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New to boating.. few questions on which boat to get

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  • New to boating.. few questions on which boat to get

    I'm new to AK and new to boating as well.. I've used a bass boat, or jon boat here and there but that's about it.. Anyways, I am looking at getting a boat for hunting transportation, possibly drift hunting, possibly duck hunting, and small fishing trips with the wife.

    My Budget --- looking for something preferably $2000-$3000, but can spend a little more if I see something I like.. Provided the wife buys off on it

    I have mainly been looking at alum. jon boats.. I just wanted to get a few peoples opinions on alum. jon boats VS skiff boats.. :question: What is the difference? Is there something particular I should be looking for in a boat primarily used for river transportation?

    Also, on size, say I were hunting with one other guy and we killed a moose, what size boat would I need to have in order to transport it back to the truck? Would a 14' work or should I be looking into 20' boats?

    Thanks for all the help!!!
    God is my strong fortress...
    He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
    He trains my hands for battle; he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.
    2 Samuel 22:33

  • #2
    Aluminum jon boats are popular for river travel, they're tough and work well in shallow water. As far as jon boats vs. skiffs, in general jon boats are used on rivers, and skiffs are used in the ocean, as the v-bottom and higher gunnels or designed to handle the swells of the ocean.

    You might have a tough time finding a boat suitable to transport a moose in your budget.
    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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    • #3
      It's been said by many before... One boat ain't gonna do it...!!! But it'll get you started... In my (39 yrs) experience You Can haul one other guy and all your gear and a medium sized moose in a 16 ft Jon boat with at least a 40HP outboard.. as long as it's a prop and not a Jet.. but until you learn to read the waters and become proficiently familiar with the local rivers, you're going to spend some money on extra props... So, logically one would sensibly got to an outboard with a Jet unit... Again 40HP would be the minimum and to have 40HP at the jet you'll need 60HP at the power head... My advice (free advice is usually worthy what it costs) would be to look on craigslist or Alaskaslist.com for a used 16 ft with a 60/40 HP outboard jet with a trailer. and you might find something like that for $3500-$4500 However, That would be what I would consider as minimum choice for what you want... an 18ft with a minimum of a 80/50 Jet unit (on trailer) would be better choice.. You might find something in the 18ft range for $4000-$6000.. Other things to consider would be an all welded hull as opposed to a riveted hull... Those riveted hulls leak too much IMHO... Plus the welded hulls are a little thicker aluminum and take a lot more punishment... I'd suggest you do some research on the Boating as well as the Hunting Forums here... you'll soon learn there are 2 questions about Alaska that are impossible to get a straight answer on... 1) what's the best caliber rifle for Alaska and 2) what's the best boat for Alaska... and the answer is...... it all depends... /John

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      • #4
        Haha, yes I am pretty well versed in the caliber conversation.. I have held that convo with many of my friends looking at buying new rifles. Thanks for the help John.. Looks like I might try for that 18' boat then..

        And thanks Paul, for the jon vs skiff boat info, seems as though I can stick to the jon boats for now
        God is my strong fortress...
        He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
        He trains my hands for battle; he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.
        2 Samuel 22:33

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