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Thread: Prop on the Chitna?

  1. #1
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    Default Prop on the Chitna?

    Is a 18 ft flatbottom with 50 horse prop outboard okay for Chitna dipnetting, or is a jet boat the weapon of choice?

  2. #2
    Member KelvinG's Avatar
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    I've never had a prop on the Chitna, only jets. Most the places I've stuck in a net I've had 3 to 5 feet of water under me.

    In my mind though problem with a prop on Chitna is it's a very silty river and hard to read. I've help people who have run aground not realizing what was in front of them was a sandbar with 2" of water.

    I HATE to be in the Chitna with a broken prop or popped shear pin. The longer I dip there the more circumspect I become of being on that river.

  3. #3
    Member Grayling Slayer's Avatar
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    If you have to ask the answer is no. When the wind picks up you instantly have 2-3 foot whitecaps with a 17 mph current. You do see idiots out there tempting Darwin though and most make it out.

  4. #4
    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Copper river is not exactly a place for a prop. The amount of boulders above and below surface are simply a bad situation waiting to happen.

    1 motor problem and your headed down in a fast way with zero maneuverability and control.

  5. #5
    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Above the bridge ..yes, below..no
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

  6. #6
    Member Jktimm's Avatar
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    I have used a prop twice there in 30+ years. Both times went badly for my propeller. It may be possible this year, since I heard that you can launch at O'Brian Creek again. My troubles were always where the Copper and Chitina come together.

  7. #7
    Member summitx's Avatar
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    what about a 16ft with a 60/40 jet

  8. #8
    Member Jktimm's Avatar
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    I have never used a boat that small, but if you keep your speed down and be really careful I think you could stay safe. Running upstream is generally no problem and your boat / power will do fine. Running downstream is the issue.... The (40mph) wind coming upstream out of the canyon whips 2-4ft standing waves in places you don't want them. Add to that the downstream current of 15 mph or more, and you are heading into those waves in a pretty small boat. I have a 18ft x 60" GIII with a Yamaha 60 jet and I have had a gust of wind hit the bow at the same time I run over a big standing wave and it feels like the wind could lift the bow out of the water or turn me sideways in the current. When it's blowing down there, I just take the 15mph current plus 5mph for a total of 20mph down stream. Running back up with 40mph wind at your back feels much more stable.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jktimm View Post
    I have used a prop twice there in 30+ years. Both times went badly for my propeller. It may be possible this year, since I heard that you can launch at O'Brian Creek again. My troubles were always where the Copper and Chitina come together.
    I've seen a lot of people try to cut that corner to far in and get stuck. Even after that downstream, it braids out and I've seen a few people pick the wrong channel and get caught up. It only takes one mistake and your propeller is toast. Now you gotta figure out how to get back upstream. I've run the Copper a bunch in my jet boat, and have yet to get stuck, but I've had a couple of times where I slid over sand bars that I didn't expect to be there.

    One other area that you could run into an issue with the prop is right at the launch. The current wants to push you to shore, so while you are trying to get off the bank to start running, the back end can swing around quick which could get you in the rocks. I've seen a couple of people play bumper boats in there, and a guy in our party several years ago just about got nailed by a boat that was launching and he couldn't get going. He finally got it turned, gunned it and completely drenched him. A guy from shore saw what happened and chucked a egg row from a king at him which splattered on his window and got all over his boat. Moral is, you gotta know what your doing on that river because it will cause even the best of boaters some issues now and again.

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