Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Boats For Cook Inlet?

  1. #1
    Member PMFB-RN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Currently in Wisconsin
    Posts
    75

    Default Boats For Cook Inlet?

    Question from total newby here. What kind of boats to people use to get around Cook Inlet? Like to get from one side to the other in search of hunting and fishing?

    Thanks in Advance!
    Emily
    Last edited by Daveinthebush; 01-26-2010 at 10:00.

  2. #2
    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Beaver Creek
    Posts
    2,267

    Default

    Cook Inlet near Anchorage is a silty mess. This is due to the waters flowing into it. Several large ones are glacial. The commonly utilized salt water areas are Whittier, Seward and Homer north to Kenai. It is a drawback of the area. If Anchorage had a small boat harbor and clear water it would be awesome. Likewise for Turnagain Arm (if you are reading about living in Indian/Girdwood etc south of Anchorage).

    There is not an all around boat for the Anchorage area. It all depends on what you wish to do and the amount of spare change in your piggy bank.

    Mike

  3. #3

    Default Okay,

    After spending 3 seasons gillnetting in the inlet this is my opinion: go for the most boat you can afford with a hardtop/cabin with heat. You'd be surprised how cold it can be out there, even in July/August.
    Go with a self-bailing deck if possible.
    Twin power or kicker (although a kicker is NOT going to move you against a strong tide which is obviously common in the inlet).
    Know & understand how the middle rip works (this applies to you since you want to cross).
    Get survival suits, epirb, etc. file a float plan.
    Try to go with a buddy boat if possible.
    Stay away from I/O power.

    If you got deep pockets:
    North River
    FishRite
    Hewescraft
    Seawolf
    GlacierCraft

    If you're limited to a open type skiff (cold); I'd go for a 20' Klamath/Bayrunner with twins; lots of guys got started in the early days of charter fishing the inlet with these.

    Good luck! Jim

  4. #4
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage Alaska
    Posts
    4,841

    Default I'll bite

    What is the middle rip? Where can I learn about it. I am going to cross over to the little Su area this next summer in my 15 foot zodiac. Having never done it before I have some learning curve to climb.

    But it seems that several folks do it and fairly often. So it must be doable - I can see across the bay just fine and it doesn't look that far at all - couple miles to 5 miles at most....

    Of course I do not want to get stuck in the mud........or tip over and die either!

  5. #5
    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Chugiak
    Posts
    1,425

    Default

    Little Su is about 13 miles or so from the Anchorage launch. The big issue is if you get a blow coming down Turnagain. This will stack the waves up along the North shore of Cook Inlet. I know of a couple of small commerical guys that have lost boats along that shore. Be weather wise and prepared to take a dunking. What most folks fail to realize is the tidal movement. Low tide could have you a mile or more from shore and nothing but quicksand to cross to get there. Folks do it just make sure you are prepared whether it's to stay over or worst case having to take a swim.


    Something to consider.....If the changes are set for the Cook Inlet Beluga Whales and you lose (capsize) a boat there are fines and rules for boat recovery that are a little different.

  6. #6

    Default

    The "middle rip" can be a nasty place. Used to gillnet Cook Inlet and was terrified in the "rip" once or twice. It's a confulence/conflicting tidal situation and can cause unreal whirlpools, stacking waves, and typically can have all kinds of crap in it.
    Some days it's nothing, others it no man's land. Only thing, for gillnetting, often LOADS of sockeyes can be in it. We used to lay out only a shackle or less of gear in there cause it can be really tough to control. Had stacking waves breaking over the transom into the back deck (34' gillnetter), but man was there fish in there!
    I think it affected us a lot more cause of the time spent in it but if you're just cruising thru it, slow down and watch for all the debris. Weird stuff.
    Jim

  7. #7
    Member JOAT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Soldotna, ALASKA since '78
    Posts
    3,720

    Default The Rip...

    It generally shows up as the changing tide gets running and you've got all that water changing directions. There's a line the runs north of Kalgin Island to the forelands that gets really bad, really fast. I've seen the Inlet go from near flat to confused 10-15 foot seas within an hour out there. It's pretty amazing to see, but it's nowhere to be with a little boat.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    273

    Default The Inlet

    Isn't all bad, it is charted and if you can use a GPS and a chart you should be able to get to the little su fairly easy, just launch on an incoming tide and and leave the river on an incoming tide (yes, this means a 12+ hour day). Getting into the river always takes me binoculars since I usually have deleted the bread crumb trail in my GPS, Go slow toward the mouth and watch your depth, it's pretty muddy and there is a channel, but not always easy to find. As far as the river itself is concerned, I don't like to go up it in my ocean boat anymore since it's too hard to get off of sandbars. A 15 foot zodiac would be ok, but take a spare prop at least.

    What part of the inlet did you want to cross to hunt and fish, it's pretty large and has different areas of concern. My goals are tuxedni bay and iliamna for halibut fishing and bear viewing.

    Chris

  9. #9

    Default

    I haven't been over there from ANC in 7-8 years but used to make that trip every year from the small boat harbor in a 18' Hewescraft River Runner. One important thing is to stay "outside" and go past the mouth, then turn back up and angle in from the south, as there is a pretty big bar that comes out and curls southward. If you just cut in from the north side, which would be natural, you may get hung up on it. As Big Jim has said, there can be some huge rips out there along with debris, and a small craft is just a "cork in a bathtub". I never went as a one boat party, always having 2-4 boats going together.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    2,448

    Default

    Big Jim tell us more about where the rips are. We fish out of Homer towards St Augustine island any where from 20-30 miles out of Homer. Is that rip country? How big are the rips? is it some thing one can cross or avoid all together ie. Just turn around and go back if you can see a bad one up ahead? Any info on them would be great!

