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Thread: River boat Recommendations

  1. #1
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    Default River boat Recommendations

    I'm looking to buy a river boat, not interested in ocean going. I realize that there isn't a perfect do it all boat, but i'm looking for the best compromise between a hunting and fishing boat. The fishing part is mainly for the Kenai, so I'm limited to 50HP and the hunting part is open to whatever river I can safely and successfully navigate with a boat using a 50HP outboard. I want to be able to carry 4 people or 2 people w/hunting gear. I been looking at the 18 ft G3 jon boats, I've seen a lot of them on the Kenai and the owners had good things to say about them. The real question is this, how limited would my hunting be with this kind of boat/motor set-up? Thanks in advance for your knowledge and advice.

  2. #2
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    I guess you will have to decide if you are going to run shallow rivers. Most rivers in this state get shallow and require a jet unit. A 50 with a jet is not enough motor in my opinion for an 18' boat. I think a 90/65 jet is the way to go for an 18' jon style boat. A 50 prop may run parts of the Big Susitna with some good navigation but you will ruin props quickly on many other rivers. I've been wrestling with the same problem with my 16' grumman jon boat, to keep it kenai legal or go more hp for hunting.

  3. #3
    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    I think that you will be very limited with this setup for hunting purposes. I'm assuming that you'll be using a jet at least some of the time. A jet on that powerhead gives you about 35hp at the pump, and you will not be able to put much weight in that boat and still be able to get up on step using a jet. The only experience I have using a similar combo is dip netting this last summer on the Kenai. I used an 18ft. flat bottom (jon) boat with a 50hp Honda and a jet. With 3 people, non of which were over 180lbs, and a large cooler full of reds (around 35 or so) we had a little difficulty getting up on step. We did not have anything else in the boat. I think if we would have had a few more fish we would not have been able to get on step.

  4. #4
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    I'm certain that I need 2 or more boats for different rivers/purposes, but I'm having a hard time convincing the wife that we just have to have a boat. The HP restriction on the Kenai is the show stopper here. I agree that a 90/65 jet is the way to go.
    Fishslayer: Which decision are you leaning towards regarding your boat/motor situation and the Kenai?

  5. #5
    Member flyfishak30's Avatar
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    Default My wife is the best!!!!!!!!!!!

    She has allowed me to have three boats.
    1.16 foot tunnel with 50 jet.
    2. 18 foot inboard weldcraft renegade
    3. 20 foot older ocean boat with 225 johnson.

    there is no water in alaska that i can not navigate.

    I am one lucky dude............
    Last edited by flyfishak30; 10-30-2008 at 15:34. Reason: i just can't spell

  6. #6
    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    Talking I disagree

    Quote Originally Posted by flyfishak30 View Post
    She has allowed me to have three boats.
    1.16 foot tunnel with 50 jet.
    2. 18 foot inboard weldcraft renegade
    3. 20 foot older ocean boat with 225 johnson.

    there is no water in alaska that i can not navigate.

    I am one lucky dude............
    I have to disagree. I can think of a lot of water in alaska that you can't navigate. Dude, you need to get a cataraft.

  7. #7
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    I already own a 55 hp Evinrude jet- but its no longer kenai legal for dip netting. I don't fish the Kenai enough to make a 50hp prop worthwhile, plus I inherited a drift boat last year for Kenai fishing. I'm leaning toward an e-tec 75 hp with jet, or the tohatsu direct injected 2 stroke, mainly for weight savings over a 4 stroke and quickness out of the hole. I will be limited to the dip net zone but I'll be able to hunt with it and haul more.

  8. #8
    Member Crumm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Troutbum View Post
    I have to disagree. I can think of a lot of water in Alaska that you can't navigate.
    Agree. There is alot of water in Alaska that can't be navigated

  9. #9
    Member Hoyt's Avatar
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    I have a couple boats an 18ft Almar Lite inboard and a 60/40 Merc on an 18ft flat (Alumacraft). The flattie is not the fastest thing in the world, but I can/have carried loads in that boat that were unbelievable. It is a work horse, with more than enough power.

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