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Thread: Whittier water calmness

  1. #1

    Default Whittier water calmness

    I have already looked at the marine forcast for whittier and passage cannal this weekend, suppost to be 2 ft. I am really concerned about the seas at pigot point/pigot bay/port wells. Do you think it is safe or unsafe to be there in a 16' boat, any advice or typical weather conditions would be helpful

  2. #2
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Not me

    Not me. I'd get a bigger boat. 16' for PWS is small. Oh yea, guys do it but not me. Maybe it is calm enough to go out. But a little wind and you are not coming back. You are going to anchor up in a little bay for the night, or two, until things calm down.

    I don't mean to rain on your parade, but I have been boating out there for 7 years. Six of those years I have made 3-4 trips a week during shrimping season.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    16 foot boat is a pretty broad category:

    16 foot jon boat, never
    16 foot skiff, I would recomend against it
    16 foot zodiak or rib, no problem.

    I've been out of whittier several times the past few weeks, in fact I was just out yesterday. The conditions change rapidly and even within relatively short stretches. Yesterday in the morning was pretty calm out from Whittier but when we got into Wells passage it was well over 2 foot seas, probably pushing 4' in some areas. Then we ran down Culross which was flat after the first narrows, and we had it very calm all the way out to the E side of Knight island. It was flat way out there and then pretty much calm all the way back.

    Then on this Sunday it was calm coming back from the same area, until we turned the point into Whittier where the wind had picked up off the glacier and was 2 pushing 4 feet all the way into the harbor.

    The other concern are wakes. There is alot of boat traffic and and of whittier, not just pleasure boats by commercial fishing boats and cruise ships. You're almost guranteed to see some 2' wakes on the way out or back to Pigot point.

    So since you're already concerned, and that's a good thing, I'd say follow your instinct and find another place to boat, or rent a larger boat. I'd say if a boat can't handle at least 4' seas, it has no business going out in the sound, even for a short run. For me 20' is the minimum length skiff I'd take out there.

  4. #4
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    Default

    I agree with Paul and others. Port Wells can get very nasty in a very short time. Call Whittier Boats and see if they can rent you one. If not confine yourself to Passage Cannal and wear your PFDs!

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    Default Wed in Whittier

    Right on Potbuilder!!!

    I was out yesterday, I'm running a 20' SeaRunner, slowed way down and still took on way more than my fair share of salt... And it was'nt even ROUGH...

    Just the combo of the tide, the wind made and out direction of travel.....

    Needless to say the trip from Decision Pt. all the way into Culross Passage was slow and steady. Fishing Pigot was'nt even an option for us. However, an hour or two later it all laid down flat.

    Return trip was glassy calm... You just never know. But ya gotta be prepared for the worst... and then just enjoy it when things are nice.

    Ps.. On the way back in we passed a small jon boat, looked to be 16' long and had at least 4-5 adults... Sure they all had the life vests on but were in NO MAN's LAND (way to far from any shore). It can be done but what you got ask yourself, "do I honestly believe that what I'm doing is safe."

  6. #6

    Default

    I thought I covered this for you in your other thread on Whittier.?

  7. #7

    Default

    Our boat is a harbercraft, newer models are called jetcrafts/// how much is a boat rental

  8. #8
    Member Rod in Wasilla's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    16 foot boat is a pretty broad category:

    16 foot jon boat, never
    16 foot skiff, I would recomend against it
    16 foot zodiak or rib, no problem.

    ...For me 20' is the minimum length skiff I'd take out there.
    I agree that a typical 16-foot jon-boat or skiff is probably out of it's league anywhere in western PWS outside of Whittier harbor. There's just too many things that can happen too quickly in the sound for that to be a good idea.

    But, as you stated, there are other types of boats in the 16-foot range that can fare pretty well assuming the captain is experienced and WILL tuck away in a cove for as long as it takes for the weather/water to settle down.

    Personally, I had my old 16-foot C-Dory out as far as Latouche. Now I have a 17-foot Arima Sea-Ranger and make trips as far as prudent fuel management allows, about 50-60 miles depending on activities planned along the way (can't quite make it to Latouche with the fuel tanks I have). Still, I always know that I could be stuck out there for a few days if the weather gets really snotty, and I plan accordingly.

    I usually try to plan for the worst and hope for the best.
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  9. #9
    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WinMag View Post
    Right on Potbuilder!!!

    I was out yesterday, I'm running a 20' SeaRunner, slowed way down and still took on way more than my fair share of salt... And it was'nt even ROUGH...

    Just the combo of the tide, the wind made and out direction of travel.....

    Needless to say the trip from Decision Pt. all the way into Culross Passage was slow and steady. Fishing Pigot was'nt even an option for us. However, an hour or two later it all laid down flat.

    Return trip was glassy calm... You just never know. But ya gotta be prepared for the worst... and then just enjoy it when things are nice.

    Ps.. On the way back in we passed a small jon boat, looked to be 16' long and had at least 4-5 adults... Sure they all had the life vests on but were in NO MAN's LAND (way to far from any shore). It can be done but what you got ask yourself, "do I honestly believe that what I'm doing is safe."
    Right on what???? what did i say???

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  10. #10
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishwhacker View Post
    Our boat is a harbercraft, newer models are called jetcrafts/// how much is a boat rental
    Look at the top of this thread and give Rob a call at Whittier boats.

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
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