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Thread: Boats for Alaska

  1. #1
    Member tull777's Avatar
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    Default Boats for Alaska

    Hello, I currently live in Oregon and have a 16' 2001 Smoker Craft Osprey with a 50-horse Mercury 2-stroke outboard. We are moving to Anchorage around the middle of June 2006. Should I sell it now or is there plenty of water for this type of boat in Alaska?

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  2. #2

    Default alaska boat

    I think a lot of people have more expertise than I in the boat area, but here are my thoughts.

    Your boat will work in the big rivers like the Yukon and the Tanana and even the Susitna, marginally.

    The thing is, there are a lot of rivers up here where you will want a jet. If you are in the interior, you can get by with it. It would be fine on the Kenai but there is a 35HP limit there.

    There are a lot of lakes, it will work in any lake.

    It's too small for the ocean in my opinion.

  3. #3

    Default boats

    Not to small for the ocean actually though I would stick close to the shoreline! 2 friends and I are actually going out on the 20th into PWS to look for black bears and we will be in an 18 footer with a 40 hp motor. We went out twice last year in that same boat, it would be nice to have something bigger but it worked and not once did i feel unsafe. If you think you can handle Alaska waters with it then i say bring it, if you feel a little undergunned, then maybe something in the 18-20 foot range would be better. Everyone has their own favorite things to do out on the ocean and some require bigger boats and some don't, it's all a matter personal preference.

  4. #4
    Member tull777's Avatar
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    Default Boats for Alaska

    Thank you all for your reply! I have taken this same boat out on the Columbia River for both salmon and sturgeon and have never had a problem. Also, I occasionally take it out of Winchester Bay, one of Oregon's most dangerous bars but only if it is flat and fairly calm. I would prefer an 18' to 20' boat so maybe I will trade up soon. Are there any good fishing waters that I would be able to reach with my boat out of Homer for Salmon/Halibut?

    Thanks again!
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    "If you're too open-minded, your brains will fall out. ....."Tight Lines & Best Fishes"

  5. #5

    Default Boat

    If you are going to use it in the ocean, I'd sell it. If there is a tide change or winds kicks up, it can and does get ugly real quick. Was out 2 weeks ago and the water temp was 40 deg. Not something to be swimming in. I have a 24' and at times think it is to small. The market for a 16' is probably better in Oregon than here anyway.

  6. #6

    Default I concur...

    My 24' sometimes ends up feeling small as well. If you want to enjoy the ocean, including fishing out of Seward, I'd sell and buy larger here. Not to say that it can't be done, though...

  7. #7

    Thumbs down rethink saltwater

    I've been checking the marine forecast for the Sound for the past week and have chose to wait for better sea conditions due to Gale Warnings and Small Craft Advisories posted daily. I have a 24 ft ocean going vessel and it's too small for such conditions IMHO. It's easy to get lured out into the tranquil calm conditions in too small of a boat and then have things change quickly. We read about over loaded low freeboard boats going down every summer with tragic consequences.

  8. #8
    Member Adventure's Avatar
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    The ocean conditions do change fast so I would also recommend to stay close to cover in a 16 footer. I've never been to Alaska so can't comment on inland waterways, but it's never a bad thing to have 2 boats. I'd keep it for the smaller waters and try to work my way into a second boat for the big water.

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    If you choose to bring your 16', plenty of LARGE lakes that can be explored
    all over the state. Some make a 16' seem small. I personally have been
    chased off the salt water many times in the 16' I had, or didn't bother even
    to launch. Water can get ugly VERY fast. Now have 24' and it seems real
    small too often. Plenty of boats up here for sale, no problem there.
    Look forward to seeing you on the water!


    Dying to fish, no fish worth dying for.....

  10. #10
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    If you want a river boat get one with a jet, if you want to fish the kenai get a 16-18 foot boat with a 35 or 40 detuned. If you want to hit the ocean then buy as large a boat as your wallet can afford.
    Unfortunately most people who buy a "compromise" boat end up not liking it for anything they do in it. Prioritize what fishing you and the family love to do and get a boat specific for that. Find a friend who has the other boat and share trips.

