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Thread: whittier small boats

  1. #1
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    Default whittier small boats

    I have a 16 foot river boat. I've never been to Whittier, and wanted to go check it out. Is is safe to take out of Whittier, go along the coast and camp in one of those little coves? Is fishing good out there?

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Default More info?

    What type of river boat? Flat bottom or V-hull? How far do you plan to go? What are you looking to catch?
    In the fall you can successfully find silvers close to the marina. Pick a nice calm day, stay close and it can be fished in a small craft.
    Right now you could pick a couple nice days and drop shrimp pots out of a smaller craft directly across from the marina.
    As for halibut/lings and other bottom dwellers it would be difficult to find good places to access in a boat like you are desribing out of Whittier.
    BK

  3. #3

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    I think it could be done if the weather is nice and stays nice while your out there. I personally have not been to whittier via boat either so I am not the best at advising here. I had a 16' lund and was asked to take it there a few years ago for bear hunt but never did. The person who asked me had done multiple trips out there in simular boats. Somewhat "v" bottomed is what im guessing. Otherwise flat bottom with no deadrise would make for a nervouse trip regardless of how nice it is when you first get there. If your boat has low sides and no splashwell or pump, I would go with someone that has a better set up.

    Have you taken it on a large lake yet? If you been out on a large lake with chop and swells than you should have a feel for what it can handle. Some more info about it would help you get responses.

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Whittier can be fairly rough in any boat. As long as you don't mind getting wet and beat around a bit it is doable but I would be sure to check the weather forecast and play it safe. There are not many coves or bays to pull in to out of the crap when it starts in Whittier.

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    It is an alumicraft 16 ft river boat. I asked because I wanted to know if it's okay to go across the straight to squirrel cove. I went there once a long time ago and it was beautiful, but we were in a much bigger boat and it was almost 30 years ago. I've been in choppy water out in Dillingham area. Had a 16 ft whitewater skiff but it had much higher sides.

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    Member Ak Bird Brain's Avatar
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    Just remember, the weather only gets worse in Whittier. It rarely gets better.
    If you do consider going, I'd be watching the weather very closely and have alternate dates to go just incase. Take a VHF radio, stay near to shore (but not to close, lots of rocks!), file a float plan, and bring enough gear/food for staying put in a cove for up to a week or more.

  7. #7

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    Jeff,

    You will probably be just fine. But, as others have point out, it can get really choppy in that narrow little fjord when the wind picks up. Other times, it can be flat calm and beautiful for hours on end. If it starts getting choppy, get your butt back. Or plan on staying wherever you are for a good amount of time. Most of the time in the late evening it flattens out pretty nicely once the day breezes let up. Good luck and be safe....

  8. #8

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    If you go, be very careful. There was a 22' river boat that sunk last year when the passage canal conditions overcame their boat (do a search for that thread on this forum). Luckily the chenega was right there and rescued them. All it takes is a couple waves into your open bow ... please don't become a statistic...

  9. #9
    Member Snagger's Avatar
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    Rent a boat in Whittier.

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    Default small boat owner

    I go out of Whittier quite often in a 15'6" inflatable, would not recommend it in a riverboat. The wind chop is often two to three feet, but not much further apart, worst case swamping a flatbottom, best case, brutally rough. It can be glass when you leave port but the terrain of whittier can cause rapid change of antithermal wind, especially on sunny days. I carry survival suits for everyone on board, I love adventure, but safety is always a foremost.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I'd recomend against it. As mentioned there can be a pretty severe chop. You can go out with glass calm water in the morning and the steepest chop can be right by the harbor in the afternoon.

    The other thing not mentioned are wakes. There are some large boats that leave out of the Whittier harbor, and one of the glacier cruise boats puts out a severe wake, we're talking a steep 2-3' wake.

    Take it for what it's worth, but after spending some time out in the sound with a very capable 23' boat, I want a 28' boat.

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    Member akhilux's Avatar
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    I think the common opinion is going to be, you can do it but be mindful of changing weather. If you already have the boat, why not try it. Instead of doing a big adventure for your first time, try going out just outside the harbor and just enjoying the afternoon, see if it is something that you are willing to go farther in. Of course any boat that goes out on the salt should have some minimum equipment on it that you should always carry with you, check the regs and consider those the bare mins. I have a 20' river boat and I do take it out in the salt (Whitter and Seward). It is NOT the smoothest ride and I may have to slow down sometimes in order to keep my fillings in my teeth but it is the boat I have. Last week I was fishing off of Bar Island out of Seward, loaded up with halibut, and in a week and a half planing on going to the Cooper River for reds. There is no one boat that will do everything well, but the goal is to do the most with the boat you have and stay SAFE as you do it. Have fun and enjoy your summer.
    20' Wooldridge Sport 08' 150hp E-Tec
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  13. #13

    Smile Wind out of whittier

    Good rule of thumb if the wind is blowing more knots than your vessel is feet long you should not go out in pws. The winds around whittier are usually blowing more than 16 knots. Make sure you have survival suits on, bare minimum good floatation devices and a good radio. The coast guard never responds immediately and it takes them 3 hours to get to whittier waters from valdez. Happy boating, be smart stay safe

  14. #14
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I have a 17'6" boat and will not ever take it out of whittier. If I had a larger 20+ footer with decent freeboard then I would consider it on a calm day with calm weather in the forcast for the following days as well. No chance in my little rig though. Yeah I would probably be fine but it isn't worth the risk to me, if I want to run the sound I will either save for a bigger boat or shop around for a good deal on an inflatable

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