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Thread: River Boat question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Between mentally adjudicated and cybersapce

    Default River Boat question

    Hello all,

    I am currently setting in dusty Afghanistan counting the days until I go home on leave to Fort Richardson. While on leave this August I'm hoping to get out and enjoy the great outdoors of Alaska. While here I am trying to educate myself as much as possible to the unique Alaskan laws.

    My question is what are the rules / laws in Alaska about using a proppeller power outboard in rivers such as the Susitna and Deshka? I seen most of the boats in that area had the jet propulsion system installed, I assumed it was to reduce the overall depth of the engine setting in the water to avoid rocks and other under water obstacles as well as to allow passage through shallower waters.

    Are there regulations requiring the jet propulsion system or restricting the use of propellers?

    Thanks for your input,

  2. #2
    Member bkmail's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Palmer, AK.

    Default No restrictions

    But, lower units get expensive. We run jets to make it through skinny sections of water that a prop would not.
    Thanks for serving, be safe and get home soon!

  3. #3
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Palmer, AK


    Some folks seem to get by with a prop but as mentioned it gets costly quick and limits your travels tremendously. There are hybrid options like the go-devil or mud-buddy surface drive motors. Lots of folks get around great in jon boats pushed by surface drives, many claim to get significantly better fuel mileage too.

  4. #4


    I have a surface drive prop and it works well. I can do 4-5 inches, not as good as a jet. I am limited and won't do fast or skinny water but I do a lot of duck hunting so it can handle mud and vegetation. I have 36 HP and sip gas.


    ps Thanks for your service

  5. #5
    Member akshrop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    North Pole, AK


    Ralph you just got to pick your water with a prop-job. You can still get to have a lot of fun. I run a jet, but there are some good areas that you can get to with the prop. Enjoy it and if you get a bug for river running, you can always switch over to the jet side later. Take care and enjoy your leave when it comes. I get to go home on leave in late June. I can't wait.


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