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Thread: New Member/First Questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Palmer, AK

    Default New Member/First Questions

    I just bought my first river boat a couple weeks ago. A 1992 Wooly Xtra Plus W/ 150/105 Evinrude Jet. Yep, it's probably the one you saw on craigslist. I talked him down NO REGRETS!

    My favorite advice for newbies I saw on an old thread was the guy who said, "teach yourself to enjoy standing in a cold shower while tearing up hundred dollar bills" This has been an expensive hobby so far. STILL NO REGRETS!

    I spent a couple days doing minor maintenance and took it out to 3 different lakes to get the feel for the boat and to build my confidence in its reliability before I took it to the river the first time. I have helped buddies navigate a few times, but it's a whole other story when you’re the one holding the wheel!

    I have already learned so much and have so much more to learn I know! (Take the high bank Dummy) This forum has already been a lot of help. Now I have some pretty good idea's on how to get my boat off the bottom of the Su if/when I manage to put myself in that situation again!

    The guy who helped me and my girlfriend un stick the boat said I had too much fuel on board. It has a 57 gallon tank below the floor, rear/center. Of course the tank was full because I was always taught never to leave the landing w/out a full tank. I wasn't exactly sure where I was planning on going that day but didn't expect to go too far past the Deshka or Willow. In the future do you think it is a good idea to try and estimate fuel or should I always head out with a full tank?

    Also, the same guy said I needed to get rid of the cable steering and go with hydraulic steering. What are your thoughts on that? I know it's expensive!

    Thanks in advance for your feedback...

  2. #2

    Default Congrats on the purchase :)


    Before I even say anything, welcome to the forum. We have a wealth of information and some of it is even useful. I am sure lots of folks will chime in to answers your questions that have more expertise than I do.

    As far as having too much fuel, I aint ever heard of having too much fuel in a jet boat......But, if you are only going for a 20 minute boat ride you don't need 50 + gallons. Then again, plans change and things change. The fishing might be hot and you may decide to venture further and go other places. You would be kicking yourself if you didn't have the gas now wouldn't you? I know I would and have in the past. And, I really doubt the extra 300 or so pounds of fuel you had on board is why you got hung up anyway. However, not having the 300 or so pounds of fuel on board sure would have made it easy getting it off the bar. You know you're supposed to go around that stuff right? LOL....

    The cable is fine if you are happy with it. Now with that said, I had some trouble with mine on my ocean boat and went to hydraulic. It is better and significantly so. However, I don't think it is must do if your steering system is adequate and still functioning the way it is supposed to.

    See you on the water Dan!


  3. #3
    Member Akgramps's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Last civilized place on the planet

    Default Fuel

    I have made a few trips back to the landing wondering if I was going to have enough fuel to make it, that kind of anxiety when headed home upriver on a Sunday is no fun, we made it ok.
    So if you are going on a trip that you have made before and can accurately predict how much fuel you need, then you can adjust how much you take a long. The rule is 1/3 rd to go out, 1/3 to come back, and 1/3 just in case.
    More of a ocean boat rule, but can be even more important on a river when you are returning upriver.

    So you had 57 gallons on the boat, how much did you have when you got back? if you planned it so you had 20 gallons reserve, thats only 2-3 hours of running time.
    The big question is, if you had minimum fuel on board would that have made the diffrence on wether or not you and your girlfriend could have got the boat off the bottom w/o help?
    You never know when you could get sidetracked, lost, stop to help someone, or tow a boat somewhere, man will that suck the fuel.
    Funny story about that, I got stuck on the Tanana one time and had some guys offer to help but they were low on fuel and I had plenty, everyone was happy......
    See below
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”

  4. #4
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    Welcome aboard!

    As far as how much fuel to carry, figure 1/3 tank out, 1/3 back and 1/3 spare. If you know you'll only be running the boat for an hour or so, you certainly don't need 10 times as much fuel as you'll burn. On the other hand, when you run a tank near empty you can have problems will fuel sloshing and not being picked up. In the situation where you're just making a short run, there is something to be said for running a couple of 6 gal portable tanks.

    As far as cable vs. hydraulic steering, cables are rated up to 150hp I have a cable on my 140 horse and it works fine, but likely when the cable starts to get sticky after a few years I'll upgrade to hydraulic. I just have better things to do with that money

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006


    For shallow running get yourself some polarized sun glasses, they make just a lot of diff in being able to see the shallows.

