First I'd like to say I am glad to have found this site, and that I am totally jealous of the versatility available to you guys in Alaska for usage of your boat(s). For example: bear, moose, etc... hunting utilizing you boats on lakes, oceans, etc... as well as great fishing offshore. Anyway, maybe I can make a trip that way someday!! I think that would be the ultimate adventure day in and day out, hunting and fishing with a boat along with the eliminates rain, snow etc...
So, I pick up my new SeaRunner in two weeks here in the Midwest. Actually, I have to drive to Northern Minnesota (there is only two dealerships here in Midwest) to pick up the boat. Here is my purchase:
22' Extended Transom (ET) Soft Top SeaRunner
Yam 150 OB
Mariner Suspension Seats
Livewell in the Transom, or across the Transom.
I have several questions for those of you familiar with these style of boats. Admittingly, we don't use these types of boats here in the Midwest, but being that I live in St. Louis, the big rivers demand respect, thus a tough boat. Not to mention, if you fall overboard, especially on the Mississippi River, you have a 50/50 chance of not living because of the strong under currents - no joke! Anyway, the style of boat of the SeaRunner is ideal for the type of fishing we do on the rivers - off the back. We fish for large Catfish, which are a blast to catch, as they utilize the current and debri to try and shake the hook or cut the line.
1. Overall, what do you think about my choice of a Hewescraft SeaRunner? I looked at a lot of boats, North River, Wooldridge, Sea Ark, and Alumaweld to name a few. I seriously considered a Wooldridge, which looked like a great boat, but a bit pricey compared to the Hewescraft and similar brands.
2. Do I need SharkHide? The boat will be used in fresh water, and dry docked when not in use.
3. I was thinking about replacing the "plastic" lid/cover on the transom with diamond plate, has anyone done this?
4. Does anyone use an electric winch or similar to anchor in big water or rivers in Alaska? And if so, are you happy with it, or wish you would of stayed with conventional uses, throwing by hand and retrieval by hand?
5. The gas tank I plan to get is 34 gallons which I thought was plenty for running around here on the big rivers or lakes. Do you think this is adequate? I know in Alaska for offshore use and lakes you most likely need a lot more gas, but around here it isn't that secluded. Is it possible to replace the gas tank at a later time if I find the need too?
6. Can my 2002 F-150 4x4 5.4 Liter pull this boat? I believe it will, but just want to be reassured, because if I drive 13 hours, I'd hate to get there and crap my pants, or have my eyes pop out because of the size of the boat/trailer. I believe the trailer also has gravity brakes, which will be nice.
7. If anyone knows of a "radar arch" that's for sale, or wanting to get rid off, I'd be interesting in purchasing.
In advance, thanks!
-D (The Big Cat Attack)