Old airboat, new driver, and problems

Automotive powered airboat discussion.
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90chevy396
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Re: Old airboat, new driver, and problems

Postby 90chevy396 » Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:45 am

just put it this way I have a stout buick 13'6" glass hull and it will get me into some pretty bad spots if I don't pay attention. run up in the woods 2-3 miles no problem but look out for black mud and polly gets warm and there ya set she cools down shake her a little bit and move on but my hull is all tweeked to hell and back because I take that old dd buick where it shouldn't be and a few gearbox and aircrafts have watched me do so. but my next upgrade will not be to this vessel it will be bbc reduction unit. put 4 grown men on the boat and they have to jump off the boat within the first 100 yards when running dry but if you plan to run alone all the time you might be happy with a dd boat
13' LASER W/455 BUICK DD SINGLE FRONT DOUBLE REAR WHIRL WIND PROPELLER

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akblackdawg
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Re: Old airboat, new driver, and problems

Postby akblackdawg » Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:40 pm

one motor I would suggest, a couple grand more expensive, is a MAS 383, its built for a airboat, will last for years of reliable airboat running, comes with a 2 yr warranty, and is in the 6k range complete, ready for your boat. you can go with bbc or sbc either way, headers won't swap out, but motor mounts, etc are the same. sbc lighter weight, bbc has a bit more torque. this is your first airboat, learn from it, keep the expenses as low as you can because in a year or two you will either decide its not for you or you will want a newer boat, more to your liking based on the experience you have with this one. welcome to SA and airboats
: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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JAMES
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Re: Old airboat, new driver, and problems

Postby JAMES » Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:50 pm

SWAMPHUNTER45 wrote:JAMES to take a stock sbc or bbc and ball hone, re-ring, re-bearing and change flat tappet cam and lifters with a fresh valve job $2,500 is very much do able at smaller machine shops. If within spec there is very little that needs to be bought.

As far as a 383 there are plenty running out there for under 5k maybe not gonna go 10 years but if cared for they make alot of folks happy. A new Whites long block 455hp is 4k, not a Treadwell or MAS but if cared for will get the job done.

http://www.whiteperformance.com/engine_ ... 455hp.html

they are building me a motor right now at double the cost but all good **** these rods and cranks advertised dont hold up like 4340 do plus the pistons in these are to high compression mine is custom i had upgraded pistons cam lifters crank rockers and rods over 1000.00 just to do that plus dyno tune and custom worked carb. i talked with couple builders and gto as well the builders i talked with really wasent giving me what i wanted and gto took to long to respond to me i had already placed a order i did not buy local due to the fact is wanted a drop in 100% ready dyno tuned motor which most the builders dident offer all of what i wanted and some only wanted to put a shitty edelbrock on for 500.00 fk that lol i could of went ls but im not into all that .
https://m.facebook.com/321ccc/?ref=bookmarks Wp383 268 rotator 3 bld WT/EX 14.4 perdator

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Re: Old airboat, new driver, and problems

Postby SWAMPHUNTER45 » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:02 pm

When you get it all together maybe we can meet up and slide!

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Re: Old airboat, new driver, and problems

Postby StrongVet » Fri Dec 02, 2016 2:33 pm

OK, new plan. :idea:

I am going to try to find a used SBC pull-out from a salvage yard: $500-700
I have a guy that can rebuild it for me: $1000 - 1500
Then I need to add reduction: $1000 - 2000

Once complete I should have a boat that is lighter and capable of creating more thrust than when it was a BBC for around $3000-4000 compared to replacing the BBC for a similar price. Does my train of thought seem right so far?

Then I will need to get the power-plant and fan mounted in the boat. I have been told that the bell housing and motor brackets should bolt up exactly the same as with the BBC. The new SBC will be about 4" shorter, but I will be adding reduction, so that should be close to a wash or possibly and add in overall length from the motor bracket to the fan, right?

Then I need to decide a few details:
1. Which do I pick first - prop or reduction? And how do I pick?
2. How high does the fan need to sit? I have seen 4-6" below the transom as a general rule.
3. Does the fan need to be angled up or down in any way to help trim the boat, or should the thrust be parallel to the water?
4. How far inboard should the fan be located?

