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Thread: Hewescraft searunner

  1. #1
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    Default Hewescraft searunner

    Hey guys, as you can see its my first post. I just moved to Alaska from Arizona last July. As you can imagine it wasn't too necessary yo have a boat in Tucson so I have very little experience. Anyway my coworker offered to sell me his 1988 hewescraft searunner with a 35hp motor, trailer, Bimini top, new flooring, extra set of controls and a spare 35hp motor for $3800. I am in Kenai and would like a boat for all the lakes but also be able to occasionally take it in the inlet on nice days. So do you guys think its a good deal? Might it suit my needs?

    Any info on the boat is appreciated

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    Member Ak Bird Brain's Avatar
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    What years are the motors? Whats the length of the boat? The price seems a bit steep to me if the motors are half as old as the boat. But maybe its sitting on a brand new trailer. Either that or I'm just a cheap SOB.

    If its only a 16' Id hesitate to take it in the inlet until you have more experience handling it and judging the weather. It can get bad fast! But on a great day with a good skipper id do it. But I wouldn't go out to far.
    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day,
    Teach a man to fish and he'll also learn to drink, lie, and avoid the honey do list.

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    dem motors 4-strokers?
    Boating regulations on the mainstream Kenai River -- From January 1 - December 31, including Kenai and Skilak lakes, no one may operate a motorized boat on the Kenai River upstream of a DNR marker located (at approximately river mile 4.0) downstream of the Warren Ames bridge unless the motor is a four-stroke motor or a direct fuel injection motor

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    Member idakfisher's Avatar
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    If the motors are not four strokes, you can't use them on the Kenai.

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    The motors are both mid '90s and 2 strokers so I know no kenai but I'm OK with that. Its an 18' and I'm not sure of the age of the trailer but its a heavy duty one if that matters lol

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  6. #6
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    Anybody run one of these boats? Interested to hear opinions

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  7. #7
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    I have a newer 18'er searunner with a 90hp yammie on it. It'll go through waves that I won't.......any more!

    Some of the old 2 strokes are great motors. I have a 1984 zuki that I bought used. I put about 1200 miles on her and she is still in great shape. I'd trust that motor to run me anywhere I am willing to drive my zodiac (which is pretty wide open).

  8. #8
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I rented a searunner (as I recall it was a 20) with a 50 horse honda several years ago and ran it from Wittier out to Culross Island and back. It was one of those rare blue bird glass days and only a small chop on the way back. They are capable boats.

    My personal hesitation would be on the motor. With a 35 horse it's a 1 or 2 person boat with a minimal amount of gear. I'd say re-powering with a 50 horse 4 stroke would make it a much more capable boat. But with that factored in, how much can you get for a pair of used 35 horse 2 strokes? Those motors will be hard to sell because they're too big for a kicker, too small for the type of boats most people run, and not Kenai legal.

    No offense to the co-worker, but sounds like he's trying to dump a boat on you that he finds doesn't fit many needs very well. There are always lots of boats that come up for sale. The key is figuring out exactly what you want a boat for, then look at boats that are capable of that use and don't compromise on a "great deal" or a "co-worker special"

    For the inlet I'd want a minimum of a 20' skiff and a 50 horse, or a 16' inflatable with a 50 horse. If I just wanted a lake boat I'd look for a little lund or similar with a 10-15 horse kicker. With the boat you're looking at, you're over paying for a little lake boat, and not getting quite enough boat for the inlet.
    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

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    Yep, most of us have been there!
    i made that climb from lake boats in WI & Canada to 20' on Kauai, 16' Almar for the Kenai, 16' Smoker Craft skiff (which I still have), and now a 24' Hewes.
    really should stay away from the 35 2 stroke. Doesn't sound like a bad deal but just too limited like Paul said. Being that you live in the area, is there a reason you're not interested in running the Kenai? That's the reason I still have the skiff, it has a 25 4 stroke on it and I know live in Homer but its worth it to me to make the drive and fish the river above Bings, simply awesome scenery, get away from the road crowds when reds are running and is just a blast! Try it you'll like it!
    That boat with a 50 4 stroke would be much better but running boats here is MUCH different than anywhere else due to the tides & water temps.
    Lots to learn and you'd be surprised how much the wind changes with the tides too.
    How bout this; PM me your number and you are more than welcome to jump on my boat to get out there for a spin, either in the salt down here in Homer or up on the river when I'm in the area.
    Jim

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    Member cormit's Avatar
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    I thought $3800 for a 18' Hewes with canvas top and trailer seemed like a pretty reasonable price ..... even without any motor. It's true that 2 strokes aren't too easy to sell ...... but someone might want it for a back up motor.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Jim House View Post
    That boat with a 50 4 stroke would be much better.
    I agree. After much pondering I went with the "stock" 50HP Yami 4 when we bought our 20' center console Open Fisherman from Dewey's. It's really surprised and pleased us. With 6 people in it we can still do 25mph. By myself, it tops out at 29mph. That's plenty fast for us since 10 miles is a "long" run for us.

