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Thread: Boat Size for Valdez??

  1. #1
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    Default Boat Size for Valdez??

    I just bought my first boat. Its a 16ft hewescraft sea runner lite with a 50 hp prop. I really would like to take it and fish the bay for halibut this summer would it be sufficient? Thanks for any info!

  2. #2

    Default It will work

    However, you`ll need to pick days that are calling for 2' seas as the 3'ers will get over the bow and if there is any large wake added it will get special. I`ve learned to go early and leave early and you`ll dodge most of the afternoon winds. Most of the salmon fishing is in close and there are quite a few small boats out there...just use caution and watch the weather.

  3. #3
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Pick the days

    I also suggest on picking the days. 16 is pretty small to be running all over the place out there. The afternoon winds can throw you 3-5 foot waves coming back into port. Check the weather and is in doubt, stay close to port. There are fish to be had within the port, you just need to do you research. I found a yellow eye hole last summer and can limit out pretty easily when I need some.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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  4. #4

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    I used to own a Hewescraft 16' Riverrunner with a 50 horse Yamaha and I would take it out of Homer 15 to 20 miles and all the way out to Pony Cove out of Seward regularly, BUT you really have to know the weather to do it. You sure feel safe having all the metal around you UNTIL you get into 5 or 6 ft. seas (or sometimes even 3 or 4 footers!), which can happen at the drop of a hat out that far. Be careful. Learn how to read the weather and marine forecasts. I've never been out of Valdez so I can't speak for that area, but with a good dose of common sense and a good eye for what the weather and seas are going to do in a given day you can surely get to where there are plenty of fish. If things sound as though they are even slightly marginal it sure is better to be sitting on shore wishing you'd gone out then sitting in 6 ft. seas wishing you hadn't. Just be careful. PLEASE!
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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  5. #5
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    Used to take a 14' Hewes RR w/25 all over. Had that boat in Orca Bay Once. Talked to God on a few trips with her. Came to a realization that boat was just too small for anything other than Quartz Lake so I uprgraded.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    For residents of a port town, a small skiff is great, because they have all summer to pick their weather days, and if they have to turn around before wetting a line, no biggy, they'll go out the next day, or next week.

    Where the small skiffs can cause problems is the boater that has driven several hours to get to the port, the conditions are iffy, and in his mind he justifies taking the boat out because, well heck I put all this time into coming down here, I'm not about to go home w/o splashing the boat.

    IMHO, our summers are too short to have a boat that is only suitable for perfect conditions, and seas can build fairly quickly. My personal opinion is that for the traveling angler, a 20' skiff with fairly high freeboard is the prudendt minimum for using in Southcentral saltwater.

  7. #7

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    I used to take a 12.5' inflatable out of Anchor Point and Seward all the time. But I'd only go if it was a "bluebird" day and the weather looked positive. And then I was never more than a few miles from shore at any given time. That's one of the nice things about Seward---you can catch a lot of fish at times and not be more than a hundred yards from shore doing it, so if things got bad quickly at the worst I could go in and beach my boat and instead of being in serious danger at least only be miserable until I could get myself off the beach and get back to port. It never happened, but it was nice to know it was an option.

    I have friends that are very experienced sea kayakers and they used to go miles out of ports like Whittier, Homer and Seward in 16' sea kayaks and they're all still alive. They just know what they're doing and don't get too far from shore at any given time. You just have to know the seas and what your limitations are. Like I said, you just have to know the weather and what the weather is capable of doing at any given time.
    Year round saltwater fishing adventures in Homer, AK.
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  8. #8
    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    For residents of a port town, a small skiff is great, because they have all summer to pick their weather days, and if they have to turn around before wetting a line, no biggy, they'll go out the next day, or next week.

    Where the small skiffs can cause problems is the boater that has driven several hours to get to the port, the conditions are iffy, and in his mind he justifies taking the boat out because, well heck I put all this time into coming down here, I'm not about to go home w/o splashing the boat.

    IMHO, our summers are too short to have a boat that is only suitable for perfect conditions, and seas can build fairly quickly. My personal opinion is that for the traveling angler, a 20' skiff with fairly high freeboard is the prudendt minimum for using in Southcentral saltwater.
    That is a really good summary, it makes a lot of sense. I have even found myself in this situation, even though I have a bigger boat, 22' If I get to where I am going and the weather isn't what the forecast said it was going to be, I have a real hard time not heading out, however, if the forecast doesn't sound very good, I don't bother making the trip.

