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Thread: Hewescraft 20' Open Fisherman - 50hp

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    Default Hewescraft 20' Open Fisherman - 50hp

    Just started looking - curious what feedback might be out there on the Hewescraft package at Deweys - 20' Open Fisherman with the 50 hp Yamaha. Looking to be able to hit the river and/or the salt without the need for 2 boats.

    Thanks in advance!

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    Member Larsenvega's Avatar
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    They're nice boats overall, but 50hp is going to be pretty underpowered if you plan on using it in the salt. It's all fun and games until you find yourself in following seas one day. Even if it is a high-thrust Yami, it'll still have a tough time keeping up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larsenvega View Post
    They're nice boats overall, but 50hp is going to be pretty underpowered if you plan on using it in the salt. It's all fun and games until you find yourself in following seas one day. Even if it is a high-thrust Yami, it'll still have a tough time keeping up.
    I agree wth Larsenvega 100% Those following seas with an underpowered boat is down right dangerous not to mention scary.

    +1 LV but the love limiter will not let me!

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    I disagree with the above comments. We Kenai river fisherman have been dealing with 50 hp motors for years on heavier boats than the Open Fisherman 20. As long as you don't overload the boat with gear and 5+ people you will be fine with a high thrust 50HP motor. The Open fisherman only has a deadrise of 10 degrees, so it will ride on top of the water well. The boat should top out at 27 mph +/-, but in 2-3 foot waves you'll only be able to go 15-20, which is at about 1/2 throttle on the F50. I use my Kenai river boat for dual purpose all the time and the F50 has never made me feel like I was underpowered, except when I had the boat loaded down with 6 people and all of our camping gear. I agree that the F50 is underpowered if a person wants to cruise at 3/4 throttle, but I have run mine at full throttle for 4 seasons and it runs as good as the day I bought it. If you want a dual purpose boat you'll be happy with the performance of F50.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmkak View Post
    I disagree with the above comments. We Kenai river fisherman have been dealing with 50 hp motors for years on heavier boats than the Open Fisherman 20. As long as you don't overload the boat with gear and 5+ people you will be fine with a high thrust 50HP motor. The Open fisherman only has a deadrise of 10 degrees, so it will ride on top of the water well. The boat should top out at 27 mph +/-, but in 2-3 foot waves you'll only be able to go 15-20, which is at about 1/2 throttle on the F50. I use my Kenai river boat for dual purpose all the time and the F50 has never made me feel like I was underpowered, except when I had the boat loaded down with 6 people and all of our camping gear. I agree that the F50 is underpowered if a person wants to cruise at 3/4 throttle, but I have run mine at full throttle for 4 seasons and it runs as good as the day I bought it. If you want a dual purpose boat you'll be happy with the performance of F50.
    rmkak,

    I'm not saying that it won't push the boat sufficiently under most circumstances. What I was talking about was a phenomenon that most boaters in the salt encounter at least once or twice per season, which is a "following seas" condition. You could be at full throttle in that boat by yourself and no gear and probably still would be taking waves over the back, not to mention you'll probably catapult yourself off the tops of them when the prop occasionally digs in. You need some low-end power to get yourself out of the troughs. Nobody usually plans to be in 6-8 ft seas, but it happens to the best of us now and again. I've ran out to Lone or south of Culross on 1-2 ft seas, only to head back to port and encounter 5-7's crossing Port Wells.

    For the sake of safety, I stand by my earlier comment and believe that if FisherMD wants a boat that is capable of saltwater adventures, he'll need to get one with an F115 at a minimum. If I myself had an F50 on the boat, I'd probably still hit the salt, but stay within the confines of Resurrection Bay and Passage Canal.

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    Default Feedback

    Guys,
    Appreciate the feedback. I am a long time Salt guy from WA and very comfortable in the salt. I know what you mean on the time or two getting into water you did not plan to be in.

    Got on to the Kenai the first time on my own last year now that I am up here in AK and know that I want to do both. I would love to have the extra HP, but with the 50HP limit on the river I am stuck. The goal would be no more that 3 total fisherman for the load factor issues you mention.

    I will keep chewing on options.
    Mark

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    The one boat for salt and freshwater really does not exist. If you do try, you will end up compromising. Safety is not something worth compromising. I was on a buddy's 22' searunner powered with an F115. We were in a big following sea and could not power out of the trough. Not a fun place to be. That little hewes is setup for the rivers, lakes, and bays mentioned, but really shouldn't be crossing Port sWells or the like, IMO. Find a friend with an ocean boat and buy his fuel or find a sugar momma. That's what I did.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FisherMD View Post
    Guys,
    Appreciate the feedback. I am a long time Salt guy from WA and very comfortable in the salt. I know what you mean on the time or two getting into water you did not plan to be in.

    Got on to the Kenai the first time on my own last year now that I am up here in AK and know that I want to do both. I would love to have the extra HP, but with the 50HP limit on the river I am stuck. The goal would be no more that 3 total fisherman for the load factor issues you mention.

    I will keep chewing on options.
    Mark
    I was in your shoes when I first came to Alaska. See thread of following seas. My suggestion is which one do you want to fish more, Kenia or Ocean. Buy a boat for that and find a buddy that has a boat for the other. If you like the ocean more and you don't want to rely on a buddy, then get a good ocean boat, and get a used boat you can afford for the Kenia and stay out of the compromised situation.

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    Great boat for the river. Keep it there.....Or in the bay(s) on fair weather days. It would be a good choice if you like the river 90% of the time and the ocean 10% of the time (nice days). But I will assure you, 90% of your troubles in that boat will occur the 10% of the time you are out in the ocean. There really is no SUV type of boat. Ocean boats do well in the ocean and not the river for obvious reasons. River boats can do ok in the ocean on the right days with nice conditions, but when things get bad, they should go back to the river. Heck it is tough enough out there for the ocean boats when things get bad and river boats (most of them anyway) are just plain dangerous. I used to boat in the salt in Washington too, and while there are a number of similarities, most of the North Gulf Coast are similar to the area outside of Neah Bay and the West side of Vancover Island. If you are comfortable there, you will be here. But it is very different from the confines of the sound.

