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Thread: Hewescraft and Other Boating Questions

  1. #1
    Member TAC's Avatar
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    Default Hewescraft and Other Boating Questions

    Experienced Boaters of Alaska,

    I am thinking about taking the plunge into salt water boating with the purchase of a new Hewescraft. I like the look of the 22 ft Sea Runner or Ocean Pro. However, after speaking with the folks at Dewey’s, I discovered that the 22 footers can only be fitted with twin engines via a special order. I like the idea of twin engines for the redundancy and the additional level of safety due to this redundancy; however, I really don’t want to cough up the additional dough for something as large as the 24’ Alaskan. The folks at Dewey’s informed me that the 9.9 hp HT kicker will move the boat just fine, so I should have the same level of protection that I would receive with the twin engine concept. I’m not sure that I agree.

    Therefore, my questions to the group are the following (all advice and opinions will be welcomed):
    1.Will the 9.9 hp HT kicker be enough to keep the boat pointed into the waves in rough conditions?
    2.Will the 9.9 hp HT kicker be enough motor to limp back in should I lose the big motor?
    3.Would you feel comfortable going on long runs in PWS with a 22 footer equipped with a single 150 and the 9.9 kicker?
    4.Dewey’s is currently offering a Garmin 545s GPS/Fishfinder as part of the package. Is this a quality system, or would you try to upgrade to something else?
    5.Should a boat venturing into PWS be equipped with a marine radar system? If so, what would you recommend?
    6.A single motor would provide better fuel economy. If a boat is fitted with twins, can one choose to run on a single motor without issue? Will this cause undo where and tear? How will the boat handle?
    7. A heated cab would be nice. How do cab heaters work with uninsulated cabs?
    8. Those that have experience with the Coast Gaurd Training Courses, how are they?

    I am new to Alaska, and the risks associated with Alaska boating; therefore, any other advice that you have on the equipment component of boating PWS would be appreciated. I am looking forward to the fun and all that the sound has to offer, but I want to be certain that I have the equipment (and knowledge) to return from every trip. The Hewescrafts look like very solid boats, and I really like the basic, fool-proof designs.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  2. #2
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    Default Hewescraft Is A Great Boat

    I think you will find the Hewescraft to be very capable of doing what you need. The outboard motors that are built today are very reliable and I have never experienced a problem where the kicker would not keep me out of trouble. Now I know there will be several people jump in and say you should have two motors - IMHO A single with a good kicker will be just fine & they will be sitting at the docks in a few years when fuel prices go back to the four dollar level - which they are forcasted to do by a some
    very notable economists.`
    The GPS that Deweys sells with the package is quite capable of doing everthing you need. I would order a heater and install it yourself - there are many good threads on the subject on this forum.
    Take the Coast Guard safety courses - you will learn a bunch of info that could someday save your life and the lives of the people around you.
    Don't skimp on the quality of your safety gear - buy GOOD PFD's
    Happy Boating - See you on the water.
    How stupid is it to be wasting tons of salmon and halibut as bycatch in the Bering Sea and then have the coastal villages hollaring they have no food? It's got to stop!

  3. #3
    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    Default

    If you don't think that the 9.9 kicker is quite big enough, I don't see why you couldn't put a 15 hp on for a kick and get a little extra horsepower. I currently run a single inboard and I have no kicker. Not the prefered setup, but it is a brand new motor and I feel confident in it

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    Default My input

    I have a 22' Searunner hardtop with a 115 main engine and a 9.9 kicker. The kicker does just fine. In calm water, it pushes my boat at 6mph. No speed records but it gets the job done.

    Marine radar, not so much. Most days on the Sound don't call for radar. On those rare summer days that do, I don't go out. Save your money.

    As for distance, pick your days. I have been down to Montegue Straight a couple times with other boats as a group. Once or twice by myself on glass water days. Again, pick your days and watch your fuel. Do not count on getting any fuel at Chenga Village.

    One of the best things I did to my boat was to get a fuel managment systems installed. It turned out to be pretty accurate. It gives your current burn rate according to the speed you are going at any given time as well as the total amount of fuel spent so far on the trip. In my mind, this is must have information.

    So far as a heated cab goes, I've never really been bothered by not having one. The only thing I struggle with sometimes is the windsheild fogging up.

