HOW MANY, HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET THROWN OFF OF YOUR BOAT

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akblackdawg
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HOW MANY, HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET THROWN OFF OF YOUR BOAT

Post by akblackdawg » Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:17 am

Man, reading these posts make this "family sport" of riding airboats seem downright dangerous. On my 2nd airboat ride which I posted a description of a week or so ago I got thrown out of the boat into the lake, and the driver got tossed forward knocking down and landing face first on the windshield/console of the boat, when the poly bottom ripped half way back and stopped us instantly. Now I am reading about people being tossed around running onto sand, mud, etc. Really now, how often do these things happen? Boats i've seen, including the one I am in process of buying, have a lot of hard corners, angles, etc that could cut and bruse a person pretty good. The guy driving me around could have been serously hurt if he had hit the sharp edge of the console he landed on, we were both lucky. I tell my wife I will wear one of our survival suits as a joke, but I am only half joking when I say that, also thinking about a helmet, perhaps a foam bicycyle helmet that would also hold my head up, if not my face. From what i understand seat belts are considered more dangerous then being thrown, i can understand that, but I am considering some sort of grab bar in front of the seats. I'm sure after get confident in driving my boat i will do so pretty aggressively as I used to race jeeps and sports cars at varous times when i was younger, i can see the same sort of wildness with a airboat in my future, but i really don't want to kill myself yet, 64 is when life begins, not ends (next year it will be 65). The boat I am buying is a 15x5 gator hull with a built 454, franklin 2:1 reduction drive with two older sensanich props stacked on each other, so you see it should have enough power to get a newbie into serious trouble :wink: Bud
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Re: HOW MANY, HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET THROWN OFF OF YOUR BOAT

Post by CactusJack » Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:40 am

Lets see.... checklist for airboat outing:

1/mouthguard
2/Gridiron helmet
3/Body armour
4/prime ejector seat :lol: :lol:

Sounds like you are set to buy your boat? Congrats.... did you get it for the right price? concidering you have to fix/replace the poly & do a bit of work to it?

You have seen first hand how things can go wrong, you seem like a top bloke, very smart & sensible. Now you have had this incident, and the sensible things you have pointed out, like removing sharp objects in your crash/fall radius & generally making safety your number 1 concern..... & especially realising your mortality, I reckon you are on the right track. I think you will just take baby steps (same as I will have to soon) and learn gradually, as opposed to going 'bull at a gate' and hurting yourself :wink:

I thank you very much for your post, I have learned alot from it..... in the years I have been interested in airboats after my gyro/punt escapades, I had a false sense of over confidence before, but since joining SA & reading posts like yours and others, I know when I do get my boat up & running, I will be taking it real (embarrassingly, probably :oops: ) easy :lol:

What the guys on here have told me, is to find skinny water to learn in, don't go too 'gung ho'.... master things in skinny water, then progress only as learned confidence allows. The most important thing someone said to me was not to expect to learn it all in a short time..... alot of stick time is the only way to learn.

The advice others have given me will have saved me a heap of grief in the future, I reckon, & I am smart (& humble) enough to think/analyze/take their advice graciously & will definately be putting it into practice when my boat is finished :wink:

I think you will do well, the poly coming off that boat the way it did was not forseen, I guess highly unlikely in most cases.... If you fix that problem & safety wire things that can go into the prop if they come loose (aircleaner, oil cap, breather hoses etc).... then you take the advice others have given me, I reckon you will do fine.... you were so lucky the 'poly peel' accident only cost you a blackberry and a hearing aid remote :roll: It could have been so much worse :shock:

Take it easy, you'll be right :wink:
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I was told I was wrong, once (not sure I believe it though)
If you can't blind 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with BS
Airboat experience so far, limited to having bolted a gyrocopter to a flat bottom punt.... but THAT.... is about to change, bigtime :-)

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Re: HOW MANY, HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET THROWN OFF OF YOUR BOAT

Post by planepower » Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:44 am

blackdog any boat will bust your A$$ just use caution when learning to operate the airboat,
when you think you really got the hang of it and start to get a little brave just remember
thats when it will (or can) BUST THAT A$$ !!

