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Thread: Perfect Yukon Boat

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    Member GrassLakeRon's Avatar
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    Default Perfect Yukon Boat

    Hi all,

    What would consider the perfect Yukon River boat to be and why? Boat under 10k? Under 20k? Under 30k? over 30k?

    Thanks

    Ron

    Yes....I'm looking to buy. Mixed hunting/fishing and hauling needs.

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    I can imagine you will get a bunch of different ideas here. I searched for quite a while to put together my Yukon boat. Bought the boat and trailer (22' Carolina) then an outboard (Suzuki), jacklift, spare tires, fish tote for gear, brand new extra lower unit, fuel containers etc. etc. Taking my time, I only spent about $12,500. Took the maiden trip last year and did great. I still need to fool around with different props, and weight distribution and a few other minor deals but all in all, a price I'm happy with for a boat I use once or twice a year. Happy Hunting

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    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtm9 View Post
    I can imagine you will get a bunch of different ideas here. I searched for quite a while to put together my Yukon boat. Bought the boat and trailer (22' Carolina) then an outboard (Suzuki), jacklift, spare tires, fish tote for gear, brand new extra lower unit, fuel containers etc. etc. Taking my time, I only spent about $12,500. Took the maiden trip last year and did great. I still need to fool around with different props, and weight distribution and a few other minor deals but all in all, a price I'm happy with for a boat I use once or twice a year. Happy Hunting
    tjm9, did you camp out at the fueling station on the river in Galena the night of Sept. 16th?

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    Default Yep

    That was me.

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    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    Ya, we pulled in next to you around midnight while you guy's were setting up your tent. We BS'd with you alittle.

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    Member M Gho's Avatar
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    Default boat

    GrassLakeRon,

    I have spent some time on the Yukon over the years. I have been on the Yukon from the Nation river to the city of Galena. I raced in the Yukon 800 four times, twice as captain. It is a pretty long river and the upper section is different than the lower section. It is pretty cool just to get out and it is a great highway for opportunities: fishing, hunting, visiting, camping, traveling, exploring, etc. A flat bottom boat would be ideal for hauling heavy loads since being able to manueuver, a flat bottem boat isn't too important on a river the size of the Yukon. An open bow is great to get stuff in and out. My dad had a Carolina skiff. Great boat. Except when the fiberglass gel coat became worn from the silt and it started to gain water weight over the years - and with the flat bow, it really pounds in the waves. I have a Wooldridge Sport which I believe is the perfect Yukon boat, but I am bias since it is my childhood dream boat. The Wooly handles the waves on the lower Yukon great, is economical to travel with, and can haul fairly large loads. The windshield and canopy is a luxury I have wanted since a kid, and it pays off when the wife and kids don't mind being out of the weather. It handles like on rails and will get up on step in the length of itself. I have used an anchor and slept many nights under the canopy like a poor mans RV. I have listed it on craigslist recently since I now own too many boats. Who would of thought that would be a bad thing ? ..... my wife
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    Member GrassLakeRon's Avatar
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    So outboards rather then jet? How do the props hold up? Say If I was running in the Eagle area to the Nation and back? Would a conventional v hull do alright? say a lund? Thanks again for the advice....

    Ron

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    I have listed it on craigslist recently since I now own too many boats. Who would of thought that would be a bad thing ? ..... my wife [/quote]

    What did you replace the wooly with?

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    Member M Gho's Avatar
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    GrassLake,
    A Lund would be fine. I wouln't even mess with a jet, since you are increasing your load by 30% with more gas to go the same distance. However, some places it would be great to have a jet and get up some small creeks - or cricks -......... like they say where you are from !

    Gramps,
    I 'accessorized' the Wooly with a Lund, go-devil on a Lowe, NR OS pilothouse, rivited alum skiff with an old outboard prop, and Clipper canoe and soon to purchase infatable dingy. Not nearly the same amount of shoes or purses my wife has........

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    Default Troutbum

    I remember. You guys had a good trip. Charlie is a kick isn't he. When stuff like that happens to him its just another day on the Yukon. No big deal. We had a great trip. Shot one bull, but had a blast. Headed back again. Hope the draw works out. If not were going anyway.

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    I own a 23 Wooldrige Alaskan with a 200 Optimax purchased only for hunting up the Koyukuk. With only one hunt under my belt I still think it was a great choice and still maybe best overall because it rides a little higher than a Sport Drifter and this most likely kept me from getting stuck a few times while the Sport Drifter in our group managed to run aground.

    That being said, if I had to do it all over again I would probably pick a 25 Sport Drifter with a 250 Optimax or Etec. The 25 would carry a lot of gear and the SD handles the river chop a little better.

