Caribou Gear

Southcentral River Access?

IK-NWhunter

Active member
Joined
Mar 30, 2018
Messages
45
Location
Alaska
Maybe this should go in the fishing hole section, but I thought I'd get the attention of more Alaskans here. I recently moved to Palmer from Oregon and brought my little boat with me. It's 12ft, V hull, & has a 15hp prop driven Honda. The draft is about 10" depending on how I'm loaded. It's an old boat, my grandfather bought it in the 60's and I put a lot of work and $ into restoring it. It's mostly riveted aluminum and it’s pretty thin, except for the transom which I reinforced to put the new motor on. Striking a rock or deadhead on plane might just punch a hole in the hull rather than dent it.

I know most people run rivers in AK with jet boats, so a prop drive isn't ideal. I'm wondering if I could get by with this on the Susitna and some of its tributaries like the Deshka or Portage Creek? The boat is so small, I'm not really interested in going through rapids or anything like that. How much of that is on the Susitna and its tribs? What kind of anchor do I need to hold bottom?

Are there better river systems for this kind of boat I can access from the road system? Or should I cut my loses and just sell it to someone looking to fish small lakes & get something better for running rivers? I don't imagine 20ft jet boats come cheap up here.
 

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BearFoot

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 6, 2018
Messages
1,219
Location
Alaska
Yes! It will work in the big Su. I've a similar set up. Bought 30+ years ago. 12' riveted aluminum with 10hp Johnson. I've run this many times, with my boy, to the Deshka, Willow, Little Willow. Carry extra prop/shear pin, just in case. I never had any issues. Must learn to read the river, stay in the channels. You will be among the smaller crafts on the water. These areas have a lot of traffic and help passes by often if needed.
I've got my jet boat stuck more often! If the boat is stuck you can stand next to it.

Up River Deshka.png
 

IK-NWhunter

Active member
Joined
Mar 30, 2018
Messages
45
Location
Alaska
Yes! It will work in the big Su. I've a similar set up. Bought 30+ years ago. 12' riveted aluminum with 10hp Johnson. I've run this many times, with my boy, to the Deshka, Willow, Little Willow. Carry extra prop/shear pin, just in case. I never had any issues. Must learn to read the river, stay in the channels. You will be among the smaller crafts on the water. These areas have a lot of traffic and help passes by often if needed.
I've got my jet boat stuck more often! If the boat is stuck you can stand next to it.

View attachment 216528
Good to know! Thank you for the advice, that makes me feel a lot better about heading out there this spring.
 

AlaskaHunter

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
1,481
Location
interior Alaska
Yes! It will work in the big Su. I've a similar set up. Bought 30+ years ago. 12' riveted aluminum with 10hp Johnson. I've run this many times, with my boy, to the Deshka, Willow, Little Willow. Carry extra prop/shear pin, just in case. I never had any issues. Must learn to read the river, stay in the channels. You will be among the smaller crafts on the water. These areas have a lot of traffic and help passes by often if needed.
I've got my jet boat stuck more often! If the boat is stuck you can stand next to it.

View attachment 216528
Are you running a inboard jet? A 15 hp outboard seems pretty risky for a big glacial river like the Susitna.
 

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