Life as an airboat Captain

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newoldglory
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Life as an airboat Captain

Post by newoldglory » Mon Jan 26, 2015 8:47 pm

This cannot be told in one posting so get a few more drinks on hand and a change of under wear, (or what ever). I've got the next 2 days off from paying work and have time to contemplate on my life as I know it. Today was a blistery day with high winds and variable temps. High winds are a challenge to tour boat operators when it comes to getting off the dock, during the tour and "docking". The docks at Sawgrass Park are east to west and a lot of the winter winds are from the north. This means that we can have difficulties getting off the dock with out slamming into the boat ahead of us. Some times we will have another Captain help with the launch and at other times we have to make the best of it. Occasionally, we have to kill the engines and let the crash happen and retry. ( rule of thumb, if you can't make it, shut down the engines and crash, then retry). Other wise we will crash under power and that does not always turn out good. That's the easier part. Of course there is the problem of "positioning" on a gator for the guests to get pictures and when you are among two or more boats in high winds, there is the risk of collision. The big boats are controlled by the winds at low RPM'S and can be uncontrollable in close encounter. The large willow cage over the engines and propellers create a major wind drag and the boat can drift as much as 50 feet while trying to hold a position on a gator. Then of course, if you only have one gator then the competition is on. Captains depend on tips for most of their income so friction can get high. It's a well known fact that "no gators, no tips" are the general rule. -----next, docking and more.

:proud: :old_glory: :usa: :florida: :rebel:
To open ones eyes, you must let them see!

Remember; sometimes it's better to be thought a fool than to open you're mouth and prove it.

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captain chad
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Re: Life as an airboat Captain

Post by captain chad » Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:01 pm

Preach it brother. We live and die by how many gators and good stories (real or fake) we tell.
"you cant fix stupid"

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Bruce
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Re: Life as an airboat Captain

Post by Bruce » Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:14 pm

dang yall got it rough :lol: :lol:
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Re: Life as an airboat Captain

Post by captainwayne » Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:28 pm

Been a airboat captain for 15 yrs now..guess I made a career out of it lol!!!

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Prototype
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Re: Life as an airboat Captain

Post by Prototype » Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:56 pm

Yall can say what you want but the clutch drive WORKS!

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Re: Life as an airboat Captain

Post by AirRanger » Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:27 am

I know they are not cheap, but twin Power Poles will let you stick the boat in place.
Image

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newoldglory
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Re: Life as an airboat Captain

Post by newoldglory » Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:18 pm

AirRanger wrote:I know they are not cheap, but twin Power Poles will let you stick the boat in place.

Please sell that to Sawgrass! :lol: :lol: :lol:
To open ones eyes, you must let them see!

Remember; sometimes it's better to be thought a fool than to open you're mouth and prove it.

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newoldglory
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Re: Life as an airboat Captain

Post by newoldglory » Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:01 pm

Captain Chad; Yes, we have to "read" our guests and tell them about what they want to hear. If we see that the majority is interested in a particular subject then that is what we talk about. If they start asking questions, that can be good or bad. To me, I am easily distracted due to a previous illness so I try to not let any one cut in. Even a screaming child that should not have been dragged on the boat or inconsiderate, rude bassholes can set me off and that's when I start talking to the clouds. We as Captains will be wrong in favor of the visitors every time. It can be a blessing when it tis time to go in (we are required to "sit and talk") for half of the ride to conserve fuel. Other wise we will be reprimanded for excessive fuel consumption. NOW, we have to dock this vessel as softly as possible so as to not pitch off the grumpy ones on our ride that scream about not having the full time "on the run". Captains and waitress' take the hit because they are in the line of fire. With these north winds, it can be difficult to put a 28' boat in a 35' hole sliding sideways at a considerable clip. We have some Captains that will be there to help "minimize" the impact but then we have those that just won't. (the good, the bad, the evil). Ahead and behind you are parked boats and some times we crash. When we see that we are not going to "make it", we will make a statement like "this is a controlled crash" and hope that the passengers will think it is funny. It's not when you miss and it's embaresing to a Good Captain even though you did you're best under the circumstances. But then, that's air boating.
To open ones eyes, you must let them see!

Remember; sometimes it's better to be thought a fool than to open you're mouth and prove it.

