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Thread: advice on right boat for river/valdez silver fishing

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    Default advice on right boat for river/valdez silver fishing

    What would be the right boat for fishing in Alaskan interior rivers (like Chatanika)
    which would also allow silver fishing in Valdez. Would appreciate your advice.
    Thanks,
    Igor

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    Member Ronster's Avatar
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    My 21' Hewescraft Riverrunner has served me well so far. You will need a jet for the interior rivers but the jet is less than optimal on the salt. Ive had it out in the Valdez arm in 3-4ers which wasnt a whole lot of fun, but it got me back none the less.

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    I've run both my old Wooldridge 17' Alaskan, and newer 21' Alaskan XL, in those waters for many years, 115 and 175 HP OBJ's respectively. Great rigs for river running and plenty good to troll for silvers inside Valdez Arm in late August/early September. It's a lot easier to take a riverboat on a quick salt trip than vice versa - just be realistic on weather and water conditions.

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    Default thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskan XL View Post
    I've run both my old Wooldridge 17' Alaskan, and newer 21' Alaskan XL, in those waters for many years, 115 and 175 HP OBJ's respectively. Great rigs for river running and plenty good to troll for silvers inside Valdez Arm in late August/early September. It's a lot easier to take a riverboat on a quick salt trip than vice versa - just be realistic on weather and water conditions.
    Thanks for the advice!

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    Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskan XL View Post
    I've run both my old Wooldridge 17' Alaskan, and newer 21' Alaskan XL, in those waters for many years, 115 and 175 HP OBJ's respectively. Great rigs for river running and plenty good to troll for silvers inside Valdez Arm in late August/early September. It's a lot easier to take a riverboat on a quick salt trip than vice versa - just be realistic on weather and water conditions.

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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    I run a 21' Tjet in the salt and the Big Su and it's tributarys. Never had a problem if the weather was decent in salt

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    Hello Alaskan XL,
    What is the minimum depth limit for the 20' Alaskan XL?
    What car do you use to drive it to Valdez?
    Thanks -
    Igor

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    Hello Ronster,

    What are pros and cons for the Hewescraft Riverrunner vs other analogous boats?
    What minimal depth can she run? WHat motor do you use?
    Thanks -

    Igor

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    Quote Originally Posted by ipolyakov View Post
    Hello Ronster,

    What are pros and cons for the Hewescraft Riverrunner vs other analogous boats?
    What minimal depth can she run? WHat motor do you use?
    Thanks -

    Igor
    Pros- Semi V hull, it handles the waves better than a flat bottom
    Forward cockpit gives you more fishing room
    Great fishing platform, good for hunting, but not as good as the XL
    Jet is great for saltwater
    Engine is easy to work on yourself

    Cons- Not a flat bottom for interior rivers, I dont like to get it into anything less than a foot deep
    Its a bit heavy if you stick it on a gravel bar due to the 350 engine
    Jet likes to suck up seaweed out in the salt

    It has the chevy 350 engine. I get about 8 gallons an hour unless I am really getting on it. Ive always made it in and out from every trip that I have taken it on. I use it a lot on interior rivers, I just have to be careful picking my lines. On the other side, I spent 3 hours trying to get a sportjon back in the water, so all boats can and will get stuck.

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    My XL will run across a damp floor

    Seriously, with TYPICAL load we are talking prob 4-6" of water while moving along pretty good - you will get a ton of comments / opinions on this, many of which are not too accurate... The XL is so wide it floats like a cork...

    I pull mine w F-350, but the wife's Toyota Highlander will do it too, but is pretty noticeable... Check Wooldridge's website for hull weight, add in trailer weight and motor, then fuel and gear estimates to sort out if your vehicle will pull it safely.

    What vehicle are you considering using at this point?

    XL

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    Currently, I have Mercedes ML-320. I am not sure whether it can pull a boat safely.
    Considering to switch to a truck.
    Thanks for the comment!
    Igor

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    Quote Originally Posted by ipolyakov View Post
    Hello Alaskan XL,
    What is the minimum depth limit for the 20' Alaskan XL?
    What car do you use to drive it to Valdez?
    Thanks -
    Igor
    I have a tunnelled Wooly Alaskan II w/ an outboard jet. I run it in some skinny water for hunting and salmon fishing the valley. It's lightweight and prettyt nimble, handles great. I head to valdez for silvers every August. As long as I stay inside Valdez arm, I've never had any issues regarding safety. Afternoon winds sometimes pick up and can get a little bouncy for my boat/liking, but we're usually in and done before noon anyways. 3-4 footers in my boat SUCK and isn't fun at all.. The boat, trailer, engine, and 45gal tank full of fuel, weigh between 2400-2500#. I pull it with an F-150 ECO BOOST, does just fine...

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    Hi,
    Comparing Alaskan 17' and Alaskan II (21'), what would you recommend?
    Thanks -
    Igor

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    alaska 17 will be more nimble and efficient but sacrifices comfort and load hauling. The AKII will be wider, have more freeboard and will ride better in chop. It is still an economical boat and will run very skinny water. I would much rather have the 20ft boat in the salt. I took my 17.5 AK out of homer on the best day I have ever been on the ocean and got tossed around good in 2 footers and boat wakes.

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    I am a new owner of Wooldridge Alaska 17. What would you recommend to have aboard for safety?

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