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Latest News  >  Alaska - The Last Frontier

Alaska is 1,400 miles from top to bottom and 2,700 miles wide and has a staggering 35,000 miles of rivers, 3 million lakes, over half the world's glaciers, and less than 15,000 miles of roads. 30% of Alaska's 650,000 residents live unconnected from any highway or ferry system! Alaska is referred to as the last frontier and quite simply the scale and diversity of the river systems is mind blowing.

Jet boats are an integral part of Alaska's transport infrastructure – along with the float plane. Since the jet boat was invented in the 60's it has become part of everyday life - moving people, equipment and supplies into the vast and remote state.

Almost 50 years later high performance jets are providing new opportunities to see the beauty and scale of Alaska - and access virgin forest for hunting, fishing, hiking, scenery, etc. The remote and ultra harsh environment makes Alaskans reluctant to take chances on new technologies due to the danger and high cost of failures or breakdowns hundreds of miles from assistance.

Doug Riddle of Riddle Marine has experienced boating in Alaska first-hand, and understood the real need for more durability, reliability, and higher performance boats so Alaskans could more safely access their remote homes, fishing holes, and hunting locations. Riddle Marine earned the confidence of Curtis Spencer and Chris Osowski and built two custom boats to withstand the rigors of their use and the environment. Both boats were equipped with Scott Waterjet 8.5 inch two stage jets.

Having a jet boat that outperforms means a lot in Alaska - better fuel economy opens up more parts of the river systems, better handling means access to previously un-boated areas and real fun in the thousands of braided channels and feeder rivers, higher cruising speeds allow more time for hunting and fishing and less time getting back to the ramp, jets that don't block and breakdown are absolutely critical when there is no cellphone coverage or roads for hundreds of miles.

Alaska is where Scott Waterjets can showcase their performance, handling and believe-it-or-not fuel economy. We spent three glorious days checking the performance of the first three jets in Alaska with Scott 8.5 inch jets. Our host was Chris Osowski of Glacier Jet (featured in the finale of this year's The Amazing Race TV show) who hosted us, planned and coordinated testing and trips up the Talkeetna River system, the Tnik River to the glacier and Alaska's most renowned jet boat experience, the Glacier Jet trip up the Twenty Mile River - outstanding shallow river boating finishing in a lake full of icebergs!

Chris coordinated the testing and boating, let us use his brand new Riddle RMX sport boat for testing and had people, boats, equipment, etc organised to the minute. Curtis Spencer in his new Riddle RMX sport boat led our trip up the Talkeenta river system, hosted the whole party of 16 at his cabin for an impromptu lunch and let us test a new impeller design on his boat and Toshiro Morgan produced a great video of the day on the Talkeenta. Dick Weldin lent us his new Hells Canyon Marine boat for impeller testing and also led us up the Knik River to the Glacier.

We were also very fortunate to find two of the most capable jet boat engineers we have come across; Alvin Millard (boat building, repairs and impellers) and John Ekelmann (engines and jets) were exceptionally capable and helpful and we are delighted that they are able to support our products in Alaska.

Alaska was the ideal location to test our prototype impellers before they go into production (taking the new impellers out of the boats was easier said than done as Chris and Curtis were very impressed with the performance and fuel economy gains they delivered. Bullet proof vests were almost required!).

The rugged beauty of Alaska and the unbelieveable vastness were overwhelming, but our strongest memories of Alaska are the people we met and the hospitality they showed us - Chris, Curtis, Dick, Alvin, John, Toshiro and the whole crew. We look forward to meeting up with them again in Alaska in July 2009 for a few days boating. To see exactly where the Talkeetna is click here

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