New Bee Seeks Advice
I'm a newbee looking for advice on his first boat. Planning on buying used, but don't know enough to make an educated decision on IB vs. OB, jet vs. prop.
We think we want something in the 19' to 22' range, as there is four of us - me, the wife, and 2 kids. Mainly want to do the lakes in the interior (Birch & Quartz) and 1 or 2 trips to Valdez, primarily for silvers in Sept and halibut in June/July. Only as far out as Bligh Island at first for halibut and in the port for silvers. Not interested in running the rivers or hunting. Had in mind a Harborcraft/Weldcraft or something similar, outboard. Brand isn't important, weight is a consideration as we want to tow behind a class C with a 5,000# limit.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
My two cents
I think in the size you are looking for you will probably be limited in the number of Inboards you can find. OB is probably what you will have to get for that size of craft - which will work fine for you.
The only reason to get a jet is to run shallow water and if you don't want to run rivers I think you will want an outboard. Jets have about 30% less power than a prop, you will want the power when you are running out of Valdez.
If you are going to go in the ocean at all, get a hull that can handle salt water (aka don't get a flat bottom).
and have fun out there....
Thanks for the info. Flat bottomed jets are a dime a dozen up here, but wanting to take it out into PWS kind of took them out of consideration. I guess I just needed to hear somebody else say that.
Just another echo about keeping flat bottom boats on the rivers.
The basic thing to remember is if you run a semi v on a river, you run the risk of getting stuck in shallow water and chewing up the lower unit on gravel. When you run a flatbottom boat in the salt, you run the risk of being swamped or capsized. Hence if you're going to choose a do it all boat, go for one geared towards the salt as it'll be safer overall.
First you need to figure out your budget, then figure out if you only plan day trips, or if overnight or longer trips are planned.
While you can get into say a 20' open skiff with a 50 horse o/b fairly economically, you might find that the wife and kids get quickly chilled in an open boat. Remember if mamma ain't happy, nobody is happy. Hence a cuddy cabin and better yet pilothouse for the wife and kids to get out of the weather is highly, highly recomended. Even on a perfectly calm sunny day, the temp on the water is pretty much water temp, add in wind chill on an open boat and you realize how fast folks can get cold. Then add in a cloudy day with drizzle and spray and an open boat can be really miserable.
Last thought, if your towing rig is rated at 5000#, I'd advise sticking to a max load of 4000#. You have to contend with rough roads and mountain passes, so you need to have the engine, brakes and frame to contend with such use. Therefore I'd look for a boat/engine in the 2000# range, once you add fuel and gear you're up around 3000#, and then the trailer is another 800#.
I would watch the Anchorage classifieds for a late model 19-22 foot Hewescraft. If you can swing the extra change try to find one with a hard top.
There are usually a ton of boats for sale in this size during the summer months as owners either move out or are upgrading. They are also usually well equipped with a lot of the small items that nickle and dime a person.
Thanks for the advise, that's exactly what I was looking for. The few times I've been down to Valdez, I've seen some really questionable rigs out on the water. Stuff that would run chills down your spine. Right now we're just looking at day trips on the water, overnighting in the RV. Keeping momma out of the elements is definitely a top priority.
I've been checking craigslist and have seen a nice looking 22' Searunner and a 22' Ocean King, both hardtops. The Ocean King is probably too heavy, as its about 3100 lbs dry. I've got a Dodge 2500 that'll pull her, but who wants to take two vehicles to Valdez. The Searunner is much lighter at about 1725 lbs according to their website. My only concern with the Hewescraft is that it only carries 35 gals. of gas. I know that's more than enough for out on the lakes (at least I think it is) but I'd be concerned that that's not enough for a day out on PWS. What do you think?
Is a 22'er too much boat for a lake like Quartz?
Some of the other Weldcraft models are available with a semi-HT option and carry a more gas. The 20' Maverick weighs in at 1850 and can carry 62 gallons. That's about 2200 lbs. What's the average weight of a motor? 400-600 lbs? If I figure on the high side, that's 2800, plus another 800 for a trailer, so now we're at 3600. I don't know what the semi-HT weighs, but I'd guess 200 lbs? If that's a good guess, that ups the total to 3800. Doesn't leave much leftover for gear, but still doable.
Found a nice 20' used semi-HT Weldcraft, but its down in WA. Not that I'd be hesitant to drive down to get it, just it adds to the expense. A full canvas top woiuld be ok, I guess. Not as comfy as the HT, but much better than nothing.
Thanks again for your inputs.
Sounds like you've got it figured out pretty good. A nominal 115 horse engine runs 400#'s and change, the kicker adds another 100#'s. Fuel is 6#'s/gallon. Anchor, rode, safety stuff etc add's 100's of pounds pretty quickly.
For the 4 strokes at cruising rpm, fuel consumption is roughly 1 gph/20 hp, so a 115 would be burning a bit over 5gph. Figuring the rule of 1/3's a 35 gallon tank would be good for 11 gallons out, 11 gallons back, and 11 gallons in reserve. That's definately a bit limiting for a day trip, 45-50 gallons is about perfect for day trips. It's fairly easy to add an 18-25 gallon saddle tank to boost your range.
I'm not familiar with quartz lake, but figure any lake large enough for power boats won't be too small for a 22' boat. I definately plan to take the 23' boat pictured in my avatar out on lakes.
Thanks. Good info on the fuel consumption.