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Thread: Winter boating in PWS

  1. #1
    Member Arctic Hunter's Avatar
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    Default Winter boating in PWS

    Hey fellow boaters,

    Seriously thinking about keeping the boat in the water at least thru December to deer hunt with out of PWS. For those that have done it, any suggestions on how to keep the boat maintained? Weather issues and Whittier ramp conditions aside, what does one have to do to maintain your boat/outboard motor during this time, especially during the sub freezing temps we get.

    Would love to extend my boating adventures beyond early Oct.

    AH

  2. #2
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    Default Winter fun in boats

    First off, dont get fuel from whittier dock, this could cause a bad trip, I hear about bad fuel a lot, and my friend filled my boat up with it the other day from whittier. I hate to say it, but I've heard about it at least four times, and now my boat is filled with it!!! Heat did help though. The salt water shouldn't freeze in the motor, that being said I would recommend leaving the engine down in the water while overnighting, as the ocean temps in the sound don't tend to drop below freezing. One problem with this type of outing is that freezing spray seems to build up at about 10 degrees or so, could be warmer, could be colder depending on conditions, making windows hard to see through, decks exremely slippery, and in the worst case scenerios can make the boat extremely heavy. This will compound with the addition of snow and possible freezing rain this time of year. Also, it can snow heavily this time of year, which can sink your boat overnight if you were to leave it on pick while you slept in a forest service cabin, so be prepared for a long night of running the skiff back and forth to the boat in a heavy snow. One foot of wet snow weighs only god knows how much. So extra gear will include a snow shovel, ice scraper, indoor safe heater with fan, and it would be a good idea to carry a jumper pack and a 12 volt heater or hair drier to pre-heat the engines in case it gets below 20 degrees or so, just aim it under the cowling of the outboard and eat breakfast, have coffee, and fire it up and let it warm up on it's own for at least 15 minutes at or just above idle. Also, remember that there is not many boats out there this time of year, so finding help could be extremely difficult, so expedition behavior is a must!!!!! Bays with fresh water entering them tend to freeze as well, so you may have to deal with some ice depending on where you go. My last winter trip was in early april, and I was in my open RIB (I now have a cabin on it) it was about 25 degrees and I was hauling ass in 6 foot swells crossing cochrane bay on my return from culross cabin, I was in excellent winter gear and covered in a body condom of rain gear as well, so I was having a good time, my friend however, was scared as hell, and cold!! MAKE SURE ANYONE YOU TAKE IS MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY PREPARED FOR THIS TYPE OF TRIP!!! People on your boat are your responsibility!!! Go through their gear and make sure they have enough to stay warm and dry, and also enough extra to get warm and dry after a mis-hap or long hike through the snow getting the deer out. Have Fun.. Oh, and if you know where to get the deer can I come?? Two boats are better than one!! (I might even be able to find an airplane and pilot so we can go look for em before we put the boats in)

    Chris

  3. #3
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    Default

    Chris: good post!

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

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    Member Arctic Hunter's Avatar
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    Default Thanks!!!!

    Great post!!!

    Will keep you in mind when ready to plan on the trip. I was thinking Montague, but if we can find em closer, the better. Hell anyone else want to come? We can go with a group of boats and then spread out once we are there!!! Safety in numbers, especially during the winter. Or if anything, keep everyone posted on who's going and when and hunting reports, etc.

    Andy

  5. #5

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    One thing to consider is taking extra supplies such as a case of MRE's the weather can get real nasty and stay that way for a while. On one trip we spent 6 days anchored in port etches at Hinchinbrook Is. The wind was blowing so hard it would pick up our 12' inflatable that was tied to the boat and hover it for 15 seconds at a time. We were in a 30' wood boat anchored in 30' of water and had to let out over 200' of anchor rope to stop dragging.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Sorry to hear about your friends "bad" luck.
    I disagree with your "First Off" remark about fuel from Whittier dock. I have never, I repeat NEVER had an issue with fuel from the docks and I burn alot. (200+ gallons per week)
    But on a side note, I have a water separator installed.

  7. #7
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Wish I could afford to burn 200 gallons a week!

    I to have gotten fuel from the dock and had no problems. Maybe lady luck was on my side those times?

  8. #8
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    Default Boats

    Boats= Black Hole by which we throw our money down!

    I have got fuel at the docks without any problem, except a drain on my wallet!


    BTW: I will be attempting to change DOT regulations to allow us to bring fuel through the tunnel in an approved container.

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

  9. #9
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm heading out in Nov. YEah on the the fuel in Whitter. It's a rip off. First off $30 for them to come out if it's before $8am. and then the price. I fill up at the gas station in Bird Creek. Cheap.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  10. #10

    Default Winter Boating

    Have any of you had any problems with your LCD screens freezing during the winter? How do you prevent it? Are there alternatives to LCDs?
    Thanks for the help and information.

  11. #11
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    What is the ramp like from Nov-Dec? Is it doable with studded tires and four wheel drive?

  12. #12

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    According to a gal working the ramp at Whittier, the ramp is going to be re-done (and a new lane added) before next year. You might check with the harbor master to make sure the ramp isn't going to be out of comission coming up.

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    Default Good Point

    Quote Originally Posted by LipSnatcher View Post
    Sorry to hear about your friends "bad" luck.
    I disagree with your "First Off" remark about fuel from Whittier dock. I have never, I repeat NEVER had an issue with fuel from the docks and I burn alot. (200+ gallons per week)
    But on a side note, I have a water separator installed.
    I've heard about it, and now it happened. But it could just be bad luck. On that note though, thanks for reminding me I need to get new water seperators before I go out again. Ive filled up there too and not had problems either, so I'll pull that remark as not to offend the good folks who own the fuel dock.

    Chris

  14. #14
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    Angry They offend us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_Stout View Post
    so I'll pull that remark as not to offend the good folks who own the fuel dock. Chris

    Chris, they are going to be offended as they are in bed with DOT to keep us from bring fuel through the tunnel. This allows them to ripp off the rich folks from Anchorage. This is something I plan to try and change this winter!

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

  15. #15
    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arctic Hunter View Post
    Great post!!!

    Hell anyone else want to come? We can go with a group of boats and then spread out once we are there!!! Safety in numbers, especially during the winter. Or if anything, keep everyone posted on who's going and when and hunting reports, etc.

    Andy
    I have yet to make this trip. I would like to do it, but my 22-foot boat seems a little small for this time of year in PWS. Maybe a group of boats isn't a bad way to do it. Depending on your time frame, I wouldn't mind giving it a shot.

    Dan

  16. #16
    Member trapperbob's Avatar
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    Default Went in Febuary and March last year

    Don't try it with out chains. Take my word for it after an extremely uncontrolled slide down the ramp after sanding and graveling. When I got stopped my boat was an inch from the dock. Much more contolled and calm with chains on rear wheels. Rigged RV antifreeze with little hand pump to the hose connection on four stroke and purge till pink comes out to protect against freezing. These are cheap insurance and the ramp conditions change hourly.

  17. #17
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Default

    trapperbob I take it you run 4 stroke outboard? Anyone have issues running inboard's?

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