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Thread: help! Looking for good family day trip boat

  1. #1
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    Default help! Looking for good family day trip boat

    ok guys, this is a great place to get info and opinions. We are looking for a boat mainly for the rivers, but an occasional trip out of seward or whittier or maybe even valdez. All of it would be day trips, and mostly on rivers, as the wife isn't real keen on big water. I am thinking something about 20', any bigger it might be too much for me (with a little help? form the wife) to handle and enjoy exploring some of the rivers in the matsu. Thinking about an outboard 150-200hp and would really like to go 4 stroke (but that E-tec is impressive) with jet and prop drives I can switch out.
    Orriginally I was going to go center consol with no top, now I am thinking, tradtional consol with soft top (nice to get out of the weather, and the wife will go more, hence I get to go more!!)
    Graylings look nice, but you can only find them used with old 2 strokes on them, buying and putting on a 4 stroke would make it pricey, unless If i could find one with a 4 stroke already on it. I like the fuel tank setup on them also, saddle tanks.
    Wooldridge, like them also, but heard since the fuel tank is on bottom it is possible to rupture the fuel tank if bumping a rock a little hard? Whats the story on this? Have seen some impressive ones for sale. Any thought, expierences with these???
    Lowe Just seems not built well enough/ sides aren't high enough. Saw a 18'? for sale with a 90 honda on it, and they had some some extra modding in back to make sure the motor bracket was strong enough. looked kinda shade tree garage to me.
    anybody got some advice or other things to look at? I'd like to go used, but not too used, then I can get a little more boat for the money (i think?)
    Thanks in advance!
    Tim

  2. #2
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    150-200 hp seems like way too much power for a 20' boat, unless you'll be pulling water skiers or very heavy loads, ie landing craft w/ 4 wheelers, or moose and a weeks worth of hunting gear. I'm thinking you'll find a 90-115 to be just about perfect for a 20 footer, albeit with the jet pump thats effetively a 60-80hp. An engine to consider in that class is the Tohatsu TLDI 90, it's a direct inject 2 stroke like the E-tec, but not so dependent on electronics, and less exspensive, while still offering great fuel economy. I also believe it's the lightest 90 on the market.

    If you're looking to run on the salt as well as the rivers, you want a semi-V hull, not a flatbottom. This get's into tradeoff territory, the deeper the V the better it'll be in the salt, at the expense of giving up some shallow water performance.

    Nothing wrong with going used so long as you know what fair market is on the unit, and it is in decent condition. Unless abused, hulls can last a long time, and being able to get a used one at a fraction of the cost of new is a great way to get more boat for your $. If you find a heck of a deal on something with an older 2 stroke on it, you can always pull the motor and sell it for a $1-2k, or use it as a trade in for a new engine, so factor that in the price. I'd much rather have an old hull with a new engine than a new hull w/ an old engine.

    Definately go for some sort of covered console for the wife. I started building a boat 3 years ago. If I'd gone with an open skiff I would have been done by now, but I would have gotten very little use out of it due to having no weather protection for the family. So I decided to build a bigger boat with cuddy cabin and pilothouse. It's taken me 3 times as long, will cost 2 times as much, but I'll get 10 times the use out of it.

  3. #3

    Smile Family day trip boat

    Wooldridge boats have the tank in the floor but it is not on the bottom of the boat it is above the structure on the bottom. There are several stringers that are under it. I have never heard of one with a hole in it much less a hole through the bottom of the boat. Let me know if you would like some pics of how they are built. There was a 20 ft Sport off of potter road for sale green with a merc and Marita had a used black 20ft Sport witha merc for sale out back in the yard.

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    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    150-200 hp seems like way too much power for a 20' boat, unless you'll be pulling water skiers or very heavy loads, ie landing craft w/ 4 wheelers, or moose and a weeks worth of hunting gear. I'm thinking you'll find a 90-115 to be just about perfect for a 20 footer, albeit with the jet pump thats effetively a 60-80hp. An engine to consider in that class is the Tohatsu TLDI 90, it's a direct inject 2 stroke like the E-tec, but not so dependent on electronics, and less exspensive, while still offering great fuel economy. I also believe it's the lightest 90 on the market.
    I would have to disagree with this, 150hp used as a jet with any kind of a load in a semi-V boat would be the absolute minimum imo. You will sacrifice fuel effeciency. I beleive you will regret it if you don't get at least a 150hp motor and may end up upgrading it like others I know. The more you start using it the more uses you'll find for it.

