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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 12 foot Harborcraft with a 9.9hp.......When is it safe to hit the Fraser and how can I judge the speed of the river vs.the amount of thrust generated by my little putter with a passenger and a bunch of fishing gear, and camping gear and a bunch of beer?
How can you tell in advance if the river is too fast for the boat?
I recall seeing a couple of guys doing the "skinny " channel at peg' last summer and they were going upstream at 1-2mph.........pretty funny and I bet they burned a lot of gas!!
I wanna get out there, but I don't want to have to throw out a rope to a passing jet' to get home...........Ortho 8)
 

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I've seen the same thing and had my hand at the small craft sinario as well. Just as in fish heading up
just out of the main current so goes the small boat....... I was pushing my 10ft inflatable up the Fraser
and I had more than a few sideways looks to say the least. ::) Kinda like sailing at times where you
tack into the flow and zig-zag if you have to. Where there's a will , you know... :drunk:
If you ever need a lift I'm sure you'd be well recieved Ortho...... :beerchug:.....Marko
 

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If you think it might be too fast, then don't go out. Good judgment goes along way :beerchug:

I run the river year round with my little Putt-Putt, it's all about getting up on plane, if you can't then you better not go out. If you are determined, it seems silly but my Dad always said head upstream when possible, at least that way you can float back to where you started :thumbup: If you want I'll be running the river this week in my little 14ft jon boat and don't mind company, either in my boat or if you'd like I can run along side of you in your's. I'll be playing around the Chilliwack way. Let me know, the best thing would be to run with just you, then you and a buddy, then try the gear, or just weight to simulate gear so you know what your boat can do. Play a bit in a safer area before you make the actual camping voyage.
 

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Ortho, as you know I do not boat the river there myself but use a guide each year when we fish for a week. However, I do fish the Colorado in Texas and have for over 50 years out of small boats. I have made most every error a person can make including once tipping over a 14 ft boat with no life jacket on and swimming for it with winter boots and clothes on, never again(I do not get in the boat without a life jacket and never wear boots). I like at minimum a 14ft jon boat, safety airtanks built into seats. I have used many sizes of motor, you have plenty of motor at 9hp. Not familiar with your model of boat, assume safe one.

Suggest go out alone and try the current (if you are comfortable with this) if not do not try it. Take it slow and use a lot of caution. Just head directly upstream from your launch and see what your motor is doing as to speed. I have seen a lot of your river that I would run in my 14 ft boats; however, saw a few spots around the bridge near Agassiz that in my opinion I would never get near. Again back to judgement and taking it slow with caution.

Follow that maximum weight chart for your boat, start alone, then with a friend, get some hours in before a loaded boat camping trip. Just some comments, sorry if you already know all this and more. Thanks. Salt.
 

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Ortho,

Your 12 foot Habourcraft with a 9.9 will be fine if you keep the load to a reasonable level. One guy and camping gear or two guys and no gear and you should be ok. Just use some common sense, and the upstream out, downstream home plan is an excellent one. There is no such thing as a 100% reliable boat and outboard system, so the plan has merit beyond the capabilities of the craft in current. Just don't become one of the morons I see on the river every year that has three guys, a cooler full of refreshments, a dog and all the gear possible. Every year I see guys running the river with 2 inches of freeboard and a 1-2 knot progress upstream. on another topic, last year I pulled out a moron from just upstream of pegleg who had taken his 22 foot fibreglass IB/OB up there and then got caught in 3 feet of water with no way to get back into the main channel. Cost him a leg and a prop, so I am pretty sure he won't be doing that again.

Now the copious amounts of beer is another concern. I am sure that you little 12 footer is too small to carry this, so you should unload this burden to me :happy:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I guess an extra prop and shearpin/tools would also be an asset...For many years, I whitewater paddled in open canoe all over BC...There are a couple of boats that met an unfortunate death, but that was not due to mistakes, rather a calculated error. I am very good at "reading" water and I am an excellent swimmer, however, I do have these visuals of the two guys in a small boat plying the waters just below the Harrison at Mtn. bar.....Hey, Carlos, remember those guys?.........So now I gotta spend the weekend getting the craft river worthy, hook up with one of you guys and git out there!...Thanks, for the input.........Ortho 8)
 

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Sounds like you have a lot of experience and the cautious nature of your expedition and inquiries shows the respect that this river deserves. :thumbup: It is really surprising how many people see the flat surface of the fraser and assume it is an easy river to navigate in a small boat. :eek:

Your comments about open canoes and rivers reminded me of a rescue I had to do in the Harrison about 5 years ago. A group of 4 canoes were paddling by us as we fished by the pilings. One canoe with two kids and an adult (all wearing life jackets) :thumbup: caught a bad boil in the current and tipped with all three going in the water as well as all the gear. . Well the father was ok and swam to shore, but the 12 y.o. girl and the 10 y.o. boy were both panicing as they drifted past the pilings. We were in my jet boat and over to them in about 2 minutes from the time they ditched and pulled them both to safety the boat. We also rescued the canoe and about 3/4 of the gear (anything that floated that we could find). After that we took the three down to the highway 7 bridge to where they had a car and got them into some heat as soon as we could. I'll never forget the sounds of the paniced scream from the girl as she drifted away from her father and brother and thought she was going to drown. If it hadn't been for the life jacket she may well have.

