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Thread: Think I could do it for less??

  1. #1

    Default Think I could do it for less??

    Well I just turned 16, which means soon I'll be out on the roads with the rest of you (yikes)... this will also mean when I'm not working this summer I'm gonna be out camping... hopefully alot.

    Thinking back on past memories I am really hoping to have a lil boat that I can use with me and a few buddies on the weekend for a cheap price.(Would be on the middle kenai alot)

    My question to you is do you think I could get a legal 12-14 ft jon boat with a motor (used 4 stroke) for under 1200$

    I've been thinking alot about this, obviously Its gonna be hard on a low budget but I'm thinking it out like this.....

    Find an old jon boat thats past its prime or take it off somones hands that no longer needs it for a free to low price (under 300)...

    After I get that first step of the boat itself done I'm obviously gonna need an outboard. I know this seems very unlikely but I think its possible I could get a low HP used 4 stroke (like a tohatsu or something) for 900 or so...

    This brings in my next question: How much HP would be the minimum you would use on the middle Kenai (Skilak down to the keys)... Doesnt have to go up fast, just be able to get up the current, even if only moving at a few mph. -Note, there would prob be 2-3 guys in the boat max with gear and if the load was too heavy I could always make multiple trips...


    Im thinking that a 9.9 hp would be enough to get slowly up the river???



    I know this seems a little stupid or unreasonable to you seasoned boaters but I've got a low budget, just lookin for some advice to get me on the river.

    -P.S doing some work on the boat/motor wont be a problem, I'm also gonna be taking a small engines repair class and will most likely be able to work on a motor that needs fixing up if thats all I can get for 900 or under...


    Thanks alot,

    -Nick

  2. #2

    Default

    Oh and theres always somone who brings up lifejackets, yes I wear them at all times and don't let friends on the water with me without them.

    I will also be taking a coast guard aux. boating class before I can operate a vessel, as advised by my parents.

  3. #3

    Default

    Fishwacker,

    It sounds like a great idea and you have to start somewhere. I remember my first boat: a 1959 16 foot trihull bayliner with a 50 hp Chrysler on the back. The boat was great (still is as I still have it) the Chrysler, also called FORCE, well you have to put a gun to my head and FORCE me to buy one again. It was 700 bucks, came with trailer, and I got a good season of fishing and hunting out of it with the farce on it.

    But, in my humble opinion, you are going to need a heck of a lot more in a 14 foot boat than a 9.9 to even be remotely happy with it. Especially with the loads you are going to be running. I have a 14 skiff with 20 hp motor (light 2 stroke) on it and it does just marginal in my opinion. It is no speed demon with 3 guys. I can't imagine what a 9.9 would be like. But, I also can't imagine you finding something much bigger than that in your price range. That is if you can even find a 9.9 for that cheap.

    Don't forget in your budget you are going to need the necessary safety equipment too, an anchor, and all those licensing fees the state has to have since they don't get enough money from big oil.

    I will PM you if I see anything good out there.

  4. #4
    Member akriverrat's Avatar
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    Default

    well is have to say for a 16 year old you seem to have your priorities straight . i dont have alot of exeriance with jon boats but im thinking that you might be able to get on step a little better with a semi v? maybe an old smokercraft or lund might go a little better than a jon upriver. if im wrong about this please soemone chime in. im not so sure on the current kenai regs anymore but if you can still use a two stroke id opt for a larger 2 stroke than a smaller 4 stroke. one thing i do know is if at all possible you do NOT want to be underpowered.

  5. #5
    Member IceKing02's Avatar
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    Default Your plan doesn't sound unreasonable...except for the horsepower part.

    My personal experience is different than TRB's, though. My father and I ran the Kenai in a 14ft flat-bottom with a 15hp OB. Nope, it didn't go fast and this was in the era of 2strokes on the Kenai, but it can be done. Just don't expect to be able to haul as much gas, as many buddies or as much weight. You'll also have to become proficient at getting your little "hog hunter" up onto step...even if the pure flat-bottom is quite efficient at getting onto step. After two seasons we went to an 18footer with an 85hp jet...gosh, was that nice!

    In any case, when one is "young and dumb", and we've all been there, this kind of a challenge is one you're going to remember forever. This may be one of the best summers of the rest of your life! Enjoy every second of it--and listen to TRB when he says to go up to as big an engine as you can hang on the back of the boat...there's no substitute for horsepower. And, speaking of horsepower, the best way to acquire more horsepower is to work for it--increase your own financial horsepower and then you can afford all of the boat horses that you'd like! That's the American way!

  6. #6

    Default OK

    I know a couple of people that use 14 foot jon boats with 15 hp engines in that part of the river. They use them late in the year when their larger boats are no longer practical due to the lower water levels coupled with boat ramp issues. They usually go out with 2 people in the boat and VERY minimal gear (note that they are larger people than most 16 yr. olds)...only the necessities. That being said, I wouldn't hesitate to go out in one, even in June/July when the water level is normally at it's peak, just watch the wakes from the larger boats and react accordingly. I've seen aqare stern canoes with 5 hp motors out there and they were going up river (although VERY slowly). Lots of places you can pick lines with smaller boats that will keep you out of the main current.

