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Thread: Wooldridge 20' Alaskan?

  1. #1

    Default Wooldridge 20' Alaskan?

    While I would love to order a new XL, I hate the idea of draining the family's accounts $XXXXX. I've been looking around at used Wooldridges. I checked out a 92 20' today that looks pretty good. My thoughts are that if I can get a great hull cheap enough I could buy a new motor, take care of the "other repairs" and be $ ahead. A whole host of other reasons come into play here!

    My question on this boat is that it was set up to run the Kenai with a 35 HP prop. It has no tunnel. I want to run the Valley Rivers with a jet. If I repower this boat to a jet unit (115), will the lack of a tunnel hinder its shallow water performance or cause other problems?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Member akhilux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008


    Part of what make Wooldridge a great je boat is it's tunnel. I would call down to Wooldridge and ask if and about how much to have a tunnel installed. Of course you would have it done up here but their price would give you a good idea of what it's going to take.
    20' Wooldridge Sport 08' 150hp E-Tec
    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

  3. #3
    Member bkmail's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Palmer, AK.


    Also send Sport Drifter a PM, he is a Wooldridge guru.

  4. #4
    Member Yukoner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Whitehorse Yukon


    Spend some time and find the right package. Boat repairs after the fact are a PITA, and always cost more than you think they will. Buy a complete package with the motor and let someone else absorb the depreciation. Just my $.02.
    Never wrestle with a pig.
    you both get dirty;
    the Pig likes it.

  5. #5
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010


    LeonardC, A couple of thoughts on buying a non tunnel Alaskan. First check the transom hieght if that boat was built for a prop you may have to raise the transom 5". The avantages of a tunnel are that the pump shoe has some protection being higher than the bottom, the sides of the tunnel help in cornering by giving more grip when turning and the pump is feed water better and help from cavitaion. That being said a jet on a non tunnell is still a great shallow running boat. With the turrned doen chines on a Wooldridge and the wings on your pump foot it is still going to corner better than most. Remembering back when Glenn was doing the R and D on the tunnel and the number of times he tore the tunnells out to get it right I would not try a retrofit of a tunnel. Good Luck on what ever you do..... I have a 94 20' Alaskan w/ a 150, a 80 22' 454 Classic and interest in a 18' 350 low side Classic and a 86 25' 460 Classic. My first inboard jet boat was a 1978 18' 351 low sided classic. Thats 35 years and thousands of hours running Wooldridge boats. Now I feel old and need a rest.....

  6. #6


    Good ideas. PM sent to Sport Drifter. I'll call Wooldridge latter today. Thank you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008


    A non Tunnel Alaskan? Why bother, it won't be what you want, unless you want a prop boat. You sure it is a Wooldridge? It will be interesting when Glenn chimes in to confirm if an Alaskan left his shop without a tunnel.

    Keep looking.

    Expand your search to the Northwest and maybe you can have it shipped up here.

  8. #8

  9. #9


    Sorry for the long reply time gone to the cabin to feed this years crop of monster skeeters. I would shy away from this one first off it most likely has a small fuel tank set up for the Kenai most likely a 20gal in the console second the lack of a tunnel and as chuck stated the transom height is low and would have to be raised.
    Many folks don't know the Alaskan was first designed to be a Kenai boat without a tunnel when the 35 hp restriction came around. I believe Wes Yakamotos ? guide service had one of the first, a friend bought his inboard WB from him when he made the swap to the AK II.
    I have a few friends with the 20 AK II Kenai setup and they love them on the Kenai.
    I would have a 150 hp outboard on a 20ft min hp. I definitely would not have a shop just cut a tunnel in one they spent quite a bit of time perfecting that tunnel. Keep an eye out on CL in Seattle ,Portland and other spots in the NW there are some good deals from time to time. That 23 on Anch CR the red boat in MT I have fished out of before and it works well. Good luck

  10. #10


    Thanks for all the replies. I learn a little more each day from this site and you guys.

    I made a phone connection with WB and then an email to the right person, but haven't heard back from them.

    I didn't catch the owner's name on the trailer title. It was from Wasilla. The owner has passed away and someone is selling it for the son of the original owner. My caution alarm is lightly going off on some aspects of the transaction.

    I liked the idea of being able to get into the boat (no dents or big scratches on the bottom that I saw), repower with a new motor (maybe have WB cut in a tunnel and raise the transom), redo the seats for the Wife, and still only be into it for half what a new river runner would take out of our retirement account.

    I'd cry less having put a $25K boat on the rocks than a $50K one. {Edit: I don't want to be thinking a couple of trips on the river that my $25K was not well spent and the boat won't do what I want/need it to do.}

    I'm still learning and looking.

    Thanks again for the thoughts and ideas.


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