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Old 06-04-2015, 01:48 AM   #1
WWes
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Default Airboats for Yankees?

What can you Southern fellers tell me about those Marlin Perkins adventure vessels?

I always thought they look like fun, since I was 5 watching Mutual of Omaha's TV spot. "Watch Jim feed the alligator bacon slices while I sit back in safety". LOL, good TV.

Not a common boat in central Ohio. I've got a great "nearly wild" river at my disposal, flathead cats up to state record size. 50's and 60's aren't uncommon, record is 72. Access is the issue. No locks or major dams but lots of trash. There's a thriving smallmouth and spotted bass population, wipers/stripers, and sauger/saugeye. It's a do not eat dump, and I'm a catfisherman. It takes a rare dummy to launch a bass boat and to really fish the holes a jet boat would be perfection.

Cost. Saw some guys towing an airboat when I bought the Tojo car,and wheels started spinning...

If a storm kicks up this river can go to true Hell within a few hours. I've done it in 14', 5 hp aluminum V-hull boats and it's a scary ride. I know the few classified ad's I've checked don't cover the full range of airboats. Having never piloted one? Any fiirst-hand experience is welcome.

I don't need a fishing deck, helpful for awkward holes but I'd rather tie off and fish bank spots on the overnight. My only real concern is the handling in stormy waters and engine preferences.

I've got 2 solid buyers on an '86 Yammy V-Max. 12,000 original and 600 of mine. It's fast, it' absolutely cool but it's not something I enjoy. I like Jap bikes, I bought it as a collector piece. It is, I knew it would be. I want to turn it into a boat.

I've got a good truck, a nice car, a suitable utility/landscape trailer. 79 KZ 1326 toy, old Honda Interceptor coming in on trade. Money on the V-Max will be 28-3200, I'm figuring on a boat in that market?

I'll drive my GMC anywhere in the country if need be, it's close to 300k. Life should be a joy (credit to Rob Zombie)

I know there are guys here that know these boats, I hate to purchase out of my zone.

Any and all advice, pour it on and don't hold back! I need to know how these machines perform before it's too late. I've worked too much. I love work but I want to fish what the working people can't. I'll become a writer with an interesting blog. I've landed 45-50lb. cats by myself. It is a celebration of life.

It is insanity, it is obsession. I cannot quit it and I need a boat. Airboat.
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Old 06-04-2015, 05:51 AM   #2
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They are very loud & expensive. Houston's Fire department use to have a few for our floods. Use to be a shop out in Baytown that built them not sure if it's still around. My dad had tried to build a smaller version of one & found it was under powered. Like the boat much better with just an outboard engine.
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Old 06-04-2015, 05:56 AM   #3
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What can you Southern fellers tell me about those Marlin Perkins adventure vessels?

Well for starters Wes Marlin has the higher I.Q. and Jim gets a smaller pay check.
Air-boats yah love em or hate em.. They have quite a few here in N. central Florida. From low end home builds too massive big buck ones with airplane engines.
Here they ride the sides of the lake staying out of the choppy water. Down aviators way, Everglades, their all over the place. Spend some time riding in one down here, you may hate them like I do..
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Old 06-04-2015, 08:39 AM   #4
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Some air boats are over engineered, others are 'Franken' boats.

Knew a guy who built his own, aircraft prop, huge, and a '56 Chevy power plant.

He had no concept of cavitation, until he reached 70 knots and suddenly the boat just came to a stop, in the water, when he over revved the engine. His next lesson was when he powered down and the prop caught air again and he shot out of the water.

He survived the experience and managed to re-engineer the project, with the help of someone who 'knew a few facts' about props.

Props vs. Fans.
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Old 06-04-2015, 08:09 PM   #5
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Fun to ride if the water is smooth and you don't mind scaring everything within a five mile radius.

For one or two people, I'd suggest a flat back canoe, like a ghenoe, and a 5 to 15 hp engine. If you want more folks and maybe have a bbq, get a pontoon boat.

Its kind of like having a top fuel dragster to go get groceries...
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Old 06-05-2015, 03:30 AM   #6
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I too like to canoe but with river rising there's only one way out. Jet boats are really the only feasible craft for utility here. Prices are way out of range without financing and just like an airboat. I don't know dirt.


I definitely don't desire a homebuild. I can make a garage fan, but not one I'd try to sell.

