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Thread: Jet Boats in PWS

  1. #1

    Question Jet Boats in PWS

    I have a Jetcraft with an inboard 302 and 3-stage Kodiak that I would like to take on a couple of adventures into the sound this coming summer. I don't have experience with running jets on anything but rivers, so I am looking for advice on how to keep my trips safe. My biggest concern is sucking some kelp or other such nastiness into my jet. Is this something that I need to worry about, and what is the best way to deal with it if and when it happens? Will a stomp grate help?

    I realize that this boat is at home in rivers, which is where I spend most of my time, and not in the sound. However, it doesn't seem uncommon to see boats similar to mine out in the sound and I would like to try and do the same. I appreciate any advice!

  2. #2
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Default

    There are plenty of us running jetboats in PWS and other salty areas.

    I have a 22 foot Wooldridge, 350 inboard, and 3 stage Kodiak jet.

    The Stomp grate helps out a lot with kelp and other debris you pick up here and there.

    Having a hard top or canvas top makes life a lot more comfortable as well.

    Take the standard safety precautions and you should be good to go. So far I have run as far as Galena Bay out of Valdez, and 60-70 miles out of Whittier on both the East and West sides. Plan on doing some more exploring next summer. Watch the weather and know the area you are in just in case you need a safe harbor overnight for a storm.

  3. #3
    Member BigBrown767's Avatar
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    Default PWS

    I have a 21' Thunderjet that I spend a lot of time on PWS with. I keep a rake on board that I can clean Kelp out with if need be. Most times with a quick cobb of the power the jet acts like a giant salad shooter. Outside of that I carry a zodiak, have a GPS Chartplotter and Marine radio installed. I personally wouldn't go out without the last 3 items but I'm a safety natzi. Get a good chart and the Cruising Guide to PWS and you'll have a great time!

  4. #4
    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    I haven't put a stompgrate on my boat yet and haven't needed it yet either Knock on wood. We spend alot of time out there as well. Only once did I wish I had a rake or something, fortunately I was able to clear the jet after a few tries using the reverse cup. Guess I should start on a list of upgrades for the coming season that includes a rake or stompgrate. It sure would come in handy if you really needed it.

  5. #5
    New member fishnhuntr's Avatar
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    Default the goods

    I'd spend the money and get the stompgrate, I can hardly get out of the small boat harbor in Valdez without sucking up crap. GPS and marine radio are also 2 musts in my opinion, especially if you plan on getting out there a ways, amazing how the narrows look like everything else when your 30 miles away from them...watch the weather, set the hook...

  6. #6
    Member trapman's Avatar
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    Default harbor kelp

    Have to agree with fishnhunter the harbor is the worst area for sucking up debris. Mabey we will get lucky and Sara will build us a new harbor.

  7. #7

    Default fuel & time management, safety gear

    1/3 1/3 1/3 fuel rule and use a fuel gauge

    it can take 2 - 3 time as long to come back if the waves pick up versus a nice flat calm when you head out.

    can be roughest coming back into whittier if the anchorage-whittier pressure differential favors winds out of portage pass.

    600' anchor rope & claw anchor

    spare anchor & rope

    GPS/chart plotter, depth/fish finder, flares, handheld submersible vhf, ideally a PLB, an inflatable or boat that won't sink if swamped, and a kicker with separate fuel tank in case you suck bad fuel from the bottom of the main tank.

  8. #8
    Member akriverrat's Avatar
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    i use my rake EVERYTIME i go out of whittier. dont leave without it, when i go out of whittier i usually hit the north our south end of knight and started poking around out in the gulf weather permitting this last summer. if you have all your safety gear and pay attention to the weather, make your big crossings wisely you will have a great time.

  9. #9
    New member fishnhuntr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trapman View Post
    Have to agree with fishnhunter the harbor is the worst area for sucking up debris. Mabey we will get lucky and Sara will build us a new harbor.
    Wouldn't that be nice, wish it were bigger as well with multiple launch points...they do have nice fish cleaning stations though lol.

