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Thread: Lets daydream: Best all around boat

  1. #1

    Default Lets daydream: Best all around boat

    Lets say money isn't an option, but we all know it is. So within reason. If you needed a boat that could take you down the big su to the mouth of the deshka, up the yentna, or down to the alexander but also take you out in PWS, seward, and around homer what would you choose? Obviously we're talking about a jet of some sort. Inboard or outboard. The boat needs to be big enough to handle some swells in the ocean, but not so big that it's a pig in the rivers. It needs to be flat enough to plane in the rivers but not so flat it absolutely pounds in the ocean.

    I realize there is no single boat that can handle everything Alaska has to offer, but there is a certain mix where you can enjoy a large variety so humor me! Feel free to post brands/models.

  2. #2
    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    Default Me too

    Tom, I have been serching all the sites for a baot and asking alot of the same questions. I have a 16' Zodiac with a jet right now and it is the BEST all around boat as far as I'm concered. However, it's not that comfortable for the wife. I too have been looking for a better all around boat. So, I hope several people chime in and give us thier opinions.
    Good Thread......
    Rob

  3. #3

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    Yeah I hear ya. I know those zodiacs will go anywhere, and you can jump rocks all day and they won't care. BUT you can't take the girls out on a rainy day and not hear about it

  4. #4
    Member skybust's Avatar
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    My 24 foot deep v classic Wooly

  5. #5
    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    Add to it: That doesn't burn all your money in fuel or maintenance.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtofak View Post
    Add to it: That doesn't burn all your money in fuel or maintenance.
    Nah, don't worry about money within reason. They're all expensive to operate. This season has taught me that since I've actually had my boat out 2 times and spent sooo much money fixing it.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by skybust View Post
    My 24 foot deep v classic Wooly
    Can you run that down the big su to the deshka? Up the yentna to the mouth of lake creek? Down to the alexander and up far enough to catch some fish?

  8. #8
    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    Default Girls?

    I know what ya mean. We were at Deep Creek all weekend and Friday it was rough. I thought the 8 mile out trip wouldn't come soon enough. She hated it.... 2 nice Halibut later, it was all good until the trip back.

    I was thinking some sort of Wooldridge also. What about a 18' or so Hewes Sea Runner with a jet? Or ThunderJet Inboard.

  9. #9

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    See, I have no idea. I've had this beat to hell Smokercraft forever, I've never been in anything else. But this winter I'm going to save, and save a lot. Come next spring I'm going to treat myself to something nice. So, out with it! Whats the best all around boat?

  10. #10
    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    I'm not going to say my boat is the best but there are several brands similar to my Thunderjet (inboard) that I would suggest looking into. We use it on the rivers as well as out of Homer, Seward and of course Whittier. That is until the chop hits about 3' and then it can be a little more than you really want if you have a long boat ride ahead of you.

    If money hadn't been an object I would have bought a 24' with a hardtop, suspension seats, 8 or 10hp high thrust kicker with remote steer, stomp grate and a decent preinstalled electronics package. The extras really add up. I am on my 4th summer and haven't stop spending money getting goodies The last time I bought something my wife suggested I get a bigger boat and I didn't have the heart to tell her that it would just mean that I had to buy this stuff all over again

  11. #11
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    Default The all around boat?

    To me a good all around boat would be a 20ft -24ft hull that is built with a good amount of V on the bow, fading off into a nice 8 degrees or even 6 degrees. Obviously, it is key to be able to cut through some of the bigger waves, but to be able to cruise up in some shallower water with the slighter "V" in the rear. Probably go with a min. of 1/8 up to 3/16 thick bottom. Run a OutboardJet (with fin kit)set up to a nice tunnel hull . I really like a smaller tunnels, just enough to accomodate the jet intake. Not to deep and not to long. You get into some of those bigger tunnels and you start loosing some of your bouyancy. I am more of an outboard fan vs. inboard. (Just my opinion) Keep the sides around 30 inches with nice 10ft long tackle trays down the sides. Rod storage underneath. Drivers fixed seat box with a couple 4 leg pedestal seats stands to move around if needed. Storage under the front deck. If you are thinking a console boat, do a center or side console with a full walkthrough windshield. Personally, I have my boats with a nice "Removable" walk through windshield. (Light smoke tinted glass) There are days when I like to be out in the open water, enjoying the breeze. Fold down soft tops are nice in case you run into some bad weather. I prefer to have a boat that you can walk all the way to the transom. At least on either side of a rear enclosure. I really enjoy backbouncing and feel I need to be towards the back. Plus it is nice for the guy netting fish. We put 3 place rod tubes throughout the boats also. That way if someone gets fighting a fish and rods need to be put down they can set them into the tubes. Keeps things organized. No broken rods! Might just as well throw in a CD Player for some of the longer trips. We have only put one in a boat, but it is kind of nice to listen to some tunes now and then. Put a series of trays under your console to hold your cd's etc. with a closing ,water tight door. I really like our electric anchor systems. We can easily lift 150lbs with them and they have a very fast retrieval, and quiet. In my next spec. boat I am going to be building a really nice cooler built in the boat to hold ice, drinks sandwiches,etc. I think this would be nice to just throw some ice in and load it up with goods. Probably use the same foam for the cooler as we use for Flotation. I like to keep fish and food in seperate coolers. Run double wall so the inside can just drain out by pulling a drain plug. Maybe put it in the front by the fish box or in the rear under a small rear raised deck. Have a kicker motor cut-out in the transom for a small kicker motor. I like to have contained cutting boards on deck to eliminate any scraps getting on the floor if cutting any baits. Well I could go on and on but this is a rough layout of what I like. By the way, If anyone has any questions or would like a DVD of our diff. boats, styles,etc. feel free to e-mail me at sephillips5@hotmail.com or call (989) 386-5641. We deliver to Ak at least twice a year. Early spring and mid summer, and hopefully early Fall next year. Thanks and chat with you soon, Jason @ RiverMan Boat Corp.

