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Thread: Help with buying a river boat

  1. #1
    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Default Help with buying a river boat

    Born and raised on the salt water, but know next to nothing about river boats. Have always wanted one, and this week a hunting tag came our way that has me motivated to buy one. Looking new. The boat needs to be able to run the copper river for hunting and dipping reds. Like the idea of accessing Skilak lake and others for some black bear hunts. Not looking for something that will take extended trip up the Yukon, etc. Short run trips will be 95% of this boat's use. So far I've looked at the SJX boat that Compeaus sells, along with the Seaark boats at Deweys. Leaning toward an outboard/jet, but not married to it. Want something I can throw a 4 wheeler in.

    Thoughts/recommendations on what to look for and what to stay away from? Outboard vs. Merc optimax inboard? Thanks in advance.
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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    The optimax in an inboard tunnel sjx type boat would be high on my list if I had the dough to spend. There is one on craigs list anchorage for 32600 that looks like a fair price on a good boat. They are heavy haulers, fast, stable, shallow - a little bit loud. Sea Ark makes a nice one too (predator) with similar design. There are some old threads on this forum with lots of good discussion.

  3. #3
    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    a 20 ft SeaArk with at least an 80 hp Yamaha jet can haul a 4 wheeler rather easily in the Su. As long as you don't weld on a windshield in the front like some fool I know did.

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    Member Yukoner's Avatar
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    Speaking for myself, I'd never go back to an outboard jet after "seeing the light" of a V8 and 212 combo, however, outboard jets do have there place. Super shallow water for one, because they are so light and like Old John mentioned, that combo he spoke of will do well.
    I'd never buy new, better to let someone else take the depreciation, so e great deals in Albert and Northern BC these days with oil in the toilet. Check CL and Kijiji in these areas. You might find a great deal on a nice V8 rig, like a Outlaw or FireFish, especially with our Peso so low.
    Not exactly what your looking for but a great rig, and almost free with the exchange rate!
    http://www.kijiji.ca/v-powerboat-mot...ationFlag=true
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  5. #5
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    Any of these boats would be a great choice for what your looking for. woolridge sport jet, Extreme shallow, Phamton,sjx, predator,
    There a reason why these boats listed are very popular among guys in Alaska. Look around at the boat launch or on river. It's a sport jet!



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  6. #6
    Member oakman's Avatar
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    I have a 20' sea ark with 115hp outboard (80 at jet). Great boat. I used it for what you're talking about. Would also make the Yukon runs. Great for dipnetting the Kenai or Copper River. Pretty tough hull, takes a beating for sure. Lots of different set ups, windshield front or rear, center console, etc. I have the rear windshield. I can get a 4 wheeler in the front or lots of gear. A front windshield will make big things like that more difficult, but has other advantages. My neighbor has the same boat as me but with a center console. LOTS of room in his boat, but no cover. So if it's raining, he's wet.

    I'd second craigslist or something similar.

  7. #7
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    I had a 20ft Lund john boat with a Yamaha 115 and it was a great riding boat but too much V and cavitated. Then I went to a 24ft Seaark with a 4 stroke Yamaha 150 with both lower units. It was a Yukon meat hauling machine. Best weight hauler I have had with a prop or jet. Then I got the hankering I needed an inboard so I got a 21ft Boulton with a Kodiak 350 and 3 stage jet. That was a blast to drive but didn't haul weight like the seaark.

    Now last year I bought the Seaark 22ft Predator with the 200 sport jet. Definitely the funnest boat I have had to date driving wise and it will get you places you shouldn't :top job: It is loud though as you will read in places. I have put sound dampening material under the hood and it has helped a lot. I put a load in that thing that it shouldn't have hauled. PM me with an email if you want pictures. I don't remember how to post here.

    What I will say is a 4 wheeler is a piece of cake to haul with a 200 sport jet. And the boat is lighter than a true inboard. Lots of pros and cons. The key is fit the budget with the boat you think will do the most for you. Because I debate on selling mine now with 70 hours just to try another and I love my boat but cannot afford every darn boat Alaska could use.

