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.