New to Airboats in Tampa

eagleonefoxtwenty
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New to Airboats in Tampa

Postby eagleonefoxtwenty » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:02 pm

I just bought my first airboat a couple days ago. I'm trying to find some information on where I can and cant ride but seem to be struggling. I have all the legal stuff down like the flag and coastguard requirements.

Can I ride in some of the lakes near by? Hillsborough river? Eventually I'd like to go out to lake Kissimmee, st. johns river or peace river.

Also, I've read a lot abut staying out of deep water but what is the reason for this? Most lakes near me have an average of 5ft depth at the moment.

I have a 14' Cottonmouth Hull with a Chevy 305. I will post pictures from my phone. Any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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kwanjangnihm
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Re: New to Airboats in Tampa

Postby kwanjangnihm » Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:54 pm

Welcome to SA & the Insanity! If you have a few minutes, check out the link below, good info. :thumbleft:

Airboating Do & Don'ts..a handbook
http://www.southernairboat.com/phpBB3/v ... hp?t=30116
" I don't care who you are back in the world, you give away our position one more time, I'll bleed ya, real quiet. Leave ya here. Got that? "

eagleonefoxtwenty
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Re: New to Airboats in Tampa

Postby eagleonefoxtwenty » Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:32 pm

I read through it earlier actually. Couldn't find anything on where I could and could not ride though

jeepinocala1111
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Re: New to Airboats in Tampa

Postby jeepinocala1111 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:57 pm

If you have a gearbox then you can ride pretty much anywhere if not then make sure there is water.

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lilly-Pad
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Re: New to Airboats in Tampa

Postby lilly-Pad » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:55 pm

Welcome to SA and the addiction. Yes 5 ft is deep water , find some skinny water 2ft and under to get some stick time in. Some one here will let U know where in Ur area fits Ur needs. Good luck
12 ft Don Davis / 0470 conv / 68 NGQ , A.A.O.F member

Best laid plans of mice and men, wont always get you laid.............

Swamp Thang
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Re: New to Airboats in Tampa

Postby Swamp Thang » Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:56 pm

Welcome to SA, ride where ever there are no signs prohibiting air boats but remember to always be courteous. the average person doesn't like the noise very much but they have probably never been lucky enough to ride in one, once they do their outlook changes. Hernando county has strict rules, Citrus has a curfew from 11:00 pm to 6:00 am, Kissimee has no curfew and few restrictions from what I've heard, St Johns has a restriction in some areas that says idle only in water over 2 feet deep.... can anyone confirm this one? If you don't mind riding in the salt there is some great riding along the coast from Pasco county north as far as you want to go. Riding rivers and lakes without much shallow water isn't all that good, to answer your question about deep water in my opinion anything deeper than the sides of your hull is considered deep. If it is deeper than your hull it is very easy to sink your boat by dipping a rear corner and taking on water in a turn or coming off plane. Five feet is very deep! Think of an airboat being just like a skim board, throw the skim board in an inch of water and it'll slide forever with 200 lbs on it but throw it in a foot of water and you won't go very far at all, throw it on the sand and you'll be on your face :( I think I saw your boat for sale, looked like a good deal to me :thumbleft:
Remember there are two types of airboaters.... those who HAVE sunk an airboat and those that WILL :blackeye:

SWAMPHUNTER45
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Re: New to Airboats in Tampa

Postby SWAMPHUNTER45 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:00 pm

Great advice ST

bullydoginit
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Re: New to Airboats in Tampa

Postby bullydoginit » Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:00 pm

I work in tampa live in Springhill and run Springhill every weekend any week end you wanna run give us a shout

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bullydoginit
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Re: New to Airboats in Tampa

Postby bullydoginit » Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:03 pm

Love running my saltwater you can run for miles and miles here basically almost to Clearwater to past horseshoe haven't been any further then that

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Swamp Thang
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Re: New to Airboats in Tampa