  12. #12
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    Default

    Pick the biggest Jet sled you can get by with on the rivers you want to run and then do not exceed its capabilities in the salt. I have spent a lot of years playing in PWS with an inboard jet that will handle the very skinny water. Do I wish I had another boat when I start getting pounded in PWS? - yes I do. I just keep on making the modifications to make it as user friendly as possible and then play when the weather lets me. My latest addition was a hard top to battle the weather and add visibility. Idealy it would be a foot wider with a little more V up front but I will continue to make do.

  13. #13
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    Default

    20 ft Alaskan II 250 hp Yamaha prop/ jet air ride seats do not over load in the salt and watch the weather

  14. #14

    Default Hewes Craft

    How about the Hewes Craft Sportsman? I think that would be as good as you can get for an all around boat.

  15. #15
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    Default

    I have a 18 jonboat with a jet and I love it for many reasons. Small, light, can get to some places others can't, cheep to run, cheep to tow. But there are other reasons why I don't like it too. I plan on gettting another boat but I will be keeping my jonboat.

    I've been thinking about what I want to get next and what I've come up with is a 24ft ish Inboard Jet, Full hard top (maybe 3/4), with everything I can possibly afford to get with it. This will be my next boat 1-2 yrs from now. I can run the big su, get out on PWS and Seward on nice days, and take it out on the lakes and have fun n the water. I can't think of any other type of boat that flexable on the type of use you can get out of it.

    And one day if everything works out good. I be looking in to a 34ft ish twin dsl saltwater boat. Again keeping the 2 other boats as well

  16. #16
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    Default Alweld with an outboard

    Mine is a 2270V w/ tunnel and splashwell. Hooked on the back is a CMC hydraulic lift carrying a Vmax 150hp engine. Shallow water we run the jet w/ stainless impellor, Yukon we run heavy so go to the prop with a 19 pitch stainless. I've carred well over 3,000lbs on long trips set up this way. We use 11.5gph @ 38mph downriver, 32 mph upriver.
    The cabin is set back 8' from the edge of the bow deck. Saddle tanks sit either side in front of the cabin and there is room for a 4-wheeler between them. I like to drive from the back for the smoother ride and easier to load freight, barrels, gear, etc. up front.
    Inside the cabin is small but comfy for 4 adults and some gear. A propane rv heater keeps the windows clear along with 2ea 12v electric heaters (small).
    Fuel switch, primer bulb and all controls are at easy reach from the captains seat.
    It all rides on a galvanized single axle w/ 15" tires 3750lb trailer.
    What would I do different for what you want? I would go to a 24" boat, longer cabin w/ a bit more stand up room, bigger saddle tanks, and maybe suspension seats up front. The 4-stroke and 2-stroke technology is much better now, so would run a 175 to 200hp E-tec. I plan to add an over the cabin rack for light gear, canoes, and kids. Would also have Mike Osborne in Fbks build a stomp grate for the outboard jet.
    BUT, since we are DREAMING BIG, I would design a whole new hull around an Allison or PT Turbine, 450hp - 675hp, tie it into a 2 speed gear reduction/transmission, pushing a 10" or bigger Hamilton pump. It would have enough cahonies to pull 4,000lbs out of the hole quicker than a drag car, and then shift into ovedrive and run up around 60 to 70mph. Yeah, I know, I am a dreamer, but you started it.

  17. #17

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    Rambling Raven - NICE hardtop on that boat. Did you add that yourself? I assume its aluminum? Would like some info on time/costs/etc on adding it. I suspect there's a many others here interested as well.

  18. #18
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    Default

    A buddy of mine has an older (mid-1990's) open boat - a 20' Almar with an inboard V6 Vortec. It has a good V at the bow, but flattens out like a typical sled at the stern. He takes it out in PWS and Resurrection Bay and although it takes a bit of a pounding if it's rough it does better than most shallow-water boats. It has pretty high sides too. He can run it in pretty skinny water and it still hauls a load.

  19. #19
    New member fishnhuntr's Avatar
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    Default I've got it.

    20' Hewescraft Sportsman w/ Merc 200 Optimax sportjet.

    My best friend has one as well. We run the rivers up here in the interior and fish Valdez 3-4 times a summer, we typically travel 40-50 miles out of Valdez for halibut. We shrimp, troll downriggers, and pretty much have a ball. We almost always travel together just in case, but we've had some great times. Merc is a lot more fuel efficient than the big 350/351 inboards. I'd recommend this boat to anyone.

    After a lot of looking around, riding with friends, and owning others, this is the best boat we've found for all around use.

    Now, if I COULD, I've have my sportsman and probably that new 26' Hewes Pacific Cruiser or maybe a 28' Almar w/ twin outboards lol. pm me if anybody is curious about her, her name is "Chasin' Tail".

  20. #20

    Default All around boat

    An all around boat at you asked for to do River, up to class 2, PWS or Homer and lakes like Skilac or bigger, there is only one choice to use that would be an Inflatable.
    I ran a 18' with a folding half top and a lexan 3' tall windshield all removable, and yes took girls out, since you added that, but kept Mustang Suits if it got colder out. Had a 25hp Honda 4 stroke that on a calm day would go 80 miles on 6 gallons of gas. Traded up to a 35hp Honda later.
    And still felt safe in the PWS in 12 foot seas, not fun tho, floating a river.

    Boats are get some thing some things taken away animals.

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