Bit the Bullet and got my first Boat.

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Tony480
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Re: Bit the Bullet and got my first Boat.

Postby Tony480 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:54 pm

I can see it now.....knows nothing about airboats or how to drive one and can't swim....and an 11' dd small block...hope you're insured to the max

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Re: Bit the Bullet and got my first Boat.

Postby Swamp Parrot » Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:56 pm

Tony480 wrote:I can see it now.....knows nothing about airboats or how to drive one and can't swim....
well the key is I plan to be real careful, take my time and try NOT to sink the boat... lol

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Re: Bit the Bullet and got my first Boat.

Postby Tony480 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:01 pm

Well a shallow sided 11' boat with a dd small block was about the worst boat you could buy...learn to swim!

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Re: Bit the Bullet and got my first Boat.

Postby AirRanger » Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:24 pm

Tony480 wrote:Well a shallow sided 11' boat with a dd small block was about the worst boat you could buy...learn to swim!


I think he means well, but I have to agree with you on this one T480. Or we can look at it this way. I think he mentioned that he flies planes, I doubt he wears a parachute and I did not see any wings on him in the video. Not too much different Can't Swim / Can't Fly = Same Result.

Good Luck S Parrot be careful keep it in 6 -12 inches water for a few trips work your way into 1-3 feet for a while until you have a good feel for it. Wear a PFD always.
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Re: Bit the Bullet and got my first Boat.

Postby Swamp Parrot » Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:42 pm

AirRanger wrote:
Tony480 wrote:Well a shallow sided 11' boat with a dd small block was about the worst boat you could buy...learn to swim!


I think he means well, but I have to agree with you on this one T480. Or we can look at it this way. I think he mentioned that he flies planes, I doubt he wears a parachute and I did not see any wings on him in the video. Not too much different Can't Swim / Can't Fly = Same Result.

Good Luck S Parrot be careful keep it in 6 -12 inches water for a few trips work your way into 1-3 feet for a while until you have a good feel for it. Wear a PFD always.
trust me I will never leave with out a life vest. and yes I do plan to keep in skinny water until I get lots of practice.

that said any one want to share about the time they took their boats out for the first time?

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Re: Bit the Bullet and got my first Boat.

Postby AirRanger » Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:29 pm

Swamp Parrot wrote:
AirRanger wrote:
Tony480 wrote:Well a shallow sided 11' boat with a dd small block was about the worst boat you could buy...learn to swim!


I think he means well, but I have to agree with you on this one T480. Or we can look at it this way. I think he mentioned that he flies planes, I doubt he wears a parachute and I did not see any wings on him in the video. Not too much different Can't Swim / Can't Fly = Same Result.

Good Luck S Parrot be careful keep it in 6 -12 inches water for a few trips work your way into 1-3 feet for a while until you have a good feel for it. Wear a PFD always.
trust me I will never leave with out a life vest. and yes I do plan to keep in skinny water until I get lots of practice.

that said any one want to share about the time they took their boats out for the first time?


In the eyes of many on this forum I can be considered "green" or "lacking experience" or even "rookie" with about 15-16 years of airboat experience. There are some well respected people whose lives from birth go hand and hand with airboats. That said after a couple of years of being fortunate enough to have a couple a very experienced friends who each had many years of knowledge and stick time allowed me to hunt alligators with them and spend many nights on their boats seeing and feeling the capabilities of the boats hooked me. Eventually they would allow me to drive their boats a bit here and there. I had a certain level of confidence and a ton of respect by the time I bought my first boat. I also knew the style of boat that I wanted from spending so much time on their boats. I pieced together my first boat with used components that were in my budget. I was very careful driving my first boat but truthfully I am more careful now. That comes with the concern of having my wife and son on the boat with me. Since my first ride along ever was at night I can honestly say that I am more comfortable running at night than during the day. I find myself in trails much less that I used to and avoid them altogether if my little boy is on the boat unless I can clearly see over the grass. If I never had the opportunity to spend time with experienced operators I would have followed the same advice that I previously offered you. A few years back I was the running joke every time I went out with my group of friends because I always wear my PFD. Now they are much more common and accepted.
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Re: Bit the Bullet and got my first Boat.