    Here's the nub: We can run around and troll all day long and not go through 6 gallons of gas. I'll take that any day in exchange for another 10mph and twice the fuel with a 90HP, or faster and more fuel with something bigger. The hull is rated for 150HP, but I can't see it.

  12. #12

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    Bear, have ya played around with different props? It's amazing what that can do with these small boats/motors. I have a 25 4 stroke yamaha on a 16' smoker craft big fisherman. Previous owner added a center console and wood deck/floor so it's a little heavier than stock but what fun!
    I had the same motor on another 16' boat and bought a Tiny Tach thru cabelas and found the motor was over-revving with a light load. Swapped props and got it where I wanted running light and it would still get on step on the kenai with 5 of us with the "hole shot" prop.
    Very easy to temporary install the tach (if you don't have one) and about 30 seconds to swap propellers.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Jim House View Post
    Bear, have ya played around with different props? It's amazing what that can do with these small boats/motors. I have a 25 4 stroke yamaha on a 16' smoker craft big fisherman. Previous owner added a center console and wood deck/floor so it's a little heavier than stock but what fun!
    I had the same motor on another 16' boat and bought a Tiny Tach thru cabelas and found the motor was over-revving with a light load. Swapped props and got it where I wanted running light and it would still get on step on the kenai with 5 of us with the "hole shot" prop.
    Very easy to temporary install the tach (if you don't have one) and about 30 seconds to swap propellers.
    I had a tach installed when the boat was put together, and the prop looks just right based on that. I have to say we're couldn't be happier with the performance of the boat. It comes on step almost instantly, and that's plenty of speed for us at 5k rpm. Good for folks to know about the tach options, because they're really handy for monitoring your boat/prop performance.

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    Hey guys thanks for all the great info! Jim that's a mighty generous offer and I'd love to do some running around with ya and maybe pick up some good pointers. I wouldn't say that I'm disinterested in running the kenai but from the little time (2 trips for maybe 2 trips each ) I was sort of put off by the sheer volume of boats on the water. I'd like to do some dipnetting though.

    Remember guys I'm new to Alaska from the desert so I am happy with any good fishing vessel now and he'll take payments

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    Hey Jim I only get Wednesday and Thursday off of work so my possibilities are rather limited

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  16. #16

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    No problem; I'm putting my regular job on hold for the summer to run as a water taxi so my days will soon be all on the water and when not running full loads you can always jump on. Plus when the reds start infiltrating the kenai I'll be up to fish em and haul the skiff to Bings and go upstream. Your 2x on the river amidst the crowds are not a good indicator of what you can really do there. I've been thru all that already, just keep your mind open to the river as its in your back yard and in all honesty, once you get the bugs & nervousness worked out, you'll spend likely more time there.
    1997 I was in exactly the same place.
    BTW, all the local outboard dealers take payments too!
    really really think about all the above, the summers are short, winters long and I wouldn't miss out asap

  17. #17
    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cormit View Post
    I thought $3800 for a 18' Hewes with canvas top and trailer seemed like a pretty reasonable price ..... even without any motor. It's true that 2 strokes aren't too easy to sell ...... but someone might want it for a back up motor.
    I think thats a fair price. I sold an 18' Hewes a couple years ago for $4k with NO motor.. My only concern would be the 2 stroke motors, but in time a guy could find a good used 40 or 50 4 stroke to upgrade with. We used our 18' hewes to haul moose in the Yentna and Susitna Rivers, fish the Deshka and other waters in the Yentna/Su drainage, Troll for coho out of Seward, troll for winter kings off the Homer Bluffs, as well as catching halibut in the kelp beds off the Homer bluffs. Looking back I keep asking myself why the hell did I sell it!

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    Thanks Jim I appreciate the invite, I'll pm ya my number and maybe we can get together some time. I will admit that this kind of fishing is completely different from the fishing I'm used to in AZ so I kinda suck still lol

    John that's some good info, thanks! I think I'm gonna talk him down to 3200 and pull the trigger and get a 4 stroke


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    I have a 19' searunner with a yamaha 4 stroke high thrust 50. Any 4 stroke you bought used would put you in a really capable boat. Those boats have great hulls. There are always alot of used 4 strokes in the 90 - 115 range 4 sale on C***** list. If I were you i would buy that boat in a heartbeat. It will last forever. Even if you cant afford a better outboard right now, you could use as is, and watch for a great deal on a used one.

  20. #20
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    35 hp seems awfully low for an 18’ Sea Runner. I have a 16’ Sea Runner and it is rated for a 60 hp. Look at how much horsepower your boat is rated for by checking the capacity plate. If you have too little power your engine will overwork itself and give you poor performance. If you have too much power it will come from a larger, heavier engine and you risk swamping your boat because the transom was never designed for that much weight. If you are ever boarded by the Coast Guard or wish to have a VSC (Vessel Safety Check) done by the Coast Guard they will look at your capacity plate. “The engine horsepower must not exceed that shown on the capacity plate”-USCG Vessel Check Safety Manual.

    Sounds like you ended up getting the boat already; I just want you to get an engine that will be safe to go along with it.


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