Just looking for general tips and tricks that yall might have for a Newby. I've been on airboats but never drove or owned one. Just got a 12ft gore with a 220 continental. Thanks in advance
I'm in the ocala fl area so north central FL areahunterboi34470 welcome to SA!!
John gave you great advice! Go over every nut and bolt on the rig, check all filters and make sure your battery is good and check all grounds! Where do you plan to ride?
I am starting this thread to fill a void of information for new and less experienced operators, as well as a refresher for older operators. Please do not muddy the thread with anecdotes, laughing etc---just add your Do & Dont's to help folks down the road. Launching Do's & Dont's: Do check...southernairboat.com
Yes sir I have some friends who also have airboats and are experienced air boaters. I've had an express and just recently traded it for an airboat so I'm not completely new to boating but I know airboats are a whole different monsterWelcome to the madness and the forum!
Rule #1, these machines can KILL YOU or others around you or with you.
Rule #2 Get plenty of stick time with a seasoned airboater before you take friends or family out with you, get to know the way the boat handles, deep and shallow water, slow and high speed slolam maneuvers to avoid collisions with other boats, trees, etc.
Rule #3 be sure you have ALL safety gear, know what the fuel usage is per hour, be sure that you have correct oil level and type, check all gauges often and look back at engine on occasion, not to mention pretrip check.
Most important,,, Rule #4, airboating etiquette, be sure nobody is near prop when starting, not going to blast anybody when departing.
Enjoy your new toy!
That's what a few friends have told me. Also said to start out while I'm learning in shallow waterAnd don't be in a hurry to bring family and friends. Get some stick time first. You never know when someone on the boat is going to do something at the wrong time and when learning handle boat is not the time to learn to deal with unexpected movement on the boat. Have fun.
Not going to lie I'm kinda nervous. Not scared but not fearless either. I understand you have to respect these boatsWelcome to the addiction,, these men are telling you the truth. We all have family and friends who have been seriously hurt or killed on a boat,they also are the most amazing vehicle you will ever operate.
You got 2 control elements, the rudder stick and throttle. The rudder stick is useless without the throttle. Determine which side is your "Torque Side". Direct drive aircraft or automotive torque to STBD. In deep water hard throttle and turn to STBD will push your STBD nose under, but hard throttle and turn to Port balance each other out nicely. On ground or skinny, the opposite is best as you can use the torque to keep from flipping.When I doubt throttle out haha
Not going to lie I'm kinda nervous. Not scared but not fearless either. I understand you have to respect these boats
That's alot of good useful information and good example scenarios. And yes airboats are always called assholes and idk why because from what I can see already is the airboat community is was better then the kicker motor communityYou got 2 control elements, the rudder stick and throttle. The rudder stick is useless without the throttle. Determine which side is your "Torque Side". Direct drive aircraft or automotive torque to STBD. In deep water hard throttle and turn to STBD will push your STBD nose under, but hard throttle and turn to Port balance each other out nicely. On ground or skinny, the opposite is best as you can use the torque to keep from flipping.
Practice hard throttle and pull back on the rudder stick until you are confident you can blow into a situation on hard plane and turn 180 to PORT on a dime. You want to have full confidence in the boat to do this.
When I was first learning the best advice I ever got was if making a turn in a tight space with ground coming at you and you find you are not gonna make the turn, hammer the throttle and drive into ground (assuming it's not a brick wall, dock etc.). My guru said, "these boats rarely flip going straight but they sure will when hit on the side". In such a situation you have to make a split-second decision to go into danger or pull back hard on the rudder and hammer the throttle, because that's the brake.
Also, bone up on the rules or the water. Look at the red and green lights on your bow and stick it in your brain (I think most folks should paint red and green on their grass rake). Airboats follow the same rules as any watercraft. When meeting another boat of any kind, always pass to YOUR STBD, even if that means throttling into the cattails, willows etc... Too many folks hesitate in a game of chicken. The turn to STBD rule prevents this game.
I came into a "Y" junction a few years ago, I was on a minor trail entering a main trail with another airboater coming on my Port Bow. I turned to STBD to give the man room to cross and the Dumbass turned to his PORT! Put us on a collision course. I pulled back on the rudder stick as hard as I could while standing up to push the throttle through the deck. I blasted him and his lady hard, he had the nerve to get pissed! Red means Red, even in the daytime!
Practice until you are fearless. Scared/nervous will make you hesitate. Respect means to use that damn throttle. Find out what you got and use it when needed. These boats are most at risk at idle, better to be on the throttle.
Finally, whenever dealing with FWC, pick your nose, that usually shortens the encounter for me!
I guess that's why we are all somewhat A**holes...