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Whittier Tunnel, Launch, & Parking Fees for 2009

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  • Whittier Tunnel, Launch, & Parking Fees for 2009

    OK I just spent the better part of an hour looking through the threads to find the fees invloved in Whittier and Seward to decide where I am going to want to go with my little Sea Runner. I want to get out soon to "run up" the boat to check out the motor and all close to the harbor for a couple hours before I take a trip out further. I usually wait for a lake to open and go there but I just got laid off and am going to have some time on my hands for the next month or so and want to get out. Is it basically a "wash" for costs and the only difference will be the travel time to Seward vs Whittier?

  • #2
    Anyone recall the thread?

    There was thread a while back where a few guys ran the numbers for a typical trip... They compared Whittier, Seward and Homer. If I recall they listed drive time, miles, launch, parking, tunnel, distance to fishing grounds, mpg, local fuel costs and chances of success....

    To say the least it was a good thread... I can't seem to find it.

    My only thought is that with a small boat you might be better off going to relative protected waters of Whittier - regardless of cost.

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    • #3
      Cost's

      It cost's us half as much to go to Seward but takes twice as long to get there from Wasilla. This is factoring driving fuel, boat fuel, launch and parking fees etc. However we spend most of the earlier season out of Whittier for the shrimping, crusing opportunities etc. When we get serious about fish, Seward's the spot.
      Seward is the hand's down favorite as far as services too.
      Mike

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      • #4
        How soon does Whittier's launch become ice free (historic). I see that now some of the guys are using 2 trucks to be safe. Is there going to be parking available by the first week of April? That's probably when I will get out the first time.

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        • #5
          Last season

          Last season Whittier cost me; tunnel-$20, launch-$20, parking-$10/day (3 day $27). I usually go for three day weekends and either sleep on the boat or camp. I figure it costs $67 just to get wet. Then fuel, food etc, but no hotel or camping fee. For me a 3 day weekend in Seward costs; launch-$10/day, parking $10/day, so a three day weekend is $60 just to get wet, plus fuel, food etc. Last season I got hotel rooms for my trips to Seward, which ran the price for those trips up (nice to have a hot shower everyday though). Two seasons ago I budgeted $300 a trip (three days), excluding hotel. Last year, with the price of fuel, it was up to almost $500. My list of expenses was; boat fuel 50g, truck fuel 20g (diesel, to Whittier), launch/park, food/drink/bait etc.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Alasgun View Post
            It cost's us half as much to go to Seward but takes twice as long to get there from Wasilla. This is factoring driving fuel, boat fuel, launch and parking fees etc. However we spend most of the earlier season out of Whittier for the shrimping, crusing opportunities etc. When we get serious about fish, Seward's the spot.
            Seward is the hand's down favorite as far as services too.
            Mike
            I agree. Whittier is great early. Well, it is always great, but Seward really gets attractive after July 1st when Ling Cods are open, there still is a number of kings milling around, the silver are starting to get thick, and the halibut action is hot. For a camping trip, both are pretty darn good. Just around one corner from Seward is Day Harbor which is fabulous, and the other direction is Aialik Bay which is really cool too. If you leave fishing out of it, PWS is my first choice. If you include fishing, it is a tie. How convenient.....

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            • #7
              Alaskan Fly Guy,

              If I read your OP correctly, you're just looking for a place to do a little shake down cruise and check out your boat. I'd just go to Whittier and save yourself the time driving to Seward. The cost difference isn't enough to worry about as I don't think your planning on a multi day fishing trip for this time of the year. As far as launching at Whittier, the photos you saw of guys tag teaming trucks together to launch were for larger boats. The lower part of the ramp is ice free. For the upper part just bring a bag of sand and/or chains and you should be fine. You can always ask here on the forum for anyone having the latest pic's of the new ramp as people have been posting them in anticipation of the coming season. As far as parking, 2 weeks ago when I was down there the boat trailer parking lot was still covered by 3+ feet of snow. But I would guess that no one will be parking anything in the paved parking areas along the harbor until April 15 when the shrimping season opens. You would have to check (or maybe someone here already knows) but I don't think anyone down there would have much heartburn with you parking your truck/trailer there for a while - there wasn't a single vehicle parked there when I drove through.

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              • #8
                East Ramp Open, Where to Park

                The east ramp in Whittier is open. You can park in the Harbor Area until the private lot has snow removed. The cost for parking is $10 from 12am to 12am. Just remember to bring traction devices if you come between October and April. Season Launch pass is $120 if you get it before April 1st. From April 1st to October 1st there is a 5cent tax on the dollar making the cost $126. You can purchase your launch pass by phoning with a visa or mastercard and they will mail it to you. Do not forget to get your parking permit or you will get a parking ticket. The harbor office is open between 8am and 5pm, 7days a week. Remember there are no tows available in Whittier til appoximately mid April. You are on your own out on the water and the coast guard is several hours away. October to April a survival suit should be a requirement if you want to stay alive when the weather turns bad or your boat breaks down or runs out of gas.
                Last edited by tjb; 03-16-2009, 09:42. Reason: spelling

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                • #9
                  Another vote for, it's a wash. Actually I think Whittier ends up being more expensive because I seem to run the boat further out to get into the fish, but I'd rather drive the boat than pull it on a trailer. Also having to wait for the tunnel, and the additional time it takes to launch and park in Whittier make the time in the water pretty much a wash. I like running out of whittier because there are lots of places to hole up when the weather gets nasty.

                  I would not want to run out past the mouth of Ressurection bay in a small boat and have the tides and swells mount up to keep me from re-entering the bay.
                  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.

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                  • #10
                    Here it is...

                    Originally posted by WinMag View Post
                    There was thread a while back where a few guys ran the numbers for a typical trip... They compared Whittier, Seward and Homer. If I recall they listed drive time, miles, launch, parking, tunnel, distance to fishing grounds, mpg, local fuel costs and chances of success....

                    To say the least it was a good thread... I can't seem to find it.

                    Here's the thread you are referencing...

                    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=42453

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                    • #11
                      Yep

                      Originally posted by Paul H View Post
                      Another vote for, it's a wash. Actually I think Whittier ends up being more expensive because I seem to run the boat further out to get into the fish, but I'd rather drive the boat than pull it on a trailer. Also having to wait for the tunnel, and the additional time it takes to launch and park in Whittier make the time in the water pretty much a wash. I like running out of whittier because there are lots of places to hole up when the weather gets nasty.

                      I would not want to run out past the mouth of Resurrection bay in a small boat and have the tides and swells mount up to keep me from re-entering the bay.
                      I couldn't have summed it up better. However, with Seward we're pretty much assured to get fish in a short amount of time where as out of Whittier you really have to work for them (read - lots of hours fishing). I hear there are folks that get skunked at both places though.

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