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Thread: Charter Boat Size?

  1. #1
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    Default Charter Boat Size?

    I got to thinking about this the other day and was just curious what the State requires for boat length before giving out a "guide" license for a salt water operator?
    From a safety standpoint, I limit the number of people on board to 3 besides myself and I'm on a 26 footer. Safety aside, it can get "tight" when all 3 of them are fishing too!
    P.s, I have no asperations to go pro, I'll just continue to send em to my friends who guide. In bigger boats than mine!
    Mike

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alasgun View Post
    I got to thinking about this the other day and was just curious what the State requires for boat length before giving out a "guide" license?
    From a safety standpoint, I limit the number of people on board to 3 besides myself and I'm on a 26 footer. Safety aside, it can get "tight" when all 3 of them are fishing too!
    P.s, I have no asperations to go pro, I'll just continue to send em to my friends who guide. In bigger boats than mine!
    Mike
    Guys have been running charters out of those 22' Olympic boats off of POW for years.

  3. #3
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Default no state requirement..

    common sense should prevail.
    no harm in the smaller boats, lots of them are hobby charters and don't depend on fishing for their livelihood.
    as long as they know they are the first ones to blow off....
    another factor that doesn't often come into play is that a small boat can easily exceed a safe load if every angler catches a limit of large halibut...
    used to be a guy in a boat called the "sea star" that couldn't have been 26' that we saw out at the barrens... with only one motor!!!
    if the little boat guys have a good circle of guys they fish with, and a good emergency plan, and know their limits they are just as safe as any.
    that being said, most of the boats in the fleet are over 30', and i wouldn't consider paying to go past pogi in anything w/out twin motors.
    i am only 26', and whenever i am out in the winter i have at least one other boat that knows where i am ... and is willing to come get me if something (knock on wood) comes up.
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
    http://www.alaskabackcountryhunters.org/

  4. #4
    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    Default

    I'd go at least 31'. That way you can go out and back and feel pretty good about things should the weather start getting nasty. Anything less and your really going to be pounding the waves, not also to mention it would make fishing dangerous.

    We have a 22' Hewescraft and we regularly go down to Perl and Elizabeth island. It's all about the weather and knowing your boat and limitations, as said before.
    Last edited by pike_palace; 04-16-2010 at 10:09. Reason: added
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

  5. #5

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    I ran boats from 22' to 31' on charters. I've never felt that one size was "safer" than the other size. Comfort is a whole separate issue though! Common sense goes a long ways. I've gone out in much bigger seas in the 31' boat, than the 22' boat. So maybe the 22' is safer, as it keeps the guys from crossing the cape in big seas.

    One issue you have with the bigger boats is that they are thirsty.. In my area, it takes 65 gallons of gas a day to do what you can usually do with 35 gallons and a smaller boat. That really adds up over 70-80 trips a season.

  6. #6

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    I have no problem with a 26' Hewescraft Alaskan and twin Yamaha 115's. It can seat 7 people, but I wouldn't fish anything more than 4 people on it. A bad captain that doesn't know when to quit is going to be a bigger danger to their clients than a good captain on a smaller boat.

    One of the biggest considerations is room to move. It's "cozy" on a 26' boat with 4 people, but on a 32 footer or bigger 4 people would have a lot more room.

    One advantage I find to a smaller boat is it can get to the fishing grounds a lot quicker. I usually pass most of the bigger boats out there heading out and I've been fishing for half an hour or more, depending on how far the run is, before they show up. And then conversely I can spend a half hour more fishing while the "big" boats are starting to head in. An hour more time for your guests can be a very nice thing.

    BTW, to answer your original question, you could run a "guide service" out of a 12' inflatable if you wanted to. The state doesn't mandate how big your boat has to be.

  7. #7
    Member muskeg's Avatar
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    Default skiffs

    There is a major charter boat company in Ketchikan that runs 18 / 20 ft Lunds with 4 clients on board. It is a very popular charter boat excursion for the cruise boat clients ... the company runs over 20 skiffs.

    Go out and jig up a bottom fish or salmon and take it to the beach (rustic camp set up) where a chef prepares it in a meal .... can't get much fresher seafood than that.

    The clients eat it / love it up and the company pays it skippers very well and tips aren't to bad either.

  8. #8

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    Wow, that's got to be some good eating! Great idea for whoever came up with it!

  9. #9
    Member Raptor_1's Avatar
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    Muttley, can you send me a PM?....I have some questions for you
    Alaska: We're all here cuz we're not all "there"

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raptor_1 View Post
    Muttley, can you send me a PM?....I have some questions for you
    Raptor---I tried sending you an "email" through the Forum email system, but if you don't get it please just contact me individually. You can just click on my name to get contact info.

  11. #11

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    Over the past 20 years I've run boats from 21' to 26', all with 4 clients and myself, I've felt very safe in all of them and wouldn't leave the dock if I didn't.
    I work for a large resort and most of the time we aren't far from another resort boat and never venture far offshore without going in pairs. We also have a very fast mechanics boat/tow boat so that is also reassuring. That being said, most of the guides I work with also have alot of experience and always put safety 1st no matter where we are fishing.

  12. #12

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    About 5 or 6 years ago I was out fishing Lil Roller in my 20ft Pacific Skiff, alone, in early may. I was the only guy out there, except for one of your boats. It was piss calm. Nothing in the forecast. Some crazy wind came up and I ran around The Cape thinking it would be calm... Nope! At the Tree I ran into another one of your boats. We kinda made eye contact and I followed him through St Nick channel, Port Real Marina, and to Ignace. It was blowing so hard, that despite the other boat only a short distance in front of me, all I could see was white water splashing in front of me! The funny thing was, that one of the worst spots was Port Real, which I thought would be calm enough to beach and camp out for the night. Nope! If I slowed down slower than 15mph, the wind would turn my boat. Ignace Rk was a nightmare, as it always is when it's blowing. Didn't calm down till I got in tight to St Johns, then i figured I might as well go home, since I was so close. It took me 3 hours to make it home. The strongest winds I've ever seen on the water. They clocked those winds at 80mph, BTW. I heard it came up so fast in Ktown, that they canceled Alaska Airlines for the day.

  13. #13

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    June 29th on 1996 was the worst I've ever been in. The forecast was something like S.E. 20 in the morning, increasing to 30 in the afternoon and gale or storm warning that night. All the boats headed for Lil Roller and around 9:30 it started blowin, resort manager said it was blowin 35-40 at the dock and called us all in. I was in the lead group of 8 boats and it took a couple hours to get to the north end of Ignace Is. we all stopped for a potty break before making what is normally a 20 minute crossing across Bucarelli to the resort. As we came around Coco's we immeadiately started taking greenie's (we were in glasply's and Olympics back then), we called the second group of boats that were about a half hour behind us and told them they should wait till tide change to see if things laid down any.
    The group I was in took 2.5 hours to get across and back to the resort, 4.5 hours total from Pineapple/Rockpile. Everyone of us had busted antenna's, windshield wipers and rods. The water got worse at tide change instead of laying down and the other 10 boats ended up anchoring in Port Real, the Coast Guard had a cutter in the area that took the guests off those boats and brought them in while the guides spent the night on anchor.
    Coast Guard told us the afternoon/evening winds were a steady 50 with gusts to 70.

  14. #14

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    people have died in that area off diamond pt.. it gets nasty out there!

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