  8. #8
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Tlingit,
    Contact Stanly if you are interested in a sea ark with a yamaha jet. His is pretty tricked out and for sale.
    Bk
    BK Marine Services 232-6399
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  9. #9
    Member Stanly's Avatar
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    Tlingit,

    Sent you a PM, give me a call...
    When the HOGS show up, somethins gonna DIE!!!
    Blood Sport
    32' Custom Wooldridge
    MMSI #: 338181573

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    Stanly,
    What mods have you done to your SeaArk? I'm interested in buying one.
    Thanks,

  11. #11
    Member Stanly's Avatar
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    Man,

    Tons, here's a youtube link it shows a lot but not all of them. If you're interested PM me and I'll get you my phone number...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmQSwYh1ayg
    When the HOGS show up, somethins gonna DIE!!!
    Blood Sport
    32' Custom Wooldridge
    MMSI #: 338181573

  12. #12
    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    Tlingitwarrior,

    I have owned two SeaArk tunnel jets. I currently have an 1860 jet tunnel with a Honda 90/65. I have always thought my next boat would have a uhmw bottom. I am big fan of Svendsen jet skiffs(check out their website!). I would recommend a Seaark or Svendsen with powered by a Mercury Fourstroke 150 tiller or the 115 if that is max hp I know a few people who have these and they are indeed better than even the Optimax as jet motors (but you can't go wrong with a Yamaha either though) but the Merc maintenance you can do all your self saving money over time. You should be looking at a 72" or wider bottom hull. An outboard tunnel jet will be the least expensive, and if you aren't bashing the bottom on rocky creeks then it will last you a long time. If rocks are in your future look to getting a hull with uhmw (or at least try to get a Seaark with ice-runners which are beefed up hull streaks). A sportjon type would be cool for sure but they are easily 2x more in up front costs, but the performance is 2x better still. My current skiff does a solid 25knots, the sportiest are 50mph boats. I do hear it can suck to blow a sport jet motor though.

    Sobie2

  13. #13
    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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  14. #14
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    I think you want this? Phantom would probably have the most options if you need something to haul a 4 wheeler.

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...at-Deprivation

    HondainBoat006600x450.jpg

  15. #15
    Member Yukoner's Avatar
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    Pretty good deal one this Wooldridge SSD
    http://anchorage.craigslist.org/boa/5435046261.html
    Never wrestle with a pig.
    you both get dirty;
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    Member killer instinct's Avatar
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    I will be selling my 2011 Wooldridge Alaskan XL 21' shortly (just need to pull it out from the backyard =D ) - we have mainly used it on the Copper River for Dipnetting (see my pictures on the Wooldridge site here - and see my video). If interested, let me know. Very low hours. If you want a package deal, selling my Glacier Craft (26 ft) also. You can have the best of both worlds - Ocean & River!

  17. #17
    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the recommendations. Taking a look at Stanly's boat tomorrow. Looked at new Seaark's yesterday at Deweys and will look at the Alweld's when I'm in Fairbanks next week.
    In 1492 Native Americans discovered Columbus lost at sea
    _________________________________________________

    If I come across as an arrogant, know-it-all jerk, it's because I am

  18. #18
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Tlingit,
    Did you buy Stanlys boat?
    I know he had all the mods and add-ons an Alaskan boat needs!
    Good purchase if so!!
    Bk
    BK Marine Services 232-6399
    Planar diesel heaters dealer, service, warranty, and installation.
    Airboats, ocean boats, and river boats serviced.
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    Quote Originally Posted by killer instinct View Post
    I will be selling my 2011 Wooldridge Alaskan XL 21' shortly (just need to pull it out from the backyard =D ) - we have mainly used it on the Copper River for Dipnetting (see my pictures on the Wooldridge site here - and see my video). If interested, let me know. Very low hours. If you want a package deal, selling my Glacier Craft (26 ft) also. You can have the best of both worlds - Ocean & River!
    PM Inbox is full.

  20. #20
    Member killer instinct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jagdterrier View Post
    PM Inbox is full.
    Whoops! Ok - cleared now.
    Tammy

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