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Thread: best option for a novice

  1. #1
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    Default best option for a novice

    I'm looking to buy a small boat for gravel river use here in Alaska.I want to know which is best for general fishing/hunting use.I'm looking at the flat bottomed Aluminium hulled boats that seem to predominate.Would you recomend an outboard with a jet unit or a long shaft driven "go Devil" type.I grew up around inboard powered two stage Jet boats in New Zealand but havn't run one for a while and have no experiance with the Out board type jet units.As for a Jet boat I'd prefer one with the standing consol type/hand throttle.I'm looking in the 5 to 7k range.
    Many thanks and sorry if this is a bit scetchy

  2. #2

    Default

    An outboard with a jet unit would probably be your best bet with a "JON" boat.

    Here's few of the more popular Jon boat manufactures that I see running the rivers in Western Alaska. Most of these (if not all) are in your price range.

    www.alweld.com/alweldwebsite1_025.htm

    www.g3boats.com/GatorTough/default.php

    www.seaarkboats.com

    www.lowe.com/fishboats/roughneck/
    Last edited by Bush Flyer; 07-04-2006 at 00:56.

  3. #3
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Default start small

    My recommendation is to start with something simple and small. I would go with a 16-18' Jon boat with a tiller steer 40-70 hp outboard jet. Nothing fancy, just a plain 'ol work horse. When packed light they will go in 4" of water and if you stick it on a sand bar just pull up the hip boots and drag it back to the water. (I've had to do this myself)

    There are a lot of decisions based on what you are going to be using it for. Console steering is nice, but not necessarily the best option. If you are on tight rivers, it gets old having to spin the wheel back and forth (3 1/2 turns stop to stop usually) on each tight corner. With a tiller it is much faster stop to stop which can be a lifesaver. A console also takes up a lot of room in a smaller boat (as well as adds weight). If you are using the boat for hunting you will want as much floor space as possible and to keep the boat as light as possible.

    Other options like a canvas top, tunnel hull, floor boards, permanent seats, etc. are all stuff you should wait on until you have some time in the boat and then customize it how it will work the best for you.

    I'm currently running a 16' Lowe Tunnel hull with a 40 hp Johnson jet. It is console steering because that is how it was set up when I bought it used. I do a lot of little water running so I don't want something I can't manhandle. It isn't the fastest boat on the water, but it will go shallow.....really shallow!

    My next boat will be a 18-20' with a 70-90 jet because the wife and 3 (soon to be 4) kids are outgrowing the 16 footer.

    Good luck!
    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....

  4. #4
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    Default Thanks for that

    Apreciate the advice,your right,usually simplest is best.I've got the checkbook in the truck and am on the look out.Thanks again!

  5. #5
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    Default I havethe perfect boat for you

    Email me if you are interested. It is basicly what you are asking for, great boat in your price range. 16.5 flat botton jon style boat (Fish-Rite) with a 2001 70hp Johnson Jet. The boat is welded alluminim and a rock solid boat. The boat is an older model but still very functional. The motor is in great shape had has been well taken care. Again email me at adamtur2000yahoo.com if you are interested. I will sell in your price range.

  6. #6

    Default If I was looking,

    Quote Originally Posted by climber
    I'm looking to buy a small boat for gravel river use here in Alaska.I want to know which is best for general fishing/hunting use.I'm looking at the flat bottomed Aluminium hulled boats that seem to predominate.Would you recomend an outboard with a jet unit or a long shaft driven "go Devil" type.I grew up around inboard powered two stage Jet boats in New Zealand but havn't run one for a while and have no experiance with the Out board type jet units.As for a Jet boat I'd prefer one with the standing consol type/hand throttle.I'm looking in the 5 to 7k range.
    Many thanks and sorry if this is a bit scetchy
    If I was looking for a boat, I would spend at least a day or two, going to the boat launches and looking at the different boats that are operating on the rivers. I would speak to as many owners as possible of the ones that catch your eye. People love to talk about their boats and most will give you an honest opinion (whereas Marine Dealers ???). There are also a number of boats with for sale signs on them at these locations. In the Anchorage area, I would go to Houston (Little Su), Deshka Landing (Just tell the office folks what you are doing), Talkeetna City Launch and possibly the campgrounds along the Parks Hwy, such as Little Willow, and Sheep Creek. A good day outing and will yeild valuable information. Keep your check book handy, cause there are lots of boats out there for sale. Good Luck on your search.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Where are you located, a friend of mine in Fairbanks has just what you may want.. an older HewesCraft, a 70 hp outboard jet (I may be wrong on that) a console.. it has been well used and well cared for.. I'm thinking it is 14' but I may be wrong on that too since I didn't know that HewesCraft built anything that small.

  8. #8
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    Default

    I have been running a 16ft Lund with a 50/35 jet for the last 4 seasons and I love it. Mine does have a center console, the reason I went with that it makes the boat more versatle and I can see over passengers or if need be have a better view of the turn ahead. A little practice with using the jet to steer rather than the wheel and you will be carving corners in no time. I also have on board power for a bildge, running lights and a gps, not to mention starting the motor with a key rather than a pull cord. It does add weight and take up some room but for MY needs it was worth the trade off. Look into the newer motors like the e-techs or the 4 stokes, they will save you on GAS. Outboard jets are notorious for going through the gas. The better economy your motor has, the less gas you will need which will help with the weight issue. You should no trouble finding useds boats in $5000 - $7000, but make sure you look the boat over. Climb under it and make sure the bottom doesn't have and huge dents in it. One last thing, my boat on rivited, if I had it to do over again I would have purchased a all welded hull. Good luck!

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