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Hey, everyone, new to airboating


Well, I'm doing research on airboats to get a feel for what I want/need in a airboat for my first purchase.

A little bit about myself, I'm from Virginia, and moved down to South Florida in 2006, being in the Stuart/Martin County area since 2013. I'm big into Jeeps mostly, with a pretty good Jeep club. Having 4 Jeeps, you could say I'm mechanically inclined, LOL! I love to be outdoors when I can, I have an old Old Town canoe that I use some times, and I also mountain bike with friends.

I always thought airboats were cool, just never actually been around many. I saw this old guy playing around with his boat in the Chassahowitzka River last weekend, and thought that's pretty cool. Been reading up about airboats, thinking it would be fun to run Lake Okeechobee, and some of the surrounding canals.

From what I've read and researched so far, I want a 13-14 ft boat, carry 3-4 people (including me), Continental or Lycoming 6 cyl engine (reason is, no radiator, and I live close to the Stuart Airport if I need some help with the engine and to get AV gas). I wanted a radial engine at first, just because they are pretty sweet, but, because of the scarcity of the engines and the expense of rebuilding, I've reluctantly decided against them. This boat will primarily be a fun boat, with some fishing as a second activity. I don't know much about the area, as to where I can and can't go, so, not exactly sure yet what all I would be doing water vs. land running.

I would like to get up with some local folks with airboats to check out their boats so I can get a feel for more of what I want or need from the boat I get. I'm not that far from Okeechobee, so, I have no problem meeting people out there. Again, I have no idea where people ride around here, so, I can drive to just about anywhere around around Lake O.

Well, that's it, looking forward to meeting some of you guys and eventually running with you as well!

Jerry Murphy
Hi Jerry. I will let the knowledgeable folk chime in here as I am new to airboating as well. Just saying hello and welcome. (I am up in Melbourne.) Been around them airboats quite a bit, but never drove or owned. I have a project on my hands and will be riding by Spring. (It's a 220GPU.) This project sort of found me, so I I didn't research anything before getting into it. From what I understand, GPU's are a good starter boat so it is perfect for me at this point. (Not saying it best for you.) I suspect I will be looking for a larger, more powerful boat in the next few years to carry the family around.
A 14 foot aircraft powered boat will be near the limit of what you are looking to do. That's asking a lot to be able to haul 4 people and occasionally run dry. However, there are boats out there that will fill the need for general cruising. I know of a 14' River Master with a 520 on it that is an awesome deal at $12,500.00. I know the owner well and that boat has served him for a long time. He's a family of four and rides area 2A almost exclusively. The boat reportedly will run dry when needed. That being said, Lake O on the east side does not offer much in the way of airboating however the area between Clewiston and Lakeport has some real good riding. Being that you live in Stuart, you're not too far from Kissimmee Chain of Lakes or the Stick Marsh, where you can ride the St John's River farther than you can carry fuel for. And, you're not too far from Area 2A, either. If you think you're interested in the River Master, let me know and I'll PM you the contact info. Owner lives in Delray.
Thanks, guys! Looking forward to seeing your build, KRS62, sounds like it will be fun!!
digginfool, I was wondering what the limit of an A/C engine would be. For the most part, I would be running with just me and possibly my wife and/or a daughter, if I can convince them I'm not going to kill them, LOL! I was thinking 3-4 people just in case, but, that wouldn't be all the time. I think I could get away with a 13ft boat and only 2 or 3 and be plenty happy. That River Master sounds like something I would be interested in. Do you have any pics? I should have my money together in the next month or two, right now, I'm just getting info and looking around to see what's out there and what I would want/need. What is the average fuel capacity that a 13-14ft boat would normally carry? I know I probably won't go as far on a tank with an A/C motor verses a car motor. I will be reading a lot for the next month or so, so I will be ready when the time comes.
Whenever you get a boat, I would recommend trying to find an experienced airboater to go out with you on your first voyage. (That is my plan.) I think there are a few posts on here on what to do as a newbie that will be helpful. If you are not aware, these boats are easily sinkable if you don't know how to handle. Find a shallow water spot and practice turns, etc.
Saw you post and wanted to reach out. I am selling my 14ft Lumitech. Has the Lycoming O540 on it. I am in Deerfield Beach FL. Let me know if you have any interest. Thank you!