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Thread: Suggestions for all-around boat

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    Default Suggestions for all-around boat

    I know this has been covered before, but I need a refresher. I may finally get a boat this fall or next spring. Uses are wide and varied. Lakes, some rivers but nothing super shallow or challenging, and coastal waters (i.e. PWS on a nice day, trolling for silvers in Valdez, etc.).

    I want aluminum, jet-powered. Heated cabin or soft-top type cabin/canopy. Aggressive enough to take some waves but shallow enough to run some of the bigger rivers.

    I like the Thunderjet Alexis type boat for this purpose. Doesn't have to be a TJ...in fact, that is what this thread is about. I think Thunder Jets are over-priced, but I need some similar boat alternatives. Throw out the ideas!

    Recently saw an ad for a Phantom Alaskan Sportsman, which looked about perfect other than the fact that I have heard little to nothing about the American Turbine jet unit it was running.

    I have down-graded my dream boat for now, mainly because I'm sick of waiting for the big money, so I need something that'll get the job done. Ideas are appreciated!

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    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    I have seen a few used TJ Alexis for sale from $25-$35k that seem pretty good, with full hard tops, AK bulkheads, and Hamilton 212s. Is $35 too much? Got a budget to share? I have also seen a few North River jet boats of the same. Also the Wooldridge Sport model comes to mind.

    Bigger rivers like the Yukon can be run with prop. I own an outboard jet and switch from jet to prop. It works great on a skiff, but I am not sure how well switching lower units works on a larger boat. A big boat with an outboard pump may be a big of a pig.

    Sobie2

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    Member redleader's Avatar
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    I have a 22' thunderjet Rio, with alaskan hardtop, it is a great boat for what it is but I also have a thirty foot ocean boat for long range trips, the thunder jet is not a safe saltwater boat and will beat you up in the slightest chop, I still use it on the salt but it is far from ideal. You won't find a single boat that will do everything you want to do safely and comfortable.

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    Member redleader's Avatar
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    Btw, I save 10k bringing up from Washington.

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    Member ak_cowboy's Avatar
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    I would look at the complications of running an inboard jet in the saltwater before setting my mind to it. I think twin outboards that you can switch between props and jets would give you more options.

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    I agree. I have seen far too many jet boats being pulled into the harbor because they got a bunch of garbage into the intakes....And that is on good days when the seas are fine. Sure you might get by, but you also might not. Over the 4th a guy in a TJ only made it 200 yards out the harbor in Seward before his was plugged up. He was lucky as he only had to go 200 yards to get out of the 5 foot white caps. River boats are great on the river and ocean boats not so much. Ocean boats are really good on the ocean on hang up on every rock in the river...I guess somebody has to say it - there is not an all around boat. You will probably not be happy with a jet equipped river boat in the salt.


    Quote Originally Posted by redleader View Post
    I have a 22' thunderjet Rio, with alaskan hardtop, it is a great boat for what it is but I also have a thirty foot ocean boat for long range trips, the thunder jet is not a safe saltwater boat and will beat you up in the slightest chop, I still use it on the salt but it is far from ideal. You won't find a single boat that will do everything you want to do safely and comfortable.

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    With every intent of temporarily borrowing this thread....hopefully not outright hijacking....I'm evaluating a Wooldridge Super Sport Drifter for a "lakes and rivers" boat....vs. a pure flatbottom such as a Wooldridge Alaskan XL.

    What might I give up, skinny-water-wise, going to something like the Super Sport vs. a dedicated river sled such as the Alaskan XL?

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    Member coho slayer's Avatar
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    I know, I know....you can't have it all in one boat. I'm just wanting the most versatile thing I can find. I was also looking at the Wooldridge SS Drifter Inboard.

    Why are jets an issue in the salt? What stuff is clogging them up, and isn't that what a stomp grate is for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa12drvr View Post
    With every intent of temporarily borrowing this thread....hopefully not outright hijacking....I'm evaluating a Wooldridge Super Sport Drifter for a "lakes and rivers" boat....vs. a pure flatbottom such as a Wooldridge Alaskan XL.

    What might I give up, skinny-water-wise, going to something like the Super Sport vs. a dedicated river sled such as the Alaskan XL?
    The SSD is a jet boat if it's a outboard it's 10 degrees on the bottom and 18 in the bow. The SSD Inboard is 12 degrees in the bottom and 18 in the bow. A AK XL is 9 degrees all the way. None of our boats are pure flatbottom's. both boat's are great at shallow water, I have some video's if you would like to see them. The outboard models have tunnel's. the SSD's have the deeper V in the bow and thus ride better in open water. Glen

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Wooldridge View Post
    The SSD is a jet boat if it's a outboard it's 10 degrees on the bottom and 18 in the bow. The SSD Inboard is 12 degrees in the bottom and 18 in the bow. A AK XL is 9 degrees all the way. None of our boats are pure flatbottom's. both boat's are great at shallow water, I have some video's if you would like to see them. The outboard models have tunnel's. the SSD's have the deeper V in the bow and thus ride better in open water. Glen
    Thanks, Glen. Was in your shop last week and was quite impressed with the work y'all are turning out. Made the mistake of touring the shop with the wife and grandkids and when the grandkids said they want to ride on Big Lake, I was forced to think outside the "rivers only" mode. Everything I saw at the shop as well as the information provided by the team was top-notch.

