small engine airboats

Airboats with smaller powerplants.
duke of nc
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small engine airboats

Postby duke of nc » Tue Jun 06, 2006 2:05 pm

I noticed alot of people discussing smaller airboats, how well the gas consumption is, and the convenience of maintance and repair with a briggs, honda or similiar engine. I was wondering if anyone had any other links or company names for manufacturers of these mini airboats. so far Ive only seen http://dixonairboats0.tripod.com/main.html and http://www.mosquitoairboats.com/ I like the mosquito airboat as it seems to be designed to be quieter, but dixons boat seemes to run dry alot stronger in his videos, and it doesnt seem to me quite right, considering the mosquito has 30 more hp and an aluminum hull (31hp to a 61hp) I'm looking for a boat set up to push a fat man(270 or so)around and my kid and some hunting gear. that isnt going to cost an arm and a leg in gas and maintenance. I dont need to climb hills or race anyone in it. But I do like to ride in to the camp area. I also hunt from mine so I like it set up high. Any Opinions or leads would be great. tanks :D

Rich Andrews
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Postby Rich Andrews » Tue Jun 06, 2006 2:21 pm

IMO, those small airboats are good for 1 person(270LBS?).If your going to run dry, hills etc and want to keep it small.....I would get a strong 180 lycoming, every one that is set up right are totally amazing.
I'll have my Manatee burger medium please...just say NObama

14x8 deckover FELBER 397ci.. HP ???..just stay back!!

LOHA is AHOL backwards

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cowboy
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Postby cowboy » Tue Jun 06, 2006 2:59 pm

I agree with what Rich said above, but heres a link to another mini builder.
They are a brand new design, but all that have seen them run are more than impressed.
http://www.skeeterhawk.com/

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Waterthunder
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Postby Waterthunder » Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:25 pm

I don't know if their all exspensive but the two vendors I saw wanted more money for one then what a normal full size airboat cost's. If you want a small cheap boat I would recomend a 125HP or 90HP Lycoming their cheap, light and simple.
THE PROOF IS IN THE PROP!

"If you copy someone you will only achieve what has already been done."

http://waterthunder.com/
321-508-5316

duke of nc
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Postby duke of nc » Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:42 pm

Waterthunder do you have any links for an airboat manufacturer that sells a descent boat fairly cheap? Like I said I am looking for a boat that isnt too bad on gas and that doesnt need anything to extravagent or labor costly when it does break down. But also initial price is a factor too and I am not wanting to pay alot for an airboat either. as always any opinion is appreciated.


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Whitebear
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Postby Whitebear » Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:47 pm

I know I have mentioned this in a thread way back somewhere but I found an old 10'x6' hull like Cowboys with a new 90 GPU on it for one of my kids. I bought it for a toy for him to learn on and something to play with.

That was one of the most amazing boats I have ever seen. It ran places the big O-540s couldnt and it ran dirt cheep. I was told it was a Taylor hull. It had a sheet of plastic on the botton and the single big rudder. Was conduit rigged with an old Sensinich wood prop. No starter but did have an alternator and battery and lights.

Seems like I paid about $1,300 for it back in the early or mid 80s. We got $100,000 of running, camping and fun out of it. It wouldnt cruise with my big Buick powered boat but it would run dry right beside it anywhere.

There may still be some of these older small Taylor hulls around.

Scotty
"The Constitution is not so the government can restrain the people, it is so the people can restrain the government." Patrick Henry
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NorthWestFloridaBoy
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Postby NorthWestFloridaBoy » Tue Jun 06, 2006 6:44 pm

The little boat (4x8, 13hp Honda) I am building won't run dry but I don't really need it to up here. I am a do it yo self kinda guy and can't convince myself to pay someone to do what I can do, that being said if I had to do it all over again I would save my money and weld my own hull out of alluminum and get a used rotax or hirth ultralight aircraft engine off ebay. it would actully end up being similiar to that skeeter hawk boat, I think he uses the hirth engine which is an awesome peice. these little engines weigh close to my 13hp honda 4-stroke but put out 55-70hp and already have gearboxes on them. I have looked at the dixon twister, mosquito and the skeeter hawk and I think the skeeter would be the most potent of the three but I know there is mark up for there labor,marketing, etc so I would build one myself and save a couple thousand, But that's how I do things.