Postby Deano » Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:59 pm

Swamp Parrot wrote: . . . trust me I will never leave with out a life vest. . .

I sure hope you mean that you "will never leave without a life vest ON". Granted, you have no way to realize how quick a boat can go down, but be expecting that it could be micro-seconds not a minute and a half. Conventional wisdom says there are two kinds of airboaters; those that have sunk one and those that are going to. No shame in sinking one, but it would be a shame to only have the first opportunity. Justifiable concern is not paranoia.

While it sure appears to be a nice little boat you have there; everything Tony480 said is true about it being less than ideal for a first boat. Add to that, the fact that it's cut down (even less freeboard) and decked over (can't see how much water may be in the hull), makes it even less forgiving and more likely to have you learning the hard way.

It has been pointed out to start out in shallow water. I will also add that in the begining, you only want to have it going in a straight line before you either give it gas or let off the gas. An easy way to tip that boat will be to do either with the rudders to far from center. This is probably the single biggest reason that an inexperienced pilot puts one on the bottom.

On that note, I would recommend that you do not start by practicing in the yard. Doing that will require a lot of power to get moving and a lot of rudder to get turning, and using that much power and/or rudder after it's floating will be exactly how you sink it. It will be very stable, but very lethargic in the yard; it will take a lot of power to do anything. It will be very UNstable and very NIMBLE in the water compared to on the ground; it will take a miniscule amount of power to do the same thing in the water. Because these are two points of reference you lack, I would recommend you start in shallow water. Save the yard for later.

Remember, you have a small hull and small hulls only require small adjustments.
Congratulations on your new boat! :thumbleft: Stay Safe! :)
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Re: Bit the Bullet and got my first Boat.

Postby Swamp Parrot » Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:05 am

In the eyes of many on this forum I can be considered "green" or "lacking experience" or even "rookie" with about 15-16 years of airboat experience. There are some well respected people whose lives from birth go hand and hand with airboats. That said after a couple of years of being fortunate enough to have a couple a very experienced friends who each had many years of knowledge and stick time allowed me to hunt alligators with them and spend many nights on their boats seeing and feeling the capabilities of the boats hooked me. Eventually they would allow me to drive their boats a bit here and there. I had a certain level of confidence and a ton of respect by the time I bought my first boat. I also knew the style of boat that I wanted from spending so much time on their boats. I pieced together my first boat with used components that were in my budget. I was very careful driving my first boat but truthfully I am more careful now. That comes with the concern of having my wife and son on the boat with me. Since my first ride along ever was at night I can honestly say that I am more comfortable running at night than during the day. I find myself in trails much less that I used to and avoid them altogether if my little boy is on the boat unless I can clearly see over the grass. If I never had the opportunity to spend time with experienced operators I would have followed the same advice that I previously offered you. A few years back I was the running joke every time I went out with my group of friends because I always wear my PFD. Now they are much more common and accepted.[/quote] yes I know I have a lot to learn and with any luck I will be safe enough to enjoy this for many year, but then again I very well could scare my self the first time out by my self and say nope not for me. I am hoping that the first time out I will at least have enough control to get it back in with out sinking it.

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Re: Bit the Bullet and got my first Boat.

Postby Swamp Parrot » Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:12 am

Deano wrote:
Swamp Parrot wrote: . . . trust me I will never leave with out a life vest. . .

I sure hope you mean that you "will never leave without a life vest ON". Granted, you have no way to realize how quick a boat can go down, but be expecting that it could be micro-seconds not a minute and a half. Conventional wisdom says there are two kinds of airboaters; those that have sunk one and those that are going to. No shame in sinking one, but it would be a shame to only have the first opportunity. Justifiable concern is not paranoia.