    My last bit of advice is, if you find yourself asking the question, "is it safe?" the answer is NO. Stay in camp or go back home. Try again another day. 6' rollers out in the open Gulf is one thing, 6' confused chop in Port Wells is a bad place to be.

    Be safe, have fun.

  5. #5
    Member akdeweyj's Avatar
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    Default

    Take a look at Marita Sea & Ski on Rudakof Circle. Last fall they had a used 24' SeaRunner HT w/twin 115 hp Yamaha OB's on it that they might be willing to deal on about now.

  6. #6

    Default Hewescraft

    I have a 22 foot sea runner with a 115 hp Yamaha and a 8 hp Yamaha high thrust kicker. The only thing I would consider changing I might go for a 150 hp. I'm not sure what model Garmin GPS/fish finder it has but it has been a great unit.

  7. #7
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TAC View Post
    Experienced Boaters of Alaska,

    (sic)

    1.Will the 9.9 hp HT kicker be enough to keep the boat pointed into the waves in rough conditions?
    2.Will the 9.9 hp HT kicker be enough motor to limp back in should I lose the big motor?
    3.Would you feel comfortable going on long runs in PWS with a 22 footer equipped with a single 150 and the 9.9 kicker?
    4.Dewey’s is currently offering a Garmin 545s GPS/Fishfinder as part of the package. Is this a quality system, or would you try to upgrade to something else?
    5.Should a boat venturing into PWS be equipped with a marine radar system? If so, what would you recommend?
    6.A single motor would provide better fuel economy. If a boat is fitted with twins, can one choose to run on a single motor without issue? Will this cause undo where and tear? How will the boat handle?
    7. A heated cab would be nice. How do cab heaters work with uninsulated cabs?
    8. Those that have experience with the Coast Gaurd Training Courses, how are they?

    (sic)

    Thanks in advance for your help.
    I built a 23' tolman widebody that is pretty similar to the layout of the 22' hewes, but a tad lighter. It's setup with a 140 suzuki and 8 horse e-rude. I've spent the past two summers going out in the sound, though not as ofter as I'd like. The furthest I've run is Green Island, I'd have no qualms about running to Montague, weather permitting.

    1 Yes
    2 Yes, but it'll take forever, and if you're fighting the wind, not really. Figure it should be enough to get you into some place to hide, but don't count on it getting you back to port if your main dies 50 miles out.
    3 As I mentioned, yes, but you have to watch the weather. There are plenty of places to hide out in the sound. Bigger boats are more comfortable in a chop and let you run a bit faster in a chop. But ultimately when it starts to pick up, you gotta hide out.
    4 I have a similar unit. I like the gps, I don't like the fish finder. The combo units displays are typically too small to run both gps and sonar at the same time. I plan on getting a furuno digital sonar unit.
    5 A good idea but not necessary. When it's really foggy, hole up.
    6 If you have twins, run both. Typically when set up with twins the single motor isn't poweful enough to plane the hull without really straining. To me, you need to get to about a 26' boat before twins make sense. The biggest cause of loss of power is either fuel or electrical, and typically boats are set up with one tank and a single electrical system so the twins are just added expense without true redundant protection.
    7 I need to add one, as condensation is a serious problem on overnight trips.
    8 Coast guard aux courses are great, we took the home study plus one full day class. It's a prudent minimum. The folks teaching it have spent a fair bit of time in the sound and other ak waters.

  8. #8
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    Default

    I installed a dickinson propane heater in the rear corner of my 26' hewes short cabin, and it cranks pretty good. I'll be putting a separate circulation fan, blowing onto the driver side windshield. The heater did an excellent job of keeping the back windows clear, but without additional air circulation, I had to crack the side windows to clear the windshield (after wiping). I think the fan will help that, a bunch. You want a heater that exhausts to the outside, for pretty obvious reasons...mine also pulls combustion air from the outside. The forced air units (toyo, etc.) are probably superior for keeping windows clear. I got a good deal on mine.

    I'd recommend a separate sonar and chartplotter unit, if only because you'll likely get a better performing sonar.

