Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Let's Talk Tunnel Hulls

  1. #1

    Default Let's Talk Tunnel Hulls

    Currently I own an older 16' Lowe tunnel hull with a 6" tunnel and a 40/30hp jet. It has handled much more than what I ever expected a jet boat to handle. The places this boat will go without damaging the hull or foot is completely amazing and for an older boat the bottom is in good condition. In the distant future I hope to buy a larger more powerful boat but do not want to completely sacrifice shallow water performance or small creek handling. I definitely want a boat with a tunnel hull but it seems there are no mass production hulls with 6" tunnels. Basically, I am sold on the tunnel hull.

    I really like this 6" tunnel jet and I wonder if I will regret if I ever sell it. Most of the water I run is shallow and sometimes requires me to bust out the muscles to get the boat back to deeper water. So with that in mind lets review the options starting from top to bottom.

    Wooldridge 17.6' Alaskan 115/80 Jet:
    This boat is on my mind and I find myself always cruising Craigs list for a good used Alaskan. I have never been in one of these boats but I hear great things about them, also very few Alaskans are ever for sale. From the Riverjets forum I have heard on multiple occasions this is the best mass produced shallow water running boat made. I have looked at a few of these boats for the heck of it and the tunnel appears to be very shallow. It makes me wonder if they are constantly beaten by rocks in very skinny water. Maybe that is the price paid for the agility these boats are famous for? I wonder how tough it is to push one of these boats of a sandbar covered with an inch of water. I am still looking through the glass and drooling at a distance though.

    Roughneck 16' with 90/65 Jet:
    These appear to be a 3" tunnel hull. I have also looked at a few of these boats and the foot's have been banged up very badly. I think this setup may be a more practical package for what I am looking to do but I would also like a glass window front with a soft top for family comfort. I could be in the elements all day and it won't bug me, but the family is quite different.

    Sportjon:
    The video's are impressive and an inboard tunnel jet is unique. They were a dime a dozen when I was dipping in my itty bitty 16' jon on the copper. I don't know much about them, never been in one, but a used sportjon would spark my interest.

    Jetcraft ES:
    Don't know much about this boat either. I know it's not a tunnel but it could be on the radar if a good deal came along. Comments?

    The more I think about it the more I believe the boat I have right now is my ideal boat. But three adults, including myself, and gear and the boat is about maxed out. The wife would love a spot to get out of the rain with the daughter. But the lure of a more powerful boat is almost haunting me. Don't make me buy an airboat......

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    57

    Default

    I bought a 17 Wooldridge Alaskan this year nwith a 115 Suzuki jet. I did not have a tunnel on the boat that I had before. I looked at this boat for almost five years before I bought one. It was the same price as an extreme shallow but I think that I got twice the boat. In twenty years my son con have this boat and I would not even h\think two times about it. The hardest part for me was the weight difference of the old boat and the new boat. I have run this boat in six inches of water with no problems. I did not do this on purpose I did not suck any rocks into the jet. Just remenber that two years ago Wooldridge went to a wider bottom and from all that I have heared it makes all the diference in the world.

  3. #3

    Default Another option

    I just did a pike fishing trip on the Yukon in my 24' X 48" Alweld. It has an aluminum and lexan cabin that is bug and rainproof. I power it with a 35 hp GoDevil Surface Drive http://www.godevil.com/ and averaged 17 mph upstream and 23 mph down. I had a pretty good load (2 guys for a week) and in 212 miles used 28 gallons. The GoDevil will push the boat until it won't float and if it has an inch of water under the hull it will do it at idle. A lot of folks have to go faster and I appreciate that, but if you don't mind spending a little more time enjoying the scenery this may be an option. Oh yeah, we released 20 pike between 40 and 46 inches.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Chugiak
    Posts
    211

    Default Roughnecks

    I've ridden in a few Lowe Roughnecks with the 90/65hp jet but they were 19'6" models. I think a 90/65 is going a little overboard for a 16' boat. I was in a 19'6" with a 115/80hp yamaha 4 stroke and it would run in 4" of water on step. We went in 5" with no problems with the 90/65hp honda and the owner said 4" is not a problem. He lives on a river that is shallow so I believe him. They are tough boats but not enclosed. None are going to be east to push off a sandbar, you'll be looking at a come along or winch to get you off a sandbar.

  5. #5
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    SE Alaska-Summer Columbia River-Winter
    Posts
    2,007

    Default

    I have a 1993 Wooldridge Xtra plus with the tunnel. The bow of the boat has dragged gravel with the engine never touching. I run a 2005 Evinrude 250 w/power jet.

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
    1988 M/Y Camargue YachtFisher
    MMSI# 338131469
    Blog: http://alaskanseaduction.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Beaver Creek
    Posts
    2,267

    Default

    WG - If you want a ride in an Alaskan, just PM me. We can set something up. I know a pike slough..........

    Mike

  7. #7
    Member tjm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    2,125

    Default xs

    you know who to call if you ever want a ride in an XS

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    327

    Default

    The XS's have a tunnel.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    3,568

    Default

    Here is a picture of a Wooldridge 23 foot Alaskan II:
    Would like to add the 20 foot Alaskan II is actually lighter than the 18 footer due to the required floatation required in the smaller boat.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Tennessee

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    3,568

    Default

    And another:
    Shoot, cant add the other attachment!
    Tennessee

  11. #11
    Member flyfishak30's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    131

    Default Me too!

    Water,
    I have the same boat you have but with the 50/35. I have kind of desided to just buy the whole family a good set of rain gear and than we will be set.
    Yea right. No it is a tough one I am thinking the same thing you are and I know there are a few places that we put these boats that no other boats can get too. I can hear the moans and goans now but it is true. I have jumped beaver dams gone over rock bars the only thing that has stopped me is my fuel tank. Man I need another high life. thats enough for now.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12

    Default

    Anyone with a tunnel hull mind taking a picture from the underside? I'm contemplating a little project this winter.

  13. #13
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Wasilla, Alaska, United States
    Posts
    3,185

    Default

    Take a look at the SeaArk too. I believe they offer a tunnel hull. I really like how wide of a beam they use. A friend of mine has a 22' with a 115 Yamaha (2-stroke), it is a real performer.
    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....

  14. #14

    Default

    It's the best I could do at almost midnight.



  15. #15

    Default

    Thats perfect, thanks a million! What would you say those dimensions are roughly? Looks like about 24" long, 18" wide, 5" deep?

  16. #16
    Member bgreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Kenai
    Posts
    344

    Default

    http://www.outboardjets.com/BoatSelection.htm

    This link has some good info about basic tunnel design.
    The individual right to keep and bear arms shall not be denied or infringed by the State or a political subdivision of the State.

  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks, AK
    Posts
    554

    Default stick w/ a tunnel

    Tunnels are great. I love mine. SeaArk "predator"....basically. 20'... may be for sale, too...

  18. #18

    Default

    If I get my workshop built before winter I think I'll turn my boat into a project during the cold months. I figure with a decent overhaul I can get many more seasons out of it, and get into skinnier water. With the money I'll save by not buying a new river boat I can focus on the sea boat

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •