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Thread: Suggestions for July trip

  1. #1
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    Default Suggestions for July trip

    My brother and I will be in Alaska July 25 - Aug 2. Renting a motorhome and 17' 50hp boat. Picking up both up in Anchorage. I have experience boating in Arizona/Nevada but no Ocean/Bay or river experience. Looking for suggestions where to go. Where to launch, willing to pay to have someone launch if can't do it with MH. I have enjoyed reading the posts here and hope to get advice to help us have a fun, safe trip. Thanks

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Can you tell us about the boat you're renting? A flat bottom boat has no business in the salt, whereas something with a V hull might do OK depending on weather. 17' is a bit small for most ocean situations, but not unreasonable with nice weather and the right hull.

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    It is am Alumaweld Talon. V hull

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoelM View Post
    It is am Alumaweld Talon. V hull
    You can take it down to deep creek or Anchor Pt. and have the tractor launch drop you in for $60 (drop in and pick up) without worries about tides. You can also launch at Homer. I use a similar boat when the weather is nice. You can also launch that boat at Bings Landing and run up river. Or you can launch at Skilak Lake and run down the Kenai. You need to be quick at the launch with a motorhome though.

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    Joel, at the risk of sounding like a know-it-all, I'm gonna offer some free advice (take it for what you paid for it).

    I've been fishing & boating nearly all my life, my dad had me out fishing in the Seattle bays in his little boat when I was still wearing diapers (I even have a couple memories of those fishing trips!). I've fished long-range tuna boats out of San Diego to the Alijos Rocks, and done 2-3 days trips in the Gulf of Mexico. I have an 18' center console that I take on my local lakes in Texas in some horrific weather, and a 24' walkaround that I comfortably run 50 miles offshore. All this is just to say that I've had a few decades experience in freshwater & saltwater boating.

    My first trip to Alaska was at a self-guided lodge, with guided fishing the first day, and unguided skiffs the remaining time. The next two years we went up to self-guided operations, our first fishing day was with a guide, then the remaining time was unguided. Without those guided days & having someone to show me the hazards of Alaskan waters - especially the effect of those massive tides! - I could've found myself in a really bad situation. Now, after a number of summers up there and the right boat, I feel comfortable making 20-30 mile trips from the marina, but Alaskan boating & navigation is unlike any of my other experience, either freshwater or saltwater, and you really should consider at least one or two guided days, asking the captain for as much education on handling the local waters as he's willing to share. The tidal movements alone are unlike anything you've experienced in freshwater ... depending on where you are, help can be a long ways away.

    The guys on this forum have given me loads of invaluable advice over the last few years; I'm sure you'll find them equally helpful!!

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    That is just stupid recommending that he take a 17' rental boat out of Deep Creek and tractor Launch with no salt water experience.

    I have approximately 800 hours in small boats in PWS, Homer, Seward, and Deep creek. That is not very much at all. I am hesitant to launch out of Deep Creek for my first time this summer in my 18' boat.

    Know that the water in Cook inlet can get really nasty really quick. The water outside of resurrection bay in seward can get really nasty really quick. The water out of Homer harbor can get really nasty really quick. The water in portage canal out of whittier can get really nasty really quick, port wells can be even worse.

    With no ocean or river experience you need to study up on tides and river running. In a rental boat - get insurance. Always...ALWAYS wear your life jacket. Do not pull to shore out of deep creek or seward. If you go in the salt - make sure that the boat you are renting has a chart plotter that shows shallow areas and rocks - and ask for some instruction before you take off with the boat. Learn how to use the VHF radio in the boat and what channels you can use and which channels to use for checking weather and hailing an emergency and how to call for emergency. Remember - most of the time the coast guard rescue team is in Kodiak - it will take some time to be rescued unless there are good Samaritans close by.

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    I think renting a motor home to see the state in is an excellent idea. However, someone from inland, with limited boating experience renting a 17' boat with a 50hp motor to go fishing in AK without a clue about tides and conditions is not a very good idea. My first concern would be What condition is the rental boat/motor in? I admit I'm kinda fussy about who tinkers with my motors, and who has used them. but I been playing in the water for a long long time and I'm still here to tell about it so that counts for something. My 2nd concern would be is that boat even equipped with any kind of a radio to be playing in Salt water.

    Someone suggested you launch at Skilak Lake.. If you do, be sure to check out the sign that is there (used to be there) listing the names and dates of all the people who didn't pay attention to the wx and water conditions in that lake. Rather than pay $60 to have a tractor shove you stern first into the surf at Deep Creek, spend some of that money on fuel to drive the motor home on down to homer and pay $15 to launch at the protected launch ramp. Or drive on over to Seward and pay them $20 (I think it is) to launch and park. Either place, get a wx report before you go past the breakwaters. Tell someone what your plans are, and when you should be back.

    The only advice I an give you about the Kenai River is, unless that 50HP is a 4 stroke motor you can't legally put it in the river.

    It's not my intention to come off sounding like an old wet blanket. And I'm not saying what you plan can't be done, because it has been. Unfortunately, for some people it just didn't work out the way they planned.

    It would be my advice to pay for at least 1 charter in Cook Inlet, on a 6 pack, to get an idea what your up against with a little boat.

    Have a Safe trip and enjoy it, so you can come back and do it again..