Where I'm at, it's an under used unappreciated river. Boat noise could affect maybe 100 people on a good day/night. The boats I've been viewing have no hint of V in the hull and I'm kind of scared of running against floodwater. I've done it with a 9.9 outboard but it could have killed us.

With enough rope you can try to tie off and beat feet to higher ground. Jet boat is goal, air boat much cheaper and possibly the best option for my type of fishing. To and fro. I've watched this river breathe, you have to consider sacrifice. No sane person runs a bass boat, even aluminum. Even in a tin tub you're going to need wrenches, spare prop, and a spare prop for the trolling motor. I think the airboat is ideal compared to a jetboat?

V-Max sell was insanity. 3 buyers, $3600 in the boat fund. Buick LeSabre sleeper sold too. I'll miss the bitch, she was my favorite. FAST! Never caught. Need to figure out my Kodak scanner, 13.80's on regular tires, 160 + or - a mile per hour top. FAST!


I'm at $5500 and no hurry. I might get into jetboat money if God continues to smile upon my ventures? The Honda is a keeper, it's too clean to turn. Aged and weathered but it's flat sexy. I rode it tagless today @110 on a state route for an hour. No sperms were created but it was a hot ride.

It justifies parting out the ancient Goldwings to Ebay. I had a thing for stripping Goldwings and making dragbikes/streetracers. They are capable, I never followed through and I'll regret that if I sell both. Mmph.

My question remains the same, I only worry about dangerous water. They're a neat machine, that I know. Performance in rough water, running and gunning for survival? Speed on the water doesn't appeal to me, drowning is not on my potential ways of dying list.

Outboards and oars are really out of the question here. Looking for a boat on a budget that will accommodate my fishing needs. Hell, a ski-doo might work, I'd prefer something that can carry a live well and more gear.
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Old 06-05-2015, 10:42 AM   #7
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Sounds like a lot like what we deal with here in the bayous. Treacherous waters, lots of debris, shallow cuts.; definitely no good for a regular outboard. Bayous and the back-water areas can get rough in a big way when a storm catches up to us with incoming tidal surges. Best fishing and duck hunting areas though.

Many of us down here use larger flat boats powered by Go-Devils. Check them out, may be a better option.
http://www.godevil.com/GO-DEVIL_Engines.html
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Old 06-09-2015, 02:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBob01 View Post
Sounds like a lot like what we deal with here in the bayous. Treacherous waters, lots of debris, shallow cuts.; definitely no good for a regular outboard. Bayous and the back-water areas can get rough in a big way when a storm catches up to us with incoming tidal surges. Best fishing and duck hunting areas though.

Many of us down here use larger flat boats powered by Go-Devils. Check them out, may be a better option.
http://www.godevil.com/GO-DEVIL_Engines.html
Money is short and fast, you're probably closer to what I'll need to successfully fish this water. As long as I have a roof I'll have a truck and a car. I could shed all bikes for a capable boat. It would suck to open a garage bay and not roll out ready to burn pavement. But that's something I can live with. I'm older...Things change, a little.

I don't know how life is going to play out but I want it all. As much as I can get.

I'm a simple man, I quit wanting everything a long time ago. I bought a house instead of a 'vette. The man that talked me out of a hot custom 'vette died recently. He was a good man. A Chevrolet dealer, Corvette collector
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Old 03-07-2017, 01:44 PM   #9
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I live here on a trashy river,lots of debris and stumps,water level might vary 4 inches,controlled by the dam 8 miles away.Thought about and dismissed an airboat because of noise,cost and they seem top heavy.Im wondering about a modified water jet power,no shear pins, props or lower ends to worry about?Any thoughts?
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Old 03-08-2017, 01:04 PM   #10
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There is an airboat on Buckeye Lake (central Ohio). Noise pollution is unbelievable. Most folks hate the noise and therefore hate the airboat driver.
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Old 03-25-2017, 02:27 PM   #11
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If I lived near a body of water that was shallow and filled with stumps I would get a backwater motor.

A large percent of the boats on Dale Hollow has backwater motors.

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Beave...Q&gclsrc=aw.ds
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Old 03-25-2017, 07:55 PM   #12
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I thought about building one years ago using what else. I air cooled VW motor.
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Old 11-25-2017, 09:56 AM   #13
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I was launching my little 12' jon boat in the Grand River here in Michigan this Summer and struck up a conversation with a guy launching his fan boat. He built it himself and was VERY proud of it. The thing was loud as hell. Sounded like a freaking aircraft. Beautiful boat. Everything was custom built. Even had an old car engine for power.
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