Boat Design & Motors
Our boats are specially designed and built specifically for traversing shallow water. The Chilkat River is glacial fed and has a great deal of silt moving in it in the summer months. This is created from the warm weather causing the glaciers to melt that feed the Chilkat River. Duck Hess designed the boats based on his experience and knowledge of this particular river system. There are 4 boats in the fleet, all flat bottom, with comfortable cushioned, bench seating. The Chilkat River has many different channels, which gives the description of a braided river system. This gives River Adventures the flexibility to explore different channels without seeing the other boats that are on the tour. The aerial photo of the Chilkat River gives you a good idea of why it is called a braided river.
The boats are powered by four stroke, Yamaha outboard motors. The four stroke motors are much more quiet than the two stroke’s and more eco-friendly and economical to operate. The term “jet boat” is common in Alaska and it is nothing like other jet boats that people are familiar with. These outboard motors have an impeller, instead of a propeller, all incased in aluminum and the water is pulled up through the intake, then shoots out the back, which propels the boat. This is the same concept as a jet ski.
The animals and eagles are used to the boats and often will stand and watch as the guests get that great photo opportunity.