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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    I don't you could beat the SS drifter with the inboard and a stomp grate, but I used to run a Hewescraft Sportsman with the 200 SJ and it was a very good all around boat. We took that thing up all the rivers, PWS, Seward and Homer. Loved that thing.
    27' Wooldridge Super Sport Offshore Pilothouse PRIME TIME!
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    Coho slayer, I've been on the same mission for a year or so and I've ended up deciding on a Wooldridge Super Sport Drifter outboard. With the outboard I can go from jet to prop as the water demands it. For my needs anyway, this is the ideal multipurpose boat (leaning towards river) that I could find. Good luck. Lots of good boats out there...

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    Member Grayling Slayer's Avatar
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    I think my 21' Hewescraft Riverrunner is pretty close to the perfect all around Alaska boat. It will run shallow enough for most rivers and is very confident in the Copper or PWS chasing silvers. Inboard is reliable and only burns 9 gph cruising. Soft top with heaters and defroster keeps the wife happy in September. Best of all I got into it with less than 200 hours on the clock for $10k.
    "I'd rather be fishing!"

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by coho slayer View Post
    I know, I know....you can't have it all in one boat. I'm just wanting the most versatile thing I can find. I was also looking at the Wooldridge SS Drifter Inboard.

    Why are jets an issue in the salt? What stuff is clogging them up, and isn't that what a stomp grate is for?
    Sometimes there is an amazing amount of kelp and other growth floating around that gets sucked in. I guess jet boats don't like their veggies.....lol....I would think the stomp grate would do the trick in the majority of cases for sure. I watched the poor guy with the TJ trying everything he could to get good water, but it was pointless and I think he was just packing more crap in. So, he went back to the dock on the kicker. I am not so sure that TJ boats are unsafe in the salt as another posted, but I'd be reluctant to venture too far in fear of getting plugged up.

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    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grayling Slayer View Post
    I think my 21' Hewescraft Riverrunner is pretty close to the perfect all around Alaska boat. It will run shallow enough for most rivers and is very confident in the Copper or PWS chasing silvers. Inboard is reliable and only burns 9 gph cruising. Soft top with heaters and defroster keeps the wife happy in September. Best of all I got into it with less than 200 hours on the clock for $10k.
    That will be hard to beat....! And that is a excellent all around boat.......!
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

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    Quote Originally Posted by T.R. Bauer View Post
    Sometimes there is an amazing amount of kelp and other growth floating around that gets sucked in. I guess jet boats don't like their veggies.....lol....I would think the stomp grate would do the trick in the majority of cases for sure. I watched the poor guy with the TJ trying everything he could to get good water, but it was pointless and I think he was just packing more crap in. So, he went back to the dock on the kicker. I am not so sure that TJ boats are unsafe in the salt as another posted, but I'd be reluctant to venture too far in fear of getting plugged up.
    Stomp grates work "grate" for rocks, if you use it to free up vegetation...you have to remember to shut the motor down first, otherwise the vegetation will get sucked around the grate....then you have a fine mess and really wish you had a prop.......!
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

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    Member ak_cowboy's Avatar
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    Also, inboards using salt water for cooling can lead to a host Of other problems if not properly flushed out.

    sent from my igloo

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    I think that might have been the case with the red TJ in Seward over the weekend. I really felt bad for him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Akgramps View Post
    Stomp grates work "grate" for rocks, if you use it to free up vegetation...you have to remember to shut the motor down first, otherwise the vegetation will get sucked around the grate....then you have a fine mess and really wish you had a prop.......!

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    Member redleader's Avatar
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    Had to go swimming to clear the intake on mine once, before I got the stomp grate installed. A jet boat has less control on a wave in rough water and if your in bad tide rips or stacked waves they don't have enough bow to keep from being flooded, one of them submarined out of Whittier a few years ago.

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    Member Yukoner's Avatar
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    I'll second the Wooldridge Sport as a good all around rig. Mine runs as shallow as I care to, and will safely run the lakes.
    there is a Sport with an inboard for sale on CL Anchorage, nice clean looking rig.
    Never wrestle with a pig.
    you both get dirty;
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