Alaska Sea King
Story by Troy A Buzalsky
Photos by Alaska Sea King
Ryder and Piper are perfectly at home whether fishing in their backyard on Alaska’s Lake Lucille or when fishing the picturesque and bountiful Prince William Sound. These are the fringe benefits when your parents, Chris and Shayna McGinty, own and operate Alaska Sea King, a family business whose mission is to provide quality, custom, heavy-gauge, all-welded aluminum boats at an affordable price.
Although a relative newcomer to the boat-building and distribution chain in Alaska, Chris is passionate about his endeavor. As a lifelong Alaskan, he knows and understands the harsh conditions a boat will need to endure while hunting and fishing Alaska’s nearshore and offshore waters, and intimately understands the waters that Alaskan clientele will pursue. It’s this background, coupled with a desire to provide an affordable boating solution, that kickstarted Alaska Sea King, hailing from Wasilla, AK.
In the heavy-gauge, all-aluminum boating marketplace there have typically been two approaches to boat selling and distribution: custom one-off boats that are made specifically for a customer, and the semi-custom or standard off-the-shelf boats (big-name boats), where the client works with a dealer and might get to make a few custom requests, although generally limited. These two concepts dominate today’s marine marketplace.
The Alaska Sea King manufacturing and distribution model is uniquely different in that they effectively remove the middleman, thus offering factory-direct pricing with customization options available. To provide the pricing, customization, and quality control necessary, Alaska Sea King works in partnership with Allsea Boats.
It all started when Chris wanted to buy a boat and his wife agreed (lucky guy), as long as he stayed within budget. This led to their first boat, a budget-conscious Bayliner, which was not only underpowered, but proved to be very unreliable—so much so that the boat broke down in Prince William Sound and required Sea Tow Whittier to respond and save the day. After this event Chris was determined to find a better boat and started researching anything and everything, ultimately leading him to a Chinese manufacturer that was selling high-quality, heavy-gauge, all-welded aluminum boats at an incredible price.
Research led to reference checks, talking to anybody and everybody that had potentially purchased one of these vessels. Before long Chris and Shayna decided to take a leap of faith and ordered two custom-designed, air-chambered boats from Allsea Boats, formerly Sea King Boats. The first boat became Chris’s new pride and joy, and the second boat unexpectedly started Alaska Sea King.
The Allsea Boats factory is located on the waterfront city of Qingdao, China, where they operate from their 130,000-square-foot facility. The Allsea team has nearly 20 years of experience building boats and holds 8 utility model patents, 2 appearance patents, 2 software copyrights, and 13 products that have obtained European CE certification. Allsea exports their product line all over the world, becoming one of the most prolific Chinese fishing-boat brands in the global marine market.
With Allsea Boats designing, engineering, and building the fully welded, painted- and upholstered hull, it then becomes Alaska Sea King’s responsibility to import the vessel, which is no small task, and coordinate all of the rigging to make the boat water-ready. Alaska Sea King utilizes local Alaskan marine specialists to complete the rigging, which includes all the electronics and accessories as well as outboard propulsion.
Chris explains, “The hulls are CE certified, which unites with the US Coast Guard certification process, so yes, the boats are United States Coast Guard approved.” Because all rigging is done in-house and locally, the vessel is considered American-made and the liability rests on American soil. Alaska Sea King warrants their vessels for a full five years. “Because the outboards utilized come with a five-year warranty, offering a five-year vessel warranty dovetailed nicely and made sense,” shares Chris.
Alaska Sea King does not hide behind the fact that their hulls are made in China. They feel they have done their homework and are ecstatic with the quality of engineering, construction, fit and finish, customer service, and support they receive from Allsea. “If we can offer our customers a 30%- to 35% savings from buying a similar vessel it becomes a consumer choice!” exclaims Chris. “We like to think we provide more bang for the buck than our competition, and we’ll put our boat quality against anyone…No problem!”
The team at Allsea Boats is focused on quality, from start to finish. All boats are CAD drafted for accuracy and engineered for optimum on-the-water capability. Each and every component is designed and cut via CNC tooling to assure 100% accuracy and fit, while being 100% repeatable and each step in the process follows strict quality-control standards. “Everyone who looks at our boats raves about the quality,” exclaims Chris.
Currently, Alaska Sea King is offering two distinctly different yet versatile boat-hull designs, both ideal for Alaskan waters: the sleek and stylish Profisher series and the air-chamber-styled Hunter cabin fishing vessel. These unique vessels are made for big water, stable flotation, and a comfortable and safe ride. One glance at either of these boats and you’ll be screaming, “Take me fishing!”
