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Thread: Hewescraft Pacific or Explorer owners...I have Q's?

  1. #1
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Default Hewescraft Pacific or Explorer owners...I have Q's?

    I am shopping for a newer ocean boat and can't quite afford a Glaciercraft, which leads me to a Hewescraft Pacific or Explorer in the 24'er.
    We typically run out of Whittier for 5-10 days at a time and spend alot of that time on the southern end of PWS. 2 adults and one kid chasing butt, shrimp, bears and deer. We are upgrading from 20' Trophy Alaskan bulkhead with a 3.0 L I/O.
    Main reason to upgrade is I need more space, want outboards cause I hate working on the inboard in akward positions, winterizing it, scrubbing the fiberglass, etc... essentially less maintenance in spring, fall, and after each trip. Also want to a faster boat that allows me to chase deer into Nov. when I wouldn't dare take the Trophy out. Currently pull everything with a 1/2 ton P/U or Tahoe both rated at 8500 lbs towing.
    It appears we can pick up a plain jane or leftover model Hewes for roughly $80k, and I really don't plan to spend any more than that. I would consider other brands or a very well maintained USED boat if you know of anyone selling.

    From some internet searching the dealers down in Oregon are about $10k less for the same boats that Deweys has. I have shipped up boats up before on the ferry and would consider it again if the savings were worth it.

    Please enlighten me to the pros and cons of these Hewescraft boats. I am looking for owners who have opinions about their boats.

    The Explorer has a wider bottom (96") and thicker hull (.250")
    The Cruiser bottom is 84" and hull thickness is .190"

    How does this affect the "roll" when drift fishing. For example when you walk to one side or the other, is one more stable vs. the other.
    Are trim tabs necessary on either or both? How about the extended transom being boxed in?
    What have you guys done or added to improve the performance or creature comforts you put on after the sale?
    We are looking to purchase this boat so that it will last the next 10-15 years.
    Sure appreciate any and all input.
    BK

  2. #2
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Since you're planning on a boat for the next 10-15 years, do you see any more kids joining your family? It's a serious consideration because you'd be suprised how if you plan a boat when they are little you'll find they grow pretty quick!

    Asside from that, in your price range I'd look long and hard for a clean used Almar Sounder 28. When you throw late season deer hunting into the mix and long range 5-10 day trip, IMHO a 24' boat is too small for the sound for that use.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Paul,
    No more kids for us. Appreciate the heads up on Almar, will expand my search but don't want to buy a new truck to pull a new boat thus the 24' length.
    We currently spend about 6 weeks in PWS on the boat we have, been doing that for 7 years now. Prior to that it was an 18' Alumaweld and a 18' glasply running around PWS, Seward, and Homer. I have roughly 20 years of boating on the ocean up here.

    BK

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Sorry I'd kinda glossed over the 1/2 ton truck limitation.

    Not sure what the gross weight is on this rig, but might be worth checking out:

    http://anchorage.craigslist.org/boa/3527438023.html
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  5. #5
    Member JR2's Avatar
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    That is a good looking boat

    Sent from my HTC One X using Tapatalk 2
    2007 Kingfisher 2825 - Stor Fisk

    Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top. -- Hunter S. Thompson

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    The only caveat is the 2000hr's on the engines, but at that price and considering how clean it looks it would be worth checking out.

    If it was a 28' boat I'd probably have booked myself a flight to Kodiak this weekend to check it out.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Sent him a message to discuss. 2000 hours on a Honda....anyone have an opinion on that many hours?
    I'm guessing they should run 4-5000 hours but not sure?
    What do the charter boats change them out at?
    It appears it is a charter boat as it has the green sticker on the side.
    Thanks Paul for the heads up.
    BK

  8. #8
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    It's not just how many hours I'd be concerned with, but how was it used. Charter operators often have a run it like you stole mentality, hence they are hard on their gear. Also did they run WOT most of the time, were the engines over-propped etc. But from the pictures the boat looks extremely clean, so they could have been the meticulous sort of outfit that takes care of their gear and keeps it in top shape. I would certainly factor in the hours and charter use towards having to heavily discount how much I'd pay for a boat. I'd definately ask for service records and have a compression check done on each engine.

