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Thread: How small is too small?

  1. #1

    Default How small is too small?

    We are taking steps to move to Alaska. I currently have two boats. I was thinking about bringing one with us
    but I am not sure if it would be useful in AK. Here I would use it on local lakes and a river to fish. It's a 14 foot Alumacraft
    with a 25 hp 2-stroke. Is it worth bringing it up or should I just sell it here? How small is too small?

  2. #2


    That's a very usable boat for lakes and rivers as you describe....but I'd slick that sucker up and sell it. There are always good, serviceable and reasonably priced boats similar to yours on craigslist that might offset the money and possible grief of transporting a unit to Alaska. Just my opinion...I expect others will weigh in. Good luck on putting the move together!

  3. #3


    I agree with Gary. That size boat/motor combo would be useful up here, but probably best to sell it down there and buy a new/used one up here when you get here. Some places have started to restrict outboards to 4-stroke only (if you get into dipnetting on the Kenai for example, you will need 4-stroke), so this would be a good opportunity to upgrade and have those bases covered in the same move.

  4. #4
    Member mudbuddy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Alaska, Mat valley



    Some 4 cycle trends happening here.

    For the pain & expense of getting it here,
    sell there & buy one here might be prudent.
    Then you can make a better decision when you see the waters & restrictions here.

  5. #5


    At the time I purchased the boat, the 4 strokes were coming out more. My boat is rated for 5 people with the weight of the 2-stroke.
    I think Alumacraft later adjusted the rating down to 4 people for the same boat to allow for the additional weight of a 4-stroke.

    It's been a great boat. It's like new. But I probably will want a little larger boat in Ak. It's tough to give up things I actually like.

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by Arrowchaser View Post
    It's tough to give up things I actually like.
    There will be a few times that you'll really wish you still had it. But most of the time you'll be really happy that you replaced it. I know a couple of guys that went to the trouble of bringing up comparable boats, and within a couple of years the boats were almost never used. By the time they got around to replacing them, they took a heck of a beating on the price and really regretted the decision to bring them up. Such rigs generally aren't highly thought of or used here. The owners could have got a lot more money selling them before the move.

  7. #7
    Member Sobie2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006


    A 14' is not too small if it has high enough sides. Lund, Crestliner Sportsman, Smokercraft Alaskan, some G3 models. I think you need at least a long shaft (20") motor/transom with a 25" XL being even better. The problem of smaller boats is low freeboard, a lot of people have died when coming off step and their boat swamps in weather and being over loaded.

    Hopefully your 14' will work. But trailering from Penn, you may be better off selling and buying something up here.


  8. #8
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Anchorage Alaska


    I would look real hard at the cost of getting it up here.

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by Sobie2 View Post
    ...problem of smaller boats is low freeboard....
    It's compounded with the rounded chines on most of them. It doesn't take much of a load shift to drop the gunnel perilously close to the surface.

  10. #10
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    If you have it you'll certainly find a use for it. That said, many of the smaller lakes do not allow use of an engine, and some are limited to under 10hp.

    Personally I'd think a 20 foot skiff with a 50hp 4 stroke and a canoe would be a better setup for lakes, rivers and protected salt water.
    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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