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Thread: SportJon out of Whittier?

  1. #1
    Member fk 107's Avatar
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    Default SportJon out of Whittier?

    I just bought a phantom sport jon and am looking at doing a trip out of whittier in early may. Any reccomendations? I have read the other threads about sportjons in the ocean. Just looking for any tips or pointers.

  2. #2
    Member polarisblake's Avatar
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    Default

    One recommendation. Don't do it. You bought a river boat not an ocean boat. I too have a sportjon and I would never think of taking it into the big water!!! Good luck though and if you do go wear your life jacket!!!

  3. #3

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    You see or hear "Jonboat" and it is amazing! (I apologize if I sound mean or belittling) I watched a guy standing up with his hip-boots on at the tiller, wife scared out of her mind hunkered down in the bow, no life jackets on. The "jet-unit", (yes jet), sucking air everywave, as they bobbed at the entrance of the harbor in Seward struggling to get it back into the habor. They should put a safety-sticker next to the info-plate on the transom that explains this ocean vs river boat thing, maybe a picture of a wave...I'm sorry for sounding rude, I'm just tainted from watching the guy try to kill himself and his wife.

  4. #4
    Member akriverrat's Avatar
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    Default sportjon to knight

    i took my old sportjon all the way to the south end of knight a few years back and to coghill a few times. then i went out and bought a northriver commander. although still theroretically a river boat the difference is night and day. i was worried when i headed across knight island passage and ran into three footers with the sportjon. even if you never run into any problem out there i cant see a sportjon holding up for too long in a continuous one foot to two foot chop. the sportjon dosent take too well to any kind of chop. i know the article bragging about the sportjon in valdez and how well it held up but that was only one instance and i wouldnt push the jonboats limitations too much. just my opinion

  5. #5
    Member tjm's Avatar
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    Default I'd do it!...

    ..if I could hang a prop off the back ....seriously though, I've hit mild chop on the Su that shut me down...I don't know much about boats but I know I wouldn't take mine out there....I'd like to...but I won't

  6. #6
    Member fk 107's Avatar
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    I appreciate all the info. I have spent alot of time boating out of whittier and know how it can blow up in a second. I aint talking about being a hero out there. I can tuck my tail and hide, no prob. Just wanted to find out from the guys with the sportjon, how it really does in the ocean. I aint gonna trust compeaus article about valdez. I truly bought the boat for the rivers, though.

  7. #7
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Put me in the camp that can't see taking a boat out in the sound that has low freeboard, and lacks sharp V for cutting through chop.

    Honestly the worst water I've seen going out from Whittier was the last few miles coming back in. It was almost dead calm from Knight Island all the way through wells and passage canal, but after rounding the last point the water was running about 4' and blowing hard.

    A couple of things to consider is, if most trips out will require you to duck in and hide, or never launch the boat, is it the type of boat you really want to use out there? Or worse yet will you be tempted to run it in conditions you really shouldn't? The tough part is judging condtions that aren't really bad, but really are bad enough that you shouldn't be running.

    It's one thing if you are a resident in a port town and can pick your days say out of a 200 boating day season. It's an entirely different thing if you've spent a bunch of money on ice, food, tunnel fee et al on your one out of 1/2 dozen forays and your judgement is clouded as to whether you should give it a go or just get back in line for the tunnel.
    Last edited by Paul H; 11-12-2007 at 16:01. Reason: added info

  8. #8
    Member GAredneck's Avatar
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    Red face Think hard

    I to have a similar boat, Extream Shallow, and took it out in Sept. for a black bear hunt. We were fine on the way out, nice and calm, had a great hunt with both of us killing a bear with in 24hrs. Now we have to return and just like every one had said before me, the conditions changed and my partner and I were in for a long pounding ride back in once we hit the turn at Decision point. The small 1-2 foot chop wasn't bad at all that we had been running in but the 4' - 5' foot seas was nothing but pucker factor. It took us no less than 2 hrs to go the last 10 miles of a 65 mile run. Even though we had done our home work and got all the latest weather conditions from the harbormaster the day before it all changed in the blink of an eye. I'll never do it again and if I were you I'd think long and hard about it. Just my two cents....

  9. #9
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Yes

    What all the others said.........don't. Coast Guard has a limited budget to operate on.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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  10. #10

    Default First impressions are important...

