new to SA and new to airboats with a couple questions....

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Aeon
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new to SA and new to airboats with a couple questions....

Post by Aeon »

Hello and Thanks for this site. I have been reading up a storm on here and learning all kinds of things. I live in the peoples republic of California and well airboats are not that common out here. I have been wanting a Airboat for sometime to duck hunt with and its time to get one!

couple questions for you all... I do not have a ton of cash to spend on a fancy airboat yet but i do want to get one that will work for what i need. Where i hunt we do not have much in the way of dry ground but we do have huge areas of 2" deep water with mud. We get sandbars at times and they can come right up to the surface but for the most part no dry dirt will be crossed. No big water at all. Would only be me and one other person and my dog. I do have a friend here that is a long time airboat operator to help me learn how to drive it.

what type of boat do you guys all think i should be looking at in the under 10k range. Since i will have to transport this thing from back east out west i would like to keep it near 7k. mechanical skill is not a problem. There seem to be a few DD 500 Cadillac 13'6 boats around that are at a good price? would this kind of boat work for what i am after? The airplane motors scare me a bit but only because i have not worked on them and am unsure of how hard they are to get parts for....

I do have one 16' 454 with reduction fiberglass boat i am going to look at this week that is local. Not to sure what condition the hull is but i do know that it does not have poly on. Is poly that much better then the Steelflex type coatings. I have a mudboat and know how the coatings work or should i say don't work.

any advice is welcome and thanks :)

Bill
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akblackdawg
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Re: new to SA and new to airboats with a couple questions...

Post by akblackdawg »

Bill, first all welcome to Southern Airboat. I'm proof that you dont have to be from the south to get help here. But then again, you are from So Cali. Just curious about where you hunt. Salton Sea maybe, I recall a lot of flooded fields in Sacramento area also from when I was young, I've seen hunting on the Colorado river but that doesn't sound like where you are refering too. Just curious.

That 16/454 rig does sound like overkill for what you are looking for, but if the price is right, it would do the job. If you get it, figure on ordering some poly for it. I remember last time i was in So Calif somebody was advertising a ac boat on craigs list, so there are some available. Keep looking, you shouldn't have to drive to the east coast to buy a airboat. From what I hear about ac boats, don't be afraid of them, get a sound motor and it will last for years with just simple maintance. Sounds like a great place to ride, and if you are the only airboat, so much better, until you break down. You will get lots of advice here tomorrow and this week, don't be shy about asking. Have fun, the only thing that comes close to a airboat is running a snowmobile at 100 mph. Bud
:alaska: If you ain't living on the edge, you're taking up to much space.

15x8 Alumatech hull, with enclosed cab, aluminum cage, LS 3, 6.2 aluminum block ffi, 2.7 Balistic Box, sensinich superwide 3 blade. Built for year around riding in Alaska

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akblackdawg
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Post by akblackdawg »

.....................................................................................
Last edited by akblackdawg on Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
:alaska: If you ain't living on the edge, you're taking up to much space.

15x8 Alumatech hull, with enclosed cab, aluminum cage, LS 3, 6.2 aluminum block ffi, 2.7 Balistic Box, sensinich superwide 3 blade. Built for year around riding in Alaska

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Southern Style
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Re: new to SA and new to airboats with a couple questions...

Post by Southern Style »

If you are looking for something for 2 people and a dog ( remember that you also have a cooler for lunches and drinks, gear for your dog, alot of decoys, ect..) the 454 with a gear box would suffice. Also a DD Cadi (if it is a 500) would do fine as well. As for the polymere, depending on your water bottom, poly might help alot. Steelflex is nice but I dont think that it is 5/16'th thick.. Poly will hold up to almost anything. Your choice, you know what the bottom surface is.. Aircraft does last a long time and actually easy to work on.. Parts are a phone call away..
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Re: new to SA and new to airboats with a couple questions...

Post by sidejobs »

With aprox 2 " of water, occasional sand bar and some mud, sounds like fun. Unless you find a great deal a reduction unit seems overkill for sure. Direct drive caddy 500 or 220 gpu will be the most affordable and easiest to maintain option. Of course I'm biased. Lol. Do the caddy !
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Re: new to SA and new to airboats with a couple questions...

