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Slick Bottom -vs- Poly


Hello all I am fairly new to the sport and would like to know the pros and cons about the two bottom styles. I run the Kissimmiee chain where there is alot of dry ground. Let me know your thoughts...
Whooo-Boy, there's been a lot said on this already. Try running a search for it in the old threads...

My two cents though...do you have a glass hull? If so, you'll be fine with slick bottom in the areas around Lake Kissimmee. It is lighter and cheaper than polymer. It holds up pretty well running dry (watch out for roots,rocks, and cypress knees though). The polymer is more forgiving when hitting stuff.

Slick bottom runs about $60-$70 a gallon and 2 1/2 gallons will completely finish my 13'6 cottonmouth. Once you have a good coat down, you just roll her over and redo any bad spots you develop later. Once it all gets real bad, then fork out the $ for another gallon or so and redo it.

If you do go with slick bottom, get some stuff from some local guys, not generic old Frog Spit. Some guys on here will say that that stuff is ok but we run our boats hard during hunting season and its CRAP. Check with Predator Airboats (his contact # is in the classifieds section of this site) or call Greg Taylor Industrial Coatings in Lake Wales. Both of these guys have their own mixes that are top notch (both hunt pretty hard so their stuff lasts).

Some aluminum guys can give you better info on polymer...


Welcome to Southern Airboat!

I'm new too, had the boat less than a year now.

You oughta see the gashes in the bottom of my polymer! (And I would like to think that I'm pretty cautious and conservative). My aluminum hull will be a royal pain to replace the polymer when its time for what its worth, but I'd probably already put a hole in the hull without it!

Hope to see ya' on the chain sometime! Are you coming out this weekend? Big hooplah' at the bus for New Years.


Welcome to airboating --stillsunk---
Up here in the cold country we have found that if you spray ---Black Magic Tier Wet---- on the polymer ---Then when you dry load the next time YOU BETTER DO IT SLOWLY---Or you might dent the bow and bend your bow brace on the tongue of the trailer. Because it makes your polymer a lot slipperier. We re-spray after 4 to 6 trips out. But we don't need it this time of year on the ice and snow we go. and go and go.
If you run dry polymer is the only way to go. Slick bottom is for people that spend 98% of their time on the water. I have worn slick bottom completely off my boat in one night. Frog spit even lasts less. So if you run dry allot get polymer if you run water get slick bottom a boat will run faster with slick bottom then it will with polymer. The only true benefit to slick bottom is it’s faster in the water that’s it and easer to put on.
Well, we have some guys on here who claim too be experts on everything but I'll PROMISE you I do NOT spend anywhere near 98% of my time on water. But that is Waterthunder's opinion so it must be the truth....

Does slick bottom wear faster, yes. But if you have the equipment and the know how, it is not a problem to fix any bad spots as they appear. I'll take it over polymer anyday for the places we run. I don't plan on running down any roads and climbing rocks with my boat so for the pastures and hammocks its fine.

I really like how the world is chock full of experts.....

I have never claimed to be an expert on anything hell I don’t know as much as I want to about race engines the more I learn, I realize the less I really knew but from personal experience I have owned three boats that didn’t have polymer. Two had slick bottom and one had frog spit. The area I run is not like Lake Kiss or south Florida that’s why you never see a fiberglass hulls around my area they get tore up two quickly when I go to lake Kiss I see fiberglass hulls everywhere. I owned a Gilleo fiberglass that didn’t last a year the stringers got ripped out sides were cracked everywhere and the transom was splitting. Anyway my boat that had frog spit on it the frog spit got wore off every trip out. My Diamondback hull that had Slick bottom I wore off in one Thursday night ride the other boat I had slick bottom on I wore off in a week. The 5 or 6 boats I had with polymer on them I never wore the polymer off and I had to only replace one sheet because I hit a I beam that was under water. It is my opion and I’m by no means an expert but if your more concerned about a maintenance free bottom that doesn’t need redone occasionally go with polymer if your worried about top speed go with slick bottom or any of the other epoxies that are available. Just trying to help somebody out by sharing my personal experiences.
I wouldnt have a boat without polymer! unless I was racing it! you just need to decide what type of personality you are if you see a nice deer are you going to run dry for 45 minutes chasing him for the fun of it or are you going to park your boat next to the shore and spend the next week stalking it!
There is a trail that runs from Moccasin Island to the rear of Oak Head. It has dried up in the last month. It goes about 3 or so miles well I had three people in my boat and ran on dry ground just about all the way. The next day I lifted up my hull to touch up my slick bottom and found that 60% of it was gone from one night of barely running the hill. Before I give my boat to my wife I’m putting polymer on it so I wouldn’t have to worry about the bottom any more. Hey Crock incase you were wondering let’s just say I was following an armadillo. What a great ride we saw deer, pigs, Owls, Osprey and a few Hawks. It was cool to shut the boat off when the sun set and watch the Owls feeding off of mice in an open field.
Ron - Now that is something I will have to try. Just never thought about something like that. Hmmm, I wonder if a little in the sprayer would help as well. Thanks for the tip.