The hull and the engine stand are a blank slate - I can mount them anywhere I need to and adjust height as necessary right now. Once bolted in it will be harder to change. Thoughts?
Gig'em! Fightin' Texas Aggie c/o 2003
Deus caritas est
Boat: n.1. a hole in the water into which you pour money; 2. an acronym that stands for "break out another thousand"


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coldairman
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Re: Old airboat, new driver, and problems

Postby coldairman » Fri Dec 02, 2016 5:07 pm

Pick reduction unit first belt drive is left hand rotation prop gear drive is right hand rotation prop. I have SBC setup with belt drive, PM me if you want to come by my shop and take some measurements (Greenspoint area)

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Re: Old airboat, new driver, and problems

Postby StrongVet » Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:16 pm

Just bought a complete SBC 350 from a salvage yard. Came from a circa 1990 Suburban and had about 100k miles.

Engine, brackets, valve covers, manifold, heads, water pump, balancer = $350. Hopefully off to a good start.
Gig'em! Fightin' Texas Aggie c/o 2003
Deus caritas est
Boat: n.1. a hole in the water into which you pour money; 2. an acronym that stands for "break out another thousand"

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Re: Old airboat, new driver, and problems

Postby KBA » Sat Dec 03, 2016 1:20 pm

If you are going to rebuild that motor you might as well buy a stroker rotating assembly and have plenty of power

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Re: Old airboat, new driver, and problems

Postby mcm4 » Sat Dec 03, 2016 5:57 pm

Ok, everyone has an opinion... here is mine......stop spending money until you get a complete plan..... see if Crowhater will help you, he lives very close to Houston... listen to him.... stop thinking you are going to recoup your money in your airboat investment, tell you wife if you want but that is not going to happen.

If you don't take this advice, go find a complete running airboat that you are happy with and buy it, sell yours to some other person that wants to try to get into air boating on the cheap.. you can't do it.

mark '76

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Re: Old airboat, new driver, and problems

Postby shiggs » Sat Dec 03, 2016 7:21 pm

StongVet,

If you happen to take MCM's advice, I have one that is just about ready to go on the market. 18x8 Panther Lightning with brand new 496 (30 min cam break in and carb tuning time--Less than 1 hr on it) and brand new Ballistic gear box that has a 36 month warranty on the box. It has an anodized aluminum cage with stainless stand with anodized rail on the front outfitted with LED Bars and Cubes.

I just thought I would mention it. I am down 45 between League City and Galveston.

sh
TX Ag '97

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Re: Old airboat, new driver, and problems

Postby mcm4 » Sat Dec 03, 2016 7:57 pm

I learned the hard way, I purchased a "cheap" boat for 20k and spent 1 mm worth of worrying about what to do, 50k in upgrades, 90% of the time in the shop and it ended up being worth $10-20k. IT never performed to my expectations or desires.

Instead, Had I purchased a 30-40k airboat, I would have been able to use it almost 100% of the time, would not have had the emotional head and heartaches, and when I got ready to sell it it would have most likely been worth what I paid for it, and my loss would be the maintenance costs/repairs/etc.

Your first loss is your best loss, trust me on this.....

go ride in one of Steves airboats and talk to him, come to BCS and ride in my new one and talk to me, no need to repeat a horror story that others have endured..

mark

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Re: Old airboat, new driver, and problems

Postby StrongVet » Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:49 pm

Mark, you're probably right. I'm not ever going to get all of my money back out of this boat (like many of my ventures, it seems). And it might become a maintenance nightmare once I have the motor in it. I hope not, but only time will tell.

If you play poker, I guess you would call me "pot committed." I have about $8k in it thus far, and I need to spend another $1000-1500 on the motor plus the same on a reduction and finally a prop. Call it $12,000 - 15,000 once complete. If it runs at that price I will have a boat that I know every inch of and can have some confidence in, and I will have gotten it for significantly less than buying a new or even rebuilt airboat from someone else (in fact, less than what you paid for your project boat before repairs). But, even if that is a pipe dream, the education I am getting from fine people like you and everyone else that has helped me along the way is also worth something, and working on this boat is what has helped me to get educated real quick. And of course my pride has nothing to do with my need to see this through. . . . :thumbleft:

Now I will still be happy to take anyone up on ride offers. I'm in BCS several times annually (that's actually where I bought this boat). And I'm guessing shiggs is Steve. It would be cool to check out his boat, too. I'm sure, like everyone else on here, I will want to upgrade in the near future. I hunt with a group of guys that have airboats, so I have been in 4 different rigs over the past 2 years. This is my first foray into ownership and I am learning about the "why" part of selecting various setups. Hopefully I'll soon be getting that last part of my education - the coveted "stick time." :usa:
Gig'em! Fightin' Texas Aggie c/o 2003
Deus caritas est
Boat: n.1. a hole in the water into which you pour money; 2. an acronym that stands for "break out another thousand"