    There's a member hear who bought a former charter boat with twin yammy 225's and they lost a piston on one engine last year, which is going to set them back $9k. So if you do get a former charter boat, definately keep a chunk of change in the bank for a potential big repair bill.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  9. #9
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    not really what your looking for but a nice rig
    http://hull-ma.yachtsofamerica.us/21..._17183770.html

    Alaska Shrimp Pots

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    907 775 1692

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    Paul H is certainly knowledgeable on boats, fishing, cruising etc and I've taken his advice seriously in the past. I just mention this because I'd never argue with him. However, in my opinion that boat is over priced. Just to give you an example, I bought the 26 Pacific Cruiser below in the spring 0f 2010, it wasn't quite a year old, 70 hours on twin 150hp Yamahas, marine head, and pretty well outfitted for ~$80K. That's the same length as the almar, way newer motors, and 2ft longer then the boat you originally described. My point is, I in now way think buying a former charter boat or even a boat with 2K hours on the motors is a wise idea when you can get a nearly new boat for the same price. Here's a brand new 24' PC in Anchorage for less then what you're willing to spend http://anchorage.craigslist.org/bod/3547825670.html. There was also a 26ft PC with twin 115hp Yamaha's, no marine head and larger fishing deck for sale a week or so ago for the same price. Certainly something to think about.

    As far as Hewes quality, I only have one complaint and that's the window seals. If you do a search there's been extensive discussion of this problem on this and other forums. Admittedly I haven't yet given Hewes a chance to fix it but from other reports they tend to turn you away. My personal experience, however, is that they've been great with the very few minor issues I've had and we'll find out this year how they deal with the window seals. I'd be happy to have you and your family come by and tear through our boat but right now it's stored at a buddies place down in Homer. If you can wait until April/May we'd be happy to have you over to check it out. Most importantly, Hewes makes a utilitarian boat, nothing fancy, nothing even close to a Glaciercraft, but what I call the pickup truck of boats. It gets the job done but like any ford, chevy, or dodge, it's not perfect. As Paul H mentioned about future plans, my wife and I bought the boat with one kiddo on the way and now have two kiddos under 3 years old. It's amazing how small that boat got with two crazy boys terrorizing it . I'm now slowing shopping around for something more suitable which I'm hoping to make the trade in the next couple years. That being said our Hewes is a good boat, gets us out hunting, fishing, shrimping and just enjoying all the ports in south central so I can't complain. I'd strongly encourage you to be patient, look around for a lightly used boat and get a 26+ footer in a Hewes, Raider, Wooly, etc. Another example, when I bought my boat there was also a 26ft Wooly in nearly identical shape for sale for not much more, maybe $90K or so. Hind sight, we should have bought the Wooly but my point is, there are plenty of good deals within your price range for a lightly used 26ft aluminum boat with twin 4-strokes with low hours. Keep looking and keep us posted on what you find. Shopping for a boat in my opinion is half the fun.

  11. #11

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    I am shopping for a newer ocean boat and can't quite afford a Glaciercraft
    bkmail,

    I have seen this Glacier Craft on Craigslist a couple times now - $110K OBO. You might be able to tow it with your current vehicles. It could be worth checking out.

    Doug

  12. #12

    Default 27ft Wooldridge Pilot

    I don't know if you have considered a Wooldridge Pilot, but my father in law recently passed away and I am getting the boat ready to sell.
    27 ft Pilot it is an 07 model with the pilot house option "cuddy/dinette" with just 308 hrs
    Twin Yamaha 115'S with counter rotator engine
    GARMIN 5212 with radar
    Lots more stuff let me know if you are interested, the boat never was trailered farther south than Whittier.

