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Old 08-28-2022, 10:58 PM   #1
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Marinas in SE alaska to leave boat for summer

Hello,
I am looking for feedback on the various marinas in SE alaska. The plan is to run the boat up to SE alaska in the spring and leave the boat there through the summer cruising season. We will then fly back and forth as family schedules allow. So Airport access is important.

Petersburg looks like a good candidate won't have the cruise boats that ketchikan does.

Any advice/info appreciated.

Brian
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Old 08-28-2022, 11:53 PM   #2
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Sitka.Better marina, better town, similar air schedule.
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Old 08-29-2022, 12:08 AM   #3
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Check out Wrangell. There’s a boat yard there if you need work done.
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Old 08-29-2022, 09:44 AM   #4
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Since you will be making short trips pick somewhere close to your cruising destinations. Arguably the best areas are closer to Juneau, but this depends on what you like.

You will probably be buying provisions each trip so look into distance and transportation to/from grocery stores. Ketchikan South Harbor is probably best for this. Petersburg North is also good.

Call the marinas, it may be difficult to reserve a slip for 3-4 months. Annual slips are inexpensive (compared to WA) but aren't available everywhere.

Non stop flights are better than connections.

Check for dependable airport to marina transportation.
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Old 08-29-2022, 09:49 AM   #5
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Moorage just about any where in SE during the summer is hard to find.
SE Alaska isn’t like towns outside.
A bee hive in summer and mostly asleep in winter.

Se Alaska however is a good place to find a person to look after your boat. Several feet of fresh snow and then rain .. you’ll need someone .. unless you’re there. Imagine tons of wet snow on your FB.
And as always small towns like Point Baker to Thorne Bay (in population(75 to 400 people)) have advantages and disadvantages.
Thorne Bay has an instant start-up town generator. When we lived there we had fewer power outages than we have had in Western Washington. At really small places like Point Baker they may be working on the town generator for days. Nothing against Point Baker .. only been there several times. Went there by road/canoe and other times by our trawler.
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Old 08-29-2022, 10:09 AM   #6
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Wrangell could lift you out and store you on the hard for the summer. Sitka probably too.
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Old 08-29-2022, 10:34 AM   #7
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Hoonah has some pluses and minuses. There is a nice little harbor, a haul out, a small boat yard, and a small but well stocked grocery/hardware/marine supply. Plus it’s close to fabulous cruising waters. On the minus side, it’s a small plane flight from a Juneau and weather can interfere with flying.
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Old 08-29-2022, 10:48 AM   #8
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For reasons having to do with the pandemic, we relocated High Slack to Petersburg last spring. We loved everything about Petersburg, the harbor, and the nearby cruising areas. The only downside is that flights between the Lower 48 and Petersburg can be inconvenient (often requiring an overnight in Seattle, if youíre not originating there) and expensive.

It seems that every SE Alaskan harbor has its boosters and its detractors, and that the various harbors are all being compared against one another. From first hand experience, I can tell you that Petersburg is probably the best managed and secure harbor in the area. The harbormaster is legendary and runs a very well orchestrated and service-oriented operation. While the town might be boring to some who are looking for alot of cultural amenities, the fantastic protection in the harbor and the nearby cruising are what I am here for.

Right now, Iím heading south and Iíve been stuck in Ketchikan for a few days for weather. Itís interesting to see how stark differences in harbor management can be.
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Old 08-29-2022, 12:09 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Kawini View Post
The harbormaster is legendary and runs a very well orchestrated and service-oriented operation.



While the town might be boring

Perfect description. In fact, it was the harbormaster who informed us that the town was boring. A public service for sure.
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Old 08-29-2022, 05:31 PM   #10
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I've called Ketchikan and Petersburg so far. It sounds like finding annual moorage is going to be an impossibility more or less. Petersburg said the waitlist for a slip for our nordhavn 62 is about ten years long.

Is thinking I could find transient moorage for a month between our trips realistic? EG, bring boat up, leave boat for month, come back explore more, leave boat month, etc.

