running airboat during freeze up

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50mile
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running airboat during freeze up

Post by 50mile »

any issue's running during freeze up on river?...ice build up?..lot of slush in river today.would like to do one more trip,hauling fuel,propane.etc....thanks for any tips or suggestions.

50mile
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Re: running airboat during freeze up

Post by 50mile »

guess I should of added,it's a 16 foot,heated cab,3/8 uhmw,7.4 litre.

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AirRanger
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Re: running airboat during freeze up

Post by AirRanger »

Well, being from FL I am the last person who could answer your question. However I did read on here a long time ago that an airboat could become stuck on ice frozen to the ground if it sat in one place too long of time. How would one get it to release in such conditions?
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Re: running airboat during freeze up

Post by AirRanger »

BTW, how have you been a member since 2010 and just now made your first post?
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swamper2
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Re: running airboat during freeze up

Post by swamper2 »

i always carry a 8 ft 4 x 6 to break it loose should it freeze in.
Under one corner of the bow it don't take much to pop it.
16ft alumitech/406sbc/2.38w/3-80in.R's

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bigkavr
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Re: running airboat during freeze up

Post by bigkavr »

50 mile, greetings.

First off, there is no cut and dried answer to your question, but, by understanding the physics involved between the airboat hull and the snow,ice,slush surface, you’ll have a better idea of what could (or probably will) happen…
Also, everything I’m telling you pertain to an airboat that has a hull that isn’t all pounded in and damaged. If your hull is all pounded in due to abuse or the wrong hull for the environment, then all bets are off. (You’re basically screwed….) So, with no further ado, here is 1/20th of the class on Airboats and Ice 101.

Running an airboat during freeze-up presents some interesting challenges that can quickly get you stuck quicker than ANYTHING I’ve ever experienced. And when I say stuck, I mean middle of the night, minus 5 degrees, on a recently frozen lake with 10” of fluffy snow on top of 5 inches of slush on top of 3 inches of ice and about 2 miles from shore. This was the perfect storm of getting stuck on the ice!! And the lake had only froze-over two days previous. But I digress…….

These challenges can be especially “frustrating” if the air temp has taken a quick nose dive down to 10 degrees or lower, and/or there has been fresh snow deposited on the green ice, or slush on top.

What happens is that while traversing over/through the snow, ice or slush, your airboat hull is actually much colder than the surface you’re traveling over (remember, the green ice or slush is only a few degrees below freezing at this point because the water temp is keeping it warmer). If you start your trip from a dry snow or ice surface, as long as you keep moving on the same type of “dry” surface, then generally you’re good to go. But, if that super cold airboat hull hits slush or wet snow (green ice with snow on top) then the liquid in the slush will instantly freeze to the bottom of the hull. (and contrary to popular myth, polymer does NOT totally prevent this from happening!!)
If, and I do mean if, the airboat has sufficient speed, then “usually” only a thin film of ice will be created on the polymer and the abrasive action of the hull against the snow or ice is usually sufficient to keep the hull clear of additional buildup. Also, even if you splash through some slush or wet snow, the abrasive action will keep the hull pretty clean when you get back onto a “dry” surface.. IF YOU KEEP MOVING…

Now, add any variable to the mix like traveling through slush, then snow, then wet snow and or any variable of the above and you’ve just created a great mix for “help I’m stuck and I can’t move”… I’ve see over 10” of ice build-up on the polymer and at that thickness, even a high hp airboat cannot move that kind or weight. Generally, once you get over a ¼ inch of buildup, you’ll start to quickly get into trouble as the buildup will start to multiply faster and faster thus causing the airboat to slow down quickly even with the addition of applied power.

One last point to mention is stopping on the ice or snow. The hull really doesn’t create any heat (worth worrying about) until about the last foot of movement before it comes to a stop. Then that heat is sufficient to melt a little snow/ice as the hull comes to a stop.

On bare ice, the only thing you might have to when you move again is to rock the airboat a little bit to break the ice grip on the hull. Since your hull should have a slight curve to it (left to right AND fore to aft), only a small portion of the actual hull is in direct contact with the ice. On wet ice or slush/snow, the best thing to do is park on a couple of 4x4s (or 2x4s) but make sure your hull is off the surface. The hull will stick/freeze to the wood, but it’s a minor issue to break loose from them. One last this to remember is it’s always easier to break a frozen airboat loose by twisting/turning (moving the bow left or right) rather than trying to go in a straight line.

I could go on and on, but, by understanding the physics and also being very intimate with how your airboat reacts to different surfaces, you now have a little better understanding on what’s going on beneath your hull. Have fun and good luck.