The Alaska Sea King Profisher is available in 20-, 22-, and 25-foot models that feature an elegant profile that swooshes up to the boat’s bow and pulpit while its transom swim-step functionally supports the outdrive and serves as an aft fishing and fish-landing platform. The boat’s transom utilizes a sizeable 12-gallon, live-view bait tank complete with rocket launchers and a step-over, step-through transom door to aid in gaffing, harpooning, and landing the largest of fish. With an 80-gallon fuel tank, 30-gallon in-floor fish box, and a watertight extra-wide cockpit with either an open aft bulkhead or Alaskan bulkhead, this boat is ready to fish any and all of Alaska’s waters.
To complete the nautical look, the boat’s full-wrap front rail and aft-raked windscreen transitions nicely to a rooftop full of rocket launchers…as many as 14! Twin captain and co-pilot premium bucket seats with fold-down bolsters make up the front row, while side-mounted storage seat bases provide the form and function one needs while cruising to fishing grounds.
The Profisher lineup comes painted, utilizing modern-day epoxy urethane in either single-tone or two-tone color schemes or can be ordered as a raw-aluminum hull per the customer’s request.
The fully painted rear cockpit and dance floor is easy to clean and maintain and features a non-slip, aluminum, self-draining floor with EVA gunnel non-slip protection pads, to enhance safety while safeguarding those nice, offshore reels and keeping the boat looking factory fresh. The boat’s floor can also be covered with non-slip flooring similar to UltraDeck or GatorStep (as showcased in the Oct/Nov 2022 Fish Alaska Boats column). Side storage trays tuck nicely under the gunnel and offer a plethora of storage, and the gunnels come complete with flush-mount rod holders integrated into the EVA design matrix.
Designed as a fishing machine, the Profisher also features a front cuddy berth, which can serve as a nice place for a cat-nap or overnight crash, or a great place to store all the gear you need for a banner day of fishing. Fun fact, the term “cuddy” refers to a small room or cozy hut…I think it applies nicely here.
Sliding side glass lets fresh air in while dual windshield wipers guarantee visibility in torrential rain and sea conditions. Grab bars are found inside the cabin, on the roof, and at the transom. And to keep everyone on the boat happy, a marine head can be located in the cuddy berth. For increased stability, the Profisher is equipped with a ballast tank that fills when the boat comes to rest.
The bow’s hull design features a steep 23-degree bow entry, with a somewhat narrow beam width of 7’6”. But don’t let that fool you; there’s plenty of room where the action takes place. The hull construction includes extruded, slotted aluminum chine and gunnel componentry that match up with the 1/4” 5083 marine-aluminum bottom and transom, and 3/16” 5083 aluminum sides. All welds are either pulsed metal inert gas (MIG) or tungsten inert gas (TIG) welded by the team of certified welders at Allsea Boats.
The Alaska Sea King Profisher Boat…small enough for no-stress towing, large enough to fit you and your fishing buddies and gear for a full day or overnight mission on the open water, and a great all-arounder, for family and fun adventures.
The air-chambered Alaska Sea King Hunter is a unique vessel in its own right, similar to other air-chambered boats, but distinctive with its own characteristics.
When Chris and Shayna entered the unchartered waters of working with Allsea Boats, they were keenly interested in the air-chambered models, however, they were sensitive to the fact that in some cases the boat was all too similar to other boats on the market. As they studied the style and design features of the Allsea air-chambered boats and coupled it with the Profisher, a lightbulb came on. Working with Allsea Boats and their design team, they collectively created the Alaska Sea King Hunter series, which takes the best of the Allsea air-chambered boat, and couples it with the cabin and transom of the Profisher series.
The Alaska Sea King Hunter is currently available in the 20-, 25-, and 30-foot models. To best understand the concept of an air-chambered boat, you must first understand that the air chambers, which are more or less circular in shape, provide a structural advantage over a typical monohull deep-V hull design.
Generally speaking, one of the strongest and stiffest structural shapes is a tube, assuming it is correctly appointed. This translates to a lighter and stronger hull design, which is an important factor if a vessel is to be used in rough water.
When an air-chambered boat is engineered, one of the incorporated benefits is a well-defined reverse chine. Reverse chines create a larger planing surface, and this allows the boat to get onto step quicker with less power. Another benefit is when a boat with a significant reverse chine enters a sharp turn, the chine bites into the water and the boat carves the turn without skid or slip. With this hydro-buoyancy the turn is generally flatter and smoother. And, air-chambered boats with a reverse chine are very stable and buoyant.