    A 9.9 or 15 4-stroke kicker that is designed for kicker duty (meaning, a large diameter, low pitch prop and possibly different lower end gearing than your normal skiff-powering outboard) will keep you pointed the right direction in some pretty snotty weather. You can get such an animal from Yamaha (the original bigfoot kicker), merc, honda, and I think suzuki. I know you can get a retrofit "sailboat prop" for the evinrude 4-strokes - it has an oversize hub to allow exhaust venting out the front of the prop (the secret behind yamaha's superior backtroll/reverse performance - blades bite clean water in reverse) and low pitch prop blades. I suspect the same is available for suzuki. My honda 15 is a real sweetheart. Sounds like you know what to look for by referencing HT (high thrust?) in your questions. If you get a kicker and you intend to use it to troll or slow a jigging drift, you want the kicker controls in the back of the boat, either with a tiller extension or a control station on the back of the cabin. Don't get lured into putting your kicker controls up front - it makes trolling a PITA.

    I'm a pretty big advocate of a big single and kicker. It is a long ways back from Montague, though...

    Still, if you're caught offshore and it's REALLY crappy, you'll probably want a sea anchor of sorts to keep your bow pointed uphill. Bring a couple of spare fuel filters, and some way to rig up an alternate fuel line should your tank get really fouled up. Familiarize yourself with control cable attachments and the like. Read up on boat wiring - designate a house battery and an engine battery, and figure out a battery combiner wiring system to keep the batteries isolated when the engine isn't running. Blue Sea Systems has a slick combiner and switch kit for ~$100 online. Hewes won't be installing that - you'll have to rig it yourself.

    Think all of the options through, thoroughly. If you shrimp or carry a dinghy, install any rodholders along the side of the cab instead of across the back - that way you can easily heave pots and dinghys over the top from the back deck.

    Don't get spooked off by a used boat, particularly if the engines were maintained well. There have been some awfully good deals kicking around out there. Don't get hung on the Hewes brand name either, there are better boats out there. If you're going to spend the money to buy a new boat, you owe it to yourself to bone up on the Hewescrafts, then take a trip to Vancouver island and make your way up the island, stopping at Silver Streak in Sooke, another builder I can't remember in Sidney, Wolf in Courtenay, Eagle Craft ($$$) in Campbell river, etc. and so forth. Several others in the lower mainland of BC and northwest washington - seawolf, armstrong, lifetimer, etc. They all tend to do a superior job of rigging a boat compared to Hewes, with better quality wiring, terminals, and electrical panels and such. The custom rigs will have self-bailing decks in a boat of that size, which is a VERY nice feature for fishing and shrimping - all the blood/guts/mud/gravel washes out the back instead of into your bilge. Hewes is a solid boat, but look at the structural details behind the transom panels and such and compare to the custom guys, and there is a stark difference. I'll leave it at that...

  9. #9

    Default thoughtful questions

    2nd the self-bailing deck big time.
    You referenced using the boat in PWS; got me thinking about that kicker; does anyone have kicker experience in Cook Inlet when tides running hard? How do they perform (as in will you make any headway against the tide to get you home)?
    Good advice to isolate fuel/electrical to each motor no matter which route you choose.
    Go bigger than the 150 if possible, as stated on here many a time, "nobody complains about too much power".
    Got to thinking about the PFD thing; after watching a special about hypothermia, how many of you guys carry survival suits? Seems 15 minutes in cold water is all it takes to be in serious life threatening trouble. Be good to get in a survival suit if boat's going down.
    I have a float coat and am getting another Mustang coat for fishing/just being on a boat but will have survival suits if I ever get a ocean boat.
    Wish I were in your position! Good luck!
    Jim

  10. #10
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    Default Been There

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Jim View Post
    ; does anyone have kicker experience in Cook Inlet when tides running hard? How do they perform (as in will you make any headway against the tide to get you home)?

    , how many of you guys carry survival suits? Jim
    I lost the main on my 24' Sea Sport while fishing near Flat Island. I fired up the 8 horse HT Yammie and started SLOWLY in. We were bucking the wind and the tide and sometimes it was hard to tell we were making headway. The GPS said we were moving though.

    It does give you plenty of time to figure out what happened to the main power plant. I found a cracked coil that I covered with silicone and tape. When I got the main running the visiting farmers from Idaho were delighted!

    The same coil failed this past December while goat hunting. The little 8 hp bucked us back up Passage Canal and safely to the harbor. I have since seen that water tends to collect on top of the coil and take time to wipe it off.

    So for my heavy boat the 8 hp HT does the job, but is undersized for Cook Inlet rips and wind.

    I always have 1 or 2 exposure suits on the boat.
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