All in all it was a scary lesson for the canoeists and an important re-affirmation to me of the power of the river and the fragility of human life.

Ortho has a healthy respect for the river. This message is for everyone else who reads this thread. Please heed the warnings. I have yet to be needed to pull a body, I would prefer to keep it that way. :peace:

Cheers
 

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Good point Fin Addict about thge fact the fraser fools people into a false sense of security. I had a nieghbour in the boat last year who when we anchored and started casting spoons took his life jacket off and said dont need it we're anchored.I gave him a little demo on how fast the river is. We threw in a spare life jacket, then pulled anchor and chased it down, it made it i bet about a km.+ down by the time we were able to coral it back into the boat, could'nt imagine trying that with a 200lb plus guy.
Funny he has been out with me a few times since and awlays keep it on
BTW sorry Ortho about getting off topic . you should be fine out there what we used to do when The uncle had his 12 and a 9.9 was load the gear on the first trip then a couple guys on the second. depends though on how much gear your packin.
Cheers,
Crazy D
 

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Ortho, I have never needed an extra prop. Get a water proof container(we use amo cans from army navy) 10in tall 4in wide. Put in shear pins, few tools, extra spark plug, put all that inside a zip lock bag and then inside your container. Again, your motor is plenty of HP, just watch the water and from what I see here you know all about that. Some of those "boils" I have seen in the river there bother me in a large jet boat. Thanks. Salt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks a lot, guys, I just fired up the 9.9 this afternoon and she is purrin' like a kitten... ;D..Now I just gotta fetch my boat and all the other boat stuff from storage and I am ready to go.........BUT< before I hit the Fraser I still have a few 'hos to dredge from the Cap, then I am heading to the Chilli/Ved to put a fat red spring on the Barbie. ;)
Let's git fishin!!!!..........Het 'Salt.....you comin' north this year??? Maybe I should make a trip south and you can show the ol' boy how things are done in the south???...............Ortho 8)
 

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Hey Ortho,

Your boat is a 15 hp....Bigger carb and prop. Just don't tell anyone..You will have no problem getting up on step unless you are really overloaded....
Extra prop and goodies are always a good thing to carry on the Fraser in a prop boat anyways....
Use the depth sounder and drive carefully....
No beer till you are safely on shore... :naughty:
 

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Hey Ortho

Haven't talked to you in a while. We have to get out again very soon and hope for a much better day than last time. If you have any concern at all about your first boat trip I will gladly throw my boat in and come along for the trip with you. You should have no problem with your boat however, as before my current boat I also had a 12' but a heavier fiberglass with a 9.9hp and it was fine as long as you watch the water levels and the amount of weight you pack.

I to have watched the dance of the under powered boat, I was in the upper river just below laidlaw bar and watched two guys come down river from the Bulger road launch. They had all their gear and were both big guys in a 12' cartop with a 7.5hp on it. They fished for several hours and then got in their boat and pushed off into the current. We all kind of stopped and watched as everyone that had seen the motor new what was comming. You could hear the motor wind up to max RPM and we all watched as they headed back down river just a bit slower than the main current. They eventually got the boat back to shore and were last seen slowly pulling their boat back up river.

Centerpin 8)
 

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Ortho, it hurts me to miss this year, first in several and espceially a PINK year , we visitors have a blast with them. Too much going on and a minor surgery tune up on my hand, so no trip this year. I have a very good friend and salt water guide here for fishing in the bays, do not do the offshore here anymore(4 hours run out fish 3 hours, 4 hours run back, I quit it). In the bays, red fish(red drum) black drum , trout and misc others.

We will be back in B.C. and fishing out of Agassiz, lord willing. Thanks. Salt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, the boys here will keep ya up to date as to the fish numbers and you will undoubtably have to suffer thru another flossing debate as well as all those stories of the one that got away, but, hey, it's the west coast and that goes with the turf....We'll look forward to seeing ya'all in 2008...........Ortho 8)
 

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I was one of the idiots out last year in a small underpowered boat. It was actually a 9.9 Yamaha but ut wasn't running right. We launched from the Deroche launch in my Grandfathers home made 12 footer(about 50 years old), went downstream and made the turn coming back up by gilligan's and up towards Wellington. We must have been running up that center channel at about 1 mile per hour. Stupid! Im allright this year though 15 foot Smokercraft with a 25 hp Mercury. When my 9.9 was running well though I found it to be plenty of power, didnt plane with 2 people in the boat though.
 

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You will find that it actually easier to run the river in high water the lower it get the harder she runs and you have less options if it gets shallow. But with the Fraser there is very little margin for error, so where your safety gear and save your beer for home.

I have seen too many boats over the last few years overloaded and under powered with the operator sitting there with no life jacket and a beer in his hand. Last year alone I saw 2 boats flip and have to be towed back to shore by a bigger boat.
 
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