While it sure appears to be a nice little boat you have there; everything Tony480 said is true about it being less than ideal for a first boat. Add to that, the fact that it's cut down (even less freeboard) and decked over (can't see how much water may be in the hull), makes it even less forgiving and more likely to have you learning the hard way.

It has been pointed out to start out in shallow water. I will also add that in the begining, you only want to have it going in a straight line before you either give it gas or let off the gas. An easy way to tip that boat will be to do either with the rudders to far from center. This is probably the single biggest reason that an inexperienced pilot puts one on the bottom.

On that note, I would recommend that you do not start by practicing in the yard. Doing that will require a lot of power to get moving and a lot of rudder to get turning, and using that much power and/or rudder after it's floating will be exactly how you sink it. It will be very stable, but very lethargic in the yard; it will take a lot of power to do anything. It will be very UNstable and very NIMBLE in the water compared to on the ground; it will take a miniscule amount of power to do the same thing in the water. Because these are two points of reference you lack, I would recommend you start in shallow water. Save the yard for later.

Remember, you have a small hull and small hulls only require small adjustments.
Congratulations on your new boat! :thumbleft: Stay Safe! :)
thanks for the tips, yes I did mean have the life jacket on at all times.
also thanks for the advice about not playing with it in the yard, I can see how it could teach me bad habits, I thought the decked over boats where harder to sink.
it does have a removable plate under the seat frame, so I could leave that off to see if I am getting water in the hull. I think my best bet may be to get someone experanced to take me out on the boat and see how it handles so they can tell me what to expect.

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Re: Bit the Bullet and got my first Boat.

Postby lilly-Pad » Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:36 am

Hey Swamp P, I like the boat even if it has a car motor lol. But seriously learn to swim in Florida it is a necessity. My first boat was my airboat have had it less than six months. It is also a small boat 10.3 sled, join your local club see if you could find some one to go out with you maybe you go out with them. For me launch and recovery was the most interesting part of the learning curve. Read thru the safety section on here lots of good advice. Enjoy the boat and welcome to the addiction. If you are ever in South Fl come on down to 3B for a slide.........
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Re: Bit the Bullet and got my first Boat.

Postby Swamp Parrot » Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:21 am

lilly-Pad wrote:Hey Swamp P, I like the boat even if it has a car motor lol. But seriously learn to swim in Florida it is a necessity. My first boat was my airboat have had it less than six months. It is also a small boat 10.3 sled, join your local club see if you could find some one to go out with you maybe you go out with them. For me launch and recovery was the most interesting part of the learning curve. Read thru the safety section on here lots of good advice. Enjoy the boat and welcome to the addiction. If you are ever in South Fl come on down to 3B for a slide.........
yeah I have been wondering how my first launch will go, I am thinking this will be interesting. any Tips on how you launch your boat? I hope to take the Boat to differant areas of the state when I get better with it.

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Re: Bit the Bullet and got my first Boat.

Postby skinnypockets » Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:32 pm

Swamp Parrot wrote:
lilly-Pad wrote:Hey Swamp P, I like the boat even if it has a car motor lol. But seriously learn to swim in Florida it is a necessity. My first boat was my airboat have had it less than six months. It is also a small boat 10.3 sled, join your local club see if you could find some one to go out with you maybe you go out with them. For me launch and recovery was the most interesting part of the learning curve. Read thru the safety section on here lots of good advice. Enjoy the boat and welcome to the addiction. If you are ever in South Fl come on down to 3B for a slide.........
yeah I have been wondering how my first launch will go, I am thinking this will be interesting. any Tips on how you launch your boat? I hope to take the Boat to differant areas of the state when I get better with it.



When launching from a ramp, leave your wench line connected until the back of the boat is in the water. Develop a "checklist" before you launch, same as you would for a pre-flight inspection if you were flying. ( drain plugs in, tie down straps off, seat covers off, etc and if you're in Florida, flag in place). I always check the fuel, oil, anti-freeze and start the engine before I leave the house. Very important, always check to be sure no one has their head in the prop before you start the engine.