    What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word, "jonboat"?
    Heck, it's not even a correct word in the first place! First thing that comes to mind (mine) is what we now have: a flat bottom, shallow draft, low freeboard, open transom, light rig for the river, anywhere else it'd make an okay anchor (too light, again). I've considered taking ours to Fox Island, but now have re-considered (I will not do it) as we barely made it into the harbor the one time we took our Almar lite w/35 hp out there. Bucked wind, tide, chop back only a mile or two outside the harbor, but the above conditions totally took us off plane and we struggled to get back in, only the shallow "v" in the front keeping the water out of the boat. Small boats as described above do not belong more than a few miles away from help and/or protection, and even then it's dicey. I must be getting wiser as I get older.
    Jim

  11. #11

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    If you do go (and everyone recommends against it), be sure to leave a float plan with someone reliable. And make sure that if you take someone with you that they understand the risk. Oh, and make sure your life insurance is up to date. I've left Surprise Cove headed back to port when the water started out absolutely flat, only to have it pound the hell out of me and my 24-ft cabin cruiser just a few minutes later once I turned Decision Point heading into Passage Canal. If I'd been in a small boat with little freeboard, I don't know that I could have even turned around to try to get out of that mess without swamping the boat. You just never know, so is it worth the risk?

  12. #12
    Member trbndoc's Avatar
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    Default

    I have a sportjon and have taken it out in valdez with some success; but I'm on board with the rest not worth your time or effort. In addition the one thing I did not see come up was kelp! I sucked up a big chunk of this stuff and there is nothing you can do but take the boat out of the water to dislodge it; not unless your totin diving gear. anyway I know it looks doable but it will beat the cra- out of you and and your rig, even on a good day. I wish you well!

  13. #13
    Member Queen of Kings's Avatar
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    Default River Boats in General

    I had a Duckworth for a few years, as I wanted to run the rivers, then I went out in PWS and loved it, even better the wife loved it. So after more weekends of not being able to even launch, after I had paid for the tunnel and camping fees, I sold it and bought a Hewescraft, now I feel much safer and get to enjoy it more often.
    2003 220 Hewescraft Sea Runner 115 Yam'y, Soft Top "Schmidt Happens"

  14. #14

    Default wooldridge sport 20' has done OK

    Have had a 20' Wooldridge Sport with windshield, canopy, and 150HP outboard jet out of Seward in 2 foot plus chop and it was OK. Had it in 3 to maybe barely 4 foot and you had to go slow (off step) but it was OK. That is the limit for this particular river boat in my limited experience so far............

    It has an 18 degree, self draining bow (yes it drained a lot in anything over 2 feet!) a 10 degree transom, and 28 inch side at stern, and raised bow. I have since put 14" bow rails around the entire raised front and also mounted a claw anchor on the nose to make setting or pulling the anchor a lot easier and safer in chop. Supposedly this boat is a good choice for the "do it all" river/ocean deal, weather permitting of course......
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    I think you otta do it. But before you do the trip remember to visit the zoo and climb in the polar bear cage for some pictures first.
    Seriously, dont even consider it.
    Tennessee

  16. #16
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    I would have to agree with everyone here.. Not safe.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  17. #17
    Member Crumm's Avatar
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    The author that wrote the article about the Sportjon in Valdez forgot to mention that the port was within spitting distance most of the time. I take my Extreme Shallow to Valdez every year but just to chase silvers. I keep the port less than 10 minutes away at all times just in case the weather starts to change. Besides being within 10 minutes of the dock down at Valdez you are in among 30 other boats fishing for silvers, there is everything from rubber rafts to 40' cruisers fishing. It would be a very bad idea to take a long ocean trip in a flat-bottom river boat. Snowwolfe was just joking about the polar bear but it would be just about as smart.

  18. #18
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    Default Hmmm..

    Might be able to work out a trip trade though, I can't take my boat in rivers, you shouldn't take your boat out in salt, but, well, you get the idea. When in may? I'm going to raft the middle fork in late may, but early may I should be up and running with my boat.
    Chris

  19. #19
    Member fk 107's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the input. We usually take my dad's 20 ft. bayrunner, as we will take again. There are limitations with that boat also. Just thought I would see what other guys two cents were.

  20. #20
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default I was launching one time this past summer

    When I say a guy loading up a flat bottom river boat 16' or 18' with a 45 Jet I think, maybe smaller. There was two adults. I thought they were stupid as the weather was not that great but doable I guess in that boat, little chop. We were leaving the doc and at the time two kids jumped in the boat and the two adults followed. If I would have still been on the dock I would have confronted them. Two stupid adults is fine going in out in that boat it is their choice even a bad one at that. But the kids have no idea what they are getting into. We ended up seeing them at the tip of culross later that day. I thought it was suicide. I mean at the most the boat had 18" sides. Like I said just stupid. But as long as you don't take any kids more power to ya. There is alot of traffic that time of year and the weather can be nice for multiple days. But some place at some time during your trip you most likely come to some chop or worse. More power to ya, just leave the kids at home.

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