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Thread: Boat Owners Weigh in

  1. #1

    Default Boat Owners Weigh in

    I'm considering three boats: Would love the forum to weigh in with your experience running these in Alaska salt water.

    HEWESCRAFT 26 FT ALASKAN

    C-DORY 25 FOOTER

    SEASPORT 24-27FT (the longest one I can get without the fly bridge)

    My intention is cruising in PWS, Seward. Homer, Deep Creek, fishing, some hunting and having family/kids aboard.

  2. #2
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    Default Boat Owners Weigh in

    Seasport would be my choice of the three....

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    Default 27' seasport

    hands down a 27' pilot seasport with a diesel engine and all the extras you can afford.

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    Default Boat

    30` Osprey would be a better choice! I have a 26` Osprey and 26` Hewes Alaskan---the difference is like a Porshe and a Ford. The Ford floats but the Osprey glides with comfort and will take an angry sea better. Just my opinion, but i only do Prince William Sound.

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    Member Mort's Avatar
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    Default Glass vs Aluminum

    I have a 26' Hewes AK Searunner, and I love it dearly. But my analogy would be a pickup truck vs a nice family van. The Hewes is indestructible (aluminum) but less acquitted with the creature comforts. From what I know of the others, they would be more suited for longer trips w/ family. That said, I've done multi-day hunts in comfort, but only with one buddy. One advantage I think the Hewes may have is deck space, I could practically hold a barn dance on my fishing deck. May come down to how much you want to spend, but I don't think you can go wrong with any of your options.

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    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    your aluminum boats are the work horse boats. They tend to take more abuse then fiberglass. Fiberglass cost more and are heavery which tends to ride better in rough waters. Aluminum is cheaper and rides alittle rougher in rough water. Aluminum you can beach fiberglass you can do the same but you have to be more careful. Also maint. Fiberglass is more maint. then aluminum.
    I was in the same boat as you and decided on the 26 hewes searunner. I love this boat. made the right decision.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

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    Member AK NIMROD's Avatar
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    Friend Has 26 Ft. Hewes Craft And Loves It Model / Floor Plan For His It Is Not Set Up Well For Overnight Trips, And That Is What I Really Enjoy.another Friend Had A Very Nice Osprey And It Was Very Nice And Very Fast, And Very Very $$$$. I Had A 22 Foot Sea Dory, Older....flat Bottom, It Would Beat You Up In 1 Foot Chop And At Only 7.5 Wide Would Rock And Roll Alot When Stopped To Fish. Newer, Bigger Ones Are Probably Not That Way.
    I'm A Big Fan Of Aluminum Boats ( Have My 33 Footer For Sale , See 5 Boats For Sale) But Of Those I Think I Would Pick The Sea Sport. Nice Looking Very Sea Worthy And Safe. Alot Would Depend Of Floor Plan / Lay Out And What You Are Wanting To Use The Boat For ( Ie Over Night Trips Or Just Day Trips) Also Safety....high Sides So Kids Can Not Fall Overboard And Power Combination To Have Twins Or Good Kicker To Get Back Home
    RETIRED U.S.A.F. CAPT.; LIFETIME MEMBER NRA; LIFETIME MEMBER ALASKA BOWHUNTER ASSOC.
    MASTER BOWHUNTER EDUCATION INSTRUCTOR; MEMBER UNITED BLOOD TRACKERS; POPE & YOUNG MEASURER

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    Default

    Fiberglass boats are no longer more expensive than alunimum. My SeaSport (24 XL) with lots of options including the larger 496 ci inboard and the rear helm station (this is a must) was 70K sitting on a triple axle trailer.
    Fiberglas hulls can be made into any shape and combined with the weight they give a much smoother ride. Some people discount glass boats cause they can't be beached. To me that is a non issue as most people carry a small inflatable. If you beach a boat up here you better be very quick about it or you will either find yourself stranded till the next tide change or the boat will be banging off the bottom with every breaker coming in.
    Alunimum is way less maintence but fiberglass gives the advantage of being able to be repaired by anyone with basic mechanical skills.
    My choices would be as follows:

    1st SeaSport- The cadillac of smaller trailerable salt water boats up here and they are standard by which most boats are judged against. Build quality is the best and the 24 footers have a vee birth large enough to sleep 2 adults with enough space under the bed to store a lot of gear! Plus another bed when you convert the dining table. First class instruments and electrical panels. They are simply high quality all the way around and from what I seen in the newspaper they hold there value exceptionaly well. All the models from 24-27 are nice but decide what is important to you and your family most. Fishing or camping? The model with the biggest deck and the smallest cabin is the XL. The other models have bigger cabins but much smaller fishing decks.

