My Dad and I just partnered on our first jet boat, a 22' North River Commander. He has some experience running jet boats; I have none. We spent years running a fiberglass cabin cruiser out of Whittier, but this is obviously an entirely different beast.
After we outfit the new tub, I'll to spend some time on Big Lake getting comfortable with the handling, throttle, etc. Once I've mastered the still water, I'll be looking for a relatively easy, low-risk river to run for my first couple of outings. I have a buddy with experience running jet boats on rivers who will come with to provide advice, laugh at me, and help pull me off of gravel bars. Still, I'm not going to pretend I have experience that I just don't yet. Best to know my limitations as I learn how to run a boat well over the next few years.
I'm based in Anchorage. Which rivers would you gents suggest I run my first few outings? I'm not worried about getting into the fish or anything of the sort. Just want to hone my skills without running into anything or getting myself into trouble. I'm willing to put some miles on the truck to get there, but closer to home is obviously a little more attractive.
Thanks in advance for whatever insight and ideas you can provide.
If you want to run some skinny water run the Knik. It's local and mostly just silt and gravel so not much chance of damaging the bottom if you do run aground.
BTW. Congrats on the new boat! Wise choice and one I'm sure your going to enjoy.
With that big of a boat, I would try Deshka landing down to the Deshka river or below. The hardest part is right out of the launch. And, the river changed to going to the north side of the river just before the Deshka river is a better way to go with a big inboard unless there is a bunch of water. Be careful of the sand bar that comes off the Deshka river. Also, the Deshka river gets skinny fast a few miles up. The Susitna is good to travel on below the Deshka. Above the launch there are some braids requiring navigation. Not too bad, but downstream is easier. A smaller boat, and 20 mile would work good, not sure you will like the launch with that big of a boat.
What is it powered with?