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Thread: 14-16' flat bottom or "V"

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    Member mjm316's Avatar
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    Default 14-16' flat bottom or "V"

    I'm looking into buying either a 14-16' boat with a jet to hunt and fish mostly on rivers.
    Possibly for dip netting on the Kenai.
    What would some of the positives and negatives of each be?
    Also, I would usually only be out with one other person.
    I've also thought of a cataraft but not sure how they would take a jet...
    Thanks for all your opinions in advance
    Mike
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

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    Find yourself a flat bottom with a 90 horse (50 or less if you want to do the Kenai) or so jet, and you will spend many years to come exploring any river you wish.

    Buying a boat is a big one. You can sit and research till your blue in the face and you won't have any better idea what to look for than you do right now.

    There is a boat suited to everything you want to do. You can only fit so many in your driveway, much less afford them though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjm316 View Post
    I'm looking into buying either a 14-16' boat with a jet to hunt and fish mostly on rivers.
    Possibly for dip netting on the Kenai.
    What would some of the positives and negatives of each be?
    Also, I would usually only be out with one other person.
    I've also thought of a cataraft but not sure how they would take a jet...
    Thanks for all your opinions in advance
    Mike
    Mike,

    When you throw the Kenai into the mix, it really screws up your plans due to the 50 hp max which means you will only have about 35 hp to work with at the jet. If you are thinking about hunting with friends with it, and you actually get a moose, that is going to be a lot of trips getting the meat and gear in and out. Not saying it can't be done, but it would be a royal pain and maybe not even possible depending on where you want to go. And at this point, you need to really think about what you want to do. A much better boat for hunting and fishing would be about 18-20 feet with at least a 115 on it. I would opt for a flat bottom boat as they take less power to get on step and generally can run shallower. A deep "V" works better in situations where there are waves and chop and generally run lower in the water. No boat does everything well, hence the reason I have one ocean boat, a cheap little river boat, a little 16 foot bayliner with a 140 hp on the back for lake fishing and going like heck, and an assortment of non-powered water craft.

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    Member mjm316's Avatar
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    Hey guys thanks for your opinions so far. Easthill what size boat would you recommend with a 90?
    TR i guess i was thinking smaller because I was thinking if launching areas, with a 14-16ft i wouldn't actually need a public ramp and it might open some more places to explore up. IDK just thinking out loud right now. Please keep the comments coming
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

  5. #5

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    I don't have any experience with a jet but for what it's worth, we've run a 16' alumacraft jon (with very slight "v") on the Kenai with a 25 Yamaha prop for a few years now and it's a pretty decent package, not winning any races compared to the 50 hp sleds on the river but not getting put into the weeds either.
    The thing nobody's mentioned is the decent fuel economy with smaller outboards, especially the 4 strokes and direct injection 2 strokes.
    We can get on step easily with 3 guys (can still get on up there with 4) and gear so I'm thinking having 35 hp available in a 50 hp jet package would be pretty nice, plus I'd set the boat up with an adjustable transom lift to have the ability to run both a jet & prop.
    Give that small, light (easier to get un-stuck), economical rig a good hard look; imo 16' minimum.
    Good luck!
    P.S. Forgot; one thing that really helped was having 2 props for the 25 yamaha; a "torque" prop and "speed" prop, I forget what the pitch differences were but it really made a difference. Also, since small motors typically don't have a tachometer, I bought a Tiny Tach from Cabela's (cheap and easy to use) to see what RPM's the motor was operating at, was a huge help and fun to use.
    Last edited by Big Jim; 01-16-2011 at 23:00. Reason: added info

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjm316 View Post
    Hey guys thanks for your opinions so far. Easthill what size boat would you recommend with a 90?
    TR i guess i was thinking smaller because I was thinking if launching areas, with a 14-16ft i wouldn't actually need a public ramp and it might open some more places to explore up. IDK just thinking out loud right now. Please keep the comments coming

    My cheap riverboat is a 14 foot hewescraft with a 20 hp Johnson 2 stroke jet on the back of it. It will go a lot of places for very little money. It does fine with 2 guys, some beverages and food for a weekend trip, and camping gear. It is too small to really be a good boat as a meat transport, but I have used it for hunting and if you get a moose it takes 3-4 trips back and forth to the truck. It is not ideal, but ok. And it does fish two just fine. I wish a had a 20 hp four stroke for it to go with the jet so I could use it on the Kenai for king salmon fishing, but now just go to the Little Su, Deshka, or the Anchor if I am down that way. If you are serious about hunting for bear and moose, the 14-16 foot boats are just too small in my opinion.