You said you fly so all this should be standard procedure for you except leaving the wench line connected. (When you least expect it the boat will slide off the trailer)

Personally I believe if you can fly a plane the airboat will be a piece of cake for you. Be safe and enjoy the ride.
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Re: Bit the Bullet and got my first Boat.

Postby Swamp Parrot » Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:02 pm

skinnypockets wrote:
Swamp Parrot wrote:
lilly-Pad wrote:Hey Swamp P, I like the boat even if it has a car motor lol. But seriously learn to swim in Florida it is a necessity. My first boat was my airboat have had it less than six months. It is also a small boat 10.3 sled, join your local club see if you could find some one to go out with you maybe you go out with them. For me launch and recovery was the most interesting part of the learning curve. Read thru the safety section on here lots of good advice. Enjoy the boat and welcome to the addiction. If you are ever in South Fl come on down to 3B for a slide.........
yeah I have been wondering how my first launch will go, I am thinking this will be interesting. any Tips on how you launch your boat? I hope to take the Boat to differant areas of the state when I get better with it.




When launching from a ramp, leave your wench line connected until the back of the boat is in the water. Develop a "checklist" before you launch, same as you would for a pre-flight inspection if you were flying. ( drain plugs in, tie down straps off, seat covers off, etc and if you're in Florida, flag in place). I always check the fuel, oil, anti-freeze and start the engine before I leave the house. Very important, always check to be sure no one has their head in the prop before you start the engine.

You said you fly so all this should be standard procedure for you except leaving the wench line connected. (When you least expect it the boat will slide off the trailer)

Personally I believe if you can fly a plane the airboat will be a piece of cake for you. Be safe and enjoy the ride.
:rebel: :florida: :old_glory:
thanks this is all good advise, I am learning alot. the main thing that is kind of intimadating right now, is not knowing how much trust the prop will make at Idle, and when you launch and air boat how do you get it away from the dock since there is no reverse. may sound like a dumb question,but most the Videos I have seen so far the boats are being driven into the water from the dry land.

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Re: Bit the Bullet and got my first Boat.

Postby SthrnStyle3 » Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:53 pm

I keep the bow strap hooked to the nose of the boat. I may add a little slack to it.. I then back down until the back of the boat just barely starts to float. At this point, for me, I unhook it and push it down the trailer while walking the running boards on the trailer. Then jump in and start it up and get it away from the dock as smoothly as I can. For you, I recommend pushing it off but with a different bow rope tied to the bow and just work it over to the bank, away from the docks and go from there..
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Re: Bit the Bullet and got my first Boat.

Postby Swamp Parrot » Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:32 pm

SthrnStyle3 wrote:I keep the bow strap hooked to the nose of the boat. I may add a little slack to it.. I then back down until the back of the boat just barely starts to float. At this point, for me, I unhook it and push it down the trailer while walking the running boards on the trailer. Then jump in and start it up and get it away from the dock as smoothly as I can. For you, I recommend pushing it off but with a different bow rope tied to the bow and just work it over to the bank, away from the docks and go from there..
Ok thanks, at this point I have not even tryed to slide it off the trailer. the guy said it will slide off with very little effort. boat is very light,as I moved it on the trailer in the yard by hand last night.

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Re: Bit the Bullet and got my first Boat.

Postby Gary S » Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:31 am

Parrot you really need to find someone to go with you somewhere shallow and during the week so there is not a lot of traffic and help you build some confidence. Go down to a ramp that being used by airboaters early, Bring a chair and maybe a breakfast and coffee and sit back have breakfast,drink your coffee and watch. Come back in the afternoon with a 6 pack and watch them load.

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Re: Bit the Bullet and got my first Boat.