    What you choose will depend on how many people and how much gear you want to haul in your boat and how much you want to spend.
    Tennessee

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    For the low end I would think a 16-18' flat bottom john with a go-devil would be the ticket.
    I will be giving it a shot on my Woolly AK 17'6 one of these years if I ever get past using all my vacation chasing sheep... It would be nice to have a prop lower unit to use on the main river and then swap it out to the jet to do some shallow exploring. I would like to have more motor before I do it, If I go backpack light I should be able to bring back 1 moose in my boat. The 90hp mercury is the achilles heel of my boat, (couldn't resist the mythology connection there) One day I will stumble upon a deal for a great Suzi 140 or the like and really step up the performance!

  13. #13

    Default Attn: LuJon

    "One day I will stumble upon a deal for a great Suzi 140 or the like and really step up the performance! "

    Be carful not to "Stumble", I'm right behind you looking to get rid of a very heavy 90hp Honda and salivating over the Suzuki 140 but I'm still looking for "financial sponsorship"
    19' Lowe Roughneck
    90/65 Honda 4 stroke
    Outboard Jet

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    That was a loaded question- I don't think there is a perfect boat - Lots of different ones with each being a little better than the next at something. Hard to tell how good one is with out being tested over time - The perfect boat will still be running after years of hard work and a certain amount of abuse. Mine isn't even close to perfect but 29 years later it's still getting the job done, hauled more moose & fish and logged more miles than I could ever count and it continues to bring me home each time. Old inboard jet with enough modifications and upgrades to keep it moving year after year. You can pick up an old one pretty cheap now days and make what you want out of it.

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    Member GrassLakeRon's Avatar
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    Mr Raven,

    No loaded questions here. I am a few years out of retirement. I want to pick up a boat, actually upgrade from the smoker I currently have, so be more compatible with the river systems in Alaska. I am thinking about Eagle area to "come home to". I need some expert advice from the folks who do this on a daily basis. I know we all have our wants and dream machines, but your input is needed so I can form a basis. I just don't want to be messing around to much when I get their.

    Ron

    14.5' smokercraft custom, with 48hp spl is the current ride.

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    Ron,

    Figure out your minimum for size, and then add 2 feet (you will regret it if you don’t). Get the highest HP rated for your boat. I highly recommend a jet with the extra prop lower unit, unless you will truly not take any of the Yukon feeders and never want to hit other interior rivers. The hull should be a mod-v and ensure that you have a lot of freeboard. Highly recommend a “cabin” if your wife will be boating with you. You will find a lot of boats out there that are good boats. Get a feel for many different ones to find your tastes. For example, I prefer an open skiff type deck and my buddy prefers the “cabin” cruiser type.

    My opinion only.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrassLakeRon View Post
    Mr Raven,

    No loaded questions here. I am a few years out of retirement. I want to pick up a boat, actually upgrade from the smoker I currently have, so be more compatible with the river systems in Alaska. I am thinking about Eagle area to "come home to". I need some expert advice from the folks who do this on a daily basis. I know we all have our wants and dream machines, but your input is needed so I can form a basis. I just don't want to be messing around to much when I get their.

    Ron

    14.5' smokercraft custom, with 48hp spl is the current ride.
    Hello Ron - I just meant there are so many different uses it would just be way too hard to narrow it down to one boat for everything (The Perfect Boat). To the folks that live out there using the boats as transportation, fuel economy is of the utmost importance, this may be a big concern if you are going to be living there.

    My boat works great for what I use it for (a moving camp site) and keeps me self contained for as long as I want to stay out there and will haul a heavy load - It does not get good fuel economy. I off set the fuel economy by going slow with the kicker motor when time allows traveling down river. I have a specific need and I get by with what I have - It has been dependable and provided a lot of adventures I will never forget. If I could afford 3 more I would have one for each need instead of trying to make one do it all.

    If I was living on the waters edge and coming home at night I would look at a prop boat. The most popular set up used by the locals in the areas I travel is an open john type boat with an outboard prop. They then fabricate a cab usually of plywood on the back to stay out of the elements. The front is left open for hauling needs. They are fast, draw little water, more efficient, and they get used a lot.

    I have made a lot of trips on the Yukon and have seen just about everything from bath tubs to tug boats. Narrow down your criteria and then look for what fits the needs. Really depends on what you want to accomplish with the boat. Some areas require a jet a lot don't, you may want an outboard with both. To me simplicity and dependability are of huge importance. A tough decision to make so keep doing your research - best of luck.

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