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Boat Buying Advice Needed

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  • Boat Buying Advice Needed

    Matsu resident new to Alaska would like some boat buying advice. I have a family of 5 including myself. Our primary use would be family lake excursions for fishing and maybe some ski time. River fishing and hunting trips also a priority. Big enough for my family plus 2 guests. Occasional trip down to the Kenai but most of our outings would be matsu local. Tiller or console? Flat bottom or V ? Horsepower for motor and prop or jet? Etec or four stroke? Please give me your ideal setup including options on makes and models you recommend. We are safety conscious and have signed up for boater safety. Thank you

  • #2
    A couple questions back at you, how much are you willing to spend?

    Is the kenai capable really a necessity? The reason I ask is a boat that has a 50 hp (detuned to 35 for the Kenai) really IMHO isn't a big enough boat for a family of 5 with 2 passengers, and certainly not enough hp for skiing.

    For shallow water you simply can't beat a jet, though you do loose about 30% of the power, so you need a bigger engine. I'm partial to the 4 strokes, as the e-techs haven't been out that long, though Tohatsu's direct inject tldi o/b's have a good record, and I know a few folks that really like the 90 horse.

    I'd personally go with a semi v over a flat bottom, you may give up a tad of shallowest water performance, but you'll cut through chop better, and may find it easier to get it unstuck on gravel bars.

    I'm thinking by nixing the Kenai capable clause, you'd be looking at a nominal 22' semi-v boat with about 150 horse and a jet pump. You could also have a prop lower end and use it in the salt water.
    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
      Re: Advise Needed

      Thanks for the response Paul.

      I am willing to spend whatever it takes to put together a boat that meets my needs.

      Kenai capability is not really a necessity. Thanks for the Q on the HP limit on that river. Newbe to Ak.
      Room for 7. Family fishing, skiing, touring, and hunting are the priorities. I was looking at the Lund Alaskan or Alumacraft Yukon as possible candidates. Your expertise is appreciated. Please go ahead and now build that perfect boat for me. Makes models and neccessary options. Thanks


      • #4
        If you do not get at least a 24 footer you will be very disappointed within the first year. Lots of boats to pick from.
        Another issue is do you have the truck that can haul something that big?


        • #5
          My boat is a 19' Thunderjet, 175hp inboard jet. Relatively light and more fishing room compared to similar boats with inboards due to having the SportJet. I have had 7 people, 3 of which were children and the boat runs flawless. As for doing anything at all but going for a boat ride there simply isn't enough room. I would say 4 is ideal, 5 is a boatfull in my boat. I would have to agree with the above comment that 22' minimum is in your best interest. When I purchased my boat in 03' my plan was to use it in the rivers mostly. I since have fallen in love with the salt and wish I had gone bigger. Now I am not sure when that day will come. Having some kind of top, soft or hard is your option but is very valuable if you want a comfortable ride. On that note if you plan on fishing 7 people your only option is an open boat in which you would always be exposed to the elements. There are many configurations of boats to choose from but with wanting to take 7 people you pretty much ruled out using on the Kenia. There are boats that the guides use that will handle that but you wouldn't be happy with that type of boat anywhere else IMHO.


          • #6
            How much do you want to spend?

            I'm kinda cheap..well broke too. So that limits the amount of spending I can play with for a boat. I went for an 18 foot Klamath with the 40 (detuned to 35). Not as big as some people want, but for what your talking about I think it fits the criteria. I'm a lake and bay kinda guy also, but want something that could handle a little better than a flat bottom if the wind kicks up. Also have a second motor for safety reasons. I have a famliy of four plus pets of course. We get around great. I wish I had purchased a canvas top for mine, but its something to look forward to. I think its just what the doctor ordered for us. Its rated for up to 8 adults and or 1200 pounds with 70 hp limit.


            • #7
              Always get the biggest your wallet can handle. I have 20' inboard jet. My first boat. A 22' would have been nice. I can fish 4 adults out of it in Seward. I have had 8 people in my boat running the 20 mile, Su,and Talkeetna. 8 was just for transportation to fishing holes. I have 350cu, 315hp, so motor is no problem, full canvas is the way to go, 3/4 framed top is nice. For me heat was a must have, and the family will love ya for it. There isnt nothing worse than fishing in the rain all day and a 45min-1hr open ride to camp at 25mph and 50 degrees out and rain beating you in the face.
              2005 20' Weldcraft Sabre XL 350 MP
              SD309 AT
              2009 Polaris Dragon 800 163
              Custom Mod's


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