duke of nc
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Postby duke of nc » Wed Jun 07, 2006 4:37 pm

I appreciate all the great feedback you guys have given. I am unfortuantly not a do it yoself kinda guy, but I wish I was. I would prolly save thousands as well on a boat. anybody have any experience with that mosquito 61? as always tia, and any links would be great.

super dave
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Postby super dave » Wed Jun 07, 2006 11:28 pm

I am purchasing a small boat for some aquatic weed treatments. Contacted Mosquito, they had a used boat for sale. Drove an hour to look at boat, it looked good but we were unable to launch the boat to see how it performed on the water because they did not have a way to get it to the water.
Set up an appointment to return to test ride boat. Returned to Yadkinville to test boat-unfortunately we were not able to launch boat again. Feeling like a real sucker I set up the third appointment to test the boat. Unbelievably B&B didn't have a vehicle that would launch the boat. At that point I was told that we would definately launch the boat next time.
After a few days I called to see if maybe it would be a go on the fourth attempt, It took over a week for my call to be returned like I would even consider a purchase from them at this point. Seems to me that a boat dealer would be a little more interested in selling a boat. I contacted Mr. Dixon who seemed like a boat dealer that was commited to actually manufacturing and selling a boat. Ordered a 14' Dixon Twister and am anxiously waiting for it to be completed. If there are any B&B customers who have had better experiences please reply.

Olf Art
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Postby Olf Art » Wed Jun 07, 2006 11:50 pm

Paul Dixon is one of the finest people in the business, Super Dave. You did good. The stuff they build is top shelf, and they'll stand behind anything they tell you.
You'll like your Twister, too. Great little airboats.

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airboat_Mike
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small airboats

Postby airboat_Mike » Thu Jun 08, 2006 9:06 am

snyder airboats 717 692-4294 or 1jetman@comcast.net
airboat_mike

duke of nc
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Postby duke of nc » Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:58 am

Thanks for all the responses. So far from what Ive heard, I think I would go with paul dixons boats. He sent a nice email asking me to give him a call and that he wasnt trying to sell me a boat, but wanting to help explain these boats and to get me pointed in the right direction. Seemed like a real genuine guy. As of right now I am mostly doing research for a sale in the near future. Mostly all Ive seen are boats in the 15-20k range which some friends told me is too much. Not looking for anything fancy or fast, but just something that will run dry a LiL with 3 people. And that wont burn $50 a day in gas, or take an airplane mechanic to fix. I would think with how efficient motors have become they wouldve come out with something newer that would do the same as some of the older gas hungry motors. But Im no boat engineer.

duke of nc
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Postby duke of nc » Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:08 am

AIrboat mike you need to get a website built with some pics and or vids. or at least I couldnt find it.
Super dave sorry about your luck with mosquito, But from what Ive read in these forums dixon seems like the guy to go to for these type boats. Nothing but good comments and I bet Great support if something comes up later down the road.
If anyone else has a link or manufacturers name for smaller engined airboats please add it.thanks

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cowboy
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Postby cowboy » Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:52 am

Some of the best advise I have ever heard on here, was when I've heard members recomend a good used airboat to begin with. Although, it does sound like you know what you want.

Getting a good used boat will let you start airboating without braking the bank, and find out what type of airboating you really want to do. Most folks won't really know what boat is best for them, until they have one, and start to see how they like to enjoy it.

After you've had one, then you'll better know what boat is best for you.
Besides, it seems as thought the used boat market righ now is ripe for the buyer. I see some attractive boats out there that are selling cheap.

Image

The boat pictured above might make a good beginners boat, and there are others out there that may be better for a little more money.

I'd recomend a used boat, with a ground power engine. They are simple, run on pump gas, and parts are cheap and plentiful. I see some nice looking six cyl GPU rigs on the trader going cheap.