Post by kdb396 »

I agree with Southern Style and I to was a little leery of the AC motors until I got one and took it apart they are way easier to work on than any car motor and if you stay with a GPU then the parts are easy to come by all you have to do is ask most of these guys on here have them setting around their garage anyway good luck in you search and once you find one post some pics before you buy it. I have seen guys do that and get some real good advice before they make the big purchase

Aeon
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Re: new to SA and new to airboats with a couple questions...

Post by Aeon »

Thanks for the info guys. I'm looking hard all over the place :)
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akblackdawg
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Re: new to SA and new to airboats with a couple questions...

Post by akblackdawg »

if worse comes to worse, texas is only a 2 day drive from Cal state line, but then u need a day to cross tx to the coast. If you make the trip, be sure and contact some tx members for help and advice in selecting a boat. DO NOT BUY A BOAT WITHOUT TEST RUNNING IT!!! Bud
:alaska: If you ain't living on the edge, you're taking up to much space.

15x8 Alumatech hull, with enclosed cab, aluminum cage, LS 3, 6.2 aluminum block ffi, 2.7 Balistic Box, sensinich superwide 3 blade. Built for year around riding in Alaska

Aeon
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Re: new to SA and new to airboats with a couple questions...

Post by Aeon »

Here is what I'm going to get. I think :)
454 2/1 belt 17'x7.5' 3 blade carbon and a two blade stick prop
Image
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Re: new to SA and new to airboats with a couple questions...

Post by akblackdawg »

Aeon, just noticed your pic, surprised no other posts giving you info on that boat. I no nothing about fiberglass boats, but that looks like a old old hull to me. Trailer is the best looking thing in the pic, since I don't see no wemen :mrgreen: . I dono, it all looks might old to me, and I am afraid it will be a major project one after another. Be sure and check the wood in the stringers and transome for rot. But who knows, some of those old boats with a good motor can run for years. I wouldn't pay too much for it, and would want to take it out for atleast a hour test drive just to get the bugs out of it and make sure it will run that long. I was going to ask if it was from down south of you, but then I saw the CA sticker on it. This post will bump the thread back to the top and maybe some others will give their opinions. I might be all wet, after all, I've been all wet in a airboat before. Bud
:alaska: If you ain't living on the edge, you're taking up to much space.

15x8 Alumatech hull, with enclosed cab, aluminum cage, LS 3, 6.2 aluminum block ffi, 2.7 Balistic Box, sensinich superwide 3 blade. Built for year around riding in Alaska

Aeon
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Re: new to SA and new to airboats with a couple questions...

Post by Aeon »

The hull is a early 80s era hurricane. In good shape the stringers seem sound. The motor is recently rebuilt but even if it's not it's just a BBC. With what I'm going to pay I could rebuild it with out much pain. The cage is a bit rough but it's a hunting boat.

Anyone know anything about this hull?
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hmgm123
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Re: new to SA and new to airboats with a couple questions...

Post by hmgm123 »

Only thing I see is the prop needs to changed. That prop looks rotted. Get you a carbon fiber prop.

Aeon
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Re: new to SA and new to airboats with a couple questions...

Post by Aeon »

It has a brand new powershift 3 blade that's never been installed.
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Re: new to SA and new to airboats with a couple questions...

Post by Bdriller »

Aeon wrote:It has a brand new powershift 3 blade that's never been installed.
Aeon I dont normally comment on boats or give opinions on things that are for sale but in this case I must. A good friend of mine called me onetime and said he found a boat forsale that he thought was cheap, I couldnt get away to go with him and checkout the boat. He came home with the ugly beast paid for. I hadnt seen one of those turds since, until you posted this pic. I know I sound negative but hear me out, his had a dd472 wood prop ran fine sounded good turned up to total rpm like it should, we took a couple of boats including his 57 belair airbarge and went to the river we had a hard time running slow enough for him to keep up with us but speed aint everything. We then shutdown on a 4"-6" shallow sandbar level bottom crystal clear water pretty white sand, that was when the work started. I have personally never seen a worser,heavier,make you mad, pull your guts out,piece of well to make a long story short full throttle with 3 men trying to shake the front loose never suceeded in breaking it loose. We finally had to go get a jerk strap and and hook a boat to it and jerk it free. that was the heaviest hull i ever seen, bear in mind it was a dd however any boat in 6" of water should be able to shake free hell most will drift away in 6" of water. we were told thes hulls were built for vietnam with 50 cal guns on the front, it actually had a swivel base on the front deck. After that day we felt that if it really was a combat boat the poor soldiers would have been sitting ducks. He never ran the boat again and finally sold it for a 1k loss. The 2-1 belt should help but i still think it will be a anchor. good luck

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Re: new to SA and new to airboats with a couple questions...