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Re: Old airboat, new driver, and problems

Postby StrongVet » Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:51 pm

KBA wrote:If you are going to rebuild that motor you might as well buy a stroker rotating assembly and have plenty of power


KBA - If any part of my rotating assembly is toast, then this becomes a no-brainer to me. The only thing I have been questioning is, "What if my engine is good?" Do I spend the extra $800 - 1000 and upgrade to a 383, or will that stock 350 do everything I need it to do. I haven't decided yet, but would be curious to hear of others' experiences.
Gig'em! Fightin' Texas Aggie c/o 2003
Deus caritas est
Boat: n.1. a hole in the water into which you pour money; 2. an acronym that stands for "break out another thousand"

mcm4
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Re: Old airboat, new driver, and problems

Postby mcm4 » Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:29 pm

Hope is not going to help you.... Knowing what I know, have learned, I think it is a sure bet that you will later regret spending any more on what you have..... jmo

a car motor unmodified does not work long or well in an airboat... even if fresh rebuilt...

If you could find some sucker to take that boat off of your hands it would be his loss and your gain.... I know you don't believe me now, but I fear you will later.

hope I am wrong but am pretty sure I am not.... good luck

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Re: Old airboat, new driver, and problems

Postby StrongVet » Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:03 pm

mcm4 wrote:a car motor unmodified does not work long or well in an airboat... even if fresh rebuilt...

Isn't this the "Automotive Power Only" forum? And mods aren't off the table. Just want to make sure the money is well spent. $1000 for 20 ft-lbs torque might not be worth it, but for 100 it might. Heads, cam, +/- stroking it out are all things to discuss. Just trying to gauge return on investment so I don't end up $90k in the hole with a boat that won't go. I have more phone calls to make this week and plan to visit a respected performance engine shop locally to see what mods they feel may benefit my build without breaking the bank. I don't want a dyno queen - I want usable power throughout the torque curve. And I probably only need it for a season or two before I get the itch to ditch that b**** and upgrade. So I only need a short-term solution at the moment.

mcm4 wrote:If you could find some sucker to take that boat off of your hands it would be his loss and your gain....

I am not sure exactly how you meant this, but it's not generally my way to do business. I'd rather eat it than unload it on someone that does not realize what they are getting into. But, for the sake of argument, if I was going to unload it, wouldn't it sell better if it had a motor that went "vroom" and a prop that went "swoosh" when the buyers came lookin'? Even if it just slogs through the shallows, at least it runs, right?

mcm4 wrote:I know you don't believe me now, but I fear you will later.

Never said I don't believe you, and I think your concern is both genuine and warranted. But I also know I won't spend $70k like you did before I pull the plug. And even if I hit the $20k mark and still don't have a ride, I will bring you a bottle of homemade wine and ask you for your thoughts on the pros and cons of turning it into a flounder giggin' rig. ;-)

mcm4 wrote:hope I am wrong

x 2 :thumbleft:
Last edited by StrongVet on Sun Dec 04, 2016 11:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Gig'em! Fightin' Texas Aggie c/o 2003
Deus caritas est
Boat: n.1. a hole in the water into which you pour money; 2. an acronym that stands for "break out another thousand"

mcm4
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Re: Old airboat, new driver, and problems

Postby mcm4 » Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:33 pm

I have re-read this thread and don't see your application..

How many pounds of people do you want to run?
How many pounds of fuel / how many miles do you want to be able to run?
What speed do you want to cruise at? What rpm do you want your motor to be able to run at cruise
shallow or deep water? rough our smooth water?
do you plan on running in rivers where rocks and logs are, or any lakes where submerged stumps are, or in the bay where oyster beds are?
For Texas air boaters you will see boats really different than florida air boaters.... aluminum hulls, 30" sides, tall transoms, uhmw are the rule not the exception
do you want to be able to run in really shallow water, slick mud, sand, short grass, tall grass that is submerged....
a 14' hull is pretty short for texas airboats, a bbc with reduction and big gas tank is a lot for a short narrow hull
most flounder boats I see are aluminum
imagine taking you car, pulling a really heavy trailer with it, and running it extended periods in first gear at 3800-4200 rpm

......