  13. #13
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    Unless you have to have a specific boat the best advice given in this thread is to buy something at least 26 feet long and USED. Let someone else suck up the first 25% in depreciation and add all extras to the boat for you.

  14. #14

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    You really shouldn't pull anything mentioned in this thread with a 1/2 truck......You are right in your thinking you shouldn't go over 24 feet. And that might be way too much. Every ocean boat I have read about weighs considerably more than most people think it does. Even my C-Dory, which is a light design, scales in on the trailer at nearly 6,000 pounds when fully loaded with food, water, guns, poles, extra gas, gear, dingy, kicker, bait, beer, ice, BBQ, propane tanks, and the rest of the stuff that ultimately tags along for a PWS trip. Thankfully, the trailer is rated for 6000 pounds.....I would NEVER attempt to pull it with my bronco which has the same wheel base and close to the overly optimistic tow rating as your tahoe. I personally believe the sales department has overriden the engineering department with the tow ratings of many pickups and SUVs to sell them. If you pay careful attention from year to year pickups, their tow ratings have gone up and up and in a lot of cases, there wasn't even an engineering change to justify the extra capacity. Now, how did that happen? The wonderful sales department......I can't imagine towing a 7000-8000 pound boat for very far or for very long with a tahoe or 1/2 ton pickup.

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Sure do appreciate all the advice given here, keep it coming, I'm listening. We are definitely not in a hurry; just want to make sure I am getting what I want this time vs. settling for something because we want to be out on the water. As stated earlier, we will continue running what we have till I find the right boat for OUR family.

    Paul, I hear you on that Kodiak Silverstreak. It just seems like allot of hours which is why I hadn't really considered it seriously. I have not heard back from the owner yet with Q's I sent him last night. It has no "kitchen" but I am fairly talented and could make something if the price was right. But the motors and Paulís comments on how the charter operator ran it have me concerned.

    Patrick, Your advice is exactly what I am posting on this forum for....real world experience from owners that have been running their toys in Alaska. Salesman cannot be trusted and warranties are usually garbage if you have to fight to get something done. Wooldridge is the only Co. I have seen that really stands out in this dept., they are top notch in my opinion. Would love to own one. I just might bother you later for a visit when your boat is at the house to discuss further, thanks for the offer to crawl all over it. That ad on Craigs is why I initially started this thread. Also called a couple dealers in Oregon yesterday and found a substantial savings in purchasing one down there and shipping it up, which I have done before.

    AkExplore, that Glaciercraft is more that I want to spend, I'm raising a kid on a single income family, expanding my cabin, own the airboat you see in the pic, still love to hunt Ivishak each fall (read lots of gas $ R/T) and so on. The ocean boat is one of our ventures and I can't dedicate all my funds to it exclusively. I would never buy a new GC due to Scott, the owner/mngr. We were purchasing one 6 years ago but he really turned me off, I don't trust him at all. That's how we ended up in the Trophy, we settled for something else to keep us on the water.

    Again, if anyone has something in mind that is going to be for sale, please direct me to that person. I am willing to wait for the right boat as we'll be out there in May on the Trophy chasing bears, shrimp, butt and later salmon. That said, if something comes along that is just right, I'm ready to move today as I have a couple buyers lined up for my Trophy but won't sell till I have something secured to replace it.

    Keep it coming!
    BK

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by bkmail View Post
    Sent him a message to discuss. 2000 hours on a Honda....anyone have an opinion on that many hours?
    I'm guessing they should run 4-5000 hours but not sure?
    What do the charter boats change them out at?
    It appears it is a charter boat as it has the green sticker on the side.
    Thanks Paul for the heads up.
    BK
    Too many hours. They could blow at any given time. Detach yourself and walk away...(grin)

    Talk to Mel about one of those 26' North Rivers. Most boat for your money.