Post by Aeon »

Bdriller thanks for the input. No need to candy coat it for me I'm a big boy :)

I'm a bit confused by the true nature of this hull. It's mfg date is 81 not a Vietnam era boat so I'm wondering if any of you have run one.

The person I'm buying it from has the exact same hull with a 383 stroaker and it runs dry no problem. So I'm thinking it's not the same as old war boats but I don't know ????
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Re: new to SA and new to airboats with a couple questions...

Post by Bdriller »

Aeon wrote:Bdriller thanks for the input. No need to candy coat it for me I'm a big boy :)

I'm a bit confused by the true nature of this hull. It's mfg date is 81 not a Vietnam era boat so I'm wondering if any of you have run one.

The person I'm buying it from has the exact same hull with a 383 stroaker and it runs dry no problem. So I'm thinking it's not the same as old war boats but I don't know ????
The vvietnam story might be hype donno, or the mold may have survived into the 80s donno, the weight of the hulls pulled out of the mold may have been different light,medium,heavy someone on here probably has a lot of knowledge about that particular hull maybe theyll chime in, dont know what theyre asking for this boat but my son showed it to me the other day on craigslist and i told him the same story. If this boat is your first and its cheap enough and you can enjoy it for awhile and then turn it and upgrade it might be right for you. Ill say this if you do, it will be like your first bicycle ride youll never forget it good or bad.

Aeon
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Re: new to SA and new to airboats with a couple questions...

Post by Aeon »

I got it and took it out for the first time this weekend. OMFG it's fun :) I don't think slow would be a word I would use. Seems like it's set up pretty good. So now you guys have a California boy with a boat
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yETmuFbNKNM&sns=em
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yETmuFbNKNM&sns=em[/youtube]
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Re: new to SA and new to airboats with a couple questions...

Post by nomad41 »

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nomad41/
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Re: new to SA and new to airboats with a couple questions...

Post by Bdriller »

well that boat sounds good,looks like it gets up on plane pretty fair, cornerd good video looks impressive noticed you drove past some of that dry stuff and didnt see if it wanted to eat some like the previous owner said it liked, hell go ahead run er up on some video it, post it and ill eat some crow, but i prefer you ask me how i want it cooked.

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Re: new to SA and new to airboats with a couple questions...

Post by cflacowboy001 »

This guy might have some insight on your boat http://www.takuriver.com/VINTAGEAIRBOAT.htm

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Re: new to SA and new to airboats with a couple questions...

Post by SwampMatt »

This is why they say VietNam era boat.
That actual hull may have been built whenever... but that design was most definitely in SE Asia.
From the photo gallery here on SA:
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Image
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Image
Image
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Image

Your video passed a couple places I'd have stopped to throw out some bait on a line. ;)
Nice little spot you got there.... Kinda cool to see them mountains in the background in some of the views.

Aeon
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Re: new to SA and new to airboats with a couple questions...

Post by Aeon »

Got to remember this is a long ways from Florida. I get stuck and it's a 10mile walk out and the only other airboat was on it's way back home 200 miles away.

I'll have the other rig down next weekend and I'll try some semi dry ground :)
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Re: new to SA and new to airboats with a couple questions...

Post by SwampMatt »

I noticed some nice handy handles on the front, right where you grab to shake a stuck boat loose.
You mash the gas, and every time you pull the front a few feet left or right, the boat will move forward a couple inches or a foot if you're lucky.
Been there done that.
I've been stuck by myself, and tied a string to the throttle, so I could push and got'r done. It's not the end of the world.
You're gonna make friends with those handles. No doubt. :D

Aeon
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Re: new to SA and new to airboats with a couple questions...

Post by Aeon »

It's a Hurricane hull and its very much related to the Vietnam era boats. The bottom is smooth and flat with out the catamaran the aircats seem to have in the early pics. cool pics

Bdriller no way ill ask you eat crow but if you need me to ill send you some ducks. I kill a lot of ducks :)

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Re: new to SA and new to airboats with a couple questions...

Post by cflacowboy001 »

nice !

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