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Thread: First real workout for my Wooldridge Alaskan

  1. #1
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    Default First real workout for my Wooldridge Alaskan

    We just returned from a Koyukuk moose hunting trip (6 hunters-6 moose !) and my first experience running approximately 600 miles in each direction!
    I carried a total of 320 gallons of gas up river (which wasnt enough-next year I will carry 400) and two people total on board and on the return trip we had two unboned moose complete with their heads with about 175 gallons of gas.

    The only negative opinion I have about the boat is it didnt handle the river chop as well as a semi V (which was to be expected). But it did ride higher in the water and a couple of times I did not get stuck on sandbars when the Sport Drifters did.

    What surprised me the most was how well the boat handled. Even though I have a 200 Optimax prop on it I could control the steering easily while doing some really tight river turns and I do not have hydralic steering on the boat. I was running low 30's and could turn the boat as tight as I wanted to and it would not slide in the corners. On calm water I could easily hit mid 40's without redlining the motor.

    We hit some submerged "surprises" hard enough to make us cringe but the boat did not suffer any dents I can find. My boat is the 23 foot version and I would not make the trip again in anything smaller as we were packed to the gills. If I had it to do all over again I would buy the Alaskan XL with its wider beam if they would make it in the 23 foot version but I am pleased enough (which is rare for me) that I have no plans to sell this boat to buy a bigger one.

    The external fuel supply using 30 gallon drums and quick disconnect fuel line fittings worked flawlessly but I didnt heed the advice of my friends and get 55 gallon drums. It is a royal pain to change drums and fittings with the 30's and I plan on selling them and going to 55's for the next trip. I also have to rig up an electric fuel tranfer system to make things easier.

    There were 3 boats in our group and the other guys had a Honda and Etec. Taking everything into consideration the Optimax absolutely used less fuel than either of the other motors. Plus's for the other motors were the Honda was whisper quiet and the Etec used less oil than the Optimax. Fuel sonsumption for the Etec and Honda seemed similar. I burned oil at approximately 50:1 and the Etec burned at about 70:1. The Etec was also quieter than my Opti but not as quiet as the Honda.

    My biggest regret is I did not carry a manual bilge pump. The boat carried a lot of water in it and never seemed to sit right for the electric pump to get the water out. Same for the other two boats. A manual pump would allow you to stand on the stern and pump all the water out.

    Loading the boat back on the trailer is a real pain in the butt as Wooldridge is cheap enough that they do not install a keel roller on the trailer even though the trailer is predrilled for it. The boat slides on the trailer easily enough but it takes a couple of guys to lift up the bow to get it to slide up over the bow roller. This is an easy $25-50 fix but it does make you wonder why they didnt install the roller themself to make the job easier. Also, the trasducer bracket welded to the boat seemed misplaced. My transducer would only read correctly at low speeds. I need to play around with where it is installed but the factory installed the bracket about a foot away from the motor and this screws up the water flow and the readings.

  2. #2
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    Default great report!

    Sounds good, Snowolfe, you live in eagle river right? I wouldn't mind stopping in and checking out your rig, I have the 20' sport drifter with both the prop and jet, and wouldn't mind picking your brain on that trip!

    I agree on the opti, great motor, and I have similiar results, except I am only 150hp.
    Thanks again on the great report!
    How about some pictures!!!!

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    Since making this trip have you considered buying gas on the river? I understand the cost on the river is high, but you could carry a lighter load going in and coming out. At some point you do have to put on enough fuel to get from the last gas stop of your choosing (Galena, Ruby, etc.) to the Koyukuk hunting area and back to the fuel stop. There's really no right answer to this, carry all fuel or buy as needed. Similar to dollar cost averaging, only in this case it's more weight averaging, your dollars will go up purchasing on the river.

    Jeff

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    We bought at Ruby ($5.70) on the way in and topped off in Galena ($7.00). This lasted us till we hit Ruby on the way out. After we topped off at Galena we used everything we had (except a small safety reserve) till we refueled in Ruby on the way out. I used 300 gallons after topping off in Galena untill hitting Ruby. The maine reason we choose to limit our refueling on the river was due to time as we traveled 600 miles on the river each way and it was a long long 2 days to get to our destination. Adding refueling stops would of stretched added to much time as they are not the fastest people either in Galena or Ruby.

    TBLOOMA, I do live in ER and pm'ed you my phone number.

  5. #5
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    How did you like the hydraulic jack plate? Did it help out fuel burn? If so, how much? I would love to see some pictures, too.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    I liked the plate and am pretty sure it helped me not to get stuck a few times. I was hoping for an increase in economy but am not sure if I received any. When you watch the gph meter and the gps while doing mpg calculations in your head and then playing with the up and down buttons while concentrating on running the rivers gets a little unnerving at times.
    At this point I am not convinced I spent my money wisely on it IF I decide not to add the jet pump later on.

  7. #7

    Smile How much?