  10. #10

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    We've tried the same thing with a 16' Almar we had doing both the Kenai river & fair weather saltwater fishing. Plain truth be told, it wasn't good for either.
    Problem on the river was runabout type steering (as with the Hewes) was trying to backtroll or sidedrift, always having to turn around to see what the rods were doing.
    Problem in the salt was just too little power.

    We ended up getting a tiller jonboat w/25 for the river (perfect for 2-3 guys fishing) and ditched the salt fishing in favor of charters or going with friends.

    If forced to come up with a compromise at this point to be limited to one boat, I think I'd go with a 18' Bayrunner center console and here's why:

    1. Lighter than alternative Hewes & others
    2. 50 HT will push it well (definite difference IMO w/the high thrust)
    3. High bow favors sloppy saltwater conditions
    4. Console steering is not so far forward like a runabout so being able to troll a few rods
    north of the console is feasible to keep an eye on things without your head swiveling
    around constantly.
    5. Lots of early days charter guys in the inlet got their start on these boats, says
    something about the seaworthiness.

    I understand the predicament; there's just not much option at the 50 hp level.

    Jim

  11. #11

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    I would run that boat all over PWS. Just have to be careful!

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    Quote Originally Posted by blue duck View Post
    I would run that boat all over PWS. Just have to be careful!
    Being careful would involve not taking it all over PWS.

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    Personally, I think the 50HP Cap is BS...

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    I could see a 50 horse on a 16' RIB as being safe in the salt.

    I rented a 20' hewes w/ 50 horse years ago out of Whittier. It was great on one of those rare glass calm 70 deg sunny days. But having a boat only suitable for those conditions will either have one going in days they shouldn't, or spending most of their boating trips turning around and staying close to the harbor, where there the fishing is less than steller.

    This has been discussed ad naseum over the years, there is no such thing as a river/salt boat. Inapropriate boats in the river get one hung up in the shallows and going trough props, inapropriate boats in the salt end up with one getting swamped or worse.

    Figure out the type of boating you'd rather persue, and pick an apropriate craft for the task.

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    twin 50's would give you power at sea and you could just use one motor for the river. Not perfect but doable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Wheels View Post
    twin 50's would give you power at sea and you could just use one motor for the river. Not perfect but doable.
    Not sure if you could get away with that in the Kenia with one motor up as technically you have way too much HP on board. Kinda like using a skiff with the motor up on Drift only day. If you could do this, I would be amazed.
    I also, think the 50HP is BS. Boats that are way under powered plowing water do more damage. I can see a speed limit instead. I think allot of those guides get a motor that is legal, change out the lower unit or do a motor job to get around the HP Limit. I had my doors blown off the water with a similar set up back in the day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Wheels View Post
    twin 50's would give you power at sea and you could just use one motor for the river. Not perfect but doable.
    I was wondering about this last year. Saw a guy in a bayrunner-type boat with twin 40s (two strokes) with one tilted up.
    I thought that the total has to be 50 or less (35 for two strokes) for the whole boat.
    And I know there was a Fish and Game trooper in that section of the river that day, since I got a ticket (for trebles), so I guess maybe that's legal?

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    Member WOODY82's Avatar
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    I have an 18' 6" North River scout with a 50 Honda. North River Scout is equivalent to the Hewes Open Fisherman. 2 summers ago i made a few trips out of Anchor Point, Homer for halibut and Resurrection Cape for Silvers . Need less to say some days were a lot of fun when others were not so enjoyable. I have figured out to really fish AK comfortably you need at least 2 boats one for the salt and one for the lakes and rivers.

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    Default Message is clear as mud! :)

    All,
    Thanks for the feedback. I will consider my options. $27K is a little steep, but a nice boat overall. If I could swing two - I agree that is the best overall situation but hard to justify. Time will tell!
    MD

  20. #20
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Default 20' boat on the salt

    Before I bought my ocean boat I used a 20' Lund Alaskan with a 50hp Johnson 4 stroke for some fairweather halibut fishing. We had that boat as far as flat island on a flat calm day. Mostly we stuck closer to Homer though.
    Yes this boat is underpowered for the salt when fully loaded with 4 people and a load of camping gear. But with 2-3 on board it does just fine .
    Top speed is @ 24mph but we got it up to 30mph headed downstream from tustumena last year.
    With two people dipping and one person driving the boat it works great for dipnetting. And added bonus is we can launch upstream on busy days and avoid the craziness at the city dock.
    Although not ideal for the ocean WITH AN EXPERIENCED DRIVER you can have fun on the salt too.
    Once we surfed back to Homer from Pogi riding the tops of 5-6 footers while my buddy ran the boat. We were doing 25mph according to my gps at idle while we rode the waves in. My buddy comercially seined fished Kodiak for 15+ years and this did not phase him at all. These waves went from 6" to 5' in about 15 minutes and we saw them coming but couldn't get our gear in fast enough.
    I would certainly watch the weather and pick your days on the salt but if you are careful it is doable.
    Set some very conservative limits and stick to them.
    I do agree you would do well to find a friend with an ocean boat for some more serious ocean fishing and being able to reciprocate with some river fishing would be nice.
    Unfortunately not everyone has the same budgets and buying two boats is beyond the reach of many.
    I also question the legality of two motors on the Kenai that together exceed the hp restrictions. I will have to look into this.
    Good Luck with whatever you decide to do.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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