  17. #17
    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    Sounds like you're taking the right approach. Given you're not in a rush I'd bet you could find a great deal on 26ft lightly used boat in your price range and like Snowwolfe said, someone else can pay to outfit it for you. I can't remember the price on the last 26ft PC that was on craigslist but it was basically my boat in red without the head and twin 115hp Yamahas. I think it was right around $70K, maybe $65K.

    As far as pulling a boat this size, I'd bet mine comes in around ~8K pounds fully loaded with fuel, food, gear, etc and I pulled it with a half ton truck no problem. The only reason I moved up to a bigger truck was to get a diesel for better mileage and to be prepared for when we move up to the next size. I agree with T.R. Bauer that your Tahoe isn't ideal but that's mainly because of it's short wheelbase and it will probably put too much weight on the rear. If you had a half ton truck and a set of ride-right airbags in the back you'd be fine. Here's a pick of my Titan hauling our boat with ride-right airbags. The truck had a 9500lb towing capacity and hauled it almost as well as my dodge diesel. As you can see the truck sets level which makes a huge difference when towing. That all being said, the dodge handles the weight better and gets better mileage but I never felt unsafe in my half ton truck.

    Look me up come late April/May and we'll have your family over to check it out an talk boats. I looked at Boulton, Raider, Fish-rite, Hewes, Wooly, and may be a few others. Wooly was my favorite but I'm not going to complain about my Hewes either. I think you'd be happy with any of them.

    ATTACH=CONFIG]68109[/ATTACH]
    Attached Images Attached Images

  18. #18

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    Hewes are nice, but once you get up into that 70-80k range, you do have a lot of big water options. Northriver/Almar and Seasport come to mind. Used is good, but buying a used outboard is rolling the dice. So many factors that effect the life you get out of them. 500 hours is a lot of hours if the previous owner used it to plow into chop/swell at 5k rpms with a heavy boat. Think of the stress that puts on outboards and all the parts in that outboard. You can't put a number value on outboards, saying "it should get 3k hours, etc". The only way to determine that would be to start with new, do all your maintanance, and not stress the crap out of your outboard. Used boat/new outboard is a good way to go. 24' well used seasport at a discount, welded transom and new 250 4 Stroke would get you a decade of use. Hulls you can fix up and erase a thousand sins of the previous owner; outboards, not so much. Electronics have advanced so much in the last 5 years, that most used boats have junk on them destined for the dumbster if you are serious about fishing.

    If you are smart about your boat purchase, it should sell quickly if you want out, without taking a huge loss. Solid hull for the rough stuff, good power via 4 stroke power, good fuel consumption, good electronics package, fishability, and a boat you can trailer. Everybody wants that, and boats like that can be hard to find.

  19. #19
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Patrick - You rock, love your set-up. Already have airbags on both rigs, standard gear as soon as we buy a new truck. Install K and N air system, airbags, new exhaust, etc... all to make it breath better and squeeze a little more umph out of it. We also haul a 4 place sno-go trailer to Deshka and of course the airboat all over the state so towing is not an issue as long as I stay within the guidleines I stated above.
    This is exciting times again in our house....buying a new boat and all.
    BK
    PS- Spoke with Raider yesterday, he is working me up a quote next week when he gets back from the boat show in Vancouver.
    Kingfisher dealer is doing the same...not too sure about these boats though, low sides??
    Need to go see Silverstreak when I get in to town and take a serious look at his stuff and get a quote.

  20. #20
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkmail View Post
    Need to go see Silverstreak when I get in to town and take a serious look at his stuff and get a quote.
    The silver streak listed is NOT a local made boat. Here is a link: http://www.silverstreakboats.com/

    I ran a 24 hewescraft for five seasons and loved it. Easy on fuel and filled the niche needed at the time quite nicely. Sold it for $8K more than I paid for it new, too. Enjoy shopping.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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