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Thread: Zodiak style or Jon boat?

  1. #1
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    Default Zodiak style or Jon boat?

    I am going to be going to Cordova for the summer and would like to have a decent boat to tool around in. Something to use along the shore as well as on the rivers. I was looking at a used jet/jon but not sure how that would do going over to Hawkins Island. A raft would be safer but would I have the same versatility on the rivers as they are shallow in spots. After I get back to Palmer is a raft ok on the Big Su. Would be looking for a used raft no smaller then 12ft. with a small prop motor. Any one know of any good used ones out there? Also, can I get a new one with motor for under $5,000? I had a 10ft Zodiac and is too small for 2 people and dog and gear. One of the Alaska Series 420 would be great but can't really afford at this time. Thanks

  2. #2
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default maybe

    You can't get a new zodiac and motor for 5K. But you can maybe find a used one for that.

    If the water level is good I can get from Deshka landing to the Deshka and up to the little willow in my zodiac without much problem - can't go very far up either creek though. This is in a 15 foot zodiac with a 40hp prop.

    Not real useful on rivers unless they are deep. I don't think that I wil try to go up the little Su - maybe down it though.

    For the ocean it does pretty good - but I have very little experience on mine so far...which is going to change in another month or two. I "feel" safer at least than if I was in a flatbottom john boat on the salt......I have been told that the zodiac won't sink - I don't plan on finding out.

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    Member Larsenvega's Avatar
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    Default

    I just sent you a PM.

  4. #4
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    I think a jon boat in the Gulf of Alaska is a death wish, but your mileage may very.

    You should be able to find a used 14' inflatable with a 25-35hp two stroke for well under $5k.

    http://anchorage.craigslist.org/boa/1653789628.html

    http://anchorage.craigslist.org/boa/1654437623.html

    http://anchorage.craigslist.org/boa/1653846988.html

  5. #5
    Member MRFISH's Avatar
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    Default go inflatable

    I'd have to agree with Paul H about jon boats in the saltwater. You mentioned trips to Hawkins...and you might be able to get away with that if you're talking about staying on the Orca Inlet side, where you have a bit more sheltered waters (still iffy, though)...but if you're thinking about venturing very far south down Orca Inlet, or trips around to the PWS side of Hawkins, I'd definitely get the inflatable.

  6. #6
    Member MACMMJ's Avatar
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    I have an older 19.5' that I took out to see how it would handle in the saltwater and with just a little wind the chop would pick up and water was splashing over the bow, I was just outside the Homer harbor and wasn't worried, but I would not take that style of boat on the ocean again. I would go with an inflatable. I have explored a few bays around PWS with one, the only worry I had, is when the wind blows really hard and you have no weight up front it could flip.

  7. #7
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    Default

    You need a jon boat for the rivers in Cordova. The rivers are shallow and a jet is nice, but it can be done with a prop outboard if you're willing to take your time. The Eyak River can be idled down and back all the way to the delta in about an hour and a half. The Alaganik River is longer, but can also be done with a prop motor staying mostly at idle until you figure out where and when to run. The inflatable would be good for trips to Hawkins, but they draft too much water to be on the rivers. I struggled with one for a year in Cordova and then "upgraded" to a jon boat since I spent most of my time on the rivers.

    If you go all the way out the Copper River Hwy to the Million Dollar Bridge you can put in and run up the river towards Chitna. You won't make it all the way especially when you hit the flats, but it's a beautiful and fun run for the first 10 miles or so.

    You just need to decide what you want to do more......trips to Hawkins or playing on the rivers. You can't really get to much on Hawkins in a small boat that's worth doing anyway. Just my opinion though.

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