Kachemak Bay Boat



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  • Kachemak Bay Boat

    A similar question was asked in 2007 but it’s been awhile and I wanted to resurrect the topic with new options out there. What would be your prudent minimum for size and cost (initial and operating) for a dedicated Kachemak Bay boat? The boat would be used to fish, explore, and as transportation across the bay for typically 2 adults and one child, 4 adults and one child max (very rarely). If it only “fishes” 3 max that’s okay. We’d probably live close to the bay so the urge to “push” to get out would not be there…we could pick our days. I think I would like aluminum and a used boat for cost. I have a lot of skiff inland experience…think Lund…but little experience at the helm in the salt. Safety is the most important followed by cost and comfort. I think to get my wife outthere a lot some kind of covering even canvas would help keep her comfortable. Can you use a heater with a canvas top? Thanks!

  • #2
    I think for that use a 20' skiff with a 50 horse would be a prudent minimum. Adding a covering to the helm easily doubles the season you can comfortably operate a boat. I've seen my wife get cold in an open skiff on a sunny 70 deg day, and on the flip side be in the cabin of our boat in a snotty blowing 50 deg day and quite comfortable. I'd consider one of the propane powered little buddies. The one I picked up seems to be just the right size to take the chill off, but honestly I've only used on a cold morning or in the evening to take the chill off. A thermos of coffee or hot coco works wonders under most conditions.

    Safety is a tricky term as there are guys that can get in trouble in a 30' ocean boat that could be safely handled by an expert in a 16' skiff. Safety is knowing the limitations of your craft and living within those limitations.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.


    • #3
      Minimum 20', minimum 50hp but I'd personally like to see 115hp on it with the load your describing. If you're not familiar wiht Kachemak Bay then you should get more familiar. I would not pick my boat based on the assumption that you will "pick and choose" your days. Kachemak Bay almost always kicks up to 3 ft day breeze waves every day and the tide rip in that area combined with day breeze can really confuse the seas and make it nasty. It would be more accurate to say that you will pick and choose your times, like go out early come back late.

      If you settle in around 20ft ocean type aluminum skiff with a canvas you'll get a lot of use out of it.

      Not sure what your budget is but pm me as I will be selling my 2013 20ft Hewescraft Sportsman w/ Canvas and yamaha 115 (80 hours) starting Aug 11.


      • #4
        Originally posted by 1S1K View Post
        ...kicks up to 3 ft day breeze waves every day and the tide rip in that area combined with day breeze can really confuse the seas and make it nasty.
        I have limited time on K Bay, but that's my strongest impression of the place. Got caught crossing it in kayaks once, and it was a wee bit "exciting" there for a while.

        I'm running a 20' Hewescraft Open Fisherman over here, and multiple experiences in similar conditions have given me these insights. If I was to "re-boat" it would probably be 20' again with an extended transom rather than a splashwell for following seas. The 29" sides are fine, but I wouldn't want to go any less. My dream boat would probably have 32" sides. The boat is a tiny bit narrow for the length with a bottom 66" wide and 86" beam. It has 31 degree deadrise forward and 10 degrees aft, making it a bit bouncy in steep chop. If I had the buxx I'd go back to Hewescraft and have them custom build me an open (center console) skiff based on the 10' Sea Runner hull. Its specs are: extended transom, 72" bottom and 96" beam, with 35 degrees of deadrise forward and 14 degrees aft to ease up on the bounce in K Bay chop. I'd be happy with either a 90 or a 115 on it for power. Just a whole lot more boat the same length, but a lot more capable when things nasty up on you.

        Lotta numbers, you can't be expected to remember. But they'll be useful for comparisons against anything else you might think about buying. Go to this page and click around between the various models to get a look at the specs. A weird trait of that site is that you shouldn't click on the "Details" link beneath each pic. Instead click on the pic. Or at least that's the way it works on my computer.

        Have fun with your search. Shopping around and dreaming is easy with the click of a mouse. But before I bought any boat, I'd sure want to take it out for a ride. In K Bay. In that afternoon chop. Before you make up your mind and open your checkbook. The differences in performance between various models is really startling.
        "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
        Merle Haggard


        • #5
          You could get a 22' ocean pro with a 150 horse on it. It's a proven kbay boat. I know of one for sale.
          Responsible Conservation > Political Allocation


          • #6
            Go sit at the Homer harbor and watch what's coming in and going out.....watch the water, wind speed and direction.....also watch to see if they caught anything and if their ladies are smiling ....if you see a boat you like, talk to the owner (you will have all the info you need long before the guy shuts up about his boat, lol)
            "– Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg


            • #7
              Thanks for the offers 1S1K and hoose35, I don't think I am ready to pull the trigger on anything yet...I'm still in information gathering mode but I really appreciate the feedback. Thanks everyone for their feedback this is all great information, this is a great site.


