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Thread: Newby to Boating--shopping for boats

  1. #1
    Member Whelenator's Avatar
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    Default Newby to Boating--shopping for boats

    Guys, howdy. I am looking for a boat, preferably a jet boat. that sounds simple, but it's been daunting to look at so many darn boats and not know what to buy. I really want to buy a used boat because I just don't want to afford $35,000 or $50,000 for a new boat. I plan to use this rig for about all my Alaskan boating needs. Let me clarify. I want to use my boat for jetting up the rivers looking for both Silvers and Moose. I would like to be able to put a prop lower unit on there and head out to Whittier looking for black bears. Maybe even drop a line or a shrimp pot. I would like to do a little bit of dipnetting with it too. I am asking a lot of it I realize, as every time I get out on the water, I see about 1000 different kinds of boats out there. Can everyone please respond with some suggestions for me and maybe some leads on a $15,000 boat or 2 ??

    Today, I stopped by Anchorage Yamaha and looked at their boats out front there. I wanted to look at that "Sockeye" boat as I have been driving by it for a month or 2. I notice that that little rig has a landing craft ramp in front of it. Can someone please explain some of the pro's and con's of owning a rig like that?? It looks like I could load a wheeler in there and take it up a river and get out and cover a lot of ground that way...thoughts??
    Thanks for whatever information ya'll can give me.

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    Well.... the discussion on what boat to buy could (and probably will) last until the end of time.

    The best thing I could say about it is look at what you think your needs will be, and try to match the boat package to mee those needs. Like almost anything, if you try to get something that can do it all it will be good at none of it. We bought a jetboat for our first boat and tried lots of different things, then decided we like the ocean best and bought a dedicated ocean boat. Whatever you buy, if you end up getting serious about spending time on the water (any water) plan on buying a different boat in a couple of years. The first boat you buy will really help you define what you want and don't want in a boat.

    I don't know if that helps, but that has been my experience....

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    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    I agree that one boat will not do it all. At first I had a river boat, but I wanted to be out on the salt more, so I sold it and bought a salt water boat, now I want to run the rivers again, so I need to buy a river boat. The best advice I can give you is decide what is more important to you right now, river or sea, then buy a boat for that purpose, then save for a boat for the other application, as stated earlier, if you try to get a do it all boat, what you end up with is a boat that isn't really good for anything.

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    Default You guys kill me...

    I was afraid of this answer...why couldn't you guys just lie to me???
    Naw, just kidding. But I was sort of expecting that answer. I guess it's just like building a hotrod. Determine what it's really being used for then press.
    So, can you guys tell me about that Sockeye that's over at Anc. Yamaha with the landing craft bow??


    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfisher2825 View Post
    Well.... the discussion on what boat to buy could (and probably will) last until the end of time.

    The best thing I could say about it is look at what you think your needs will be, and try to match the boat package to mee those needs. Like almost anything, if you try to get something that can do it all it will be good at none of it. We bought a jetboat for our first boat and tried lots of different things, then decided we like the ocean best and bought a dedicated ocean boat. Whatever you buy, if you end up getting serious about spending time on the water (any water) plan on buying a different boat in a couple of years. The first boat you buy will really help you define what you want and don't want in a boat.

    I don't know if that helps, but that has been my experience....

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    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    I too have gone from river boats, to do it all boats, and now a dedicated saltwater boat. I enjoy the salt the most. But, I will most likely end up getting something that I can run on the kenai for the couple times of a year when the bug hits or I have guests in town that really have to have a Kenai trip. I had a Bayrunner 20' with walkthru windshield. Imo that is about as close as you get to a do it all boat. It was nice, but had it's limitations. At times I miss it, until I have 50 miles to run in 2' chop. That bayrunner was very seaworthy, just don't try to make good time or it would knock your teeth out!

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    Default Boats

    Well, on Labor day weekend, we rented a 22 foot Aurora boat to go down to Valdez with. it had 2 75 HP Honda 4-strokes on it. It's an aluminum boat with fairly good size V. Had a walk through cabin, open back and nice railing all around the boat. Some of you may have been on one of those before. I had never even piloted a boat that size before, but it was cake. I grew up on bass boats in Virginia. The worse part was getting my wife up to speed when we launched it the first time. She has never been around boats and it was all me backing it to the water down there in that freaking circus!
    Anyway, I like fishing the rivers a lot for sockeye, but certainly enjoy the saltwater. I am just vastly inexperienced at that for sure. I was cautious as a cat in a roomful of rocking chairs. As for going to Valdez in the Silver salmon madness, it was a terrible place to learn ocean maneuvering. I was scared half to death. We ended up not catching anything that weekend, but a lot of others had the same luck too. I sure liked that Aurora though. It would be a nice boat with an added Zodiac for chasing black bears in PWS.

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    Since you're in ANC, might be worth a run out the the Valley to check this out:

    http://anchorage.craigslist.org/boa/1361962197.html

    Wooldridge makes a very stout product (I've owned 2) and this particular model does a little of everything. A bit over the budget you mentioned but might at least be worth a look to see what they're like. I'm not a Merc fan, but there are plenty of people that have good luck with them (I'm just not one of them).

    This is a great time of year to be watching for something with hunting season winding down.

    Might also keep an eye on http://www.907bigboytoys.com/index/l...y/190/list.htm as goodies appear now and again.

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    If you rented an Aurora I am guessing that you are in the Army. Teh Aurora is a basic aluminum unit, pretty bare bones if they are the units I see in Seward. Boats are like women, cheaper to rent than own. Good luck, there are lots of good deals out there this time of year

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Having bought a new boat and fhaving sold a used boat this year, I think you would be way better off finding a used boat, especially this time of year. Shoot, if your budget is 15K, maybe offer the guy on Craigslist that Alaskan XL mentioned 15K and see where it goes I agree that the boat in the ad is generally a good candidate if you are looking for an all around boat.

    Jim
    2009 Seawolf 31'
    www.seawolfmarine.com
    Fully Loaded

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    Alaskan Xl and jrogers hit it on the head. That Wooldridge Sport is one of the best all around boats out there in that price range and very similar to the Aurora you rented but with the added capacity to run rivers.

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