  11. #11
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Woodridge Alaskan

    I have a 1994 20" Woodridge Alaskan with a 150HP Jet with Power Lift......super boat that I use here in Alaska.......visit their website

  12. #12
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    Snowwolfe hit it on the head. I've ran jet boats up here for 18 years in A LOT of rivers. But when it comes time to fish the salt, I'll go with friends who have a better suited boat just for that situation or I'll pay for a charter. Could my boat go out in the salt, probably, but I won't do it and it's not worth it to me to possibly become another statistic because of stupidity (in my opinion). The weather and water can and do change fast up here and if your in something that is marginal at best, oh man! I've been on a few trips out in the salt where we WERE in an appropriate boat and the weather all of the sudden got a mind of its own and it got scary, plain and simple. Just be prepared mentally and have the right equipment, for the most part, you should do alright. There is NO do-it-all boat for up here. A guy needs several! (GRIN) Best of luck

  13. #13
    Member tull777's Avatar
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    Default Alaska Boats...

    Again, I thank all of you! Looks like I will keep the 16-footer and see how it goes. I may sell it and biggie size it later if need be. What do the lakes hold as far as types of fish?
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  14. #14

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    The lakes have everything from huge Pike and Lake Trout to burbot, rainbows, grayling, dolly varden, to land locked salmon (stocked).

    Usually can't fish for salmon in the lakes as if they make it that far they are spawing there.

    Different lakes have different fish and you can research before you go.

    I forgot whitefish...and probably some more that I can't think of right now.

  15. #15
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    I'd say bring the boat up if it isn't going to cost you too much to ship it. It'll be better than having no boat up here, though as others have mentioned, it will fall short in a few areas.

    With a 35 horse de-tune, you can run it on the kenai, but bring an extra prop. There is fire lake that allows up to 50 horse, but is small enough that I just canoe it. Has decent rainbow and pike, and is close enough to hit in the evenings, but there are time restrictions on when you can run an engine (homes on the lake) A bit further from town there are several lakes between anchorage and seward, and on down towards Kenai. Beware that the wind can kick up a serious chop very quickly, so keep this in mind and be prepared to have to beach the boat and have gear to stay the night.

    As that others have said, a 16 foot really is too small for the saltwater. Perhaps a better way to state it is, if you were getting a boat for the salt, you'd be advised to start at 20'. A 16 footer is enough for perfect conditions, but our season is so short, and you invest enough time and gas money driving down to Whittier or Seward that you might be tempted to take the boat out in less than perfect conditions.

    So long as you understand the limitations of the boat, and use it accordingly, you'll find it sure beats not having a boat. That said, you might want to upgrade to something different in the future.

  16. #16
    Member tull777's Avatar
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    Default Alaska Boats...

    Wow, this site just keeps on giving. I am completely impressed. I was told that there were a bunch of "***** Holes" up here and to be beware. You all have been really helpful. It has been my dream for many years to move up north and it is finely happening. I do catch a lot of salmon/steelhead in Oregon and am interested in fishing for other species as well. Pike and the large 'bows I will be checking out no doubt. As far as shipping my boat...I will be making the drive with my wife and son. After a few weeks of fishing we will fly him back to Oregon where he will beg his little lady to load up and move to the true "Great State"!

    Question...

    #1 How long until I am an Alaskan Resident? Do I need to register with the ADF&G as soon as possible for legal resident hunting and fishing privileges?

    #2 Bringing guns across the Canada border and on into Alaska. Do I need to register them first?


    Thanks again! I am sure that I will have more questions later.
    http://www.pbase.com/tull777

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    "If you're too open-minded, your brains will fall out. ....."Tight Lines & Best Fishes"

  17. #17
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    I drove from Anchorage to Seattle every week for a couple years.
    Email me direct at akn6pk@gci.net for any info you may need on the road.
    You may NOT bring handguns thru Canada, they get very unfriendly, long
    guns are permissable, best to spend the bucks and ship direct to a FFL here
    tho. I can hook you up there, as well as about anyone on this forum. We all
    have our favorite gun shop, and someone here may also be FFL and can
    do it for a reasonble fee.

