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Thread: Little Su

  1. #1
    Member BigBrown767's Avatar
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    Default Little Su

    Hey Folks,
    Never ran my boat on the Little Susitna but I was told by a friend with the same boat that it's not a problem. I have a 21' Thunder Jet and would like to put in and head south. Any help/advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2

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    Going downstream shouldn't be a problem, I was out there this morning and the water level is good. If it's your first time you could always get out there early and follow the other boats down to learn the channels. But going downstream is far, far easier than going upstream. After the first couple turns you don't have anything to worry about. Just take it easy on the throttle. It's fairly narrow, lots of turns, and people anchored up.

  3. #3
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    A 21' Thunderjet would be possible, but not recommended. If you were coming across the inlet from Anchorage and going up from the mouth, it would be much easier/safer. The first several miles downstream from the landing has some nearly 180* corners and many of them aren't wide enough for two big boats to pass safely.

    The guides run 20-22' boats, but they are jon style with outboards and open for good visibility. Like Tom said, lots of people anchor up on the river and fish from their boats. Some of them don't realize that they choke off the channel with their choice of anchoring location.

    I'd be leary of taking a big boat like yours unless I came up from the mouth. I'm running a 17' skiff and at times it feels too big. If you do go, just be ready to stick it in the brush to avoid another boat. I swear some folks think they can take their half out of the middle!
    AKmud
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    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

  4. #4
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    Default

    Great boat but not for little Sue because of the speed you will need for staying on step. I run a 16' jon boat and it works perfect, but even then its tight passing other boats. You have to expect someone fishing on the outside of the corners. I agree, if you cross the inlet and go upstream you should be ok for a 5 miles or more but its not the best idea to go from Berma.

  5. #5

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    Sounds like coming in from the inlet is the best option for the owners of the larger boats. I have a 21 foot Customweld and was thinking of running up the little Su this weekend. I may try the cross inlet method. Any words of advise on crossing?

  6. #6
    Member Reel Friend's Avatar
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    Default Low water?

    I ran it late in King season but I went upstream in a Wooldridge AK 17.5 and I tore up my impleller. I would seriously consider water level before launching. I'd love to run it again because it's a beautiful little river but it's not worth another impleller until the water level goes up atleast another foot and a half. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

  7. #7
    Member Zissou's Avatar
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    Best one man boat/motor size to run the little su? I just want to find a place to beach it (sandbar/bank) and fish on my feet.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zissou View Post
    Best one man boat/motor size to run the little su? I just want to find a place to beach it (sandbar/bank) and fish on my feet.
    Whatever will run shallowest

  9. #9

    Default Just run it

    I have a 22 foot ThunderJet hardtop that i have ran many times there. I have ran a few miles up from burma on average riverflows and down to the mouth on lower flows just watch for the little guys.

  10. #10

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    I have used my Mokai there many times, best one man boat I have sips gas.

  11. #11
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    Default Crossing the Inlet

    "I may try the cross inlet method. Any words of advise on crossing?"

    You want to pick your weather. Sometimes even on sunny days it's blowing out of Turnagain Arm and there is a fair surf to deal with. You can usually see it if it's nasty, by looking from the A-C street overpass on the way to the Ship Creek area small boat harbor. You also might get weathered in on the way back, so plan on spending an extra night on the river. Generally morning tides are smoother that afternoon/evening tides.

    It depends on the size of the tide, but you want to get to the mouth an hour or two prior to high tide so you can see the banks of the river. That will give you enough time for the incoming tide to keep the water deep all the way to the airstrip. In fact you may have to slow down & wait some for the tide to keep up with you. Not much past that and you will run into shallow water no matter what the tide is doing, but it shouldn't be an issue in a jet boat.

    My dad's been doing it for over 40 years in prop boats, and many times I've been along or just gone by myself. I agree that with a +20' boat it's probably easier to go across the Inlet than come down. I've done that a few times in a small inflatable and even that was annoying when the river was full of fishermen.

  12. #12
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Thumbs down

    Quote Originally Posted by UM_Zac View Post
    I have a 22 foot ThunderJet hardtop that i have ran many times there. I have ran a few miles up from burma on average riverflows and down to the mouth on lower flows just watch for the little guys.
    Just because you can doesn't mean you should. The problem is when some folks running a $40,000 plus boat turn a corner and meet a small jon boat and are not willing to yield (which may require putting it into the brush/shore) when they don't have the right of way. The guy in the jon boat has to take evasive action (into the brush) and ends up taking on water because of the 20'+ throwing such a huge wake. (this scenario came from personal experience....)

    Don't get me wrong, I'm all for equal access, but sometimes the bigger boats should stay on the bigger water.
    AKmud
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    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKmud View Post
    Just because you can doesn't mean you should. The problem is when some folks running a $40,000 plus boat turn a corner and meet a small jon boat and are not willing to yield (which may require putting it into the brush/shore) when they don't have the right of way. The guy in the jon boat has to take evasive action (into the brush) and ends up taking on water because of the 20'+ throwing such a huge wake. (this scenario came from personal experience....)

    Don't get me wrong, I'm all for equal access, but sometimes the bigger boats should stay on the bigger water.

    Well if you are an experienced operator I see no harm in it. The guys that have a $40,000 plus boat and put on 5 hrs a year and don't know how to drive scare me. If everyone follows the rules of the river, yield to boats coming down river, stay to the right and such there should not be any problems. If you are implying that I would rather swamp a boat or have them go into the brush because of me you are mistaken. Just know your abilities behind the wheel thats what it really boils down to. For what its worth I have no quams about stuffing my $40,000 boat in the brush it's a fishing boat not something to sit in the driveway and look pretty.

  14. #14
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by UM_Zac View Post
    Well if you are an experienced operator I see no harm in it. The guys that have a $40,000 plus boat and put on 5 hrs a year and don't know how to drive scare me. If everyone follows the rules of the river, yield to boats coming down river, stay to the right and such there should not be any problems. If you are implying that I would rather swamp a boat or have them go into the brush because of me you are mistaken. Just know your abilities behind the wheel thats what it really boils down to. For what its worth I have no quams about stuffing my $40,000 boat in the brush it's a fishing boat not something to sit in the driveway and look pretty.
    In your original post you didn't comment about experience, right of way rules, etc... I know several folks who have $40,000+ boats sitting in their driveway that have no clue how to handle them on small water. They make a run or two to the Deshka and think they know everything about jet boats. My beef is if they come to this forum and see a post saying running the LS with a 22' hardtop 350hp inboard is no big deal, they will be the ones putting me and my family in danger as one of the "little guys".

    I hope you see my point. I'm not saying you are wrong for running the LS with your boat, it just takes experience and a lot of common sense to do it safely. Most of the guide boats out there are 20'+, but they are different hull designs and are all open with excellent visibility and I would bet they weigh in several hundred pounds less than a big hard top. Rarely do you see them running more than about 1/2 throttle.

    I'm still leaning pretty hard on the "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should" theory.
    AKmud
    http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j96/AKmud/213700RMK1-1.jpg


    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

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