    2nd Choice would be the Hewecraft. Very nice boat and they are well liked up here. I had one before I bought my Sea Sport. A plain jane rugged fishing boat. Easy to take care of but they can beat you up in rough water.

    3rd would be the Sea Dory. Almost like a Sea Sport in build quality but there hulls are shaped different and they tend to be purchased by people who enjoy slow crusing. They seem to be very economical to run but with the mostly flat hulls they can beat ya to death in a chop.

    4th would be an Osprey. Very nice boat designed with fishing and rough water in mind first. Lots of small differances in how they used to be built compared to a Sea Sport with the edge going to Sea Sport. The company went bankrupt a couple of years ago and Sea Sport purchased the hull moulds and the rights for the name and began making them early 05. I have not seen any of them up close since Sea Sport took over but the basic shape of the hull meant they are designed for rougher water. They are geared more towards fishing than camping. The only thing I would be leery about is most people remember they went bankrupt and do not know Sea Sport began to make them so resale value may be hurt at some point. Otherwise I would rate them as my 2nd choice.

    Beofre you purchase anything you should go to Seward and Whittier and maybe Homer at least a few times and watch how the different boats perform coming back from fishing in the afternoon. Go down to the docks and talk to the owners and find out what they like and dislike most about there boats. Most common complaint is they wished they had more power so whatever you choose do not under power it. I spent many days watching boats come back from fishing for 2 years before wife and I ultimately decided on the Sea Sport.

    Any of these boats will make a great fishing machine. But it takes a lot of soul searching to decide what is right for you and your family. Listen to the opinions of others as well. They have there reasons for spending there money on the other choices and they made the decision that was correct for them.
    Tennessee

  9. #9

    Default

    I did the 'glass boat camping with the family deal in the past, and found that getting everyone and everything to shore was a pain and not exactly all that safe. Now with aluminum, I take everyone to shore, off load everything, and then anchor the boat in deeper water. I can come in on the raft myself, or I often use the big bungie cord "Anchor Buddy" device to keep the boat out.

    Or, if the tides are right, I just let her go high and dry at night. But, that takes the right tide, and some experience.

    If your looking for a used Sea Sport, check S.E. Alaska, as most charter fisherman are selling them and going aluminum.

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    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default

    if you can afford a 26 or 27 footer do it. you will wish you had. i have a custom aluminum and would consider fiberglass for my next boat but just not sure. used to aluminum and beaching for bear stalks or just checking for deer sign. but now that i know the areas i hunt i usually just anchor then go in on my raft-alaska series by gary king. spendy but well worth it. oh but also tired of the rough ride. but like the gas milage of my boat. so i am tore. but for now money has solved my problems and i will be staying with my current boat. i like the sea sports best. have heard about to many hewes sinking. i think they could be built better. they need more welds where the sides meet the bottom. there are some aluminum boat builders here in town that are not that badly priced and are awesome looking and built tough. glacier boats in one of them. just make a well thought out decision. go and ask a lot of ?'s and take to time to look at them all. have fun.

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    Default Hull Design has Trade Offs

    The Sea Sport's deep v & weight does well in chop, however, I have noticed (from my in-law's SS) that any shift in weight, or current, causes noticable listing. To keep level on the run, you have to do a lot of trim-tabbing. You can actually steer the boat by simply stepping from one side of the fish deck to the other. It's a deep v characteristic you have to accept. I'm not sure how the hewes or c-dory behaves.

