Anyone in Seward or have experience cruising Alaska?

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May 6, 2011
I am in the process of buying a boat in Seward.* Wouldn't mind making contact with someone familiar with Seward who wouldn't mind filling me in on local companies/services (i.e. surveyor, travel lift, motels, buying barrels of diesel, etc) as I work out the logistics of this.

*I'm trying to see about barging the boat in question to Juneau or*Ketchikan.* Anyone know if any local barge companies are able to do this?* Something about being on an unfamiliar boat and taking it across the Gulf of Alaska on my first trip with it that makes me nervous.

*Any captains for hire to bring the boat across and I'll fly him home?

*I'd also appreciate to hear about anyone's experience cruising around Alaska.



If you have not made the trip from Prince William Sound to Cape Spencer, (the northern entry to Southeast Alaska), I would strongly suggest you spend some serious time in PWS*learning about your boat before attempting the trip yourself, or hire*someone to make the delivery for you, or have it barged down.

You have not stated anything about the nature of the boat you are purchasing, or about your experience boating in Alaskan waters or North and Central B.C. in your post.

I know of two Alaskans who have purchased boats (Commander 30's) in WA and B.C. who were determined to take them back to Seward/Whittier and who reconsidered after reaching Sitka, and barged them the rest of the way.

Personally, I have enjoyed my summer long trips (5 months and 3 months) from the Vancouver, B.C. area to Southeast Alaska and return, *and have only "visited" the Gulf of Alaska from Cape Spencer (where my insurance runs out!) to Pelican to Sitka, and that portion of my trip differed from boating in the relatively protected waters of the Inside Passage quite significantly.* You want to be certain of the range of your vessel, and of the opportunity to refuel at Yakutat, if that is a requirement.

Keep us posted, and if you decide "it's a GO", you had better post some pics for us. too.






Talk to Rob Hays on this forum. He travels much so he may not be handy however he and his wife Anne have crossed the northern gulf more than once with their 40' Willard and as I recall used the stabilizers all the way. Most all cruisers will be taking a big chance crossing those waters but some do. I won't. It's a game of chance. What if you hit a big log coming down off a big sea in the middle of the night out there? But on the other hand fishing boats have fished the Fairweather Grounds NW of Cape Spencer for 100 years but it may be mostly a daytime activity. Talk to Rob.
It is just another big body of water, fishing boats of all sizes travel across it every year.

Note that the shore is pretty straight but there are few places to hide.

I made the trip some years ago (38 ft power boat @ 12 kts) and had great weather and a great trip.

It took me 21 hours to make Valdez from Yakutat and 11 hours to make Yakutat from Elfin Cove.

I would make sure you have the range. From Elfin Cove there are plenty of places to stop but not out on the Gulf.

Good luck.
Hi Stephen,* I'd be happy to discuss delivering your boat for you.* You didn't say what your timing was, I'm fully booked for the next six weeks with a delivery to Tahiti, but I doh't leave until the 22nd.* If you want to discuss it, you can go to my website at and contact me at the phone number listed

Best Regards..............Arctic Traveller*

I looked at a trawler in Seward last October (PT38 Sedan) and looked into several alternatives for moving south. There is a good barge service ( and I had a ball park quote of $7k for Seward to Tacoma. While a PT38 may be Gulf of Alaska capable, I would not take a new-to-me boat across the Gulf. I would want to know all the systems and have 100% confidence in them. Plus a complete spares inventory.

I believe there is only one surveyor in Seward and all the people I contacted provided the same name.

I can chase the surveyor's name if interested. Let me know.
nomadwilly wrote:
*But on the other hand fishing boats have fished the Fairweather Grounds NW of Cape Spencer for 100 years but it may be mostly a daytime activity.
*I've heard that Alaskan*ocean fishing is about the most dangerous occupation.*... Wouldn't be surprised that carrying a medium or large-sized boat on a barge would be pretty expensive even if large-enough cranes were available.*...**Wonder what's so special about buying a boat in Seward compared to locations closer to the destination?

-- Edited by markpierce on Friday 27th of May 2011 11:49:14 PM
GoldenDawn wrote:
... I would not take a new-to-me boat across the Gulf. I would want to know all the systems and have 100% confidence in them. Plus a complete spares inventory.
*Me too.
If you have the boat in Seward I suggest that you cruise Prince William Sound as it is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Take a season and learn your boat before attempting a big crossing! Crossing The Gulf of Alaska is no small task, sure it's just another big body of water. But have you ever run a boat around the clock, depended upon insturments because there is zero visability at night or been out of radio contact with ANYBODY. For that matter have you ever been on the water where you might not see another boat or a light for a couple of days. I'm not trying to scare anyone, I'm just telling you that this what crossing the Gulf of Alaska is all about. I'm not really going into any details about weather other then it can be beautiful one minute and then in a blink the weather can change dramaticly. Help is a long way off even if you can get into sheltered waters. I've crossed the Gulf of Alaska on my own 5 times, not all the trips were without incident. Tell ya the truth I don't plan on crossing it again in the near future.

-- Edited by Rob on Saturday 28th of May 2011 11:11:42 AM


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I fished Fairweather ground in the summer of '67 aboard Ocean Fury, a 48' salmon troller. We spent 14 days on the ground, then ran all night and all day to Prince Rupert to off load fish and load fresh ice, then back for another 14 days strait. No "daytime activity" for us. It was fish all day, anchor for a few hours, fish all day, anchor......
If we had rough weather we would have run in for shelter, but it never got so bad we needed to run. Now Hecate Straits, on the other hand.
The big ocean swells on Fairweather were ever present, but didn't present any danger.
I agree with Bearhair that he shouldn't cross without prior experience, and tried and true equipment, but it is certainly do-able.
After you have arrived upon the Fairweather Grounds, about a hundred miles SE of Yakatat then you will be nearly 1/3 of the way to Seward or 2/3's of the way if you were heading south. North of Yakatat you basicly have one sort of safe place to seek protection and that is Icy Bay which is some what marginal due to being poorly charted and a hell hole for weather. Basicly you are looking at 550 nm of open water with a very rugged coat line to the east and Hawaii to the west. It's a grand adventure for sure.

All of the pictures that I have posted on this subject were taken in the Seward and Prince William Sound area.

-- Edited by Rob on Monday 30th of May 2011 07:51:19 AM

-- Edited by Rob on Monday 30th of May 2011 11:18:08 AM


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