An air-chambered boat is built with fully welded and airtight air chambers; literally a life ring around the boat. These air chambers can be filled with flotation foam, which provides insulation for both sound and weather, plus, should an air chamber be punctured in some form of a catastrophic event, the flotation foam will keep the boat buoyant. It’s these safety elements that make air-chambered boats so popular in mission-critical applications like fire and rescue, law enforcement, and military applications.
David Booth, an Alaska resident out of Palmer, purchased the first Alaska Sea King on the market, and has zero regrets. “I guided freshwater fishing for 23 years and started to ply the saltwater with kayaks,” shares Booth. As he started to develop a passion for the nearshore- and offshore opportunities on Prince William Sound, he started to look at boats, which led in various directions. He really liked the ACB boats, which stands for Air Chambered Boats, but they are no longer in business. Booth tripped on a classified advertisement for Alaska Sea King, who were offering their first boat for sale. All it took was a sea trial to prove the 20-foot Sea King Hunter series was exactly what Booth and his wife were after, and they sealed the deal.
To date, Booth has put almost 300 hours on his black-on-silver Sea King Hunter series powered by a 175 HP Suzuki outboard. “I couldn’t be happier,” explains Booth, who has taken his boat on several 200-mile journeys out to Montague Island and back chasing trophy halibut. “The boat cruises at 31 MPH at 5,000 RPM and burns 5.7 gallons per hour,” which is super-efficient. Booth shares, “On the water the boat feels really, really safe…It doesn’t pitch and roll, and does well in big swells, like a 20-foot boat should.” David and his two fishing buddies were landing a nice 60-pound halibut, all leaning over the gunnel while gaffing and boating the fish, “And the boat didn’t list or tip a bit. It’s that stable!” exclaimed Booth.
Quality is always a question when buying a boat, and this rings especially true when buying a foreign-made boat, but as Booth explains, “The quality is great, better than I expected, and I get lots of compliments,” from layout, to welds, to paint, fit and finish. Booth says his fishing buddy and friend was so impressed, “He’s buying one.”
Recently, Salmon Run Fishing Lodge acquired an Alaska Sea King 20’ Hunter in a Storm Trooper white-on-black combo. The boat is considered a staff boat, but it’s an Alaska lodge boat, nonetheless, serving as a chase boat, a fuel hauler, a supply transporter, and even a fishing boat for the staff. Lodge owner Jeff Copinga can’t say enough good things about the lodge’s Hunter. “It’s a great boat! It rides rough water like a big boat and is super stable.” Jeff has welded his whole life and explains, “As a welder I know what to look for. The quality is really good.” Jeff chuckles, “The fact that I have no complaints says a lot.” Copinga’s boat is powered with a 175 HP Suzuki outboard, which he says has been efficient and reliable.
Although the lodge doesn’t use their Sea King Hunter as a primary fishing boat, Jeff says it fishes three people easily for halibut and is a great trolling boat. “The cuddy is roomy and comfortable for two people, but for our fishing clients we need the open bow,” shares Copinga. Currently Salmon Run Fishing is working with Alaska Sea King on the design specs for an open-bow boat that will be used with their fishing clients.
Welding, Trailers, and Shrink-wrap
Alaska Sea King is more than just a boat dealer. They also provide welding services, trailers for their boats or yours, and shrink-wrap services. In fact, while interviewing Chris for this column, Chris and his group were feverishly shrinking-wrapping boats as Alaska gets ready for its winter season.
First, it must be emphasized that Alaska Sea King is not pigeonholed into only offering the ProFisher and Hunter series of boats. Allsea Boats has the capability of building watercraft as large as 70 feet, which opens up a unique opportunity for providing alternative vessels for various needs. Alaska Sea King’s Chris McGinty shares, “We take feedback from each of our customers and carry that knowledge forward so that our future clients can benefit from the features, and benefit from our experience.”
On the radar for 2024 is the introduction of the 36-foot air-chambered boat with an 11-foot beam that will be powered by twin Ox diesel outboards. This will be a monster of a boat, and will enter the market at nearly $100,000 less than similar vessels, and when powered by Ox diesels, will reduce fuel consumption by 40 percent. It’s these savings, and being able to pass on the savings, that keeps Chris and his team at Alaska Sea King inspired as they gaze into the future. For more info on Alaska Sea King Boats go to: alaskaseaking.com.
Troy Buzalsky is the Boats columnist for Fish Alaska magazine, and when not writing about boats he can likely be found chasing fish in the Pacific Northwest and the 49th state and writing about those adventures. Troy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.