  10. #10

    Default Rake?

    OK, I know this sounds like a dumb question, but are you guys using a plain old garden rake to clear the intake? My wife is wondering if she is going to be the one hanging off the back of the boat with the rake....

    Thanks for all the great advice! Keep it coming!

  11. #11
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Default Rake

    I would take a rake for sure. I have had to hang over the side and dig crap out of my jet and PWS is not the place to be dead in the water. I have run my jet all over the sound. I did change over to a prop on my boat last year, because of all the floatsum as well as a need to carry more weight. I would make sure I had a radio and survival suit for all on board. The water temp is around the mid 30s and this gives you very little time. All that said it is my favorite spot in Alaska and I will have my river boat back there this year for sure. Watch the tides they are like no other place I have ever boated. Now get out there.





    Steve

  12. #12

    Default

    I recommend you have a set of charts for PWS on board in adition to the GPS. The charts have depth soundings and obstructions marked plus they make finding fishing holes a lot easier.
    Probably the most important thing to do on the water is to be aware of the weather around you (dont just trust the NOAA forcast). If you look out on the horizon and see a BLACK LINE on the water it is time to move. A black line on the water means the seas are building and you dont want to be caught in them. Also if you do not want to be in Valdez port, narrows or arm during mid to late afternoon, normally between 2P.M. and 5P.M. the seas build up and make life miserable for river boats.

  13. #13
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    Default you'll love it

    I started two years ago and I am still exploring. Now the only time I spend in the rivers is during king season or hunting

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
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  14. #14

    Default Wooldridge River Boat

    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    I would take a rake for sure. I have had to hang over the side and dig crap out of my jet and PWS is not the place to be dead in the water. I have run my jet all over the sound. I did change over to a prop on my boat last year, because of all the floatsum as well as a need to carry more weight. I would make sure I had a radio and survival suit for all on board. The water temp is around the mid 30s and this gives you very little time. All that said it is my favorite spot in Alaska and I will have my river boat back there this year for sure. Watch the tides they are like no other place I have ever boated. Now get out there.





    Steve

    Stid2677,

    Sorry to change the subject of the thread... but...

    How do you like your Wooldridge? Does it perform well on the rivers with an outboard jet? I've been looking at their riverboats, and have been considering whether to get an inboard vs. an outboard. What's your opinion and experience with your boat?

  15. #15
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    Jet boats are quite functioal in the sound and can allow access to areas a prop won't let you go. I have been to a lot of areas in the sound via jet boat and wouldn't trade those experiences for anything. Know your limitaions and live in fear of the weather.

  16. #16
    Member BigBrown767's Avatar
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    Default PWS Tides

    Raven, I agree with you 100%!

    As far as tides, yes you do need to keep an eye on them and use common sense when anchoring. I found this guy about 8 miles out of Whittier last summer. All I could think was that he found one heck of a silver hole and was just not willing to give it up! Who knows the whole story, I just can't believe that he didn't roll off the top of his perch.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  17. #17
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Great silver spot and just a tad to much napping time there. Id love to see the look on thier faces
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  18. #18
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    Learning the tides can be a lesson of hard knocks as my buddy found out:

    Learning how to assure the anchor will hold the bottom in the wind can also be a valuable lesson learned by trial and error - Needless to say the rest of the night was a little uncomfortable sleeping:

    One advantage an aluminum jet boat has is the ability to just let the water go out from under you when you are where you want to be - No worrying about the anchor at that point:

  19. #19
    Member BigBrown767's Avatar
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    Default Nice parking!

    No worrying about some fancy anchor system if you don't plan on leaving for about 12 hours!

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBrown767 View Post
    Raven, I agree with you 100%!

    As far as tides, yes you do need to keep an eye on them and use common sense when anchoring. I found this guy about 8 miles out of Whittier last summer. All I could think was that he found one heck of a silver hole and was just not willing to give it up! Who knows the whole story, I just can't believe that he didn't roll off the top of his perch.

    Let me guess....he was after rock fish.

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