    Be prepared to get stuck, for indeed you will, at a minimum have a come-a-long with 200 feet or so of rope, (I prefer Blue-Steel, tis strong and light) carry a pry bar, mine is as simple as a good 2X4 with one end cut off at an angle. More exotic would be a winch, a chute, rollers, etc. Funny thing when I first started out I got stuck routinely, than as I equipped my boat better I no longer get stuck. Seems unfair but I have never used my bow mounted Warn winch.

    Welcome, good luck, and have fun.

  6. #6
    Member chico99645's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008


    I don't do rivers much anymore, but I never leave any dock without full tanks. Never know what might happen or even help someone that runs out and you have extra. I'd rather give or sell them some fuel then tow them back in. Welcome to the forum. Lots of knowledge willing to share on this site. They have helped me alot.

  7. #7
    Member Jimw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006


    Agreed on the fuel Lots O fuel means happy girlfriend, and pleasent drive home. Learn to read the water. Polarized sun glasses are great, but if can only see 6" into the water, well......... Getting stuck happens. You'll figure out how to get it floated after couple of times.

    Have fun and no question is ever stupid or out of bounds.
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  8. #8
    Member CaptNemo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007


    Ditto with Chico, I never leave the dock without full tanks. You never know what might come up, change of plans/change of routes/sandbar. If you cant make it with full tanks of fuel you shouldnt have been there. Welcome and good luck. CN
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  9. #9
    Member alaskanmoosehunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Next to my trashy neighbor


    Too much fuel...That is funny.

    Don't worry, the longer you run your boat the more you will be in tune to what it's fuel capabilities are.

    My boat for instance,

    If I am running down river and have to fight the current getting back. I run what, I call the: 1/3 -2/3 Rule. I go down river 1/3 tank of fuel . So I have 2/3 to fight comin' back.

    If I am running up river and coming down river with the current at my back. I run 1/2 -1/2 rule. (Only because the rivers current is a huge advantage and I always have plenty of fuel left just in case.)

    Once again this is just me and my boat....But you will find out with time.

    *When it gets shallow, you can see where the water funnels into and forms a channel...That's where you want to be. (Works with clear or muddy water)

    *Always have emergency gear and spare parts on your boat. (The wife goes overboard before the spare parts do!)

    *Pack light as a rule.

    *Keep a spare key somewhere hidin' in the boat or close by.(I learned the hard way.)

    *Grease your pump bearings after every trip. (This helps expel any water that may have entered your bearings and your boat is good to go next time.)

    *Fill your 2 stroke oil after every trip.

    *Buy a pair of stork pliers (It will save your bacon from tearing your foot off your boat on the side of the bank if something is wrapped around your impeller. i.e. rope, wire, tree roots)

    *Always have a pair of hip waters in the boat cause you never know when you'll have to go in the water.

    Good luck and see you on the river,
    Combat Vet by choice! Defender of this great nation and people (Which unfortunately also includes the stupid and the ignorant.)<a href= target=_blank rel=nofollow></a>

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  10. #10
    Member akshrop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    North Pole, AK


    I went out once without my tanks topped off. I said to my wife, "don't worry we got plenty of gas." I had to be towed the last 3/4 of a mile, by a buddy I had to call to get help. It is also a pain to trailer a boat that is out of gas in a fast river. My wife hardly ever brings it up. I think the point is obvious. There is a ton of knowledgeable folks here (listen to AKgramps). Best thing is to keep running and learning, then you need to share as well. Worst thing I ever saw a guy do is hit a steep cut bank. Boat sank in seconds. The wake went over the stern and pulled the boat straight down. Never try to beach your boat on a cut bank and certainly not under power. Drift in if you got to land on one and just tie-up.

    Happy boating and congratulations.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Palmer, AK

    Default Thanks Guys!

    Thanks for welcoming me to the forum! I didn't think it was a good idea to leave shore with out all the gas you can carry, but there is something to be said for running light. I'd rather be prepared for the worse! I will continue to top off my tank and try and stay out of trouble as many of you suggested!

    Thanks again!


  12. #12
    New member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007


    My boat, with the prop unit in, pulls hard to the right. I've got all my trim in, and in fact modified the skeg guard with a trim tab on it too. It still pulls. The only thing I can do at this point is to go to hydraulic steering, or go to the gym and build up my arms. My jet is trimmed so it does not pull.
    If I only ran the jet, I would not go to hydraulic steering. Just something to think about.
    Having a hidden tank, out of the way is nice. An alternative idea is to set up your supply with a "T" to run an auxuillary portable tank. If you will be out for a while, you can take the portable tanks out of the boat to lighten the load.


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