    If you're looking to run on the salt as well as the rivers, you want a semi-V hull, not a flatbottom. This get's into tradeoff territory, the deeper the V the better it'll be in the salt, at the expense of giving up some shallow water performance.

    Nothing wrong with going used so long as you know what fair market is on the unit, and it is in decent condition. Unless abused, hulls can last a long time, and being able to get a used one at a fraction of the cost of new is a great way to get more boat for your $. If you find a heck of a deal on something with an older 2 stroke on it, you can always pull the motor and sell it for a $1-2k, or use it as a trade in for a new engine, so factor that in the price. I'd much rather have an old hull with a new engine than a new hull w/ an old engine.
    I would agree with the semi-V vs flatbottom and used boat comments.

    If you are buying a used boat and plan on financing it you will have to get an appraisal. Therefore you will know what it is really worth if you get a qualified/trustworthy appraisal.

    Definately go for some sort of covered console for the wife. I started building a boat 3 years ago. If I'd gone with an open skiff I would have been done by now, but I would have gotten very little use out of it due to having no weather protection for the family. So I decided to build a bigger boat with cuddy cabin and pilothouse. It's taken me 3 times as long, will cost 2 times as much, but I'll get 10 times the use out of it.
    Agreed, the more I have used my boat the more I would like to do. The shelter is priceless imo, especially with a summer as wet as this one has been. I have been venturing into the saltwater more and more. Wish now I was able to spend the night on the boat. Also would be nice if it was larger and more comfortable so I could go out to the islands and hunt. But then again I wouldn't be able to run the rivers. You really need 2 boats to cover everywhere although that isn't possible for most of us.

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    Thumbs up Thanks!!!

    AK bighorn, you and I are on the same page!!! I agree, 150hp is MIN!! I also agree , got to keep the family happy, otherwise I will never use it, as I will be by myself. Abuddy of mine told me to look into the sport john with the sport jet, I think they are sold in Fairbanks at compeaus, looks like a doable machine. The one thing I am worried about is 1) does it have high enough sides to use in the ocean safely?? 2) the imboard 2 stroke merc, if it needs replacement there aren't too many choices, thats why I like the outboard option. Other than that, I am impressed with the boat!!

    Sport drifter, thanks I might go take a look at those boats, but I won't really be ready to buy until after the first of the year, I think. That all depends on price.

    Thanks for all the info guys keep it coming!!!! I bet there are 4 other guys in my position, reading this post getting info too!

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    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Although I really like the sportjon, I view it as more for the rivers and lakes. I really don't think it will fair well in the open water. It may do ok on nice days or close in trips but you will eventually want to go farther out. I did alot of looking before I bought my boat which is pictured as my avatar. I chose this one because it has deeper sides etc. etc. My boat is 19' with the 175hp sportjet same as the sportjons I have seen. It has plenty of power for anything you will use it for. They don't sell the Thunderjet pictured anymore with the sportjet from what I was told. I did see the same boat this year with a 305 in it. That was what I was trying to avoid. That motor absolutely consumes the fishing area on that boat. Her is the link to my boats website http://www.thunderjet.com/envoy/index.html. I had a discussion in another thread with a fellow named Crumm about boats. I beleive he is in Fairbanks and has a Jetcraft shallow extreme. That boat imo is similiar to the sportjon. The following link has a pic and the discussion that related http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...7651#post27651

    Good luck and happy shopping.

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    Before you purchase anything I would recommend you take the wife and family out for a day trip on a river and the ocean. Fiqure out what you want to do the most of of first. Most of us have learned it is hard to get a really good boat that will do everything well.
    It gets really old changing a prop to a jet and vice versa. Especially if you didnt spend the money for a good adjustable jack plate.
    Good luck with your search. This forum is the correct place to seek advice.
    But I would suggest you build a boat for one particular use and then rent a charter for the less used choice. In the long run you will be happier and will of probably saved money. Before I bought my current boat I purchased a used river boat with a Yamaha 150 jet. We were convinced we wanted a river boat. Only time we used the boat was in Big Lake or for silvers out of Seward. We quickly sold it and bought what we wanted, a nice ocean boat.

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