I live in Dillingham, Alaska and I have been sport boating in the Bristol Bay area for about five years. The Bristol Bay region has many diverse and challenging water systems. When I moved to Dillingham I was a novice boatsman and after spending two weeks on the Wood River and demolishing two new props on my 16' flat bottom Smoker Craft, I became a jet man. I have been in the market for about two years looking for the perfect 22' extreme hunter / hauler, but comfortable, safe family, manly boat. In the begining of my search I really was interested in the 21' Sport Jon, primarly I liked the layout and the inboard Merc. One day I was at Marita Sea and Ski to look at a Sport Jon and my eyes came to rest on a new, 20' Alaskan XL, with its fiery hot flames licking the sides of the boat and the wonderful, spaciousness of the cargo area, I began to have doubts.
In October 2010, I was browsing this forum, searching for someone or something to show me the way when I observed TJM's huge thread concerning the 20' Alaskan XL with the Sport Jet. After spending hours of reading the comments and experiences, I called Glen Wooldridge and asked him if he could build a 23' Alaskan XL with the Sport Jet and the windshield built near the aft? Glen did some measuring, brain storming, listening to my ramblings, refining and then, the 23' was born. The windshield is going to be mounted 13' from the transom. There will be about one foot of space between the drip curtain and the dog house. From the windshield forward, there will be a five foot open space and then a five foot deck with storage. My whole goal was to have all of my gear, gas, carcasses and an ATV in the front of the boat. I do not want to drag stuff through the cabin area. I want to be able to haul a couple of 70 inch moose, camping gear and buds.
During my time on this forum, I have really enjoyed and benefited from reading other's tips, experiences and builds. I will post new pictures and information as the build progresses. Once I get the boat in spring 2011, I will post some data and hopefully a few exciting hunts with the new Woolly. I will not be as technical as TJM or others, but hopefully someone will benefit from my experiences. More to come!