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What Got You Started Airboating


Well-known member
This may have already been a topic, but what you started airboating and how long have you been doing it?

I only got started 3 months ago and I am on my third boat, I guess I'm hooked?

This may have already been a topic, but what got you started airboating and how long have you been doing it?

I only got started 3 months ago and I am on my third boat, I guess I'm hooked?
Our Old Man got into it in the early 70's.
We were just kids, and been in it off and on the rest of our lives.

Hate to tell ya, your probably hopelessly addicted, and you will probably struggle with this airboating affliction the rest of your days. There's no cure science has discovered yet. You can take the individual out of the airboat, but you can't take the airboat out of the individual.

It's a very common tale.... Happens to the best of 'em! :thumbup:

Best advise for remedy has always seemed to be just enjoy more airboating.
Here's a young Canefan. WPB 1973 or 4?
First let me say I have never owned or driven an airboat, but that doesn't take away my passion for them. When I was a young lad back in the late fifties and early sixties two men in the neighborhood owned airboats. This was down in Miami on NW 12 st and 37th ave. Lee Giddings and Brad Little where their names and they had boats to hunt out of. Both had aircraft motors at first and then went to DD small block chevys.
These boats were used to get from point A to point B during hunts and fishing trips and dependability was the name of the game. In the early 70's I killed my first deer North of the Alley off of an airboat and hunted maybe three times a year for a couple years off of one. There is something about their simplicity yet very complex nature that draws me to them. I don't like all the negative press they get and the restrictions that keep getting put on them but lets face it, sportsman in general are getting backed into a corner across America by do gooders who really don't know what good is. Great site you guys have here and one day I will show up in an airboat.
It was a family thing. Mom and dad waited until we learned how to swim at the YMCA
before they took us out on our first trip. Early seventies. Boy we were hooked. A few of our dad's friends had them too. They were really diverse back then. One of those old boats had no prop cage, one seat and they used lawn chairs for passengers.
Me and my bro been addicts ever since. For as long as I can remember we looked out for airboats,"there goes an airboat dad", and thinking carmotor boats were wierd( I was a kid what did I know :lol: ) My bro and I owe so much to our parents.

My father, Buddy Hicks 1931-1988
Cowboy where in west palm beach I grew up there, My Dad got me started he had a friend that had on and he took me for a ride that's all it took and I was hooked, what Robert Marquis did is what inspired me to do Search & Rescue with an Airboat that stuck with me the rest of my life to.
I have been infatuated with airboats since I was a little kid watching Gentle Ben. I've wanted an airboat ever since the first time I saw one. I bought an 11' appachee that was complete minus the motor about 12 years ago from a friends dad for $75.00 but I didn't have any moey to do anything with it, still got it though. I built my mini a while back and then I got my Gilileo and thats where I am at today.
Here ya Go!

West Palm's Hillcrest Section...
910 Bellmont Place.
Parker Ave, between Southern, and Belevdere.

That Neighborhood is gone now.
Bought out by the airport authority.

Back then, airboats were'nt so cool.
Most folks looked down on airboaters.

Even as a kid I knew different.
My heros have always been Airboaters!
Didn't realize their were West Palm pioneers here I moved to West Palm in 1968 married a Florida girl and her uncle used to take me buggy hunting in the corbett area he had the same camp there for years and years, we used to put his airboat in at North Lake Blvd on the beeline hwy, I was hooked big time and as someone said earlier I've been struggling with this addiction ever since, got into Harley's but they can't compare to an airboat
Lets don't forget Lincoln Vale of the the Evergaldes. He was on my TV many a night. :lol:

Guess I just got to get me an airboat for Christmas. The only post I haven't been able to search and find on here is the one on "How do you tell the Wife"
Guess I could tell her she won't have to rake leaves anymore. Or if the guy comes down the road with his boom box on we have something to drown out the noise.
Oh heck I will think of something. :lol:
Cowboy you remember the outdoor sports world on south dixie hwy between belvedere and southern blvd. the Elkins family owned and operated it, wonder if it's still there
Can't say I did Crabby, but My old man probably did.

Yeah, Norhtlake Blvd... The used to call it Lake Park Rd when we ran in there.
Thats one beautiful marsh. I sure did love it.

Hey DblJ,
You know them old airboaters never quit.
They are up there riding that Marsh in the sky.
Smashing some nice trails for us to ride when we git there!

Thats a cool picture I love those wings. I wonder if there are any of those around that could be put back to use.
My Dad bought a 12' Grasshopper w/180 Lycoming from Paul Dixon back in the late 60's. He had one thing in mind for that boat and was good at it...puttin meat in the freezer. I was around 10 yrs. old back then and have been an airboat junky ever since.

Marvin Carroll 1931-1970

Good thread snielsen...thanks!

10-4 Crabby,
I believe the store is still there.

The Elkins Family lives right down the street form my Grandparents House.
The used to sell Rokon Motorcycles there, and I remeber them demoing them at the South Florida Fair. They had logs and obstacles for those two wheel drive utility cycles to climb over for the crowd.

You know, everytime Ted Nugent came to West Palm, he would visit Outdoor Sports World. Motor City Madman hit the biggest hunting store everytime he was in West Palm.... reckon that shows how not all yankees are bad!

Oh yeah, Coondog...
Just get a big pile of boats....
There like fishing rods... once you got a big enogh pile of them, the wifey can't tell when you get a new one! That's what I try to do, perhaps one of these days it will actually work!
Yup, your right I think Mr. and Mrs. Elkins back then used to live off of Southern blvd on the Palm Beach canal, man those were good years so fl was paradise back then
I was born into it. We had a place at shady oaks on kissimmee. I use to be put to sleep on the airboat or motorcycle. :D mom ,dad, aunt all had boats