    IMO, a 16 ft jon boat with a 30 hp on it is about ideal for that river, and you can usually find a used one pretty cheap, but more than the 1200 you want to spend. Good luck and have fun when you get it.

  7. #7

    Default I may have a boat for you

    I sold a coworker a 16' smokercraft with a 35 hp Evenrude a few years back for $700. I never put the boat in the water but it heald rain water well. The motor was in great condition but wasnt installed on the boat. I picked up the lot in a trade. As far as I know he never put it in the water. I bet you could talk him out of it for $700 or less. The motor is a 2 stroke but you may be able to trade up to a 4. PM me if you are interested and I will give you his #. Good luck and safe boating in 09.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by smokumreds View Post
    I sold a coworker a 16' smokercraft with a 35 hp Evenrude a few years back for $700. I never put the boat in the water but it heald rain water well. The motor was in great condition but wasnt installed on the boat. I picked up the lot in a trade. As far as I know he never put it in the water. I bet you could talk him out of it for $700 or less. The motor is a 2 stroke but you may be able to trade up to a 4. PM me if you are interested and I will give you his #. Good luck and safe boating in 09.

    And you can run a two stroke on the Kenai except in July.

  9. #9

    Default Fishwhacker,

    Better increase your budget realistically, otherwise you're gonna be disappointed in the long run and snatch up any old piece of junk. We have a place in Sterling and have focused mostly on the mid-river for reds. We have a 16' Jon with a 25 4 stroke Yamaha. It's just about perfect for 2-3 guys and gear. The key to our boat is running the right prop. There's 2 props available for it and we have them both. Everyone always wants more hp, me included. Our boat is not fast but being the jon type bottom is very fuel efficient. Like I said, with the right prop, it will get up on plane with 3 guys (all over 200 lbs.). I would say save more money for the boat setup. The more you spend initially, the less you'll spend in the long run. Keep an eye on craigslist. I've been watching/checking it daily for almost a year and have not seen a deal like you're looking for. Also, don't go with a dinky motor (IMO 25 hp minimum), you'll regret it completely, and when the river gets skinny, you WANT to be on step. You've got the right idea in a jonboat as they will plane easier than anything else.
    I do see jonboats come up on craigslist cheap quite often; get about a 14-16' like you said and keep an eye out for the motor (you could always stay off the river in July and go with a 2-stroke, but I think even that will be outlawed?). Also, not to be a pessimist, but the river does claim lives every now and then and the Kenai is not a place to have sub-par equipment, even if you've got the req. safety gear (watch the cold water vid posted by fishnphysician) I would think that if you could spend another grand you'd be better off.
    Good luck,
    Jim
    PS----there's lots of deals to be had by just driving around; you might spot a rig in someone's yard they might let go of. Not everybody advertises.

  10. #10

    Default A couple of thoughts for you.

    Realistically I don't think you are going to find what you are looking for in your price range. I think a jon boat is a wonderful choice for what you are looking to do, and wouldn't recommend any less than a 1448 with a 20hp for three people on the Kenai River. (1448 = 14' long x 48" bottom width)
    A couple of things to keep in mind:
    1) Boat ownership may not be the way to go. If your sixteen and planning on leaving in a couple a years for college or the military, buying a boat may not be the best idea. Remember you are going to have to pay registration fees, trailer title, maintenence, and gas at a minimum, and then still find some place to store it over the winter. A motivated person with a strong back could probably get someone to take them out in exchange for manual labor, and maybe even borrow their boat. You could learn some skills going out with an experienced person.

    2) Secondly if you do buy a boat it is wise to consider resale value. It makes more sense to spend a lot more money than you were talking about if you can get your money back out of the boat when you sell it. If you buy a used boat right you can keep it and use it for two years and sell it for what you paid for it as long as you take care of it. Don't spend money on something you can't sell if you are not happy with it.

    Whatever you decide, I hope you make it out on the river this summer one way or another. Have fun and stay safe.

  11. #11
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default

    It might be a better way to go if you look at a Cataraft. They can be had for about 2K (sometimes less if you don't mind a patch or two) and thy will get you and a buddy fishing for cheap! You will just need 2 cars one at the put in and one at the take out and you are set! There is always the hitch hike method but I would never reccommend that no matter how dumb I was at your age The cataraft would also be easier to store and ship if you head out into the world in a few years!

    Here is one for 2100 bucks, yeah it is a little more than you want to spend but I think you will get a lot more out of a $2100 cataraft than a $2100 john boat!

    Before I get called out for telling a kid to jump into rafting head first.... There are several guys here on the forum that have proven time and again to jump at the opportunity to take people out and help them get some experiance on the oars before they take off solo. I highly reccommend doing that!

  12. #12

    Default

    I gotta admit I love rafts too, I have a little walmart 50 dollar raft that I take down campbell creek in town alot, lotta fun. But on that note I need something for camping rather than just fishing, so I can go up and down the river from campsite to fishing area over spans of the weekend.

    -Thanks for everyones else advice aswell, I know it seems like a long shot but I'm not in too much of a rush and I'll be checkin craigslist alot as I do.