  9. #9
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    you won't be the smallest boat in the water. I would take it and just keep an eye on the weather. Last year during the silvers we saw a 12 or 14ft lund with 3 people in it so anything is possible, BUT they were staying close to the harbor.

  10. #10

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    I don't know guys.....cramming everyone in Valdez into a 16 foot boat seems a little over the top to me.....after all the the title of the thread is "boat size for Valdez".....

  11. #11
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Actually

    Actually you should see it over here during silver season. Tourists in their 8' Walmart rubber rafts, even a paddle boat one year, canoes, 4-5 guys in a 12 footer and a 2 h.p. motor, no equipment, no knowledge of the navigation rules around the port, Coast Guard chasing boats with no radios in the Security Zone, boats so old the Smithsonian is following them for a donation and on and on.....

    A 18' heavy Lund will get you to many areas around the port fairly safe depending on the weather. Better yet, a 21'-24' Aurora or Weldcraft with a 90-150 h.p. can carry you out to Bligh Reef and other areas 95% of the time. I have taken mine to the gulf many a time with "ideal" weather.

    No matter what you have plan on two things:

    Having the supplies for spending 2-3 days anchored up in a bay waiting on the weather to improve.

    A float plan and some way to contact someone if you have to make a change.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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  12. #12
    Member akshrop's Avatar
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    Default

    I have taken a 16 foot river boat out in Valdez, but only for silvers and never more than 3/4 mile from the shore. I just fished the water around the first few creeks.

  13. #13

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    Lived in Valdez for years (long ago) and you could set you watch by the 3pm 3-foot chop through the narrows. Now days, don't know but then it was pretty common. Small boat, be safe, hug the shoreline coming back if it looks iffy and have PFD ON...not sitting on them.
    Alaska Outdoors Television ~ Outdoor Channel

  14. #14

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    I have fished in Valdez for over 20 years with a 16 foot searunner with a 35. I have been all the way out to Jack Bay and Potato Point many times. Just watch the weather and be prepared to tuck in a wait out the afternoon weather. if it gets sunny it usually gets pretty choppy in the afternoon.

  15. #15
    Member powderhound's Avatar
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    Default

    I have been running my 22' Jet boat out of Valdez for 3 years and I run to Galena Bay. This year I am considering to make the haul out to the Bligh Island area to gt into some halibut. My observation has been that the afternoon wind kicks up like clock work still until late September. I have experienced some hellasious seas from that wind that hits. Last year it bucked of a couple set net fishermen running a center counsol boat. When he was thrown from the boat it appeared that the operator hit the throttle full speed. The wheel turned and the they were bobbing out in the water while there boat was making circles around them.
    This went on for a few minutes until they were rescued. The boat ran for hours wide open making loops until a fisherman(cowboy) jumped from another boat onto the unmanned one and brought it to a stop. That was a scary ordeal I have wittnessed from that wind that kickes up about every afternoon.
    Plan accoundingly and you should always be able to find safe harbor til the wind dies I believe!
    Good Luck, I love Valdez.

  16. #16
    Member ArcherBob's Avatar
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    Default 22'

    Been running my 22' aluminum, semi-V, jet drive, inboard V-8 out of Valdez for years, been out past naked, past goose, and thats about as far as I dare without extra fuel. Had one day you could have gone bare foot skiing all morning. In an instant we were in 4s and 5s had to hide in a bay for a few hours, then it was smooth as glass again. Watch the forcast, and don't take unecessary risks. Lots of good advise allready posted.

    Watch the marine forecast. Heres where I start my planning, usually very acurate.
    http://pavw.arh.noaa.gov/wmofcst.php...VW&type=marine

    Do you have a radio?

    Do you have a gps chart plotter?

    All the coast guard required equipment?
    Bob

    Become one with Nature......... Then Marinade it.

  17. #17
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    leave early and come back early its usually glass in the morning but start getting choppy in the afternoon.

  18. #18
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Cell phone

    One thing is that Copper Valley Telephone does fairly well out on this side of the sound. I loose the signal in the Narrows, OK but spotty down the Arm. I can send text all the way out to the entrance, 74 miles or so.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
    Cancer from Agent Orange - Aug. 25th 2012
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