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Thread: Towing boat on ferry

  1. #1
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    Default Towing boat on ferry

    Has anyone ever towed a boat onto the state ferry? If so how hard was it getting on and off and what ports did you use?

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    Ramblin, I have put on and taken off in Homer, Seward and Kodiak. On the Tustamena and Kennicott. 18-22' boats. Tight squeeze on the Tustamena but you can do it. You back up off the ramp on the Tustamena, this is the only somewhat tough part. Kennicott was a dream comparably. Lots of room, and you drive around going forward, then park. I think on the Tustamena, I had to unhitch and push the trailer tonque to the side and back the truck up so we could fit both on the lift.
    I also think you can pay them to do it with their beefed up golf cart. I can't remember what they charge.
    It is a little nerve wracking because you don't want to screw up in front of a bunch of people, but is easily done if you have had any practice backing up trailers.

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    I took the ferry from Prince Rupert to Ketchikan towing my boat, not any problems. Also went from Skagway to Haines without problems. Don't remember the ferry names but I drove on both times. 17.5' Wooldridge behind my pick-up w/camper.
    "The older I get, the better I was."

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    Member Gundog's Avatar
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    I have gone from prince Rupert BC to Ketchikan 2 times 21' boat pulled by pickup with a camper. Depending on which ferry you get you may be able to just pull through but I have had to do some tough manuvers if you are not good at backing. The guys on the ferry will direct you just do as they say and you will be fine.

    My new boat is 26 and I will be taking that one also.

    Mike

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    How much does it cost?
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  6. #6

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    We take 32' bowpickers with crew cab pickups all the time on the Aurora(PWS). So unless you've got something over that we can handle it. I think it is around $12-15 a foot over 19'.

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    Default Double Shuffle

    Last September we took two boats from Homer to Port Lions (final destination of the West Side of Kodiak). My boat is 25' LOA and our other skiff was about 23'. The Elevator on the Tusty is only 40', so we had to do the "double shuffle". My truck went down first and pulled forward off the elevator, second truck up top backs a boat on the elevator and unhooks. Boat comes down, I hook up and back it into position, then pull back ahead of the elevator for the second boat. We had to do the same in Port Lions so a second vehicle at the destination is needed (we had a friend there that helped us).

    Its about $12.75 a foot unless your width is over 102 inches, then its 25% more. It was about $950 to take my boat RT to Kodiak.

    ~AKBoatR

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    Member HuntKodiak's Avatar
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    As mentioned for a ride on the Tusty, your truck/trailer combo may exceed the elevator length and will have to do the double shuffle (as AKBoatR said). However, if you aren't traveling with another person who has a pickup, you'll either need a friend at each port or hire someone. jtm9 said you could hire the ferry driver to do this, but they don't hire out for this service.

    I thought the same thing when I had my brother drop my boat (overall trailer length of 34') off in Homer because that's what an inexperienced state customer service agent told me on the phone. Not true. Luckily, my brother hired someone on the spot for $50. You can ask the AKMHS for names of people in each port that you can hire.

    Then when I got it here, I had a friend go below deck with his truck to back the trailer onto the elevator, then he unhooked, and I hooked up when the elevator brought the boat up.

    If your travels bring you to Kodiak and you need help, drop me a PM. I'd be happy to help.......for free.

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    Thanks for all the replies - just the information I was looking for. There are a couple different places I would like to visit with the boat if it was feasible. The first one I was thinking of was Cordova - My wife has always wanted to be there for the spring bird migration so what better way than having the boat there if it is feasible and affordable. I have been over there once with just a pickup and my memories were that it was pretty tight quarters. They use the Chenega for that route.

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    Default Ramp Angles??

    Is there ever any problem with the ramp angle being so steep that your sterndrive may drag? I think outboards would have no problems. A big boat with a sterndrive may induce a "pucker factor" on a steep ramp.

    I have seen some hardcore scraping with peoples RV's and trailers on some of the routes on the BC ferry system.

    My rig is fine on the highways but it may be a bit of a jackpot on the ferry. I'm 10ft wide and when I checked on some of the Juneau routes I thought the rate doubled for oversize??
    I would love to get my rig to Kodiak!

    Chuck
    Last edited by Salt Chukar; 01-17-2010 at 09:20. Reason: forgot to include pic

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    Member Gundog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salt Chukar View Post
    Is there ever any problem with the ramp angle being so steep that your sterndrive may drag? I think outboards would have no problems. A big boat with a sterndrive may induce a "pucker factor" on a steep ramp.

    I have seen some hardcore scraping with peoples RV's and trailers on some of the routes on the BC ferry system.

    My rig is fine on the highways but it may be a bit of a jackpot on the ferry. I'm 10ft wide and when I checked on some of the Juneau routes I thought the rate doubled for oversize??
    I would love to get my rig to Kodiak!

    Chuck
    For me they really paid attention to scraping and had blocks available to put under your trailer wheels to help with bottoming out. The Ferry crews have always been very helpful and professional.

    Mike

  12. #12
    Member HuntKodiak's Avatar
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    For a Kodiak trip, the ramp can get a little steep on both the Tusty or Kennicott on extreme tides, but I've seen the crews do just as Gundog stated if a boat or camper trailer looks like it'll scrape.

    My boat has an outboard and triple axle, which helped avoid a problem, but even so, I came off reeaally slow once I started to make the transition from ramp to blacktop. In fact one crewmember was motioning like he wanted me to hurry up, but hey, it ain't his boat and motor. I took the extra minute or two.

  13. #13
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salt Chukar View Post
    Is there ever any problem with the ramp angle being so steep that your sterndrive may drag? I think outboards would have no problems. A big boat with a sterndrive may induce a "pucker factor" on a steep ramp.

    I have seen some hardcore scraping with peoples RV's and trailers on some of the routes on the BC ferry system.

    My rig is fine on the highways but it may be a bit of a jackpot on the ferry. I'm 10ft wide and when I checked on some of the Juneau routes I thought the rate doubled for oversize??
    I would love to get my rig to Kodiak!

    Chuck

    I loaded my 31' (12,000lbs) boat on in Juneau and off in Whitter. Whittier was no problem, but there was some pucker in Juneau as the tide was out, then ramp was steep. My front breaks were locking up sliding but the backs held due to the tongue weight. If you do it, all you really have to do is listen to the loader that is guiding you and do exactly what they say. Mine was quite tight getting it on, but they really seemed to know what they are doing.
    2009 Seawolf 31'
    www.seawolfmarine.com
    Fully Loaded

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