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Thread: best rivers to run

  1. #1
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default best rivers to run

    I have had my boat for 1 summer and got out a few times and had some fun. Mostly lakes and a couple trips out Knik. I would like to go explore some other rivers but don't care much for fighting crowds as a rookie or getting run over and having my family killed! I hve very little interest in going to the little su for this reason. I am not all together thrilled with deshka either though last year would likely have been a great time to get out there since the fish were MIA.
    Anyway I have a tunnel hull wooly AK and I don't mind traveling away from Palmer. I just want some fun runs to learn what I am doing!

  2. #2
    Member tjm's Avatar
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    you looking to just get the family out to go cruising or are you also looking for fish?...I assume you'd like a little more challenge than just the B. SU and Yetna?....
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  3. #3

    Default Susitna Landing???

    I have'nt personally ran this but had a friend with simular boat in 17.5' run it a few miles. I wonder what its like. May be confused of the actual name of it.

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    Member tjm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21'-Grayling View Post
    I have'nt personally ran this but had a friend with simular boat in 17.5' run it a few miles. I wonder what its like. May be confused of the actual name of it.
    you mean the Kashwitna? if so, the lower is pretty nice but after a few miles up it is not a good river for an outboard, especially the HP Lu is putting out...the fishing isn't too bad on the lower though...
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  5. #5
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Fishing, camping, cruising. I spent a good bit of time running around the lake last year and a couple trips up Knik, even banged my way a few miles up the Matanuska. I just want to find some places to bang around for an overnight whith the kiddos.

    I think when I get home I am going to buy a tig welder and take a class or two(anyone wan't to give me some lessons?). I have decided to never sell the old Wooly AK and to instead beat the snot out of it, I learned a long time ago that the more fun you have the better you need to be able to fix your gear, the Tig is step one! <grin>

    As far as the OB goes, I am going to have Karolds make me up a stomp grate for it and I am going to upgrade it as much as possible (stainles imp, etc). Then I am going to do what I can to make it as light as possiible. I have no doubt you will run shallower than me but I will find out just what the capability of that little craft is!

    I am going to ring every bit of use I can get out of the 90 Merc and then I am considering going to a Tohatsu 115. That should speed her up a bit.

    Dang now I want to take the boat out!

  6. #6
    Member Yukoner's Avatar
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    The Wooly Ak is a fine boat, and very well made, but with a 1/8" bottom, its just not going to handle getting the snot beat out of it
    Its a gravelly bottomed kind of skinny water boat; big rocks and 1/8" Al don't get along, at all, not one little bit. If a guy wants to beat on a boat a bit, i think buying a used Xtra + or an SJ inboard with 3/16" or 1/4" bottom is the way to go.
    Having said that, you can't go wrong having your own welder and being able to right the wrongs the river bottom has inflicted. IMO, MIG is of more value for boat fixing than TIG. TIG is slow, and is more awkward to use in tight, upside down type places than a MIG with a spoolgun or push/pull. Buy a pulsed MIG if you can afford it, Not many places on a boat where you need that nice "stack of dimes" appearance of TIG beads.
    Ideally, you have both of course.
    My $.02.

  7. #7
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Both....hmmmm...cha-ching.... Ok Mig first, I live three minutes from greatland welding on Palm-Wa so I may just have to swing by there and support the local guy. I could see this getting out of control fast though.... Cause if you own a welder you NEED a cold saw, and a notcher, and a mandrel bender...... Then you realize that stack of dimes sure would look nice around the base of a new overhead rack! Hmmm I wonder how much room all of this is going to take up in my garage, perhaps a new shop.... Dang maybe I should just buy the extreme shallow and save myself some money!

  8. #8
    Member tjm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    Fishing, camping, cruising. I just want to find some places to bang around for an overnight whith the kiddos.
    It may sound funny, but the best place I've found to overnight with the kids is the upper deshka.
    It is close..
    great sandy beaches to camp on..
    the kids love to play in the sand..
    you can fish right in front of camp and are nearly guaranteed to catch at least a few small trout..
    It is usually out of the wind...
    Usually not too much company up there..
    If something happens (heaven forbid) to someone, you're not far from the landing if you need to get back in a hurry...
    ...the list goes on...but that is my goto overnight spot if I have the kids in tow...

    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    . I have no doubt you will run shallower than me but I will find out just what the capability of that little craft is!
    I'm not sure that I'll run any shallower than you, I mean, how much shallower can you run than a few inches, right?..lol..I'm sure your boat will do that...

    My point of caution was just a matter of physics, the upper Kash requires the ability to move your arse left or right pretty quickly to avoid the boulders, they aren't friendly boulders either...lol..going up is cake, coming down is where the fun starts......The current is swift enough that I wasn't on step until I was going over 30mph...I found myself over 40mph many times, having to gas it to dodge one boulder, then another, then another, made it tough to keep the speed down...lol...our boats are far from ideal for that river...having said that, I can't wait to go back this spring...