Postby flcracker9 » Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:51 am

like GaryS said, and I mentioned earlier, need to pal up. My 1st trip in over 25 years resulted in me dipping the corner while turning left at idle. The wake combined with the torque thrust caused the boat to list over, and since I have an open hull, it only took a second to sink. I was only in 3' of water, but sunk is sunk. I went out alone, and had to swallow my pride and call FWC to come get me and take me back to the ramp. I recovered the boat the next day, but learned a valuable lesson. Take your time, heed your own advice and don't rush into it. It will take a few trips to become familiar with how your particular boat handles, and you will build confidence with each trip. If you buddy up, leave plenty of room between you and the boat in front of you so you have time to react, and expect the unexpected. All of these tips and warnings can sound intimidating, and airboating does have it's dangers, but most of all, use common sense, take it slow, and have fun while learning and you will be fine.
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Re: Bit the Bullet and got my first Boat.

Postby Swamp Parrot » Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:05 am

Gary S wrote:Parrot you really need to find someone to go with you somewhere shallow and during the week so there is not a lot of traffic and help you build some confidence. Go down to a ramp that being used by airboaters early, Bring a chair and maybe a breakfast and coffee and sit back have breakfast,drink your coffee and watch. Come back in the afternoon with a 6 pack and watch them load.
that sounds like a good plan, I need to find out where they put in around here.

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Re: Bit the Bullet and got my first Boat.

Postby 90chevy396 » Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:26 pm

I recently purchased my first boat in '14 and with the fact that at 3months I got my first ride on my grandfathers boat ( so it be told to me) I have spent most of my life riding airboats and only driven 3 other airboats in my life. my grandfather passed away 9 years ago this month and until I purchased my boat I couldn't even step foot on one. find anyone that knows the area and have them take you to a known shallow lake and practice for five or ten minutes at a time to get a feel for the ride and then park the boat and digest the experience you just had every time and analise each reaction the boat have with each imput you gave it. spend as much time as you can doing this until you get comfortable with the handling and then you proceed to a little deeper water and have to completely relearn the handling of the boat in deep water. once you are comfortable with that that's when you can learn to drive on dry ground and have the upmost respect for it. remember airboats are 60 plus inch meat grinders and the operator is the only one with control of everyone on board. good luck
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Re: Bit the Bullet and got my first Boat.

Postby alligatorplace » Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:42 pm

Good luck on your new boat! I can remember the feeling, first boat day! Sadly though its a fact, you probably will sink it - I am saying that just based on the weight and design or your boat, especially if you go in the deep water of the St. Johns and hit some large boat wakes. I was the one who always said said - I will never sink, and I was so aware of my boat and what I was doing. My buddies much more experienced, would just look at me sand say "Yeah Ok" - My first sinking happened in a canal at an idle speed just turning around in a slow current - I was in 4 feet of water, it was no big deal. But I was more shocked than mad or afraid at the situation than anything - I cant imagine in deep water, or going fast. Like someone posted it only takes a second to happen. Probably not on the your first trip but eventually it will happen. Someone local needs to go with you in some shallow water and give you some help if they can. Please be safe and take someone. Most importantly enjoy and keep us updated on your adventures!

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Re: Bit the Bullet and got my first Boat.

Postby Swamp Parrot » Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:15 pm

Thanks for all the replys and suggestions, trust me I am taking all of them to heart. carmotorbarge is going to meet up with me saturday after next if all works out and help me learn the in's and out of operating the boat. I will be meeting him near his place where there is some good skinny water to learn in. not knowing to much about airboats I am kind of disappointed that they don't do well in deep water. and that seems to be mainly what is around here. bummer. thought I had something I could safely run anywhere. so glad I found this Forum. I have learned so much already.

one of 2 things are going to happen, I will do ok the first time out, or I will scare the crap out of my self and decide it's not for me.

I am hoping that I will get the feel for it and enjoy it for a long time.

they do look like a lot of fun once you learn how to run one safely.

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Re: Bit the Bullet and got my first Boat.