Postby Swamp Thang » Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:44 pm

If I had to choose one or the other it would probably be salt water but that's mainly because of my Snook fishing addiction, there's just nothing quite like a big Snook exploding on a top water plug right next to the mangroves. We here in Florida are very lucky to have the vast areas to ride both salt and fresh water, I recently purchased a little piece of water front property north of Turner camp rd in Inverness and my first real airboat the same week :D then about a month ago a friend told me of a camp for sale on an Island about 2 miles away by water, we went to look at it a few days later and closed on it last week, the plan is to build a small weekend rental house on the Turner camp piece for airboaters and bass fishermen then maybe retire there one day and have the Island camp for some off the beaten path R&R. The riding in that area awesome and don't forget the bass fishing & frogging, any large swamp in Florida is Amazing at sunset, all the swamp creatures come alive... not a good time or place to sink your boat in 5 feet of water LOL another reason to not ride alone, two or more boats is always a good idea. Don't let all this talk about boats sinking worry you, that boat will handle it just fine as long as it's operated correctly and not over loaded. After just a few hours of stick time you'll understand what they say about deep water and be looking for shallow stuff to slide in, to me airboats are actually kind of boring to drive in a straight line or deep water unless there is a lot of scenery but in the shallow stuff they are a Blast to drive. I've NEVER had as much fun driving a boat in circles at 10 miles per hour....like driving a Volkswagon beetle on ice with no brakes :toothy7:

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Rick McC.
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Re: New to Airboats in Tampa

Postby Rick McC. » Sat May 13, 2017 11:56 pm

I run deep salt water (and shallow) without issue, and have for 40 something years now; using a variety of different styles and power airboats.

As with most anything; let common sense be your guide, and you'll do OK.
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Rick
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fwsteal
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Re: New to Airboats in Tampa

Postby fwsteal » Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:14 pm

I run up to Hernando.

SWAMPHUNTER45
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Re: New to Airboats in Tampa

Postby SWAMPHUNTER45 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:43 am

EagleOne has been up running Hernando and Potts he has learned his way around and went to a gear drive set up.

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Re: New to Airboats in Tampa

Postby North Florida » Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:16 pm

Is there general things to look for when buying a boat. I don’t have one yet but look like fun to me. Can you have faimily fun w these boats.

SWAMPHUNTER45
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Re: New to Airboats in Tampa

Postby SWAMPHUNTER45 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:37 am

Airboats can be wonderful and safe family fun BUT they are a vessel that can be extremely dangerous as well! An airboat in the hands of a new operator is a potentially dangerous situation. Add in a load of passengers, shifting weight and distractions and it can become extremely dangerous. All you need to do is talk with Ole BLU to get some validation because I about killed him one day years back nearly getting him speared on a narrow trail bend. I would like to think now years later that I am one of the first people he would jump in a boat with because of the experience level I have gotten since that crazy day. Having a experienced mentor or getting formal training from someone like "Sniper" who is a USDI instructor would be highly recommended and very helpful.

The fellow who started this thread if he is still on here will tell you that you find yourself in odd and difficult situations. He called me one day in a sort of urgent way, his boat pulled a rivet or two running dry ground and his engine shut down in deep water on the way to the ramp. A buddy and I got out to him and were able to get him back running again but he could have had a bad day had his cell phone not worked and my boat was close and at the ready.

I think you will find people who all their lives ran a traditional boat and then started airboating who will agree that the skill sets are a bit different. One person on here is a Captain who runs tours and he has avoided serious potential catastrophic equipment failures in the past year through extreme diligence. An airboat is prone to different hazards and handles differently. Getting time on a variety of different boats and knowing what your planned use and load carrying ability needs to be is a great place to start.

Determining your budget will help to determine if this form of transportation will fit your intended use. There are boats in the 5k range and all the way up past 100k in some extreme forms. A family friendly and reliable boat will probably cost you more than say a small hunt boat because of the size and power needed to push the load.

Step 1 Budget
Step 2 Determine needs of the boat (what is the load and where is it going)
Step 3 Explore styles of boat that fit your needs (size, car motor or Aircraft, aluminum or fiberglass, polymer or bare hull)


ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS


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