I'm thinking about shaking down my boat on a lake before hitting the salt, and Kenai seems about the right size. I'm curious what the launches are like on the lake and any suggestions of which to use or avoid.
I've launched my old 27ft Seasport in to Kenai Lake at the Quartz Creek campground launch. It's a good solid launch. Take you're boat out to the middle of the lake and you'll have plenty of depth. While you're there you might as well glass for black bears too! Good luck.
The closest place (if you are in Anchorage) is the Anchorage Small Boat Harbor near the mouth Ship Creek. Okay, it is salt water, but it's really only semi-salty. And did I mention that it's close?
Don't know if the Muni has the floating dock installed yet this year, but you can launch without it. Just pick something close to high tide (3 hours either side of it). Even with the Inlet in full boil, it's generally calm around the Anchorage coastline. Besides, it's agreat view that few see much of. McKenzie Point can get rough when the tide is in full motion so you might want to stay on this side if it's kicking up.
I could be all wet but from what I remember from a couple years ago at this time of year Kenia Lake was very low in comparison to later in the summer. That being said the launch at Quartz Creek was much longer than normal and covered in pea gravel. The water depth was also much shallower and you may have a difficult time getting on and off the trailer with a larger boat not to mention how much water you actually needed to float it.
Floats weren't out last week, but it is a nice place to get the boat tuned and tested. Leave about three hours before high tide, this will give you about six hours of testing/tuning and beer drinking before you have to bring it back in. Don't miss your pullout time or you'll be hanging out there for another 8 or so hours. Also, if you have motor problems, someone is usually on 16 and listening. It's also the best place in anchorage for a picnic!!
You don’t want to put in at the bridge. That launch is sufficient for rafts , but not for a boat. I was also told the concrete at that launch has a steep drop off at the end. You also have to deal with the current when trailering.
The Quartz Creek launch will work fine. After launching, when running toward Seward, you want to give the mouth of Quartz Creek a wide berth, its shallow there.
There is a slight current in the lake, be on the look out for dead heads and whatnot.
Also use caution in the area between the north side of Porcupine Island and the campground. You can navigate it alright, but there is a rock that you need to be aware of. At the start of last summer, someone had marked the rock with a buoy, but a couple weeks later the marker was gone…
How about resurrecting this thread? Anyone have some more recent intel on Quartz Creek? I'd like to take a spin around the lake and wondering if launching a 26' boat is doable. Sounds like from this 16 year old post it is.
I've used the Quartz Creek CG launch for my nominal 23' Wooly several times...I'm probably close to 30' from tip of bow-mounted river anchor to the end of the swim step over the jet. The launch was fine the last time (June-ish last year) but if the lake is down, one needs to (IMO) investigate how far into the water your trailer will need to go, the surface off the ramp, etc. Assuming your craft is not huge in draft, even if the lake is down, the issue is maneuvering the trailer, not the boat.
FWIW, if you have the schedule room, I much prefer Big Lake for boat launching for shakedown cruise, etc. Have seen several 25'+ cabin cruisers, riverboats, and the ubiquitous go-fasts launched there. But go mid-week...or after labor day.
....also FWIW, between now and mid-ish July, in addition to the shallow spots mentioned previously, most of the creeks of any size are spitting out lots of debris that can get sucked past the stomp grate if you're running a jet....how do I know this?