    How much gas did you burn in your boat on the trip? I agree with TBLOOMA...Pictures are a must!!

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    We traveled approximately 1,200 miles on the river system to get to camp and return. I do not remember how many hours we used the boat when hunting but am guessing about 10-12 hours. Total gas used was 517 gallons.
    Will post some photos on the hunting forum as soon as I can recuperate and finish processing the meat.

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    Default question

    I have done that hunt one time with some friends and was pretty green when i did it. I now have a larger boat, is this too much boat for that hunt or river. 26' hewescraft pc ht, twin 115 yam, 156gal in hull fuel tank. When i did the hunt before i went with some friends that had a 30' with twins but the boat was more like a mod landing craft. Thanks for the insite

    Sweepint
    Wasilla, (when not overseas)
    '' Livn' The Dream ''
    26' Hewescraft Cuddy, twin 115 Yam

  10. #10
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    Default bow roller/transducer

    Snowwolfe,
    Sounds like you got the same bow problem I and a buddy did, try dropping your whole winch assembly down the post while on level ground so it snugs up just above your eyelet on the boat then tighten her back down. It seems a lot of the trailers they're (dealers) throwing our boats on are coming "as is" from King, shorelander, or whatever and the dealers aren't adjusting them for the different kinds of boats. My buddies boat, dropped it down like I said problem fixed, took about 5 minutes.

    Fas as your transducer I've seen them mess that up too, sounds like it may be mounted up too high on the bracket, slow speed works because it's sitting down in the water, on step it's coming out and probablyl intermittent right? I'd recommend lowering it while still keeping it level until the entire bottom of the transducer clears the bottom of the boat. My $.02.

    Sounds like a great time, know a couple guys that have done that hunt, what a haul! Congrats
    Cody

  11. #11

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    Sweepint,

    I did that same hunt this year with an 07 Hewes PC with twin 115's. Burned a little over 450 gallons of fuel, but only did around 800 miles on the river. We ended up with an 58 3/4 bull so we were pleased. The boat did ok on the river. Handled any chop like it wasn't there and the living quarters were nice, but the boat was a little big for the river. As long as you knew the channel and stayed in it you were fine but once you lost it things got hairy fast. I would not recommend doing that trip in a boat like this unless your dept sounder was working and working good while you ran on step. My Simrad unit worked flawless for reading the bottom but the nav charts were no good. If you have any questions let me know. The water on the Kuyokuk was really low this year.

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    Default Thanks HEWEY

    I would like to do that hunt next yr, i won't be working overseas as much then. Let's stay intouch on this and maybe we can hook up and make some plans for the future. take two boats in T

    Sweepint
    Wasilla, (when not overseas)
    '' Livn' The Dream ''
    26' Hewescraft Cuddy, twin 115 Yam

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    Several people asked me what the total expenses were so I thought I might as well post it here. Two of us spent a total of $4,000 for food, fuel, and oil from the time we departed Anchorage. It is a 500 mile trip with the truck to the launch point and then we ran to our hunting grounds. We did travel further than most other people up river (we only seen one other hunting party in a 30 mile stretch of the river in 8 days).
    I will post a photo soon in the hunting forum and then we can get into more of the details if any of you like.
    Can your boat do it? It can if your boat can run 35 mph in 2-3 feet of water for long stretches because that is a good sampling of what we experienced.

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    Snowwolfe,
    Sounds like quite a trip, its a great country, isnt it?
    Did you put in at Manley or the bridge?
    When you went up the Kuyokuk, was that as far as you could go?
    I did the math and it looks like you averaged 2.32 MPG?
    Does that look right to you?
    I have a long trip planned for next year, not quite as long as what you did, I sure hope we can do it......

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    We put in at the Haul Road. Not sure of the total mpg but we were burning about 10-11 gph when traveling downstream on the Yukon with no moose. Once we added two moose on board we were burning about 13 gph. Fastest speed recorded on the gps with no moose was 45 mph and 35 once we had moose in the boat.
    Bear in mind, in the Koyukuk controlled use area you MUST go thru the checkpoint and you must show the rib cages, back, neck, and all 4 quarters. You are not permitted to bone out any piece of meat. You must also carry out the head intact with one antler cut in half.
    I imange we could of traveled further but the group I traveled with had a campsite already picked out as this was their 6th trip. I was foruntate to been invited to go with them so I am not in a position to give out there private spot. A true adventure for sure and I hope I get invited back again next year.
    Scenery was spectacular and we listened to the wolves howl all around us every night.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    I imange we could of traveled further but the group I traveled with had a campsite already picked out as this was their 6th trip. I was foruntate to been invited to go with them so I am not in a position to give out there private spot.
    Just curious who your party was? I've traveled before with some regulars to make the trip yearly pretty far up the Koyukuk....wonder if we know the same folks?

    Anyone by the name of Jack running a nice north river, lives in Wasilla?
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    No North river boats in our trip. One guy had a Sport drifter and the gent had a boat made in Canada.
    Tennessee

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