They look good in the photo's anyway, but you never know till you get to see it, and start kicking the rivets if you know what I mean.

Check it out.

http://www.airboattrader.com/AirboatsForSale2.htm

That's what I would do anyway. Get a good used boat, hit the marsh, find out what you really want before you start to dump some serious money into buying a brand spanking new boat, then finding out it's not exactly the right boat for you.

JMO

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calbrigsr
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Small

Postby calbrigsr » Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:56 am

Ditto!! cowboy. 8)
Chuck S.J.R.A.A.
11'6 Charlie Jones, FI S/V 0540, 5 Blade 72" Warpdrive.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

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Whitebear
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Postby Whitebear » Thu Jun 08, 2006 12:14 pm

Dont overlook the 4 cylinder PE90 150 GPUs on small hulls either. Looks like that is whats in the picture above. They run just fine. Can be rebuilt many times and can be beefed up quite a bit.

Scotty
"The Constitution is not so the government can restrain the people, it is so the people can restrain the government." Patrick Henry
The government cannot give anything --
that they have not first taken from someone else.

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cowboy
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Postby cowboy » Thu Jun 08, 2006 12:29 pm

10-4 Scotty,
The add says it's dual magged, and got a fresh top end.
It says that the bottom may be a little tired, perhaps it's got some low oil pressure. Who knows.

Palm Beach style, foot steer, single rudder. THAT BOAT IS YOU SCOTTY!

Their asking 5k for it.

It could be ready for the junk pile, or it could be a good little rig. You never know till you see it in real life.

Looks to be an open Stossel

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Postby Moritz » Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:35 pm

Paul is one of the best in the trade & has been @ it for a very long time . I bought a boat from him in 1975 & I am still running it every day 31 years later. Tel him hellow from Burt in Texas. He know what he is talking about will no B.S. & shoots straigt.

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airboat_Mike
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small engine airboat

Postby airboat_Mike » Fri Jun 09, 2006 2:26 pm

I have some pics of small and full size airboats under airboat_mike that Snyder airboats have built email Tom Snyder at 1jetman@comcast.net or call him at 717 692-4294 he has 30 plus years in the airboat business and has built alot of small airboats and conversions he builds Aluminum airboats out of 6061 T-6
airboat_mike

super dave
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Postby super dave » Tue Jul 18, 2006 11:52 pm

Olf Art wrote:Paul Dixon is one of the finest people in the business, Super Dave. You did good. The stuff they build is top shelf, and they'll stand behind anything they tell you.
You'll like your Twister, too. Great little airboats.


I needed my boat ASAP for some aquatic weed control projects. Mr. Dixon was going on vacation the week of the 4th but promised he would try to have the boat ready before he left. Paul called Thursday and said the boat would be ready on on Saturday if he could get the seats covered. I talked with Carol on Friday and decided to get the boat without seats if necessary. I left work and headed out for the 10 hr. ride to Bainbridge. I arrived at Airboats Unlimited Saturday morning and was surprised to see the boat complete with seats. The boat was beatuiful. I will try to upload a photo with this post. (hope it works) I was equally excited to meet the wonderful folks at Airboats Unlimited.

All I read about the Dixons is true. Paul really knows his "stuff" and his attention to detail is unmatched. My boat was perfect - perfect construction, performance and appearance. Mr. Dixon builds a quality boat that performs exactly as he says it will. Anyone interested in buying an airboat should definitely talk to Paul.

A week or so after bringing my boat home, Carol called just to see how things were going. How many businesses would do that? Hopefully one day I can upgrade to a more powerful boat and it will be a Dixon!

Thanks for everything Paul, Carol and Kevin! And thanks to the SouthernAirboat forum participants for leading me to the Dixons!

Image

super dave
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Postby super dave » Tue Jul 18, 2006 11:56 pm

Sorry about the widescreen photo. :oops: I don't know how to fix it.

Olf Art
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Postby Olf Art » Wed Jul 19, 2006 12:12 am

Nice post, super dave. Man, that is a pretty little airboat. Congratulations .... :D


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