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Prototype
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Re: Life as an airboat Captain

Post by Prototype » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:57 pm

Gerald, The clutch drive is worth a look. A good captain can learn very fast what his boat can really do in slow speed docking and turning. Have you run a twin screw boat?

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newoldglory
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Re: Life as an airboat Captain

Post by newoldglory » Thu Jan 29, 2015 6:53 am

Prototype wrote:Gerald, The clutch drive is worth a look. A good captain can learn very fast what his boat can really do in slow speed docking and turning. Have you run a twin screw boat?
Yes, the big boats are twin engine. It's not the idle speed that makes a difference, it's the wind pushing the boat side ways while sliding in between two other boats that are already docked. The company has 7 of these big boats and are not going to spend the money. They like to say that a good captain CAN do it.
To open ones eyes, you must let them see!

Remember; sometimes it's better to be thought a fool than to open you're mouth and prove it.

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Re: Life as an airboat Captain

Post by dougeey » Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:59 am

newoldglory wrote:
Prototype wrote:Gerald, The clutch drive is worth a look. A good captain can learn very fast what his boat can really do in slow speed docking and turning. Have you run a twin screw boat?
Yes, the big boats are twin engine. It's not the idle speed that makes a difference, it's the wind pushing the boat side ways while sliding in between two other boats that are already docked. The company has 7 of these big boats and are not going to spend the money. They like to say that a good captain CAN do it.

I have seen and talked to some of these captain they are not as good as they think .
Doug

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Bruce
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Re: Life as an airboat Captain

Post by Bruce » Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:56 am

newoldglory wrote:Captain Chad; Yes, we have to "read" our guests and tell them about what they want to hear. If we see that the majority is interested in a particular subject then that is what we talk about. If they start asking questions, that can be good or bad. To me, I am easily distracted due to a previous illness so I try to not let any one cut in. Even a screaming child that should not have been dragged on the boat or inconsiderate, rude bassholes can set me off and that's when I start talking to the clouds. We as Captains will be wrong in favor of the visitors every time. It can be a blessing when it tis time to go in (we are required to "sit and talk") for half of the ride to conserve fuel. Other wise we will be reprimanded for excessive fuel consumption. NOW, we have to dock this vessel as softly as possible so as to not pitch off the grumpy ones on our ride that scream about not having the full time "on the run". Captains and waitress' take the hit because they are in the line of fire. With these north winds, it can be difficult to put a 28' boat in a 35' hole sliding sideways at a considerable clip. We have some Captains that will be there to help "minimize" the impact but then we have those that just won't. (the good, the bad, the evil). Ahead and behind you are parked boats and some times we crash. When we see that we are not going to "make it", we will make a statement like "this is a controlled crash" and hope that the passengers will think it is funny. It's not when you miss and it's embaresing to a Good Captain even though you did you're best under the circumstances. But then, that's air boating.

you are required to sit half the trip?? wow
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Tired Gpu 520,Whirlwind Razor X

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glades cat
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Re: Life as an airboat Captain

Post by glades cat » Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:16 am

Just an observation and personal interjection:
The Captain of a vessel, aircraft or other company has great a task before them. The captain is responsible for its safe and efficient operation, including cargo operations, navigation, crew management and ensuring that the vessel complies with local and international laws, as well as state policies. All persons on board, including officers and crew, other shipboard staff members, passengers, guests and pilots, are under the captain's authority and are his ultimate responsibility.
I have known and worked under many of them since my youth as a deckhand and understudy. Some great…some, not so much. :lol: The list includes charter boats, party boats, shrimp boats, commercial bait boat and Fire Department command structure. They should be highly respected, their word and orders considered with paramount importance and their lessons indispensable.
Kudos to the great Captains, past, present and future. A job well done should be appreciated and rewarded where it meets their livelihood…as demonstrated by good tippers who say "thank you". :salute:
"Leave a legacy...Preserve the irreplaceable"
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captain chad
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Re: Life as an airboat Captain

Post by captain chad » Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:58 pm

I spend at least half my ride talking anyway (more I can talk the more money I make) but no one tells me how long I have to sit. Crazy they do that to yall Gerald.
"you cant fix stupid"

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captain chad
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Re: Life as an airboat Captain

Post by captain chad » Sat Oct 26, 2019 1:08 pm

Just got back on Southern Airboat and saw this old post. Still holds true. I work at a different place now but all still the same.
"you cant fix stupid"

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