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Thread: Boat inquiry

  1. #1

    Default Boat inquiry

    I'm in the process of gathering information for the purchase of a boat. I am seeking info/advice on boats that are dual purpose. I'm looking for something in the 18-21' range that would be usable for inlet/bay/sound fishing as well as freshwater fishing.

    Is there such a vessel made? Or will I have to pick one or the other?

    What makes/brands/models would you recommend?
    “You touch my junk, I'm going to have you arrested.” - Groping objector

  2. #2
    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    I have a 20' Hewescraft Sportsman with the 200 Optimax sportjet and it's good in both rivers and PWS on good days. Not great at either one, but very good boat.

  3. #3
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    We've discussed this quite a bit in the past, the basic consensus is that something that will work in such diverse applications won't excel at any of them. Pick what you want to spend the most time doing, and get a boat for that application. What makes a boat suitable for the ocean makes it a poor choice for the rivers, and vice versa.

  4. #4
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    My priority being glacial rivers, my best compromise would be an inboard jet in the 20' class. They run fine on the salt when the water's flat. No big water salt boat will be worth a darn in the rivers, with the exception of a Bayrunner type with a prop, but those are limited on the rivers. And their big water capability is questionable as well. Pick your passion.

  5. #5
    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    You give up all comfort, but there are some rubber boats that "do the job". But like folks say, they are not perfect for either alone.
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

  6. #6
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    Im looking into doing the same thing in the future and am thinking about a 20' alumaweld intruder with a outboard with max power for the boat on it. That way one could switch out the lower unit for a jet unit when needed. And BTW a DFI two stroke, cause the power of the 2's is unbeatable.

    Still not the perfect setup, but can't have the best of all worlds. Im pretty sure I would need about a dozen boats to satisfy all the things I WANT to do. But, im not Bill Gates, so that isnt forseen right now..

  7. #7
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    Default river/ocean boat

    I pondered this question for a long time and finally settled on a 20 ft wooldridge sport with a 225 optimax. I have the jet pump and the prop lower unit. I run the rivers fairly efficiently with the jet pump and just this past weekend I was down at Montague for a few days of halibut fishing. I would recomend an outboard so you can swap between the jet and prop this dramatically increases performance and range. Example: My trip to Montague was 187 round trip and I burned 42 gallons of fuel. You will not come near this with an inboard jet and your range will be limited. Having said all that, I am wishing I had purchased an ocean only boat as I have enjoyed the saltwater experience much more than I anticipated. Just my two cents. Good luck on your search!

  8. #8
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    For what it's worth, I had a Wooldridge with a 200 Merc for many years. When I bought it from Glen I wanted the extra long prop and the standard long jet so I could swap back and forth without moving the engine. I never installed the prop. Not one time. I learned quickly that I preferred rivers. Especially in a river boat, if you get my drift. Had I bought a boat for the salt my preference may have been different.

  9. #9

    Smile koffler bay bee

    i have 20fft koffler bay bee i use it on kenai river the deska out of deep creek and also out of whittier it is a great boat

  10. #10
    Member moose-head's Avatar
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    I went with a 17' Hewescraft Sea Runner. It has a deeper V which gives a little bit more stability in choppy water. It has the 50 hp motor that I wanted for the Kenai river. I can not take it into the salt unless it is very calm.
    If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction.
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  11. #11

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    I second the Koffler Bay Bee 20' with twin Honda 45.s great ocean or river boat.

  12. #12
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    I had the same problem/idea, which one to get???? I settled on a 20' wooldridge sport with a 150optimax. The boat was a demo boat, so it was already setup, I would have gone a little bigger on the motor, BUT I am extremely happy with what I got, and wouldn't change a thing. The family and I probably use it 60% on the rivers and 40% on the salt. I would do it all over again, this boat has met ALL my expectations and more. I do have both lower units, jet and prop, and this boat does very well either way. Actually it will scare ya out of your skin on prop!! If you can find some friends like TJM that like to take folks for rides, and see what you really want.

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