              • #8
                Originally posted by akbound4 View Post
                Thanks for the offers 1S1K and hoose35, I don't think I am ready to pull the trigger on anything yet...I'm still in information gathering mode but I really appreciate the feedback. Thanks everyone for their feedback this is all great information, this is a great site.
                I know of a Trophy 2359 for sale.


                • #9
                  Tolman's seem to be a good affordable option. There's actually a few on Craigslist right now. Those boats were designed by Renn Tolman. He actually passed away last week, but he was from Homer and designed boats for use in our waters.

                  There are a bunch of them in the Homer harbor. I have several friends that have either built their own, bought one from a builder, or got a used one. They are very nice boats for use in Kachemak Bay area.

                  I just sold a 17ft Alumaweld that I used around KBay for the last 3 years. It got me on the water, but definitely had to watch the weather closely. I rarely took it outside the bay. It had a canvas top and we used a buddy heater occasionally in the fall...

                  All that said, I agree with the others that a 20ft boat would be a nice choice. I also like aluminum because you can beach it and also get into some shallower areas without being too worried about bumping into rocks. China Poot, Tutka Lagoon, Halibut cove lagoon, etc.

                  Have you checked out Bayweld Boats? If I had the money, I'd buy one of their boats for sure!!


                  • #10
                    My dad has a 20' Lund Alaskan that work really well for Kbay. He has the canvas that allows him to completly close the back up if he wants to .
                    He had Nomar in Homer make him a snap on/off bow cover to shed water.
                    His is a bit underpowered with just a 50HP on it a 90 would really be nice for that model boat.
                    We have been caught in 5' seas and with a good operator it wasn't a problem.
                    Been all over the bay with that boat Tutka,Halibut cove, and the Halibut cove lagoon, Seldovia,etc.
                    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

                    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"


                    • #11
                      This probably is a little less than akbound4 is looking for but I thought it worthy of mention...http://www.alaskaboat.com/boat.php?bid=sk078 I'm sure it could be configured with some sort of canvas, bimini or T top. His design was featured in "Wooden Boats" once a year "Small Boats" publication. He's from Homer and his craft designed for K. Bay. Hope the link works. As far as heaters under a canvas top...sure...those Mr. Heater units are pretty impressive and safe for little money. The one I have in my Harvey dory cuddy can run me out in about 10 minutes flat.


                      • #12
                        As mentioned the Tolman Skiff is a pretty good Kbay boat. You get to choose size and comfort factor. A 20' standard or 22' Widebody would do a great job. There are occassionally ones for sell.

                        I have tried 3 Mr Heater Buddy stoves on my boat which has a unisulated wood cabin. I already owned the Big Buddy and I never used more than the low setting. It was pretty bulky and took quite a bit of storage. I bought the Portable Buddy specifically for the boat and still only used the low setting. I thne ran across the Little Buddy and really like it. It heats the cabin up in ~10 minutes and I usually only run it 15 minutes at a time. One canister of fuel will last a weekend. It takes very little storage space. I also use a single burner stove that also screws onto a 1lb bottle to heat water for coffee or prepare an easy meal. It works well for me without taking up much space. If it is relatively rough it may go out when moving as it has a tip over safety switch. I haven't had issues when at anchor or on the drift. You need to crack a window to help with condensation. Ken


                        • #13
                          I wouldn't be too tore up if one night my Harvey morphed into a Tolman. A 22' Harvey..if you can find a hull in decent shape..could be an option as they have a slight V hull forward of the helm that improves the ride over the 20' flat bottom. Both have a lot of side flair to the hull and are pretty dry boats. I built a berth in mine this spring so now it is comfortable on overnight trips and my stove, heater and toilet nest underneath and can't tip over. I made a removable ledge (I've never removed it as it doesn't get in the way like I thought it would) for my stove so it gets plenty of oxygen. When the door is cracked, the heater stays "ahead" of the ventilation and solves the condensation problem. I put in a lot of work fixing mine up but I have a lot more time than money. Sweat equity pays slow...but it does pay. Cdubbin gave good advice as to watching what comes and goes from the harbor.


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