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Boats for Alaska

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  • Boats for Alaska

    Hello, I currently live in Oregon and have a 16' 2001 Smoker Craft Osprey with a 50-horse Mercury 2-stroke outboard. We are moving to Anchorage around the middle of June 2006. Should I sell it now or is there plenty of water for this type of boat in Alaska?

    Email for picture.

    "If you're too open-minded, your brains will fall out. ....."Tight Lines & Best Fishes"

  • #2
    alaska boat

    I think a lot of people have more expertise than I in the boat area, but here are my thoughts.

    Your boat will work in the big rivers like the Yukon and the Tanana and even the Susitna, marginally.

    The thing is, there are a lot of rivers up here where you will want a jet. If you are in the interior, you can get by with it. It would be fine on the Kenai but there is a 35HP limit there.

    There are a lot of lakes, it will work in any lake.

    It's too small for the ocean in my opinion.
    Wasilla Real Estate News


    • #3

      Not to small for the ocean actually though I would stick close to the shoreline! 2 friends and I are actually going out on the 20th into PWS to look for black bears and we will be in an 18 footer with a 40 hp motor. We went out twice last year in that same boat, it would be nice to have something bigger but it worked and not once did i feel unsafe. If you think you can handle Alaska waters with it then i say bring it, if you feel a little undergunned, then maybe something in the 18-20 foot range would be better. Everyone has their own favorite things to do out on the ocean and some require bigger boats and some don't, it's all a matter personal preference.


      • #4
        Boats for Alaska

        Thank you all for your reply! I have taken this same boat out on the Columbia River for both salmon and sturgeon and have never had a problem. Also, I occasionally take it out of Winchester Bay, one of Oregon's most dangerous bars but only if it is flat and fairly calm. I would prefer an 18' to 20' boat so maybe I will trade up soon. Are there any good fishing waters that I would be able to reach with my boat out of Homer for Salmon/Halibut?

        Thanks again!

        "If you're too open-minded, your brains will fall out. ....."Tight Lines & Best Fishes"


        • #5

          If you are going to use it in the ocean, I'd sell it. If there is a tide change or winds kicks up, it can and does get ugly real quick. Was out 2 weeks ago and the water temp was 40 deg. Not something to be swimming in. I have a 24' and at times think it is to small. The market for a 16' is probably better in Oregon than here anyway.


          • #6
            I concur...

            My 24' sometimes ends up feeling small as well. If you want to enjoy the ocean, including fishing out of Seward, I'd sell and buy larger here. Not to say that it can't be done, though...


            • #7
              rethink saltwater

              I've been checking the marine forecast for the Sound for the past week and have chose to wait for better sea conditions due to Gale Warnings and Small Craft Advisories posted daily. I have a 24 ft ocean going vessel and it's too small for such conditions IMHO. It's easy to get lured out into the tranquil calm conditions in too small of a boat and then have things change quickly. We read about over loaded low freeboard boats going down every summer with tragic consequences.


              • #8
                The ocean conditions do change fast so I would also recommend to stay close to cover in a 16 footer. I've never been to Alaska so can't comment on inland waterways, but it's never a bad thing to have 2 boats. I'd keep it for the smaller waters and try to work my way into a second boat for the big water.


                • #9
                  If you choose to bring your 16', plenty of LARGE lakes that can be explored
                  all over the state. Some make a 16' seem small. I personally have been
                  chased off the salt water many times in the 16' I had, or didn't bother even
                  to launch. Water can get ugly VERY fast. Now have 24' and it seems real
                  small too often. Plenty of boats up here for sale, no problem there.
                  Look forward to seeing you on the water!

                  Dying to fish, no fish worth dying for.....


                  • #10
                    If you want a river boat get one with a jet, if you want to fish the kenai get a 16-18 foot boat with a 35 or 40 detuned. If you want to hit the ocean then buy as large a boat as your wallet can afford.
                    Unfortunately most people who buy a "compromise" boat end up not liking it for anything they do in it. Prioritize what fishing you and the family love to do and get a boat specific for that. Find a friend who has the other boat and share trips.


                    • #11
                      Woodridge Alaskan

                      I have a 1994 20" Woodridge Alaskan with a 150HP Jet with Power Lift......super boat that I use here in Alaska.......visit their website


                      • #12
                        Snowwolfe hit it on the head. I've ran jet boats up here for 18 years in A LOT of rivers. But when it comes time to fish the salt, I'll go with friends who have a better suited boat just for that situation or I'll pay for a charter. Could my boat go out in the salt, probably, but I won't do it and it's not worth it to me to possibly become another statistic because of stupidity (in my opinion). The weather and water can and do change fast up here and if your in something that is marginal at best, oh man! I've been on a few trips out in the salt where we WERE in an appropriate boat and the weather all of the sudden got a mind of its own and it got scary, plain and simple. Just be prepared mentally and have the right equipment, for the most part, you should do alright. There is NO do-it-all boat for up here. A guy needs several! (GRIN) Best of luck


                        • #13
                          Alaska Boats...

                          Again, I thank all of you! Looks like I will keep the 16-footer and see how it goes. I may sell it and biggie size it later if need be. What do the lakes hold as far as types of fish?


                          "If you're too open-minded, your brains will fall out. ....."Tight Lines & Best Fishes"


                          • #14
                            The lakes have everything from huge Pike and Lake Trout to burbot, rainbows, grayling, dolly varden, to land locked salmon (stocked).

                            Usually can't fish for salmon in the lakes as if they make it that far they are spawing there.

                            Different lakes have different fish and you can research before you go.

                            I forgot whitefish...and probably some more that I can't think of right now.
                            Wasilla Real Estate News


                            • #15
                              I'd say bring the boat up if it isn't going to cost you too much to ship it. It'll be better than having no boat up here, though as others have mentioned, it will fall short in a few areas.

                              With a 35 horse de-tune, you can run it on the kenai, but bring an extra prop. There is fire lake that allows up to 50 horse, but is small enough that I just canoe it. Has decent rainbow and pike, and is close enough to hit in the evenings, but there are time restrictions on when you can run an engine (homes on the lake) A bit further from town there are several lakes between anchorage and seward, and on down towards Kenai. Beware that the wind can kick up a serious chop very quickly, so keep this in mind and be prepared to have to beach the boat and have gear to stay the night.

                              As that others have said, a 16 foot really is too small for the saltwater. Perhaps a better way to state it is, if you were getting a boat for the salt, you'd be advised to start at 20'. A 16 footer is enough for perfect conditions, but our season is so short, and you invest enough time and gas money driving down to Whittier or Seward that you might be tempted to take the boat out in less than perfect conditions.

                              So long as you understand the limitations of the boat, and use it accordingly, you'll find it sure beats not having a boat. That said, you might want to upgrade to something different in the future.
                              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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