GO OUT LEARN HAVE FUN AND JUST BE CAREFUL 8) :mrgreen:
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Re: HOW MANY, HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET THROWN OFF OF YOUR BOAT

Post by paulj » Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:06 am

THE MAIN THING TO REMEMBER ABOUT BEING THROWN OFF YOUR BOAT IS IF YOU SEE YOU'RE GOING TO HIT SOMETHING, HIT IT STRAIGHT, NEVER SIDEWAYS! AS A SIDE NOTE, AN AIRBOAT IS LIKE A WOMAN; WHEN YOU THINK YOU'VE GOT IT FIGURED OUT, IT'S FIXING TO BITE YOU!

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Re: HOW MANY, HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET THROWN OFF OF YOUR BOAT

Post by Southern Style » Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:18 am

I GUESS I WILL SAY IT ANYWAYS... Everyone on here learned the SAME way... Get in the seat and take it slow. We can teach you all you need to know, but IT WILL DO NO GOOD. Perfect example: When driving from deep to shallow going into a turn... you will feel the arse of the boat slightly lift up, turn gently or the rear of the boat will spin around on ya... Not like deep water where you carve the water into a turn.... NOW: That makes sense, BUT until you actually feel the arse of the boat raise up on you, you will never really understand...


Does that make sense????? One of those " I can show you better than I can tell you... "
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Re: HOW MANY, HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET THROWN OFF OF YOUR BOAT

Post by scott wheeler » Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:26 am

Flying out of a boat AIN'T fun. Been there and done that. I run mine like I did when I rode motorcycles. SCARED!!! You and I are toooooo old to get thrown out it takes to long to heal.

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Re: HOW MANY, HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET THROWN OFF OF YOUR BOAT

Post by deepsea diver » Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:45 am

When you hit the ground, roll, roll with it. Then stand up before you come to a complete stop.(Act Cool) Raise your hand and wave at the boats going by. Also, try to let go of the stick. When they are out of site, dust your a$$ off, then laugh or cry. iT'S NOT IF IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN , IT'S JUST WHEN.
Last edited by deepsea diver on Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: HOW MANY, HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET THROWN OFF OF YOUR BOAT

Post by Qwikdiesel » Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:47 am

I've lost count, but usually I'm trying to get a better look at something with hair :shock:
Rule #1.. There Not Fake If You Can Touch Them!!

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Re: HOW MANY, HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET THROWN OFF OF YOUR BOAT

Post by crowhater » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:07 am

I run a rail around the control platform because I want to stay on the boat. It also gives me a place to duck down if I see a tree limb pop out of no where.


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Re: HOW MANY, HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET THROWN OFF OF YOUR BOAT

Post by CactusJack » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:10 am

^ :lol: :lol:

And most important, something to rest your feet on :wink:
I was told I was wrong, once (not sure I believe it though)
If you can't blind 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with BS
Airboat experience so far, limited to having bolted a gyrocopter to a flat bottom punt.... but THAT.... is about to change, bigtime :-)

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Re: HOW MANY, HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET THROWN OFF OF YOUR BOAT

Post by Qwikdiesel » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:25 am

Over here in FLA handrails are used for women to get a good grip, nothing more! :D
Rule #1.. There Not Fake If You Can Touch Them!!

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Re: HOW MANY, HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET THROWN OFF OF YOUR BOAT

Post by fannman » Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:02 pm

i never departed mine but real close a couple of times, ive seen a boat flipped on sand and all went flying luckily nobody was hurt,i would say get real comfortable with your boat and find all its limitations and lots of seat time in every kind of conditions that are out there,and most of all give it a little respect if you dont it will disrespect you when you think you have it all figured out
contempt prior to investigation will keep a man in everlasting ignorance

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Re: HOW MANY, HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET THROWN OFF OF YOUR BOAT

Post by crowhater » Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:25 pm

Qwikdiesel wrote:Over here in FLA handrails are used for women to get a good grip, nothing more! :D

Hand rails are the cats tail when it comes to hunting. It gives you something to lean against while you are driving standing up with your gun. It is also nice when bowfishing because you can lean against it. Most people like it and wish they had one on their boat. I am also able to put gear on the control platform and it keeps it from falling off. If you have a bunch of people on the boat and guys have to stand while you are driving it gives them something to hang onto. I have run with as many as 8 guys on my boat which is two blinds worth of hunters and gear. When you are loaded like that it is best if two guys stand on either side and hold onto the rail. If you put everything up front you will start to get spray over the grass rake when you hit waves.
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Re: HOW MANY, HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET THROWN OFF OF YOUR BOAT