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Re: Old airboat, new driver, and problems

Postby mcm4 » Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:37 pm

IF you are going to be serious about airboats for years to come.... consider buying a LS engine built by airboat motor builder, put a 2.5 to 2.68 reduction unit on it, buy a 3 blade 80"?? R Sensenich and put it on your hull...... worst case, you can move that engine/reduction unit and blades to a nicer unit later if you wanted... be prepared to spend 20K-25K for the engine, reduction, blades, stand, gas tank, rudder, exhaust......

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Re: Old airboat, new driver, and problems

Postby StrongVet » Sun Dec 04, 2016 11:40 pm

mcm4 wrote:I have re-read this thread and don't see your application..

Pretty basic airboat application as far as I can tell. Friends own marshland where we duck hunt. There is a levee, a shallow canal, and then a marsh that *might* hold 3 feet of water at its highest and 6 inches at its lowest. I plan to have 2 -3 men plus gear or 2 men + 2 kids plus gear, max. I have a 30 gallon fuel tank but won't need it full for the 5 minute runs to and from the blinds. That is the main mission of this boat. There may be occasion to do some public land hunts out of Bastrop Bayou, Sargent, or other places nearby. But mostly just the mud ditch on the property in east Texas.

Now, if it could do some cool stuff like chasing hogs off the canal and across rice prairie, BONUS! Or polling along for flounder in east Matagorda Bay (where oysters can dang sure ruin your day if you don't know your way around), DOUBLE BONUS! But not going to hold my breath for either of those. Mostly just need transportation to and from ducks in a private marsh.

StrongVet wrote:a 14' hull is pretty short for texas airboats, a bbc with reduction and big gas tank is a lot for a short narrow hull

That's why I want to go to SBC. Much less weight, and think power will be sufficient if set up is correct.

Very Rough Weight Estimate: 300 lb hull + 600 lb engine/radiator + 350 lb rigging + 150 lb fuel + 100 lb prop w/ reduction + 100 lb batteries + my 200 lb rear end + another 200 lb buddy = 2000 lbs plus gear. These are all VERY LOOSE GUESSES at weights. And I will take the Igloo cooler instead of the Yeti just to save a few pounds.

mcm4 wrote:What speed do you want to cruise at? What rpm do you want your motor to be able to run at cruise

Slower is better where I go. Just want to plane, not fly. And prefer motor to not get burned up doing it. But desired cruise RPM will depend on torque curve once I get it. Once I know the motor's power potential, I should be able to pick reduction and prop to compliment it. And if I could do it at 1000 RPM that would be AWESOME (but not gonna happen).

mcm4 wrote:IF you are going to be serious about airboats for years to come.... consider buying a LS engine built by airboat motor builder, put a 2.5 to 2.68 reduction unit on it, buy a 3 blade 80"?? R Sensenich and put it on your hull...... worst case, you can move that engine/reduction unit and blades to a nicer unit later if you wanted... be prepared to spend 20K-25K for the engine, reduction, blades, stand, gas tank, rudder, exhaust......

I feel pretty serious about airboating. I know I have used the snot out of my bay boat and my kids love it. I don't think airboating will be much different. BUT, I'm even more serious about staying married. $20-25k for propulsion and accessories just is not in the cards right now. Like I said, I want to keep upstart costs down and upgrade later once I outgrow my starter boat. And by then I will know better what I want and hopefully not have to piece it together. Sell the old to the next up-and-comer and move on to the new. That's the plan, at least.


Now that you know the full application, any thoughts?
Gig'em! Fightin' Texas Aggie c/o 2003
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Boat: n.1. a hole in the water into which you pour money; 2. an acronym that stands for "break out another thousand"

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Re: Old airboat, new driver, and problems

Postby mcm4 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:16 pm

there is a guy in georgia that has a 10k small block complete for 10k, has engine, stand, cage, drive, props...... have you talked to him? https://southernairboat.com/wp/southern ... 000-14999/

maybe try and buy his and sell or trade yours.... at least you know what you are getting and know what it cost that way...

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Re: Old airboat, new driver, and problems

Postby StrongVet » Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:01 pm

I had not seen that one. Pretty sweet boat for that price based on the description. I would have to either rob it for parts or redo the seats/controls. I'm planning to have kids aboard so I really don't want a front driver rig where I cannot see them at all times. Maybe could make a hybrid boat and sell the leftovers. But then there is that logistics thing of him being in GA. Either need a round trip plane ride and then pay a hauler or else it's 30 hours on the road. But worth talking to him - maybe he drives to Houston on occasion. Never know. Thanks for pointing him out.