    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    I have approximately 800 hours in small boats in PWS, Homer, Seward, and Deep creek. That is not very much at all. I am hesitant to launch out of Deep Creek for my first time this summer in my 18' boat.
    Please stay home for everyone sake. Your boat is too small and you don't have nearly enough hours.

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    Joel, gonna chime in once more. Just re-read my post & realized I forgot the important piece of advice. Consider staying at a self-guided lodge, where they are accustomed to having ... well, rookies as clients. Such operations will have charts giving the limits of operation for their boats, the means to come fetch you if you run into trouble, and the staff to educate and advise you every step of the way.

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    I'd leave the boat, there is some fantastic river fishing to be had that time of year on the kenai and you don't need a boat to do it. Do a couple paid charters out of Seward with the money you would use for the rental,,fish the Russian for a day, the kenai a few days and your week will be used up pretty fast. Both the river and the ocean can get scary fast. Not worth the risk if you have never done it IMHO. Full you fish boxes with reds on the kenai, then get you buts and silvers in Seward. I'm sure you will have a great trip no matter what you do but IMo the boat will just be an extra hassle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by qkayak View Post
    You can take it down to deep creek or Anchor Pt. and have the tractor launch drop you in for $60 (drop in and pick up) without worries about tides. You can also launch at Homer. I use a similar boat when the weather is nice. You can also launch that boat at Bings Landing and run up river. Or you can launch at Skilak Lake and run down the Kenai. You need to be quick at the launch with a motorhome though.
    That tractor is pretty high skill level, from what I have seen. Have been pulled out on it probably 3-4 times as a passenger and would not attempt it as a captain with my lack of experience.

    Especially if the waves pick up, which apparently they can do quickly.

    Have seen a glass boat bashed up there to the point of being abandoned, and saw another boat give up and head for Homer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike h View Post
    That tractor is pretty high skill level, from what I have seen. Have been pulled out on it probably 3-4 times as a passenger and would not attempt it as a captain with my lack of experience.

    Especially if the waves pick up, which apparently they can do quickly.

    Have seen a glass boat bashed up there to the point of being abandoned, and saw another boat give up and head for Homer.
    I've been taking a 17' boat out there for many many years with the tractor launch. If you think it is rough, you don't go. If you think it will become rough you don't go. It is not a duck pond out there....you have to use your head. I've launched off the beach with a 16' Lunch more times than I can remember. 4 of my neighbors use driftboats out there. I appreciate all the caution people are throwing into the wind. But if you are a Darwin award candidate....then you should probably not leave your living room.

  13. #13
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    JOELM, please heed ALL advice given. I won't re-list all that's been written but it's all true. Save the boat rental money and apply it to a charter or two. You'll have a much better time and your shorts will still be clean when you hit shore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roland on the River View Post
    JOELM, please heed ALL advice given. I won't re-list all that's been written but it's all true. Save the boat rental money and apply it to a charter or two. You'll have a much better time and your shorts will still be clean when you hit shore.
    And, this advise comes from a guy with an 18' predator! Have seen him standing in the boat with his survival suit on, going out of sight on every other wave, odd part was that when his head did pop up, first thing i would usually see was his smile though

    Good advise Roland

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    You guys have me convinced, not going to rent the boat. Not worth taking the chance. How about some suggestions for guides/charters as well as some places we can go on our own - hopefully that aren't too crowded. Also any other suggestions for stream or lake fishing for trout or? We just like to fish - catching lot of fish is more fun to me than big ones. Thanks, Joel

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    Also we are extending the trip . Now picking up the RV ion the 22nd and returning it Aug 2nd so have a few more days.

  17. #17
    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoelM View Post
    You guys have me convinced, not going to rent the boat. Not worth taking the chance. How about some suggestions for guides/charters as well as some places we can go on our own - hopefully that aren't too crowded. Also any other suggestions for stream or lake fishing for trout or? We just like to fish - catching lot of fish is more fun to me than big ones. Thanks, Joel
    I'm so thankful of your decision to forego the boat rental.

    Now, how about a fun filled day fishing on a safe boat with an experienced Captain ? I highly recommend Greg from Polebendersfishing.com
    give him a call and this will rate very high in your Alaska memory bank.

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    JoelM, are you by chance Military? If so, there are plenty of options. Try the Seward Military resport. You could also see if anyone has any open seats on their boats while here. Salmon fishing on the Russian and Kenai will also be amazing; it will be crowded, which may be a good thing for you as you can watch what others are doing and learn how to catch the salmon. In homer, you can fish from shore and catch fish. I think like others it is a good idea to take a charter for the experience, but I'm not sure I would have cancelled the boat all together. There is still good fishing in some of the coves close to Seward and even right off the spit in Homer you can catch cod like crazy. As long as you watch the weather and you play it safe, you can still have a good time. Hell, ask the kayakers, you don't need a 30 foot boat to go fishing here in Alaska. Try Ninilchick for a charter, what an adventure launching and loading on the beach with the tractors.
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    All kinds of options and you can rent boats in Whittier and Seward and stay inside the calmer waters. These guys are giving you good advice. The ocean out here is unpredictable and you could find yourself in a situation that outside your comfort zone in a hurry, especially on the Cook Inlet side, where the tidal currents rage and there are other considerations like drift nets and landing your boat, through the surf onto your trailer which is attached to a tractor. Leave the **** thing at home and come fishing here on a little bigger boat.

  20. #20
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    Depending on what my work schedule is, I could possible take you and your brother out. I like fishing out of Seward that time of year. PM me if interested
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