What boat/motor combos do I really need to look at?

swmn

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I live in Fairbanks. I got four kids going to UAf, so budget is an issue too. I want a boat/motor combo that can come out of Salchaket slough, go up the Tanana a mile or so to the Chena and carry me, my wife, our camping gear and a field dressed spike/fork doing it.

My "dream boat" needs to run at least 15mph per GPS loaded with all that, draw as little water as possible, and it has to come in way under $10,000. Certainly a $30k jetboat would meet my needs, but it isn't in the budget.

I have a 17' Grumman square stern and a pretty healthy 7.5 Mercury outboard. s/n on the Mercury puts it around 1980 vintage, but it is tight enough that it runs noticeably better on Mercury 2 cycle oil, and noticeably worse on generic 2 cycle oil from Fred Meyer's. Flat out on the lower Chena, up and down averaged it can do 11mph per GPS. Upstream in the Tanana by the big bluff at the mouth of the Goodpasture near Delta with the throttle at wide F open with just me the wife and our camping gear the combo can barely stand still against the current.

I can't really put a bigger motor on the 17' Grumman, 7.5 is pretty burly already.

One option would be a john boat around 16-18 feet and 40-44" beam, so 16x40 to 18x44, but I would be looking at a 20-30hp motor to make it run, and my wife is not enamored of the aesthetics.

Second option would be a Snipe built by Lund, but they only made like 500 of them and I have never seen one for sale up here.

Third is a Grumman Sport boat. I have an ad on craigslist and that's me with posters in the boat shops and bulletin boards around Fbx. Not looking good. One fella with a beard down past his collar bones suggested the ones in Fairbanks got trailered with the motors on them back in the pipeline days, then the transoms broke loose from the rest of the hull on pretty much all of them and they went to the landfill and I am wasting my time. I am watching CL as far out as Whitehorse with no joy.

Option four is to build up a Rob White sport boat out of cedar strip just from trusting in the reading. I'd rather test drive a Sport boat and then (likely) scale the plans up to a 19 footer and build that.

One thing that would be nice is a wide enough center seat for my wife and I to sit side by side while we are putting around. She says it's "lonely" up in the bow of our 17' square stern.

Option five is a 19' Grumman with a bigger motor. The center seat is wide enough for both of us, and I can rig a remote control for the outboard. I know I would need a bigger motor even with perfect trim, and I am not sure I could get the velocity in a displacement hull at all.

Option six is a hull that will plane on less than ten hp with 800-1000# of freight in it, is commonly available in Fairbanks and costs less than $1000. What is hull number six?

Thanks.
 

FamilyMan

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Your option #5 is a lot like my setup: 19' Scott Albany with 15 HP 4 stroke Tohatsu OB. It would haul and do exactly what you need. The downside is that they're really hard to find. I've had mine hit 19mph once (empty), but its sweet spot is 14mph fully loaded, or even overloaded like I usually do.
 

kk alaska

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I ran a Grumman Sport Boat for 15 years did just fine with a 8 HP OMC. It will not haul as much weight as a 19 ft though, The 15 foot Saturn Kaboat would do just fine with your Merc. Should be able to haul out a Spike moose. My 8 HP will push it upstream with a light load on the Kenai
about 13 MPH. A lot of boat for the money. When I bought my first Kaboat I was looking for Sport boat like performance.
 

swmn

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I have no input. But if you decide to sell that gruman canoe. Please contact me.

I am fairly confident that once my wife has test ridden in a sport boat our current 17' square stern will be going up for sale. You may have first refusal, I'll be looking for $600 but will post pics..Not sure how you can get it home...
 

Yukon Cornelius

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I am fairly confident that once my wife has test ridden in a sport boat our current 17' square stern will be going up for sale. You may have first refusal, I'll be looking for $600 but will post pics..Not sure how you can get it home...
I can float it or barge it.
 

Amigo Will

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You might look at the lund 1648m or 1852m both used alot around here on the stikeen. you would want at least a 20hp on the 16' and 30hp on the 18'.
 

aknative1987

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Keep a close eye on Craigslist. Don't be afraid to piece together different deals to get the package you're looking for. And realize that even with just you and your wife, you may quickly wish for a bigger rig.

But it sounds like you could use a rig similar to this one!

I bought the long tail from a buddy of mine, he was upgrading to the 35 Surface Drive Godevil. Bought the boat, on the trailer, with a 1972 75 horse Evinrude jet, tank, tools, and misc spare stuff for the motor. Sold the jet and all the stuff with it to put the Godevil on the boat, had to cut the transom down and recap it. Overall, the rig cost well under you're limit, and the only thing I'm unhappy about is it isn't faster! The wife thinks it's plenty fast.
View attachment 77919

View attachment 77920

I hunt like you're talking about with it, trap beaver, and take the family joy riding. 18 foot Oachita with 25 Godevil long tail. Great fuel economy, just ain't quite fast enough, and gets tiresome to drive if I don't set up a chair. Craigslist is your friend. Go devils, either long tail or surface drive, are tough and simple, and fuel efficient.
 

FL2AK-Old Town

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One fella with a beard down past his collar bones suggested the ones in Fairbanks got trailered with the motors on them back in the pipeline days, then the transoms broke loose from the rest of the hull on pretty much all of them and they went to the landfill...

That is a totally plausible and believable scenario, especially if they were trailered up the Al-Can. I've replaced transoms in bass boats and semi-v hulls that were coming apart due to trailering stress with larger engines on them-and that's on good, paved roads in FL. We had a "transom saver" for our bass boat, which was a tube that connected the lower unit of the outboard to the trailer frame and transferred most of that stress and bouncing of the outboard directly to the trailer. By the way, when I towed my Sport Boat up here, the outboard was in the back of the pickup, not on the boat. I don't tow it anywhere without putting the outboard in the truck and that's the reason. Those aluminum boats, even fiberglass, I just too susceptible.
 

FL2AK-Old Town

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I am fairly confident that once my wife has test ridden in a sport boat our current 17' square stern will be going up for sale. You may have first refusal, I'll be looking for $600 but will post pics..Not sure how you can get it home...

I know you and I have swapped PM's on this already, but yeah, let's meet up and you and your wife can take mine for a spin. I didn't realize you were in Big Lake, let's meet just south of Denali State Park. Save you some driving.

By the way, what is the reasoning for your 15 mph requirement? Seems a little arbitrary to me. If you could go 13 wouldn't that be enough? (You're only talking about, at most...well that's still a difference of 20 miles in a day and that's significant. Nevermind.)
 

anchskier

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We've made that run using 19' Grumman freighter canoes with 15hp 2-stroke outboards a couple times before and it worked well. We utilized a klingel-style life for the shallow sections and getting over logs in the slough. I would recommend against the idea of a remote control operation simply because by sitting in the middle seat you are losing a lot of your primo storage space in the boat, especially if you have a moose to put in there.
 

Sid

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just a note to add on to anchskier you need to see the hole canoe when runnung narrow rivers as you could put the motor into a over hang
or put it into a rock ,an never know till to late to correct for it , big water lakes & large rivers not so bad, the powered canoe's is not like a ""boat"" . you have to be on your toes all the time , the HB type are not as bad but still not a " BOAT " they are canoes my 2 cts SID :proud:
 

bobmikk

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Reading your post I cannot help but think about the HB21 with a 20HP Honda. Clocked mine at 16 miles/Hr... not fully loaded. Plenty of room and storage abound for you, wife and a moose. Might keep an eye out, they are up there and you may get lucky.
 

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