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Thread: 1st AK boat... jon boat jet on the mind

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    Member iusckeeper's Avatar
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    Default 1st AK boat... jon boat jet on the mind

    So I've been doing many hours of research, and I think I have not even put a dent in the knowledge I need/want. From all this reading, I'm leaning toward a jet powered flat bottom jon.

    Let me know what you think with what I want to use it for...

    I want a boat I can venture in shallow water - obvious jet
    I want a good starter/ learner that isn't too expensive or big
    I want to be able to fish out of it with 4 people
    I would like to be able to take it on the Kenai Special management area
    Maybe dipnet out of it, away from the big guys of course
    Possible 2 man hunt out of it
    No desire for salt yet

    I know the Kenai part will be the determining factor on the size of boat that I can put the motor on. Are there many 50/35 motors available? Would a 50/35 be enough to power a loaded boat into descent flowing water (I'm not looking for a speed demon)? What do you think the best possible boat option is if a 50/35 is the motor the determining factor?

    I'm going to be at the boat show on Sunday picking some brains and checking out everything to offer. Any vendors or areas in particular to check out?

    Thanks for the help!!

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    Lots of makes to pick from, none of them a bad choice. Maybe something in the 17-18 foot range. But I dont see a 50 hp jet making a capable hunting boat for 2 people unless you are only taking full back packs and having a charter plane come pick up the meat.

    35 pound per hp is about the most you ever want to push, might get away with 40 pounds per hp going down stream. 30 x 35 = 1,050. The boat, motor, one six gallon tank, battery and two people are going to run about 900, give or take. Add your gear and food, drinks, well you get the picture and that is not even trying to haul more than six gallons of gas.

    It is really hard to find one boat that will do a little of everything. My advice is to figure out what is the most important thing you want to do with it and go from there. Make it the perfect Kenai boat and then find a friend who can take you hunting. You will both be happier in the long run. I know its not the answer you were seeking but it will turn out to be pretty solid advice.

    PS: Don't get caught up just considering a new boat, there will be more 16-18 foot open boats on the used market than you can shake a stick at if you wait until April or June.
    Tennessee

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    Member skybust's Avatar
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    Go see Gary at Greatland welding he builds a great boat at a great price and has alot of good info

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    I have a 16ft flat bottom jon boat with a 40hp yamaha 2 stroke on it. I can take two people and some fishing gear up and down the little sue all day long, throw a 3rd person in there and i would be hurting. Fishing 4 adults out of a boat I would say 18ft at least. Greatland welding builds really good boats, infact all the jon boat types are good just make sure you have enough power to move the boat.

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    Default Good call Snowwolfe.Too funny!

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    Lots of makes to pick from, none of them a bad choice. Maybe something in the 17-18 foot range. But I dont see a 50 hp jet making a capable hunting boat for 2 people unless you are only taking full back packs and having a charter plane come pick up the meat.

    35 pound per hp is about the most you ever want to push, might get away with 40 pounds per hp going down stream. 30 x 35 = 1,050. The boat, motor, one six gallon tank, battery and two people are going to run about 900, give or take. Add your gear and food, drinks, well you get the picture and that is not even trying to haul more than six gallons of gas.

    It is really hard to find one boat that will do a little of everything. My advice is to figure out what is the most important thing you want to do with it and go from there. Make it the perfect Kenai boat and then find a friend who can take you hunting. You will both be happier in the long run. I know its not the answer you were seeking but it will turn out to be pretty solid advice.

    PS: Don't get caught up just considering a new boat, there will be more 16-18 foot open boats on the used market than you can shake a stick at if you wait until April or June.
    This is from Snowwolfes post 2 days ago on Boat show brains thread.
    "You stated it better than I could.
    But just wait, one day after the boat show starts we will see a bunch of new members asking what boat is best for Deep Creek and the Susitna. And most will not heed the advice and buy the bigger motor that everyone tried to talk them into.
    Nick named them AVB's.......................Alaska Virgin Boaters."

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iusckeeper View Post
    So I've been doing many hours of research, and I think I have not even put a dent in the knowledge I need/want. From all this reading, I'm leaning toward a jet powered flat bottom jon.

    Let me know what you think with what I want to use it for...