    I may be wrong but I was assuming that since you have to make a several revolutions with the wheel from lock to lock, coupled with a little less HP, you might get to know a few of those boulders better than you want to ...

    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    Dang now I want to take the boat out!
    only about a month to go...woo hoo......
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  9. #9
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default 20-Mile?

    My neighbors used to take a small (16ft?) outboard up 20-Mile...and come back with silvers. Would 20-Mile be good fit for Lujon's boat/family?

  10. #10
    Member Jimw's Avatar
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    If you can "read" water the Talkeetna is nice. This will be year 4 up there and I have to admit, i learn more every year. Some times the hard way. But we wont go into that. The river can be tricky too, fun can turn very ugly FAST!! We also have a beach on the river that kids just love to go to. Fishing, sand, BBQ and lots of rocks to throw. We are probably 20 river miles up stream and i get better cell service there than in Anchorage.
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  11. #11

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    20 mile might be good if you can go with somebody that has ran the river before. The tide effects the river a lot, so running it changes depending on tide. I haven't ran it in 5 years due to the crowds, so that might not be his best bet. We fished and camped there for 20+ years and have many memories there, great beach to camp on if nobody else is there, lol. We usually had the place to ourselves.

    But more people started coming and it was getting rediculous so we sold the xtra plus and went with an ocean going boat instead.(to get away from the crowds)

  12. #12
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I have an email in to Teleflex to see if they offer anything that would improve my steering ratio.

    If not, is there a fab shop in AK capable of building a steering box? I have an idea that I think would work. The obvious issue with a quick ratio steering in an outboard is that you are swinging the mass of the whole motor. The faster you swing it the more momentum it builds up so you can slam the motor from one side to the other side and likely break things. If you went from a left turn to a right turn suddenly you would have to over come the enertia of the motor swinging one way which would multiply the stress.
    Here is my idea, what say you <girn>. (This may already exist if so feel free to point me toward it)...... My thought was to build a helm that has a variable ratio steering. The idea is that from 20*-25* left or right of midline would be accomplished within 1/2 turn. Beyond that the helm would engage a diferent gear and the ratio would be stepped down. Obviously there would need to be some R&D to figure out what ratios would work best. I woulld love to see a 2 turn or better but I am confident that a 3 turn or better could be developed with this technology. So who has a CNC mill and some time?

    pattent pending currently looking for dev partners

  13. #13
    Member Reel Friend's Avatar
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    Default 20 Mile river

    I ran my Wooly AK (recently sold) up 20 mile the last 2 years and loved it. It's a great river. Beware about 9 miles up it get VERY skinny. I didn't like launching at high tide as it's alittle more difficult to read the river. Silvers in Aug are great (bring spray as the black flies are terrible.) Good luck and get home safe.

  14. #14
    Member tjm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    Here is my idea, what say you <girn>. (This may already exist if so feel free to point me toward it)...... My thought was to build a helm that has a variable ratio steering. The idea is that from 20*-25* left or right of midline would be accomplished within 1/2 turn. Beyond that the helm would engage a diferent gear and the ratio would be stepped down. Obviously there would need to be some R&D to figure out what ratios would work best. I woulld love to see a 2 turn or better but I am confident that a 3 turn or better could be developed with this technology. So who has a CNC mill and some time?

    pattent pending currently looking for dev partners
    I bet you could achieve nearly the same quickness with a suicide knob on the steering wheel...lol....

    here's one for $17...60 sec install...lol...

    http://us.st12.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.c...l_2038_3403902
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  15. #15
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    yeah yeah yeah Like I tell my kids and used to tell my troops "that is a fix I am looking for a SOLUTION!"

  16. #16

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    Sorry it took this long to respond! I did'nt realize you were running 90HP before jet. My buddy has 115 HP before jet so disreguard my suggestion. Good luck finding a suitable river for yourself and family for fun, im sure you'll fine a few, the best part of exploring rivers is your first time up or down them.

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    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Lujon,
    How many turns is your current helm? lock to lock?

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I think somewhere around 5 I havn't counted it. It is great for lakes...

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    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    I think somewhere around 5 I havn't counted it. It is great for lakes...
    Have you considered changing the helm? Teleflex makes some helms that are right at 3 turns lock to lock..
    I changed mine out last year, it was close 5 turns, it was a noticeable improvement, still not super quick like some inboards.
    Its relatively easy to do, should cost less than 100 bucks if you can use your existing cable.
    The other possibilty is changing to hydraulic steering, I am not sure if you can gain less than 3 turns or not??? I here folks like the hydraulic steering, be prepared to spend considerable more money than for just a replacement helm. Hope this helps

  20. #20
    Member AK NIMROD's Avatar
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    my boat (sportjet, not OB) lock to lock 1/3rd turn.....about 10 oclock to 2 oclock. really gives it control
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