Post by mk1165 » Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:20 pm

if it's powered by fossil fuels it will bite you in the a$$ sooner or later,like the man said,wave at the other folks and try to act cool.i rolled a 15' airgator on wet sand once,hellava ride,got thrown out on my head,i was tough though,washed the sand and blood out of my mouth with a beer and tried to act cool.been catchin heck from my friends that witnessed it for the last 25 years.

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Re: HOW MANY, HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET THROWN OFF OF YOUR BOAT

Post by Qwikdiesel » Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:16 pm

crowhater wrote:
Qwikdiesel wrote:Over here in FLA handrails are used for women to get a good grip, nothing more! :D

Hand rails are the cats tail when it comes to hunting. It gives you something to lean against while you are driving standing up with your gun. It is also nice when bowfishing because you can lean against it. Most people like it and wish they had one on their boat. I am also able to put gear on the control platform and it keeps it from falling off. If you have a bunch of people on the boat and guys have to stand while you are driving it gives them something to hang onto. I have run with as many as 8 guys on my boat which is two blinds worth of hunters and gear. When you are loaded like that it is best if two guys stand on either side and hold onto the rail. If you put everything up front you will start to get spray over the grass rake when you hit waves.

I meant putting them in the Ruf-Ruf Style :D


If I ran a 18' boat it would def have rails, and a pole!! That's a BIG boat!! You could def play big chief, little chief on that one!
Rule #1.. There Not Fake If You Can Touch Them!!

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Re: HOW MANY, HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET THROWN OFF OF YOUR BOAT

Post by Whitebear » Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:44 pm

Airboats are like many other things, guns, trucks, motorcycles, airplanes and whatever else fits. You CAN get hurt or killed in them, but you don't HAVE to just because you know how.

Mostly airboat safety is 10% boat and 90% driver. Terrain falls under the driver, that boat won't go there on its own, somebody had to point it there and gass it.

I have rode motorcycles since I was 13 years old and to date I have never been in an accident on one and I have never been down on the road. I have hit the dirt once or twice on dirt bikes but never hard enough to do any real damage to me or the bikes. I'm 61 now and plan to keep on riding for a while. Same for airboats, its up to YOU how dangerous it gets.

There is a learning curve with anything that requires a skill. Get over your head and your in danger.

On the highway seat belts do not make idiots less dangerous, Parachutes do not make airplanes fly any safer. A brace or bar to hold onto wont make an airboater a better airboater. You simply can not substitute hardware for brains and experience. It just don't work.
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Re: HOW MANY, HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET THROWN OFF OF YOUR BOAT

Post by big johnson » Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:49 pm

Getting pitched out is part of airboaating, slinging mama out = long ride home..............

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Re: HOW MANY, HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET THROWN OFF OF YOUR BOAT

Post by nomad41 » Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:49 pm

Does throwing the wife out count.She was holding her glass of water more then she was holding on.Banged her up pretty good.It was at the FAA day on July 4th.After she got her second wind it was on to the event.Afterwards I took her back to the RV for a couple hours of rest then back out for the fireworks.She was a real trooper that day.Never got mad or upset with me.Don't know if she is ever going to ride again.But to be honest she didn't like riding before.So I guess I am a member in standing now :roll:
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Re: HOW MANY, HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET THROWN OFF OF YOUR BOAT

Post by John C » Tue Aug 11, 2009 5:36 pm

akblackdawg, you said,
akblackdawg wrote:The boat I am buying is a 15x5 gator hull with a built 454, franklin 2:1 reduction drive with two older sensanich props stacked on each other, so you see it should have enough power to get a newbie into serious trouble Bud
Is your hull 15x5? or is that a misprint. A 5 foot wide airboat with a BBC/beltdrive sounds pretty scary to me. A normal airboat with that set up would be 15x8. The width is what gives the boat its stability. I would think 7.5 foot wide should be a minium on a 15 ft hull with that set up. IMO a 5 foot wide hull with that much weight sitting that high up is just asking for trouble. I have been on some narrow boats that feel unstable. But nothing even colse to being 5 foot wide with a big block on it. You may be right when you say it could get a newbie into serious trouble. JMO.

