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Newbee question about potential purchase

Tallykenj

Member
Hi.

I have never owned an airboat. I’m considering a 16ft Freedomcraft 3/4 decked with 383 stroker / 475 horsepower. The gearbox is 2.09 : 1. Beyond this, I’m clueless.

I would like to have four people on the boat. This can do it. I’m planning to be in fresh and saltwater. I live in Tallahassee. I have friends who have given me different opinions and auto vs. plan engines. I know this is a big debate. I have read a lot about it.

Some have also said it may be too much boat for me. There are also questions about whether it will be good on the hill. I’d love to hear some thoughts from people on this forum. If this boat doesn’t work out, what should I look for?

Thanks!
 

Blownaway540

Well-known member
Load it up and go for a test drive with owner driving. It's a heavy boat but with correct prop it may do what you are looking for. Saltwater- better be all stainless cage and rigging. As far as too much boat for you, not if you have someone give good training, go easy, don't drink and respect the fact that you can sink, wreck, maim or even kill with it in a bat of your eye.
 

Andy

Well-known member
My Son has a 14’. 450hp stroker ,2.68 with a 80” super wide its a tank on the hill,,Depending on who built the hull makes a big difference. That mold passed hands couple times. Weight is key! His boat has slick bottom, no poly
 

Blackcoffee

Well-known member
Do what Blownaway540 said. One thing about airboats is you need reserve power, there is a saying power out. If a boat starts to have a problem like maybe getting stuck or water coming over the back you need that reserve power. If you get a boat that you have to run hard with no extra power it can go south quick.
 

Tallykenj

Member
Do what Blownaway540 said. One thing about airboats is you need reserve power, there is a saying power out. If a boat starts to have a problem like maybe getting stuck or water coming over the back you need that reserve power. If you get a boat that you have to run hard with no extra power it can go south quick.
Thanks. What would reserve power be? I’m not familiar with the term in the airboat world, yet. Lots to learn.
 

SWAMPHUNTER45

Well-known member
Hi. I have never owned an airboat. I’m considering a 16ft Freedomcraft 3/4 decked with 383 stroker / 475 horsepower. The gearbox is 2.09 : 1. Beyond this, I’m clueless. I would like to have four people on the boat. This can do it. I’m planning to be in fresh and saltwater. I live in Tallahassee. I have friends who have given me different opinions and auto vs. plan engines. I know this is a big debate. I have read a lot about it. Some have also said it may be too much boat for me. There are also questions about whether it will be good on the hill. I’d love to hear some thoughts from people on this forum. If this boat doesn’t work out, what should I look for? Thanks!
Hi.

I have never owned an airboat. I’m considering a 16ft Freedomcraft 3/4 decked with 383 stroker / 475 horsepower. The gearbox is 2.09 : 1. Beyond this, I’m clueless.

I would like to have four people on the boat. This can do it. I’m planning to be in fresh and saltwater. I live in Tallahassee. I have friends who have given me different opinions and auto vs. plan engines. I know this is a big debate. I have read a lot about it.

Some have also said it may be too much boat for me. There are also questions about whether it will be good on the hill. I’d love to hear some thoughts from people on this forum. If this boat doesn’t work out, what should I look for?

Thanks!
Generally a very good entry level do it all hull. That said, I call bullshit on the horsepower claim. Your not going to find a super hot 383 (475hp) running a 2.09 ratio. Most would be mated to a 2.68 or 2.88 to get up into the rpm range needed to make that kind of power.

The 2.09 is generally used on an engine that is closer to stock or moderately modified.

With a big heavy load gear, power and prop must match.

Just my suspicions and I’m around a lot of boats.
 

Blackcoffee

Well-known member
I look at reserve power like this. My boat runs fine in deep water from 3200 to 3600 rpm’s and on a windy day a little more. Some real windy days it might push 4000 rpm’s. My top rpm range is 5150 rpm’s. The reserve power are those high rpm that gives you a kick in the azz to get going. Skinny water uses way less motor.
All I am saying is I don't want to be maxed out or near maxed out on motor while running.
 

Tallykenj

Member
Generally a very good entry level do it all hull. That said, I call bullshit on the horsepower claim. Your not going to find a super hot 383 (475hp) running a 2.09 ratio. Most would be mated to a 2.68 or 2.88 to get up into the rpm range needed to make that kind of power.

The 2.09 is generally used on an engine that is closer to stock or moderately modified.

With a big heavy load gear, power and prop must match.

Just my suspicions and I’m around a lot of boats.
I’m getting some great feedback on this forum. I really appreciate it. I’m also learning a lot from other posts as I poke around the site. I might take this boat on a test ride. I’m second in line at this point. Someone might buy it Thursday.

What should I get the seller to do to demonstrate the boat’s capabilities? I see the power claim may be exaggerated. What RPM range should I push him to show me on a test?
 

Slidin Gator

Well-known member
I suggest confirming the boat can dry load/unload. Basically that means the boat run dry ground unloaded, loading on the trailer off dry ground being the primary test.

If the boat won't climb the trailer off ground, it does not have the reserve power described.
 

Aeon

Well-known member
Good size hull with moderate hp and tall gearing is not to much boat. Probably a ideal size to learn on. Take pics of it and post up here. Don't forget to pull a plug and see how they look. I would agree about the hp claim, everyone thinks their motor is more then it is. Post a photo of the prop if you can as well
 

JLP3314

Well-known member
Hi.

I have never owned an airboat. I’m considering a 16ft Freedomcraft 3/4 decked with 383 stroker / 475 horsepower. The gearbox is 2.09 : 1. Beyond this, I’m clueless.

I would like to have four people on the boat. This can do it. I’m planning to be in fresh and saltwater. I live in Tallahassee. I have friends who have given me different opinions and auto vs. plan engines. I know this is a big debate. I have read a lot about it.

Some have also said it may be too much boat for me. There are also questions about whether it will be good on the hill. I’d love to hear some thoughts from people on this forum. If this boat doesn’t work out, what should I look for?

Thanks!
I have a buddy here that has that same hull with a 383 stroker, (not sure on his gearbox ratio) and he climbs the hill just fine with 4 people on it. I will say this though, (after owning a 14' heavy car motor boat for 6 years) a 16' hull seems "sluggish" to me when put side by side with a 14' hull. Not bashing just seemed like a lot more chasing the rudder on the bigger hull when in tight trails.
 
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