    I want a boat I can venture in shallow water - obvious jet
    I want a good starter/ learner that isn't too expensive or big
    I want to be able to fish out of it with 4 people
    I would like to be able to take it on the Kenai Special management area
    Maybe dipnet out of it, away from the big guys of course
    Possible 2 man hunt out of it
    No desire for salt yet

    I know the Kenai part will be the determining factor on the size of boat that I can put the motor on. Are there many 50/35 motors available? Would a 50/35 be enough to power a loaded boat into descent flowing water (I'm not looking for a speed demon)? What do you think the best possible boat option is if a 50/35 is the motor the determining factor?

    I'm going to be at the boat show on Sunday picking some brains and checking out everything to offer. Any vendors or areas in particular to check out?

    Thanks for the help!!
    I've lived in Alaska for 38 yrs now, (and that isn't counting the 2 yrs I lived on Adak) I can document at least 16 boats that I have owned and operated in those 38 yrs.. Looking at your list of things you want to do with a boat, a 16 ft would work for everything except a 2 man hunt... Oh I'm not saying you can't go hunting in a 16 ft boat, because I have, and I and a Son have hauled a couple moose home in a 16ft jon boat with a 40HP jet... but it's not something you really want to do... My advice would be to start with at least an 18ft Jon and at least a 60 hp power head which would give you a 40HP jet.. and you'd still be Kenai legal... Shop the boat show, then go talk to Gary at Greatland Welding.../John

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soundfisher View Post
    This is from Snowwolfes post 2 days ago on Boat show brains thread.
    "You stated it better than I could.
    But just wait, one day after the boat show starts we will see a bunch of new members asking what boat is best for Deep Creek and the Susitna. And most will not heed the advice and buy the bigger motor that everyone tried to talk them into.
    Nick named them AVB's.......................Alaska Virgin Boaters."
    Still true. But the poster is still treated with the respect they deserve. They might end up being my new buddy and take me on the Kenai in return for hunting on my boat or a trip out of Homer
    Someone else suggested a 60/40 jet saying it would be Kenia legal. Is anyone sure of this? I was under the impressions the authorites would consider a 60/40 jet a 60 hp motor and make no allowances it was a jet? Can anyone confirm?
    Tennessee

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old John View Post
    60 hp power head which would give you a 40HP jet.. and you'd still be Kenai legal...
    I think that you will find yourself getting a hefty ticket running a 60hp with a jet on the ole Kenai.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spoiled one View Post
    I think that you will find yourself getting a hefty ticket running a 60hp with a jet on the ole Kenai.

    How about a "factory' jet... it would be a 60hp power head BUT it would have a big 40 decal on the cowling... as opposoed to a 60hp prop, later converted to jet which would still have the big 60 on the cowling...??????

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    I had an 18' jon with a merc 50 on it and loved it to death. Did all of the above and then some. I also had a prop unit so I would change out my jet when I wanted to go off deep creek for halibut and kings, though it usually would scare off a lot of my friends when the seas got over 3 feet.
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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    Member iusckeeper's Avatar
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    I was looking into the 60/40, but the HP at the head needs to be 50 or less. Unfortunately, 60/40s are not allowed in the Kenai SMU. I don't understand the reasoning behind the restriction with the jets tho.

    If I had to lean one way or the other, I would say fishing first, hunting second. Regardless, I may abandon the the SMU hopes with a trade off of opening up more opportunities elsewhere. If I lifted that restriction, what boat specs should I consider? I"m thinking the sky's the limit, but I have to be leave room for something to desire and upgrade to. And honestly, I don't know enough about other river motor restrictions to factor in to my decision (I would start off close to home of course).

    And I'll accept the AVB label... and I'll gladly shed it as fast as I can. Thanks to this forum, I can make a better and well informed decision.

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    Member iusckeeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thewhop2000 View Post
    I had an 18' jon with a merc 50 on it and loved it to death. Did all of the above and then some. I also had a prop unit so I would change out my jet when I wanted to go off deep creek for halibut and kings, though it usually would scare off a lot of my friends when the seas got over 3 feet.
    Is that 50hp with the jet or the prop? and how hard is that to switch out (something I'm not really considering, but just curious)

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    Member iusckeeper's Avatar
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    The regs address that issue specifically, check this out: http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/factsht/ke...egulations.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by iusckeeper View Post
    I was looking into the 60/40, but the HP at the head needs to be 50 or less. Unfortunately, 60/40s are not allowed in the Kenai SMU. I don't understand the reasoning behind the restriction with the jets tho.