Your question was about getting thrown off the boat. If your boat is truly 5 ft wide, you may be spending some time out of the boat. And in alaska it gets pretty cold out, not like sunny Florida. Be careful and be safe.

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Re: HOW MANY, HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET THROWN OFF OF YOUR BOAT

Post by aktransue » Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:38 pm

Im sure not many people have but for the people in the front of my
air ranger I put seat bets for those sudden stops.

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Re: HOW MANY, HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET THROWN OFF OF YOUR BOAT

Post by plumcrazy » Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:02 pm

the old gator were narrow had one and i turn it over more times than i like to admit , but after i toss me and my dauther out and the whole damn boat ran me over, well like somebody said prior i ride a little scared now 8)

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Re: HOW MANY, HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET THROWN OFF OF YOUR BOAT

Post by airboat4fun » Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:13 pm

More than I would like to...I have been thrown off several airboats and I keep on gettin back on.

One night out in the Glades, a good friend of mine decided he was going to teach his "then" wife to drive the airboat. I knew I had already been too deep into the cooler to drive my boat, but I was just right to ride with them. Off we went into the darkness. She was in the back driving, he was in the front passenger seat, and I was in the bow laying back in the grass rake enjoying the moonlight, the starlit sky and my adult beverage. So she's doing alright just riding around, kinda getting the feel, sliding through the sawgrass... then as she lets off the throttle and we continue to slide a lil' sideways. BAM! we hit this clump of grass and the boat turns over on it's side, throwing all of us out into the marsh. The airboat is still ideling while on it's side. The first thing I do is sit up and ask "Hey are you guys alright?" They both said yea, but he said the boat is still on my leg. He reached up and shut off the engine. Again I asked "Are you hurt?" He replied "No not really, I just can't get my leg out." So his ol'lady an me find the cooler and start to round up the cool pops. Well when we finally get over to flip the airboat back upright, we all rolled it back right side up and everything is alright. No real damage just bent the cage a little. She was still pretty shaken up and he said "You get back up and drive, if you don't do it now you will never do it again." Reluctlantly she did and we finally made it back to camp. Afterwards he asked me..."Why in the he** did you grab the cooler before you helped me?" So I told him "I knew you were alright and when we got that boat turned over the first thing you were gonna want was a beer!"


Another time I was driving my Glades style full deck 0-470 with my dad on the back, we were out for most of the day having a good'ol time and we were almost back to camp. I decided to hit some tall grass and we were up on it, the boat started to list to the side a little and I leaned into the stick...and it broke. Over the side I went into the sawgrass and cattails with half of the stick still in my hand. I'll never forget, as I'm falling out of the airboat my dad asks "where ya goin?" The boat slid to a stop in the grass, after a little redneck repair in the swamp (we used part of an old lawnmower handle and some band clamps) we got it good enought to finish the day and make it back to the ramp.

The last time I was thrown out of my airboat, the water was drying up in the Glades and we were out at the camp for the weekend and riding around. I got that wild hair and decided to hit the tall grass, we were rockin and rollin. Everything was going right, until it wasn't. I managed to find a place where two buggys cris-crossed and the grass dropped out in front of my airboat, the bow went down and as we hit the grass again (a little sideways) the side of the cage hit the tall grass and THE AIRBOAT ROLLED OVER AND OUT WE WENT. Me and the two guys on the back were thrown in the grass and the boat was on it's side (man does that 454 smoke like a pig ideling on its side). I walked over and shut off the engine, then asked if the guys were alright and they said yea. They were freakin'out. This was only their second time on an airboat, the first was the night before when we went looking for big'ol gators. Both of them had eyes as big as dinner plates, they just knew we were gonna get eaten by one of them huge gators. I told them we were gonna roll this airboat back over, and 1-2-3 we did. The cage was tweaked a little, but everything else was fine. We threw all my crap back in the boat, just then my friend comes around the corner in his airboat and asks "What are you guys doing standing in the grass?" I said "You didn't see us just a minute ago, we were checking the polymer." It took a few times to crank it up, but it finally did and it's been right side up since then.