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    Member idakfisher's Avatar
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    I have had many river boats from 14' to 20'. The two best boats for shallow running that I have had were flat bottom. With a flat bottom, your engine does not have to expend a lot of effort to get you up on plane. You are already on top. And the wider the bottow, the more weight it distributes across a bigger area to keep you on top. My present sled is a 20' Fishrite and I can fill it with anything and it planes out beautifully. But it would not be a good choice with a 50hp pump. Like others have said here, it really depends on how you are wanting to use it and what you want to be hauling. And as TR has said, there is no one perfect use boat and like him, I have three. A shallow river runner, a lake fishing boat, and a 26' for the salt.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    If you're looking to mostly be on rivers, then you can't beat a flat bottom boat with a jet, as it'll let you get into the skinniest of water.

    But if you're looking for a dual purpose (which is a mistake IMHO) river/salt boat, then you'll want a semi-v to cut the waves and provider a smoother ride. The minus is you'll not be able to run the skinniest of water.

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    Member mjm316's Avatar
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    I'm definatally not looking for anything to go in the salt. Possibly a lake but mostly rivers
    I've also been kinda interested in member Stid's Jet Ranger does anyone else have any experience with these?
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

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    I think you've gotten some good advice so far. I started with a 10'zodiac and a 9.9hp yamaha. It got me where I wanted to go but was very limited especially as we had kids. I then bought a 15'Klamath with a 25hp johnson. We were able to go many more places with the 4 of us. Upgraded to a 19' Thunderjet and found we went more places than we imagined we ever would. Down side is my wife is still not happy I sold the Klamath because the little boat went places I won't or can't take the bigger boat for instance the Little Su and Kenia. We still don't have the perfect boat which would be a 24'+ ocean boat. It's funny how sometimes desires change. All that said I still have a canoe and recently bought a drift boat for the Kenia. I put in for some hunts this year that may force me to buy something like your looking into. Maybe one of these http://www.g3boats.com/Gator_Tough_1756_SC_1756_CC Bottom line, as stated before there is no perfect all purpose boat.

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    Member mjm316's Avatar
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    http://www.g3boats.com/Gator_Tough_1756_SC_1756_CC[/url]
    Those look like some nice boats! If money was no object I'd really look at one of those...
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

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    A little over a year ago I was looking for a boat. I had access to a sweet deal on a 40hp Etec. When I was looking at boats the flat bottoms were definitely the ticket. As all the others have said they are great for running shallow and running with low HP. All good advice. I can't remember the guy I talked to but he had a 16ft with a 40-50hp motor and had great things to say about it. It would run very shallow, get a couple guys fishing, duck hunting, and even moose hunting if you didn't mind making an extra trip or two to get the meat out. It was very cheap to operate compared to many other river boats. Granted, TJMs wooly will leave it in the dust but then again, its a $10K boat vs a $35K boat. TJMs has one awesome boat and I'd take it in a heart beat but with my current ocean boat I just can't swing it. I had access to a great 40hp motor and wanted a decent river boat to match it with. If I remember, the Lowe was the lightest weight for the most length. That being said, that weight has to come at a cost. Most all these boats are aluminum so somethings got to give. When I was looking at the G3s, they looked pretty good. However I remember coming to the conclusion that the SeaArk was pretty light and was built like a tank so was settling on a SeaArk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjm316 View Post
    Those look like some nice boats! If money was no object I'd really look at one of those...
    Well money is an object that I don't have excess of but I enjoy window shopping when it comes to boats

