ALASKA EXCURSIONS – SKAGWAY, ALASKA
I’m lucky enough to spend my summers working in one of the most amazing places on earth. I manage the Glacier Point Wilderness Safari. It’s a shore excursion that’s offered out of Haines or Skagway to the many cruise ships that travel to Southeast Alaska. One of the highlights of the job is living five months in a remote wilderness camp about ten miles south of Haines in the Chilkat Inlet. For staff transportation and supply runs we’ve used seventeen foot inflatable zodiac style boats. As there is no dock at Glacier Point we make beach landings and move the boats up and down the beach with a tractor and wheels that fold down on the transom of the boats to accommodate for the tides.
Up till last year the company had owned three inflatable floor Achilles boats. Two that lived on the beach and one that would be in the shop in Haines for maintenance. The boats were on a three week rotating schedule for repairing the v-tape, flex tuff and any other issues they had. Mostly it was the beach sand that would get between floor inserts and the v-tape and would eat away at the V-tape but you would be amazed at the stuff you would find under the floor insert of the inflatable floor.
In 2012 we replaced all three inflatable hulled boats with one rigid aluminum hulled boat from Alan Shaw and Solas Group the Solas 5.0 Guide. Not only did this boat cut down on maintenance hours and cost but with the weather and water conditions we deal with throughout the summer 25 knot winds and 5 foot sea on average the sense of security and the improved control on the water was incredible with a rigid hull inflatable boat.