    1 year to become resident. However, and I hope someone will clarify this, if you have a permanent residence here
    and have surrendered Oregon license I believe you cna get resident fishing and hunting license. I've been here so
    long I have never had to check for sure.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tull777
    Wow, this site just keeps on giving. I am completely impressed. I was told that there were a bunch of "***** Holes" up here and to be beware. You all have been really helpful. It has been my dream for many years to move up north and it is finely happening. I do catch a lot of salmon/steelhead in Oregon and am interested in fishing for other species as well. Pike and the large 'bows I will be checking out no doubt. As far as shipping my boat...I will be making the drive with my wife and son. After a few weeks of fishing we will fly him back to Oregon where he will beg his little lady to load up and move to the true "Great State"!

    Question...

    #1 How long until I am an Alaskan Resident? Do I need to register with the ADF&G as soon as possible for legal resident hunting and fishing privileges?

    #2 Bringing guns across the Canada border and on into Alaska. Do I need to register them first?


    Thanks again! I am sure that I will have more questions later.
    You don't have to register with F&G up here unless it's for registration hunt permits, bear bait permits, etc..You have to be here one year from the day that you arrive in state "with the intent to stay" before you are "officially" an AK resident (as far as F&G is concerned). For the PFD, it's one calender year, so 2006 doesn't count if you come up this year, you have to be here for all of the 2007 calender year BEFORE you're even eligible!! As far as the state of AK goes, you have to get an AK driver's license in 30 or 60 days, register your vehicle, and register to vote to be considered a resident.. Hey, I don't make the rules!! You can hunt anything that a non-resident can hunt under all of the non-resident applications, because to F&G, you're a non-res. That goes for the fees too! You can fish for everything, you'll just pay the non-res fees there too. That first year is a great time to scout and accompany folks that are out hunting. Alot cheaper too..
    Canada is picky about firearms and is very selective of what can and cannot go through their border. Barrel length, calibers, no hand guns, certain amount of ammo, etc.. Do your homework on that BEFORE you drive up, or just ship them. Don't just show up at the border with guns expecting to breeze right through and get in. There's paperwork AND fees for bringing guns into Canada, eh!
    And yes, there are *****holes up here as there are anywhere else. How you approach the folks up here will determine the response you get back. Especially about the hunting and fishing! Typically, if your cool, don't pry and do your time, you'll end up getting some good intel. If you push it and act like an ass, you got nothing comin'!! (Please take that with a grain of salt..) It's really not much different than anywhere else..
    Also, bring your boat up here with you. It's better than NO boat at all. Granted, you'll be limited, but you CAN still use it quite a bit and have fun.
    Good luck..

  19. #19
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    It'll take you a year to figure out the hunting regs, so don't sweat the 12 month wait to qualify for resident status, non-res fishing isn't so crazy expensive. An AK drivers license is what you typically use to prove your residency for hunting license, so as soon as you get your license, the clock starts ticking. Just don't try and shortcut the wait, as the penalties for doing that are much worse than the wait. I'd say get a non res fishing license and small game license for the first year. Just beware that affordable big game hunting opportunities are limited. It's either bust your ***** to get to the game and get it out, or put up the cash to get to the game.

    Yeah, there are some jerks up here, but they are few and far between. I'd say by and large you'll find Alaskans to be the friendliest folks and willing to lend a helping hand. Those that aren't, aren't true Alaskans.

    There are registration requirements for transporting guns through canada, only long guns, and some other limitations on semi-autos and military weapons, plus the tax to get them through. If at all possible, consider having them mailed up to yourself.

    Make sure you have good id for yourself and family members. You'll likely get more grief from US customs when entering Alaska than from the Canucks.

  20. #20
    Member tull777's Avatar
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    Default Drivers License???

    Don't tell me I gotta take a **** test to get an Alaska drivers license! Moving from Oregon to Alaska.

    ???
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    "If you're too open-minded, your brains will fall out. ....."Tight Lines & Best Fishes"

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