There are more stories, but it's getting late...

I know you guys have other stories, who's next?

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Re: HOW MANY, HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET THROWN OFF OF YOUR BOAT

Post by akblackdawg » Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:43 pm

John C wrote:akblackdawg, you said,
akblackdawg wrote:The boat I am buying is a 15x5 gator hull with a built 454, franklin 2:1 reduction drive with two older sensanich props stacked on each other, so you see it should have enough power to get a newbie into serious trouble Bud
Is your hull 15x5? or is that a misprint. A 5 foot wide airboat with a BBC/beltdrive sounds pretty scary to me. A normal airboat with that set up would be 15x8. The width is what gives the boat its stability. I would think 7.5 foot wide should be a minium on a 15 ft hull with that set up. IMO a 5 foot wide hull with that much weight sitting that high up is just asking for trouble. I have been on some narrow boats that feel unstable. But nothing even colse to being 5 foot wide with a big block on it. You may be right when you say it could get a newbie into serious trouble. JMO.

Your question was about getting thrown off the boat. If your boat is truly 5 ft wide, you may be spending some time out of the boat. And in alaska it gets pretty cold out, not like sunny Florida. Be careful and be safe.
Yep!!! I measured it, 5 ft wide on the bottom, takes a 5 ft wide poly sheet, measures 6 wide at the gunnels. I really don't see myself turning it over, hopefully any way. I expect to be driving pretty consertively for a long time until I can learn what it will and won't do. It's the learning what it won't do that can cause me problems. I would perfer wider also, but there really arn't many to choose from up here. Only other one I've found for sale with a big block has a hardtop on it made from a truck canopy, if you can imagion that, and with all the dimond plate on it, looks like it must weigh as much as a tank. Others are mostly 350 sb, or ac motors. The guy I'm buying this thing from is up in Fairbanks using his new airboat to ferry firefighters back and fourth from a forest fire that is burning near his river cabin, and thinks that is more important then coming home and selling the boat. Won't let me take it until all the paper work is done and transfered, so I am still looking in case something better comes along. Thanks for all the good info so far. Bud
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Re: HOW MANY, HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET THROWN OFF OF YOUR BOAT

Post by crowhater » Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:49 pm

Without a doubt most of the airboat mishaps I have seen are a result of booze. I myself have been guilty of it and I have learned that the two do not mix. Airboats are fun but they are far from a toy and they will hurt you very quick. I laid my last airboat on the side when I ran up on shore through some bushes I had never run through before. The boat ran up on a log and before I had a chance to blink the boat flipped over on its side and stuck me in the sand like a yard dart. To say I was red faced was an understatment, my father who was 40 yards away just shook his head at me. The only damage was a bent rudder stick and some dirty under wear. Common sense is also a reason for trouble, I like to say that the weather is never to bad for me to go to the blind and more then once I have come real close to loosing my boat. Last year when I decided to cross the open bay in a 40mph north wind my friend Matt was not happy at all with me. We could not see real well because of the rain but close to shore the waves did not look that bad but once we got about a 1/4 mile out of army cut it was BAD. I would not have taken a bay boat out in that stuff and I ran it in the rain at 5am. We just went strait and tried to fight the waves to the closest land, there was no turning around or letting out of the gas. After what seemed like a week we ended up on the tip of grass island and drove right up onto it, I was so happy that we just hunted right there. Even the Game Warden gives me a hard time about being the only one fool enough to go out some times. So this year I plan on using more common sense.
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Re: HOW MANY, HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET THROWN OFF OF YOUR BOAT

Post by Bob in Canada » Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:21 am

akblackdawg;
Airboats are ton of fun and very useful in the north . I'd encourage and of my friends to get one.
My boat is 14'x8' with a small block . I'd STRONGLY encourage you to ask the guy selling you the boat to do some low speed circles in each direction in deep water or a couple of figure "8s" with you in it. I've never been in a 15'x5' with a big block but I think you would want to have a PFD on at the time . Just don't want you to have a bad case of buyers remorse. I can't see how a boat like that would have any low speed stability . JMO
PS: never been chucked out of my boat...... yet. :lol:
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