Is there an alternative strategy I am missing?
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Old 08-29-2022, 05:45 PM   #11
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Most places in SEAK hotberth transients during the summer, which would mean youíd have to have someone local to move the boat around when youíre not there. I think in Juneau you can only leave a boat in transient moorage for 14 days without moving it, though youíd have to check with the harbor master to be sure.
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Old 08-29-2022, 05:55 PM   #12
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That’s not unrealistic. There are quite a few people who maintain their boats in Alaska, and who are out of port for months at a time during the summer. In Petersburg, you can often get a space vacated by a resident boat that is out cruising.
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Old 08-29-2022, 07:10 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by bkcorwin View Post
I've called Ketchikan and Petersburg so far. It sounds like finding annual moorage is going to be an impossibility more or less. Petersburg said the waitlist for a slip for our nordhavn 62 is about ten years long.

Is thinking I could find transient moorage for a month between our trips realistic? EG, bring boat up, leave boat for month, come back explore more, leave boat month, etc.

Is there an alternative strategy I am missing?

You can definitely leave a boat there for a month or more. I did just that a number of years ago in Ketchikan. The challenge is that many of the harbors do hot berthing, renting out slips when their permanent resident is away. But you need to be prepared to move the boat on short notice is the slip holder is returning, and that's problematic if you aren't around. Some of the harbors have transient space, and once you are in it, it's yours until you leave. That's what we ended up with in Ketchikan, but we were discussing the whole situation in advance with the harbormaster so they understood what we were trying to accomplish, and worked with us accordingly. Sitka has similar moorage, and I don't recall about Juneau. I think longer term transient space is available in the new harbor in Wrangle that is outside of town. I know a number of people who have kept boats there for a month or more. I think you will just need to get on the phone as you have been and see what they can offer.
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Old 08-29-2022, 07:21 PM   #14
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My limited experience with them is that Ketchikan, Wrangell, and Petersburg have well run marinas. Juneau and Sitka much less so. Direct flights to Seattle only seem to be from Juneau and Ketchikan. We left the boat in Ketchikan for a month, this involved finding space on the first-come transient float and then squatting. This was sanctioned by the harbormaster, and I believe isn't limited for time (though it should be). In Ketchikan you can pay a monthly rate (very low) for hot berth and first come but you will not be guaranteed a space. Unattended with a hot berth you must have someone that can move it. I don't think the Thomas Basin transient float accommodates a 63', but the city floats might.
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Old 08-29-2022, 09:32 PM   #15
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Petersburg is a great choice but you will still have to cope with cruise ships. Smaller cruise ships anchor outside Wrangle narrows and inside the narrows. The harbormaster is most accommodating. What I like about Petersburg is that it is centrally located. You are between Juneau to the north and Ketchican to the south. Fishing is outstanding and there is so much to explore within 60-80 miles of Petersburg. Many of the business are within walking distance of north and south harbor and the local grocery store offers free delivery. The views in Petersburg are second to none. There are many local trails for hiking. A local taxi is available to take you to the harbor from the airport. Spent a summer in Juneau and in Ketchican and although it is hard to beat shopping at Fred Meyer or Safeway, Petersburg has a lot to offer for a small town.
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Old 08-30-2022, 12:04 PM   #16
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Wrangell has side tie (no length limit) dedicated transient moorage in Heritage Harbor. I know of one fishing boat that stayed there for over a month earlier this year. There is another boat that has been there all summer. I suggest giving them a call - ask to speak to the harbormaster directly.
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Old 09-02-2022, 02:12 PM   #17
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We had good luck with Auke Bay, but that was many years ago. Worth checking if the others don't work out. Flights to and from Juneau are straightforward.
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Old 09-04-2022, 02:18 PM   #18
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Beautiful downtown Craig...

Kind of depends on what kind of cruising you want to do. If it's remote style, with some fishing and whale watching and solitude, Craig, on the west side of POW, might be a consideration: Haul out and storage, fuel and shopping, accessibility of remote anchorages. Very convenient connecting flights to Ketchikan from nearby Klawock. I don't know about the in-water moorage situation, as my boat in on the trailer up north in Naukati....Aloha, Steve.
Hmm. Not sure the Craig travellift will handle your Nordie....
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Old 09-25-2022, 05:10 PM   #19
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Ive been based in downtown Ketchikan for 5 yrs. It took 3 yrs on waiting list to get my slip. WRG is a great place with daily jet service and it seems to always have vacancy. Nice yard for haul out and winter storage.
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Old 09-25-2022, 08:03 PM   #20
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What is the name of the yard with winter storage on the hard?
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