy to get too. 3 hours of cure time is all it're back on the water after a catastrophic event.

    Kind of hard to come to the canoe forum to find a recommendation for a jet boat. What you'll there is no comparison among the freighter canoeists.......too stuck in our ways.


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