Croc - I would hope you would be parking and stalking. From your posts I would guess that what you would be doing.
This is a topic that we need to think about, just like no mufflers, it doesn't go well with most people. Run critters for 45 minutes and..., well I will leave that topic alone. Just say that is how hunting was dogs was banned in many places, too many hunters wouldn't even accept seeing game harrassed that hard. Let someone see an airboat doing that and we all are painted as bastards. And I am not saying I have not chased a deer or two. But we need to be careful get a look at best and get away. If someone want to reply make another thread, I don't want to hijack this post.

I would think the length of time the paint on stuff lasts depends on the vegetation you are going over. Some of that grass around here is really abrasive and will wear the paint off the sides of the hull very quickly. However, if you running floating marsh, it would probably last quite a while.

I like polymer, just for the added protection.
I guess some guys didn't get what they wanted for christmas.
If we all had the same opinion we wouldn't need forums like this one.
I think its great that we can provide different solutions to a problem.
I think we all agree that it all depends on where you plan on running your boat, and what type of terrain. Our boat will not run dry but we do have some "River Pigs" thats what I've heard them refered to. Thats those big bolders that are just below water level. They will do a number to the bottom of your boat. If you do decide to go with slick bottom you can always install polymer at a later date. Polymer is alot more money and it must be install properly. We went with a product called Blue Rhino
simply because you can order what ever lenght you need, which eliminates seams. If you decide to go with polymer, get it install professionally or do your home work and search this forum on how to install it. Because it's not cheap and if not installed properly you could be throwing your money away not to mention the dangers involved, if it ever breaks loose.
Hey Ron, thanks for that tip, I ran out and bought the black magic tire wet and will try it this Sunday.Cant wait to try it.I have blue iron super slide uhmw bottom, maybe it will get slicker. thanks
Thanks for the info it has helped me make my decision, I will stick with the slick bottom as long as it gets me through the hunting season I will put a new one yearly...
I would check the label to see if Black Magic is biodegradable or not before I used it a sprayer. Plus it seams to get it's slippery ness after it dries. ??? 10 to 15 min. I just use a creeper and a full face shield and spray the polymer bottom ware ever i can when the boat is on the trailer.
this was only an analogy I should of used a disclaimer: I Do not condone chasing deer this was for display purpose only . I have poly so I can run where I want when I want. I just wanted stillsunk to think of what type of personality he is! as your boat IS an extention of you! ( and your wallet) I apologize if I have offended anyone
Croc - I hope you didn't take it as me saying you were chasing them. Like I said, I would be surprised if you were, just from reading your posts. Hope I didn't offend you. And I totally agree with your post.

I just worry about people that do chase, and man the more I get around some of these green people, the more I worry. They see one person in a group doing something they don't like and the whole group is doomed.
We have to police ourselves or we might not be drivin anymore. So I just used brought up the issue.

My apology
On my 400 sbc direct drive I currently have a "bare" glass hull. The only time I need to run dry is when the water lever drops and there is about 40 yards of sand between the lake I put in at and the river I run in. I can get in and out, but unloaded, and I have to take a pretty good run at it.

I was wondering if slick bottom would help me get in and out without having to get on the throttle so hard, and help protect the hull? I know polymer is the best protectant, but the $$$ of it has me looking at slick bottom.

Again, the river (Nebraska) I run on is sand, with some mud early in the season. I don't run dry at all except for getting in and out of the lake.
This info has been grate. we all have to be aware that the way we personally are thinking when we make a post may not be the way some one else interprets our post. Thus further discussions evolves leading to a broader view of the topic and hopefully a more correct answer. This past year we all have learned that the proper use of words can make a huge difference in a conversation. ( sound ---noise )for example.
Now for my question---This is new to me CowBoy what do you mean by-----Super Slick Steel Flex----I know what it implies but is that right?
Thats the name of the specific product under the link above. "steel-flex super slick#50wr" You order pigmentation for it seperately for whatever primary color you want.
I have regular steel flex on mine, cause it's easier to make it look nice. I used it on the sides of the hull, and got polymer on the bottom.

The super slick type seems just as slippery as the polymer, when you run your hand accross it.

It's real thick, and tough to make a nice finnish with it. Works great on the bottom of the hull.