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Thread: Usefulness of a 17' Whaler

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    Member Hayduke's Avatar
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    Default Usefulness of a 17' Whaler

    When we moved up a year and a half ago I had to leave two boats behind. My dad is offering to tow one up this summer. I have a 17' Boston Whaler Newport with a 70 horse Johnson. I grew up fishing this boat out of Trinidad and Eureka CA as well as Brookings and Newport OR. I am wondering if you all think I would get enough use out of this boat to justify the trip up. I am mostly interested in being able to access areas out of Whittier and Seward. I would like to be able to do some boat based black bear hunts as well as be able to troll up some silvers and jig rockfish. We have had this boat in fairly nasty swell and it always seemed to ride well. With this boat I am definatly a fair weather boater. If the wind doesn't look right the boat stays on the trailer. Waht do you think? The other option is a 14 foot Klamath that needs a new motor. I don't forsee myself wanting to do much road accesible lake fishing up here so I can't really see the benefit of the Klamath. Please someone tell me if my thinking is wrong and there is more opportunity for the Klamath than I am envisioning.

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    Member polardds's Avatar
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    Like you stated as long as you pick your days and the weather is nice. I have seen smaller in the Sound. May have to be willing to camp a few days unexpectedly on shore if the weather picks up. Just be prepared and use your head. Start on smaller trips then work your way up to longer ones in your comfort level.

    The Klamath could be good at lake Louise or the Little Sue. Even Wasilla and Finger lakes in the Valley have some decent fish. Which ever boat you bring up you will use.

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    Member Hayduke's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply. That is pretty well along my train of thought. I know that waters around here can turn bad quick and respect to the deep blue has to payed. I have been out of both Whittier and Seward a number of times and have been surprised as to what the skipper has classified as rough. "Rough" days have been dream days without the big swell off the OR coast. We had a skipper call a day that seemed very suspect to me, I never question the Captain and assume he knew but I always wonder if he just didn't want to fish that day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hayduke View Post
    Thanks for the reply. That is pretty well along my train of thought. I know that waters around here can turn bad quick and respect to the deep blue has to payed. I have been out of both Whittier and Seward a number of times and have been surprised as to what the skipper has classified as rough. "Rough" days have been dream days without the big swell off the OR coast. We had a skipper call a day that seemed very suspect to me, I never question the Captain and assume he knew but I always wonder if he just didn't want to fish that day.
    I hear you. But my experience with Seward is that if is flat in the bay and there is a storm raging, it is horrible out in the gulf. And you really, really, don't want to be there. If it is howling down the the bay and a high pressure, it will probably flatten out away from bays and passes in the gulf. If there is a storm raging and Seward is horrible, it likely far worse in the gulf. I have been lulled many times out to Cape Ressurection on days that don't look too bad in Seward to just turn around and go back as the roller are huge and even somewhat breaking.

    The sound has different but similar weather patterns. I have left Whittier on several occasions on what I thought was questionable, only to have it be glass once you got out of the passage. I have also left Whittier thinking it was going to be perfect only to be blown off the water later. It really just depends on if it is high pressure, or low. And more importantly, the steepness of the gradient between each. If the gradient is steep, it is good day to stay tied to the dock unless you really want an adventure. There have also been days when I had all of it completely wrong and the result was it was perfect and I wasn't out, and it was horrible and I kissed the dock when I got back. It is tough call......

    You're boat will be ok if you are careful.

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    Member Hayduke's Avatar
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    When the capt called the day we were already fishing Montague. We were supposed to be fishing a for halibut and silvers. There was about a 4' wind wave out at Montague and the bay was glass. But like I said I was taught to never question the skipper on the water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hayduke View Post
    When the capt called the day we were already fishing Montague. We were supposed to be fishing a for halibut and silvers. There was about a 4' wind wave out at Montague and the bay was glass. But like I said I was taught to never question the skipper on the water.
    That is really odd. I am just guessing here, but he probably refunded your money and ate all that boat gas. Something was up - not sure it was the weather, but something is amiss there for sure. Who knows what was going on, but it sound like the weather was doable anyway in a charter boat. I am sorry to even hear about that sucky day. Enjoy your time here and your boat. You'll get some use out of it, and then do what we all do, which is buy the biggest one we can afford which will be exactly 2 feet too short.......

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    Member Hayduke's Avatar
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    He did not. However, the company that booked the trip did after some heated exchange. I won't question on the boat but I will on Terra Firma .

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hayduke View Post
    When the capt called the day we were already fishing Montague. We were supposed to be fishing a for halibut and silvers. There was about a 4' wind wave out at Montague and the bay was glass. But like I said I was taught to never question the skipper on the water.
    How big was the boat?
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Member Hayduke's Avatar
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    If I recall it was a 26 ft aluminum 6 pack.

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    Hayduke,
    When I moved up to Alaska I dragged a 17' Whaler up. Far and away the best boat I ever owned. I used it for a year out of Seward and Homer, but sold it for a boat with a cabin on it so we could have a place to stay when we came down. Before I moved up I ran that Whaler 25 miles off the coast of Washington, and never worried about anything that might get stirred up here. You might get cold and wet in it, but it'll handle most anything you're gonna see up here. I'll take a 17" Whaler over just about anything else when the seas start getting nasty.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    My personal criteria for a boat I'd use to get to where the fish are at, and for overnight trips in the sounds is a boat that can handle a 3-4' chop. Spending any amount of time out of Whittier or Seward, you will face those conditions one day or another.

    Not to say you can't have fun out on the water with a smaller boat, but to get to the destinations where there is a reasonable expectation of getting into fish, or a bear, you might find that you want a bigger boat.

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    Member Hayduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Mauler View Post
    Hayduke,
    When I moved up to Alaska I dragged a 17' Whaler up. Far and away the best boat I ever owned. I used it for a year out of Seward and Homer, but sold it for a boat with a cabin on it so we could have a place to stay when we came down. Before I moved up I ran that Whaler 25 miles off the coast of Washington, and never worried about anything that might get stirred up here. You might get cold and wet in it, but it'll handle most anything you're gonna see up here. I'll take a 17" Whaler over just about anything else when the seas start getting nasty.
    I hear ya. When I was 15 my dad bought a 21' Outrage. The thought was bigger is better. I always hated that boat it just seemed to ride terribly. I don't think the tri hull on a boat that size is a good combo in any kind of chop.

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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    I know a guy who drove a 17 footer from Homer to Cordova, with one motor and a bunch of fuel. Not the smartest thing anyone has ever done but those little boats can get the job done.

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