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Gig'em! Fightin' Texas Aggie c/o 2003
Deus caritas est
Boat: n.1. a hole in the water into which you pour money; 2. an acronym that stands for "break out another thousand"

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Rick McC.
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Re: Old airboat, new driver, and problems

Postby Rick McC. » Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:52 pm

Well, how about an update on your "project?"
"Sights are for the unenlightened."
Rick
http://guntipsandtalk.com

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Re: Old airboat, new driver, and problems

Postby richard roth » Sun Jan 29, 2017 12:55 pm

Like a few people said. Welcome to airboating, You will have a lot of fun. I have a couple friends (1) has a 12' Airboat aluminum hull with a 383 stroker engine and a rotator gear box and 3blade carbon fiber prop 72" and Palomar bottom 3/8" thich. This boat will pretty much go where he aims it. My other friend has a diamond back 16' aluminum hull deep sides, He has a 454BB with a rotator gear box aluminum cage and stand. He also removed the cast iron heads and replaced them with AFR aluminum heads. This made a big different in the way the boat rides now. He also has a palomar bottom on his boat. This boat runs great. what I am showing you is two different size engines that preform vary well under pressure but you have to know what you want to put on it. Don't get me wrong air craft engines are good but when it comes time to rebuild it you can build one bad ass car engine that will out preform that aircraft engine for a lot less money, and go to an auto parts store to get parts for it. So it depends on how you want the boat to preform. No matter what you do you will always find something better to do to it so just enjoy your self.

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Re: Old airboat, new driver, and problems

Postby Lwells » Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:30 pm

He said his block was cracked but not sure where but I have took a grinders and ground the area around the cracked area on cars and diesel trucks and JB Welded them and run them forever with no problems, but you guys probably think I'm nuts. But, if that engine did the job before I would hone the cylinders and see if they clean up and if they did I would rebuild it myself and run it. That JB Weld will surprise you and there isn't that much pressure in the water system to be a worry.

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Re: Old airboat, new driver, and problems

Postby StrongVet » Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:31 am

Sorry for the lack of updates. December and January have had other demands come to the forefront. But duck season is now over, so I can get back to trying to build my duck boat. Speaking of which, Saturday morning was lights-out on the marsh - limit on the water in 25 minutes, all teal and squealers.

The hull is ready to be rigged. The trailer needs some upgrades so I will haul both to the house and work on it there this week. I will also build a template for a fiberglass grass rake and integrated light bar that I plan to add.

The cage has been blasted, welded, and primed. I just need to pick it up and fit it into the hull. It will be bed-lined just like the hull interior.

The SB350 engine I found at the salvage yard checked out. It has been cleaned up and bored 0.040. I will be stroking it out to a 383 (ok, technically a 384.5) and adding aluminum heads likely this week. Once it is checked out on the dyno I will make a selection of my reduction and prop.

Tags are sitting on my desk waiting to be applied. Will send pics when available.
Gig'em! Fightin' Texas Aggie c/o 2003
Deus caritas est
Boat: n.1. a hole in the water into which you pour money; 2. an acronym that stands for "break out another thousand"

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Rick McC.
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Re: Old airboat, new driver, and problems

Postby Rick McC. » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:24 pm

StrongVet wrote:Sorry for the lack of updates. December and January have had other demands come to the forefront. But duck season is now over, so I can get back to trying to build my duck boat. Speaking of which, Saturday morning was lights-out on the marsh - limit on the water in 25 minutes, all teal and squealers.

The hull is ready to be rigged. The trailer needs some upgrades so I will haul both to the house and work on it there this week. I will also build a template for a fiberglass grass rake and integrated light bar that I plan to add.

The cage has been blasted, welded, and primed. I just need to pick it up and fit it into the hull. It will be bed-lined just like the hull interior.

The SB350 engine I found at the salvage yard checked out. It has been cleaned up and bored 0.040. I will be stroking it out to a 383 (ok, technically a 384.5) and adding aluminum heads likely this week. Once it is checked out on the dyno I will make a selection of my reduction and prop.

Tags are sitting on my desk waiting to be applied. Will send pics when available.


Excellent Sir! :thumbleft:
"Sights are for the unenlightened."
Rick
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