Postby justin m » Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:18 pm

Glad you found someone willing to go out and educate you. Just don't get in a big hurry, take your time. When launching: go over your checklist, plugs, flag, lights, tools ect. Tie a bow rope on the front. Back it down the ramp with wench still hooked up. When back of boat starts to float, disconnect your wench and grab your bow line. Push it off the trailer and walk to the side or on the dock and tie it up. When ready to leave, un tie your rope and put it in the box or wherever. Push the nose around while getting in the boat and start it up. Just don't gas it and blow everyone off the dock lol Don't let it scare you to the point where you don't want to get back on it. If something happens, regroup and learn from the mistake. If you're ever down around Lake Okeechobee PM me. We'll get together and i'll do my best at teaching you what i know. Goodluck with your journey and keep us posted!
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Re: Bit the Bullet and got my first Boat.

Postby Swamp Parrot » Fri Feb 27, 2015 3:11 pm

justin m wrote:Glad you found someone willing to go out and educate you. Just don't get in a big hurry, take your time. When launching: go over your checklist, plugs, flag, lights, tools ect. Tie a bow rope on the front. Back it down the ramp with wench still hooked up. When back of boat starts to float, disconnect your wench and grab your bow line. Push it off the trailer and walk to the side or on the dock and tie it up. When ready to leave, un tie your rope and put it in the box or wherever. Push the nose around while getting in the boat and start it up. Just don't gas it and blow everyone off the dock lol Don't let it scare you to the point where you don't want to get back on it. If something happens, regroup and learn from the mistake. If you're ever down around Lake Okeechobee PM me. We'll get together and i'll do my best at teaching you what i know. Goodluck with your journey and keep us posted!

thanks for the advise and invite, we rented a place in okeechobee, for 38 days, was at River acres, learned there is Hot....then there is Okeechobee Hot. not to mention the thunder storms.
I liked it there, but when my lady had a heart attack and we had to drive 26 miles to the hospital, that made us decide we where just to far away from everything.
still have some Friend down there so ya never know we may just be in that area again sometime.

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Re: Bit the Bullet and got my first Boat.

Postby pipedog » Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:43 pm

Swamp Parrot wrote:Thanks for all the replys and suggestions, trust me I am taking all of them to heart. carmotorbarge is going to meet up with me saturday after next if all works out and help me learn the in's and out of operating the boat. I will be meeting him near his place where there is some good skinny water to learn in. not knowing to much about airboats I am kind of disappointed that they don't do well in deep water. and that seems to be mainly what is around here. bummer. thought I had something I could safely run anywhere. so glad I found this Forum. I have learned so much already.

one of 2 things are going to happen, I will do ok the first time out, or I will scare the crap out of my self and decide it's not for me.

I am hoping that I will get the feel for it and enjoy it for a long time.

they do look like a lot of fun once you learn how to run one safely.

Don't get discouraged you will have a blast Saturday, especially if you ride on carmotorbarge'es boat!! There also are plenty of airboats that will run deep water safely. Be safe and have fun, you soon will be addicted :lol:
Palm Beach open hull 13'9" with 6.0 F.I. LS - Ox Box and a 3bld "R"

Swamp Parrot
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Re: Bit the Bullet and got my first Boat.

Postby Swamp Parrot » Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:13 pm

pipedog wrote:one of 2 things are going to happen, I will do ok the first time out, or I will scare the crap out of my self and decide it's not for me.

I am hoping that I will get the feel for it and enjoy it for a long time.

they do look like a lot of fun once you learn how to run one safely.

Don't get discouraged you will have a blast Saturday, especially if you ride on carmotorbarge'es boat!! There also are plenty of airboats that will run deep water safely. Be safe and have fun, you soon will be addicted :lol:[/quote] yeah I am looking forward to it. I don't even know what his boat looks like yet, I think the plan is, he is going to put my lady on his boat with him and I will try and keep up. or something like that.

I am looking forward to it. will be cool to see how this Boat even sits in the water, the listing said it is stable and turns well. Guess I will find out.


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