    If I had to lean one way or the other, I would say fishing first, hunting second. Regardless, I may abandon the the SMU hopes with a trade off of opening up more opportunities elsewhere. If I lifted that restriction, what boat specs should I consider? I"m thinking the sky's the limit, but I have to be leave room for something to desire and upgrade to. And honestly, I don't know enough about other river motor restrictions to factor in to my decision (I would start off close to home of course).

    And I'll accept the AVB label... and I'll gladly shed it as fast as I can. Thanks to this forum, I can make a better and well informed decision.
    iusckeeper
    I apologize for the bad info on the 60/40 hp business... I wasn't aware that it had to be 50 or less at the powerhead.. I rarely fish the Kenai, and when I have, it's usually been in some one else's boat.. with a few exceptions during dipnet season down at the mouth where there is no restriction on motor size below the bridge... /John

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    Member iusckeeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old John View Post
    iusckeeper
    I apologize for the bad info on the 60/40 hp business... I wasn't aware that it had to be 50 or less at the powerhead.. I rarely fish the Kenai, and when I have, it's usually been in some one else's boat.. with a few exceptions during dipnet season down at the mouth where there is no restriction on motor size below the bridge... /John
    No problem, I'm not policing at all, I want all opinions and input and I know to take them with a grain of salt.

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    It takes just three bolts to be undone and you just swap them out. Takes all of ten minutes to do. My Merc was 50 at the power head so you could figure about 35 with a jet. On hunting, I would stash gas cans along the way to lessen my weight and to have it running back upriver. I could haul 4 people and still have good power. If I got two moose down, I, myself would take it back upriver and come back for my buddy later. It worked out well. The reason I finally sold it was because my wife got sick with Leukemia. I had tears in my eyes when it rolled out of my driveway. Boy!!! Did I ever love that boat.
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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    Quote Originally Posted by iusckeeper View Post
    If I had to lean one way or the other, I would say fishing first, hunting second. Regardless, I may abandon the the SMU hopes with a trade off of opening up more opportunities elsewhere. If I lifted that restriction, what boat specs should I consider? I"m thinking the sky's the limit, but I have to be leave room for something to desire and upgrade to.
    Fishing in the rivers or ocean?
    Then tell us what your spending limit is.
    If you are willing to consider a used rig you can easily save 30-45% if you find a boat you like that is only a few years old and has all the goodies that will nickle and dime you to death. Folks usually do not put more than 100 hours a year on a motor up here and the normal is closer to 50-60. Rarely do owners of outboard motors wear them out.
    Finally, forget all the hype and "Sells" you seen at the boat show. If you decide you must buy new I would bet money the dealers will still have the same prices in May. Wait till July or later and you can get them for less than what you see at the boat show.
    Tennessee

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    Quote Originally Posted by iusckeeper View Post
    No problem, I'm not policing at all, I want all opinions and input and I know to take them with a grain of salt.
    Honda makes a 50/35 jet right from the factory that would power that boat very nicely. It also would be legal with nothing to deal with as far as changing this and that out....

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by spoiled one View Post
    I think that you will find yourself getting a hefty ticket running a 60hp with a jet on the ole Kenai.
    I agree. And they are looking too. A friend of mine is assigned to patrol down there every summer and that is one of the things right at the top of their list to look for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    Still true. But the poster is still treated with the respect they deserve. They might end up being my new buddy and take me on the Kenai in return for hunting on my boat or a trip out of Homer
    Someone else suggested a 60/40 jet saying it would be Kenia legal. Is anyone sure of this? I was under the impressions the authorites would consider a 60/40 jet a 60 hp motor and make no allowances it was a jet? Can anyone confirm?
    No doubt Snowwolfe. I know that you mean no disresect, and neither do I. I just had to chuckle when I saw this pop up.

    iusckeeper, welcome to the boating forums. Im sure that you will get a lot of great advice on here, and good luck finding your new boat.

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