Bigkavr

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akblackdawg
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Re: running airboat during freeze up

Post by akblackdawg »

Where are you located 50 mile. I've traveled early winter creeks and rivers where ice was breaking under the hull, as I ran the boat, slows things down quite a bit as opposed to running hard ice. I've also traveled the Knik when there were ice flows on it, climbing over and pushing them around as I went, that can be pretty hairy but had no problem other then the pucker factor. Be very careful when it hardens up also, very slick, and if you get on it at all, so slow, there is no stopping a airboat sliding sidewise towards a obsitcal when at speed. When stopping to park the boat, try and find or lay down some branches, etc to park on, will keep bottom from freezing to the ice. Be sure and take rescue equipment, i carry a high lift jack and a lewis winch as well as a hand held VHF radio, and much more. 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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F0zzy2
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Re: running airboat during freeze up

Post by F0zzy2 »

Problems I have had running at freeze up would be be running open rivers then hitting the back frozen sloughs and crushing the sides of the hull in. The thicker the ice the worse the damage. Nothing a porta power and hammer cant fix but it sucks if you have a fancy painted boat.
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Re: running airboat during freeze up

Post by 50mile »

just returned from trip.first thing, back boat into river,its froze to trailer both are floating.pull out bing bang try again,nope let sit in water 10 mns thinking that will thaw the two apart,nope.handy man jack,bing bang and there separated and I begin trip.couple hours and 50 miles later,pull onto gravel bar coverd with 6 inches snow ,unload boat .20 min later cant move,stuck.handyman jack lift boat.snow,rocks and sand adhered to bottom of boat.put logs under boat,all eventully melted off.yep park on logs, brush etc.

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Re: running airboat during freeze up

Post by dougeey »

Being from the south I don't know a lot about ice unless it is in a cooler of beer!! I moved to Alabama and found out what ice , snow and airboats do all mixed together. Last February we got a ice storm with 6" of ice and3 "of snow so I put the boat on the ground and no go 500caddy wot no go it was frozen to the ground had get a 2x4and pry it free . Took off across the field and found out you have got to spin around to stop . Once I stop it was just a little shake of the rudder and off you went. Can't wait for next snow and ice storm!!
Doug

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Re: running airboat during freeze up

Post by bkmail »

50 mile,
I see you made thr trip already but here are a couple other thoughts on winter running;

Carry some HEAT and better yet, add some Sea Foam to your gas prior to heading out so it will prevent any water in your tank from freezing or your fuel pump, etc...
I've had my carb ice up during certian conditions and it can be above freezing temps when it happens. Stop for a minute and let the carb warm up again from the heat off the motor.

BK
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Re: running airboat during freeze up

Post by akblackdawg »

I went to the river and there was thin ice, maybe a inch or so thick along the shore going out 15 or 20 ft. I had been out the prevous day, no ice but it was below freeze when i picked up the boat. backing the trailer half way down into the water as usual, get the bunks all wet. So, the next day when i went to unload, i unhooked boat from trailer, as usual, heavy boat, never slides off bunks!! backed down a bit, no problem, had difficulity getting boat off trailer due to it being froze to the bunks. So I pulled up, backed down and jerked it off. Zip, it slid off lickity split like, transome dropped down on the ice and broke throught the ice, swamping the back of the boat. There i was, trying to hook my winch strap back to the boat, and trying to pull a heavy water filled boat out of the icy river, half full of water. Got it done, but what a cold as... mess. 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

50mile
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Re: running airboat during freeze up

Post by 50mile »

thanks for all the response.i use jet boat mostly,just got back from another air boat trip,lots slush,lot of shore ice broke up by my wake.one inch thick.river froze over few short spots,gave up 48 miles up.frozen and rough,turned around, did not relize I now have 48 miles to travel through all the shore ice I broke loose on way up.a couple times after going over snow and gravel apon re entering river ,boat was sluggish and hard to keep on step.guess ice? or?stuck to bottom?slowly went away,and back to normal.

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Re: running airboat during freeze up

Post by swamper2 »

akblackdawg wrote:I went to the river and there was thin ice, maybe a inch or so thick along the shore going out 15 or 20 ft. I had been out the prevous day, no ice but it was below freeze when i picked up the boat. backing the trailer half way down into the water as usual, get the bunks all wet. So, the next day when i went to unload, i unhooked boat from trailer, as usual, heavy boat, never slides off bunks!! backed down a bit, no problem, had difficulity getting boat off trailer due to it being froze to the bunks. So I pulled up, backed down and jerked it off. Zip, it slid off lickity split like, transome dropped down on the ice and broke throught the ice, swamping the back of the boat. There i was, trying to hook my winch strap back to the boat, and trying to pull a heavy water filled boat out of the icy river, half full of water. Got it done, but what a cold as... mess. Bud
I took the carpet off my bunks long time ago. Put ABS plastic on them. Keeps from freezing down. I thought I would have trouble power loading too fast but it was not a problem .
16ft alumitech/406sbc/2.38w/3-80in.R's

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