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Thread: Dual purpose boat?

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    Default Dual purpose boat?

    I will probably(hopefully) be moving to the Valley this fall, or next spring. I would like to get a boat before the move, and was wondering what would be the best boat to get that could get up the rivers, and tool around the bays in Valdez and Seward. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    First off, how much do you have to spend, how many people do you plan to have on the boat, and how long will your trips be?

    This is a subject that get's frequently discussed, and the conclusion of most is that a boat designed to be used in rivers and the saltwater won't be paticularly good for either task. For rivers you want a boat with relatively little draft, and for the ocean you want something that will cut through the crud. River boats in the ocean can be dangerous, and salt water boats get their lower ends chewed up on the gravel bars.

    I'd say an 18-20' aluminum semi V skiff with a 90 horse powerhead, and both prop and jet units with be a decent compromise, but you won't be able to use it on the Kenai. It'll take 2-4 folks and a fair bit of gear. Expect to quickly tire of changing from prop to jet.

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    Thanks. Maybe I should think about two boats. I lived in Fairbanks for six years, and jon boats were the ticket up there. Would something like that be alright for getting over to the Deshka?

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    A jon boat with a jet pump is definately the way to run the rivers. For the salt I'd personally want a minimum of an 18' skiff with 50 horse, but bigger is definately better if you can afford it.

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    Thanks for the info Paul. I guess I will have to figure out what is more important, fishing and hunting the rivers, or fishing the big water.

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    Member Jimw's Avatar
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    I have a jet boat - Weldcraft 20' sabre xl - with a 350 small block. I was looking for some thing with the same versitility you maybe looking for. After looking at the numbers and running both the rivers and ocean in verious boats, some strickly river boat and some ocean. I went with my Weldcraft because it is 90% river, it has an 14 degree dead rise which I was hoping would give me the option to do both. All of the river boats I looked at had 10-12 degree dead rise. Recently I took her down to Seward and fished pony cove, and much to my delight, the boat did just fine. I have gone out of Seward for many years in a 22' sea runner, which I partnered up with on the poney cove run, and I know the ride of the sea runner. The Weldcraft handled the 6' swells and 1 1/2 -2 foot chop reletively smooth. Sure there was a couple of good bumps but nothing like the horror stories of a river jet in the ocean. It did not cavitate once. That isnt much of a chop but then again I dropped if back from 35mph going out to 22 mph in the chop. As for the river running the boat is great. I also have the marine air ride seats which take care just about anything that might come up. With 4 adults and 3 kids the boat runs the river well with that amount of load. in the ocean i was light with two adults and one 8 year old. I am very happy with my purchase and would go this route again. I hope to start hunting on the rivers with it next year and as for the 2 -3 Seward runs a year it fits my activities well.

  7. #7

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    I have a 24ft Weldcraft with a 351 and Berkley Jet. Its an older boat (88) I bought it used about 3 years ago now. When I bought the boat I originally only planned to use it on the larger rivers. The previous owner told me he had taken it out of whittier a few times.

    I've since taken it out in Ninilchik, Seward, and Valdez. I don't know if there's such a thing as a dual-purpose boat buy mine handles everything I've thrown at it. It can't go in the really shallow stuff (I need atleast 6" of water) and I wouldn't want to be in really big stuff either.

    If I were you I'd really consider what you plan on doing with it the majority of the time. If you plan on running the river the jet is a must. Also buy 2ft bigger than what you think you need.

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