    A little more info... With gas and people/gear onboard I imagine each load would be able 300lbs-400lbs .. None of my friends weigh over 140, sounds like it would be a two person max at a time shuttle type thing.


    Also thinkin about the 2 stroke thing, I know 2 strokes can be had for a hell of a deal, but as I recall I thought that they are banned entirely starting this year??


    Thanks-
    Nick

  13. #13
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default right track

    I used to have an old 14 foot boat with a 15 on it, and used it with 2 of us and little gear, just 5 gallons of gas,
    we hunted ducks out of that boat and I remember in October we would maybe see a boat or two in the whole day up around Skilak where it dumps into the middle river. then one day the 15 hp took a crap and i put on a 8.9 hp that I had around..
    It worked, but was a stretch.. but you know what,, we did it and we did it all the time..
    more than once, I put the boat in at Skilak, and ended up at Bings due to engine problems or weather kicked up so bad we did not dare to cross the skilak lake ,, and then we would find a way to get back up to skilak and get the truck and trailer,,,
    I loved those days,, I loved the fact that we just did stuff...
    yes we were safe, but we did things that are outside others comfort level, and we are comfortable with it..
    Be safe, and don't be dissuaded,
    If I had an extra 14 footer laying around that was used up on my end, I would just have you come down and work for a week and give you the boat,,
    Sorry I don't, but if you do need some work this summer, stop by and I will put you to work, I always have something for an ambitious young man.
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  14. #14
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    Default Hey

    I've got a 12 foot semi V that a 15 HP should push just fine. I keep thinking I'll use it, but it just sits. It needs a little work (I towed it too fast once with my boat) but I would help you fix it when the weather warms up. I was going to sell it eventually, but if you show me a decent report card and help me clean up my yard (dogs) in the spring I'll help you fix it up, we'll take it out and make sure it floats with my 2.5 hp. fix any leaking rivets, make sure your not a goof ball that's going to kill yourself, get your parents permission so I don't get sued if you do, then I'll load it on your truck and send it away with you. It's a good size for two people and some fishing poles, and a small cooler. I think it's for a short shaft, but I'll have to check.

    Chris

  15. #15

    Default Just a thought...

    but if Chris's offer doesn't pan out, how about just building your own boat? I've looked pretty closely at 2 designs I found on the internet; just google Pilgrim's Pride 16 and Lumberyard Skiffs. They are both flat bottom boats and can be built in 16'. The Lumberyard skiff is built with materials from guess where; Spenard's! They have a "v" in the front but are designed to be used by lower horsepower engines; 25 or so. Looks simple to build and cheap too.
    Jim

  16. #16
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    Default This might be well worth your time

    http://ezhuntnfish.com/detail.asp?id=65&pic=4#img

    You won't be able to do the kenai in july, but who wants to. You can also do lots of other stuff with this boat with good judgment. (yes, I would fish five to eight miles off of deep creek with this boat.

    Chris

  17. #17
    Member AKRoadkill's Avatar
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    Default

    I like the inflatable idea. I picked up an old, beat-up zodiac with 40 hp 2-stroke for $500 several years ago. no floor, so I built one. not a bad boat, and I didn't need a trailer for it. I traded it off a few years later when I could afford a nicer boat.

    there are deals to be had, if you're lucky or patient.

  18. #18
    Member akshrop's Avatar
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    Default

    One more option: An 18-20 ft scanoe (couple hundred used), put outriggers on it (make your own with pvc and noodles for $20) and <10 hp engine. This can be done for your price range I bet. I have one that my buddy and I can stand and fish in, plus gear. I took it once all over the Tanana for a week long moose hunt with no issues. Just go slow and watch what you are doing. We would scout ahead around certain bends, but I am pretty cautious. I have never been on the Kenai, so this combo might not work at all there, someone experienced with scanoes and the Kenai could help you in this.

  19. #19

    Default

    Good alternatives! Never thought about the inflatable but I still stand by my boatbuilding idea; problem I see with getting a 2 stroke is that in his original post, Fishwhacker said between work, he's looking to get on the river during the summer, and I think July is smack in the middle of summer (i.e. no shcool) so I think he's needing a 4stroke. Sounds like he doesn't have the luxury of going when it's super convenient. As far as who wants to be on the river in July, I sure do as well as (too) many other people! Could be because that's when the majority of fish are there! Get away from the lower river (as we have now done in discovering the middle river; above Bing's) and things are less crazy, scenery outstanding, folks much more laid back even when the reds are thick. I love it up there and Fishwhacker is going to be cruisin' & camping that area. Go with the boats I suggested and you can do pretty much anything you want, including the Deep Creek special on nice days.
    Sheesh, it's still January only!!!
    Jim

  20. #20
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    Default I was just thinking

    A coleman scanoe with a briggs and stratton 5 hp. outboard would do just fine. You should be able to find the outboard at the boat show for about 900 brand new, and an old scanoe shouldn't be too hard to come up with. I prefer inflatables, but the horse power is allways an issue with them. That boat of mine might work with a 5 hp as well, but it might be really slow going up stream, and may not go upstream at all with two people.

    Chris

    Chris

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