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    mjm316 You've already read the best advice... There's nothing I can really add... but I'll tell you what I've done... I've lived in Alaska (this time) since 1972. The other day I counted up the various boats we've owned.. Sixteen as near as we could figure.. I've tried every type of small craft for just about every possible situation. I've had flat bottomed "river boats" with props and lifts and jets.. (I"ve never had one of those Mud buddies) We carried a 14ft V-bottom boat with a 7.5HP outboard up from the lower 48 in 72. The next spring I sold it and bought an 18 ft Monark, bolted on a 40HP Johnson with a lift.. Fished most of the streams between the Gulkana at Sourdough to the Kenai River.. It was very good for hauling the family hunting and fishing.. We hauled a lot of moose off the Yentna River with it. Price of gas went up so we sold that boat and bought a little 16ft flat bottomed Lowe with a 25hp Johnson.. That was great for fishing, but altho the boat could carry a large moose, the 25HP couldn't get it up on step.. We went through a couple other boats/motors then acquired a 16ft Monark and put twin 40HP Merc jets on it.. Fished and hunted all the local rivers in Mat-Su valley. Then we had an old flat bottomed 18ft Smokercraft with twin Merc Jets. We went to the higher gunnels on the Smokercraft so we felt more comfortable crossing Cook Inlet. The one boat that probably came the closest to being an All-Around boat was an 18ft Hewescraft River Runner.. We had twin 40HP Yamaha 2 strokes on it, then upgraded to twin 40hp 4 strokes.
    we ran props and navigated the Big su, Yentna, Deshka, and Kenai rivers with out dinging too many props.. We always carried two sets of props, one set Power 10x11 and one set for speed. 10x14.. If you lost one motor, depending on the load, you often had to switch to a power prop on the one good motor to get back to shore. I say this was probably the best all around boat we had because with the modified V, we could go to Seward or Valdez and troll for salmon, or go out of Homer and fish for Halibut.. In a moment of weakness, I sold that boat, taking a 17ft Lowe with a 40HP Evinrude jet in part trade. We shot a moose and hauled it in that boat, but fortunately for us, We were hauling the moose down river to the Landing and that Jet was just barely strong enough to give us steerage.. and now we have an 18ft SeaArk with a 115HP Yamaha 4stroke jet (85HP).. and a 15HP kicker, which is great for running the local rivers but it isn't worth squat for trolling in Seward with that flat bottom, because you really have no control if there is any wind... So... bottom line, it all depends on what YOU want to do.. where you want to go... A 16ft flat bottom with a 50HP jet would be a good place to start (IMHO)...

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    mjm316 You've already read the best advice... There's nothing I can really add... but I'll tell you what I've done... I've lived in Alaska (this time) since 1972. The other day I counted up the various boats we've owned.. Sixteen as near as we could figure.. I've tried every type of small craft for just about every possible situation. I've had flat bottomed "river boats" with props and lifts and jets.. (I"ve never had one of those Mud buddies) We carried a 14ft V-bottom boat with a 7.5HP outboard up from the lower 48 in 72. The next spring I sold it and bought an 18 ft Monark, bolted on a 40HP Johnson with a lift.. Fished most of the streams between the Gulkana at Sourdough to the Kenai River.. It was very good for hauling the family hunting and fishing.. We hauled a lot of moose off the Yentna River with it. Price of gas went up so we sold that boat and bought a little 16ft flat bottomed Lowe with a 25hp Johnson.. That was great for fishing, but altho the boat could carry a large moose, the 25HP couldn't get it up on step.. We went through a couple other boats/motors then acquired a 16ft Monark and put twin 40HP Merc jets on it.. Fished and hunted all the local rivers in Mat-Su valley. Then we had an old flat bottomed 18ft Smokercraft with twin Merc Jets. We went to the higher gunnels on the Smokercraft so we felt more comfortable crossing Cook Inlet. The one boat that probably came the closest to being an All-Around boat was an 18ft Hewescraft River Runner.. We had twin 40HP Yamaha 2 strokes on it, then upgraded to twin 40hp 4 strokes.
    we ran props and navigated the Big su, Yentna, Deshka, and Kenai rivers with out dinging too many props.. We always carried two sets of props, one set Power 10x11 and one set for speed. 10x14.. If you lost one motor, depending on the load, you often had to switch to a power prop on the one good motor to get back to shore. I say this was probably the best all around boat we had because with the modified V, we could go to Seward or Valdez and troll for salmon, or go out of Homer and fish for Halibut.. In a moment of weakness, I sold that boat, taking a 17ft Lowe with a 40HP Evinrude jet in part trade. We shot a moose and hauled it in that boat, but fortunately for us, We were hauling the moose down river to the Landing and that Jet was just barely strong enough to give us steerage.. and now we have an 18ft SeaArk with a 115HP Yamaha 4stroke jet (85HP).. and a 15HP kicker, which is great for running the local rivers but it isn't worth squat for trolling in Seward with that flat bottom, because you really have no control if there is any wind... So... bottom line, it all depends on what YOU want to do.. where you want to go... A 16ft flat bottom with a 50HP jet would be a good place to start (IMHO)...

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