  11. #11
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage Alaska
    Posts
    4,841

    Default been wrong before....

    ...but I think that Big Jim was referring to the cook inlet closer up to Anchorage.

    The tide sure rips out of deep creek, and the seas can get confused with it - but the tidal rips he is referring to are what you see coming into turnagain and up the cook inlet headed up towards KGB.....

  12. #12
    Member JOAT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Soldotna, ALASKA since '78
    Posts
    3,720

    Default

    No "rips" down by Homer. They are up by the natural bottle neck in the Tyonek-Nikiski region. The water really stacks up on either side of this geography and a big tidal change will cause them.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  13. #13

    Default

    It's been a while, but I remember being further south than Tyonek/Nikiski. I'm thinking we we came out of Snug Harbor/Chisik Island and got into this. Didn't mean to go overboard (ha!) as in 3 years I had the pleasure of experiencing a "bad" rip 2 or 3 times; it's not always severe or crazy. LOTS of days it was very minor, just got to pay attention and be prepared.
    I will say that we launched the boat a few times and had dishes, tea kettle, drawers, etc. end up on the floor, and this was just motoring around trying to keep the bow in it (not often you see this on a fiberglass 34' gillnetter) but again, those times were few & far apart.

    I've also seen the most calm days out there ever, and gorgeous sunrises/sets.
    Jim
    Last edited by Big Jim; 01-28-2010 at 08:07. Reason: added info

  14. #14
    Member chico99645's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Palmer
    Posts
    1,481

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    No "rips" down by Homer. They are up by the natural bottle neck in the Tyonek-Nikiski region. The water really stacks up on either side of this geography and a big tidal change will cause them.

    It rips like crazy at Pogi Pt and Flat Island. Ive seen standing walls of water at Pogi that would make a class 5 rapids seem tame.

  15. #15
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    11,415

    Default

    There isn't anything out there that I would use to cross the inlet, especially when there is a launch on the other side at Berma landing (Little Su). Why risk it, especially in a small craft?

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    RockIslandLodge.com Cook Inlet, Alaska
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Jim View Post
    If you're limited to a open type skiff (cold); I'd go for a 20' Klamath/Bayrunner with twins; lots of guys got started in the early days of charter fishing the inlet with these.
    Agree with Big Jim, but there is no problem with an open skiff, just dress for the weather. The most efficient boat for cruising, hauling moose, or gear is an open aluminum fishing skiff with an extra high freeboard. Standard set net skiffs are too low to cross the inlet. Going through the rip tides would swamp them. I have a 24 foot with twin Honda 50 outboards with separate fuel tanks and separate fuel filters. I can go from the island to Kenai in 30 minutes on a flat day, but 2-3 hours loaded or with wind. I don't go out in a wind over 10 knots. Never. You must even wait a day after a high wind for the seas to calm down. Don't try crossing in a rubber raft. People do it, but they tend to run out of gas or take three times as long as expected. It is not a fun trip unless you have perfect weather but you can't count on that, this is Alaska!

  17. #17
    Member hoose35's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Soldotna, Alaska, United States
    Posts
    2,891

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RockIslandLodge View Post
    Agree with Big Jim, but there is no problem with an open skiff, just dress for the weather. The most efficient boat for cruising, hauling moose, or gear is an open aluminum fishing skiff with an extra high freeboard. Standard set net skiffs are too low to cross the inlet. Going through the rip tides would swamp them. I have a 24 foot with twin Honda 50 outboards with separate fuel tanks and separate fuel filters. I can go from the island to Kenai in 30 minutes on a flat day, but 2-3 hours loaded or with wind. I don't go out in a wind over 10 knots. Never. You must even wait a day after a high wind for the seas to calm down. Don't try crossing in a rubber raft. People do it, but they tend to run out of gas or take three times as long as expected. It is not a fun trip unless you have perfect weather but you can't count on that, this is Alaska!
    Interesting about the setnet skiffs being too low and swamping in the tide rips. How many times you been to Kalgin?
    Responsible Conservation > Political Allocation

  18. #18

    Default

    Well after more time spent on the water, definitely agree with what was said about the rip at Pogi.
    I took a couple trips across the inlet from deep creek to crescent river for razor clams and which is an absolute blast! The first trip was end of May and crazy perfect, flat glass calm from launch or grounding, thru the tide, and also the return. No rip to speak of on a fairly large tide swing.
    2nd trip was not nearly as nice. Rain, wind to 15, cold. Not bad conditions in most other places but made for "interesting" crossings both ways.
    Crossing the bar at the green can is where it was expectedly fun; big rolling ground swells in which we dropped in the trough enough to have water above the roof 2-4'. Any more wind in conjunction with a bucking tide would've been downright scary. Sobering when you're surfing down fairly steep but not breaking waves and climbing up the backs of others. Throttle jockey the whole time.
    As for skiffs goin across; set netters have done it for years, without electronics but with local knowledge. I'd be willing to bet that more mishaps have occurred by inexperienced boaters with way more capable boats compared to the locals goin in small boats.
    I used to gillnet with a friend that started out set netting Chisik island/snug in the early 80's. They would do salmon when the run was on then longline halibut or even gillnet herring in the shoulder seasons, all by hand out of that 23' flat bottom skiff with twin 40 2-strokes, and often deliver to Kenai and although they had some crappy crossings, they knew the tides and weather.
    When I take my boat across, my inflatable zodiac goes on the roof, full fuel, and make sure more than one person knows when you're going and expected to come back and constantly check the marine weather.
    Anyway, be prepared and have fun, it's a beautiful trip and different country!
    Check out Quickwater Adventure water taxi/transport services: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Quick...37553606260978

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •