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Thread: First boat for the Copper River?

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    Default First boat for the Copper River?

    Hi, I want to Dipnet north of the bridge at Chitina. I am new to boating, but will have an experienced boater with me, although his boating experience has been in the sound...anyway, I'm guessing it needs to be a flat bottom/river boat, at least 18 ft long?? 40 hp engine or a little larger? my plan is to go up river a ways and tie off somewhere, since I'm told you can't access the river up stream due to it is surrounded by private lands. Something that can go in the river and the sound would be great, but I suppose that would be asking too much........

    Thanks

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    From what I have seen most guys run jets. So a 40 h.p. jet I think would be way too light of engine.

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    Default First boat for the Copper River?

    You surprised at what you see. If your above the bridge dip netting you'll be ok. But it won't take much and you won't have power to push you self back up.

    I ran 50 horse prop all dip net season on copper above bridge dipnetting. The guide also runs a prop.
    As far as access it state Here a couple pics.

    The copper is not a river learn how to run a boat on.








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    Thanks for the responses.
    akmike, are you using a flat bottom boat? doesn't really look like it. That would give me some more options and uses!

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    If you were me, what type of boat would you be looking for?

    Thanks

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    It's a tricky river, just like many other glacial rivers in Alaska. It's very silty which makes seeing anything in the water almost impossible. It can be windy which puts a little chop over the entire river which makes things tough. It has a pretty strong current which means you need a little extra power.

    I run a 20' sea ark with a 115hp motor. I put the jet on (80hp) and have no problems. My biggest load there was down below the canyon, 4 guys, maybe 100 fish total (???), and dipnetting gear (nets, lunches, etc).

    I have since added a tunnel hull. My suggestion would be a flat bottomed boat with a tunnel, and at least a 90hp (65 hp at jet) motor. Depends on how big of a load you plan to have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oakman View Post
    It's a tricky river, just like many other glacial rivers in Alaska. It's very silty which makes seeing anything in the water almost impossible. It can be windy which puts a little chop over the entire river which makes things tough. It has a pretty strong current which means you need a little extra power.

    I run a 20' sea ark with a 115hp motor. I put the jet on (80hp) and have no problems. My biggest load there was down below the canyon, 4 guys, maybe 100 fish total (???), and dipnetting gear (nets, lunches, etc).

    I have since added a tunnel hull. My suggestion would be a flat bottomed boat with a tunnel, and at least a 90hp (65 hp at jet) motor. Depends on how big of a load you plan to have.
    Born and raised in Copper Center, I can attest to the wickedness of that river. I won't be on it with anything less than a 80 hp jet.
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    copper.jpgking.jpg

    I like high sides and Horse power.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by msta999 View Post
    Hi, I want to Dipnet north of the bridge at Chitina. I am new to boating, but will have an experienced boater with me, although his boating experience has been in the sound...anyway, I'm guessing it needs to be a flat bottom/river boat, at least 18 ft long?? 40 hp engine or a little larger? my plan is to go up river a ways and tie off somewhere, since I'm told you can't access the river up stream due to it is surrounded by private lands. Something that can go in the river and the sound would be great, but I suppose that would be asking too much........

    Thanks
    I'm in a similar situation as you but already have the boat. I have a 18' inflatable with 50hp prop. I have a good bit of experience or rivers but not the copper. Having never been there before I'm trying to decide on getting the permit for above the bridge or below the bridge. Would be interested in other peoples thoughts on going above the bridge or below the bridge with a similar set up to mine and what are the pros and cons of each. Would also like to hear from people who run an inflatable there. Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dahlenburg View Post
    I'm in a similar situation as you but already have the boat. I have a 18' inflatable with 50hp prop. I have a good bit of experience or rivers but not the copper. Having never been there before I'm trying to decide on getting the permit for above the bridge or below the bridge. Would be interested in other peoples thoughts on going above the bridge or below the bridge with a similar set up to mine and what are the pros and cons of each. Would also like to hear from people who run an inflatable there. Thanks.
    You really need to see it first before you think about boating on it. It is a maze of whirlpools, currents, rocks, boiling water, trees and other crap. It is probably the deadliest river in Alaska as far as people killed. Up river from the bridge is not so bad. South gets interesting fast. It is not for the faint of heart or the inexperienced. It is the one river where I might pay someone else to take me out a few times and then decide on what to do. The only river I have a lot of respect for that river. Even though I dip net from shore, I always tie off just in case.

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    Something like a 18 ft Lowe? Has a 50 hp jet? Sounds like I'd be better off with the prop for what I want...


  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by yanert View Post
    copper.jpgking.jpg

    I like high sides and Horse power.
    Are you suggesting that my 12' porta bote and 6hp may not be the ideal Copper river dipping platform? ...lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garyak View Post
    Are you suggesting that my 12' porta bote and 6hp may not be the ideal Copper river dipping platform? ...lol
    Yes, unless you have a Stainless steel prop.
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    Quote Originally Posted by yanert View Post
    copper.jpgking.jpg

    I like high sides and Horse power.
    That looks something like this:
    18 ft Hewescraft w/ 90hp Yamaha


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    I used a 60hp jet and 18' g3 with no problems in the canyon last year. If it worked there it will work great above the bridge. However, there is little room for error in a boat like a g3 out there. And the consequences of a mistake may not be worth the risk, but that's your decision. I would do it again, but I also have a minute or two experience running boats in ugly places.15590957_1269924726400940_3198981289859640740_o.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by akmike30 View Post
    You surprised at what you see. If your above the bridge dip netting you'll be ok. But it won't take much and you won't have power to push you self back up.

    I ran 50 horse prop all dip net season on copper above bridge dipnetting. The guide also runs a prop.
    As far as access it state Here a couple pics.

    The copper is not a river learn how to run a boat on.









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    where is this? I don't see the bridge there? are there other places to launch on the river to fish up from the bridge?

    I have been thinking about doing some boating on a couple local rivers first (around Houston), but either way, I'm fishing up stream of the bridge, I didn't like what I saw below, it was just too crowded and I want to stay way from the canyon down below. I hope to have a second smaller motor, just in case something goes wrong with the main one, maybe the smaller one can at least get me to shore. There are suppose to be some boating classes coming up, I plan on taking one of them. From what I have been told and what I saw, it looks like up from the bridge is a better place for a beginner than below the bridge and I'm not really planning on going far, just get up from the fish wheels and find a place to park.

  17. #17

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    above bridge.JPGfeeling small.jpg

    Above the bridge some days look like this, you can feel very small out there in the middle of that mess.

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    I notice last year it gets crowded more on the weekends and thins out during the week. We got there on Friday and the place was packed, it was hard to find a place to dipnet, but Monday morning it was like a ghost town and that is when we started getting some fish

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    Member oakman's Avatar
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    For both Chitina and Kenai, I try very hard to stay away from the weekends. Tuesday - Thursday is usually pretty good, much quieter.

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    You put a jet on a 115 hp motor and only get 85 hp ? I suppose the jets come in different sizes then? I'll have to remember that

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