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    Default Seasport Pilot

    I agree Hands down - deisel
    for the Salt, for Family Cruising etc.

    even a 27 will get small fast. Next boat for me will be a Min 35' with LOTS of living area. You dont need as big of a fishing deck as you think. Everyone I know with decent sized boat....wants a bigger one

    if I had to choose 1 2 3

    Sport
    Hewes
    Dory

    In that order

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    Default

    Seasports are pretty sweet... I almost bought one this summer but opted for a commercial bowpicker instead. The new Hewescrafts with the v-berth are pretty nice inside, but my own personal thoughts are that they're ugly as hell. Rugged, ugly, and lots of condensation, but an awesome hunting rig. I can only repeat what everyone else has said about C-Dory's, probably decent, but nothing compared to the other two you listed. If I were going to buy a new Seasport, I'd definitely go 27' and it's up to you whether you want more cabin (navigator) or deck space (seamaster). There are a couple used 27' Seasport Seamaster's for sale here in Sitka in the 65K range with diesels. If I had the money, I'd buy a 27 footer with a Volvo Penta D6-310 in it.

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    Sea Sport,
    I have owned aluminum boats for 22 yrs and had good success with them. I bought my 1st fiberglass deep v boat and have one season on it. I do have to be more careful on and around the beach; however the ride of these boats is incredible. I do not regret buying fiberglass.
    An unarmed person is a victim waiting to happen.

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    Member smtdvm's Avatar
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    Default Best Boat?

    I have the CD25. Like was said above, it is not for speed and prefered by slower cruisers. For me, the better fuel economy is really important and it has great fuel range. All the boats listed can have similar ammenities and accessories. Given the choice however, and of course unlimited finances, I would go a little bigger, faster and more beachable. Hard to beat aluminum in PWS or S.E.

  16. #16

    Default more considerations

    Man, this is all good information. Went to the boat show in Portland OR, saw a load of nice boats....

    I have heard C-Dory's hard chines make them rock more than usual. Anyone?

    My wife (who apparently has expensive tastes in boats) fel in love with the C-dory Tomcat - anyone running a cat hull boat in PWS? I've heard they don't corner that great but the guy at the show said they turn great you just have to get use to them (and of course, he also wanted to sell me one).

    I hear yall about alluminum, nice to run up on the beach and a bear's not going to chew your raft up -

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    Thanks for a ton of great information!

    I am in the market for a solid used 24-26 fish and dive trailer boat to be based in Southern California. I don't want to spend much more then $60K. Obviously the SeaSport is designed for some serious conditions it will rarely run into in the south, but I want a fast, dependable boat to be able to operate 100 miles offshore fishing for Tuna and diving at the islands. As with anywhere on the ocean, conditions can change quickly and being able to move out of the way quickly or handle those conditions is important when your on a small craft.

    Everything I have heard and read regarding the SeaSport impresses me. Unfortunately I have only seen one SeaSport in person so far. Considering the other options in the size\price range, I am seriously considering a SeaSport Explorer 2400. I know there are of a number of used ones between San Francisco and Vancouver and am wondering if there any gotcha's that I should be watching out for with regard to specific years or engine configurations. My desire is to go with dual outboards.

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated?

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    Default SeaSport

    I own a 27 ft. Navigator and it's a great boat. They're sturdy, handle well and, at least to me, easy on the eye. If you're curious you can get in touch w/ Boondocks Boat Sales, which is owned by SeaSport, they can give you perofrmance data for outboard powered boats. I agree that dual outboards are the way to go and wish that my boat had them.

    There are some aluminum boat models that you may want to look at too, such as North River Seahawk Offshore, Almar Sounder, Wooldridge Deep Water Plus. I'm sure that any of those boats could survive conditions that I personally don't want to put my body through. Have fun in your search!

    Dave

  19. #19

    Default

    I agree with the above comments. I've had my 22' C-Dory since "89 and I love it. But, as others here have stated, it WILL pound if run into chop at speed. Then, I simply back off the throttle to match conditions and proceed ahead. Since it will plane at under 10 mph (w/70 Johnson) I can maintain cruise in some hairy conditions while just sipping fuel. This is the trade-off for a 22' cabin boat and a small motor. It is also tippy when drift-fishing in rollers. Relatively narrow hull bottom. I suspect the 25' is similar. A deeper vee and more power may be a better fit for the challenging Alaska waters where you need to cover large distances in rough conditions. All of the boats mentioned are winners. I just looked at the Sea-Sport 24' w/ standup head/shower. Real nice but out of my price range. Truer still for the 27. One brand not mentioned is the Cape-Cruiser in 23' or 26'. Very similar to the Sea-Sports at an attractive price. http://www.capecruiserboats.com/

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