Reflecting on Maiden Voyage

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SkydiveJesus
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Reflecting on Maiden Voyage

Post by SkydiveJesus »

I came across a 13.5' deckover airboat with a PE150 a couple weeks ago. I had no prior plans to own an airboat and a year ago I would have thought it was ludicrous. I took it out for its maiden voyage a few days ago and I have some kinks to work out that I wanted to write about on here for your opinions. Keep in mind I know very little about this new found sport.

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When it comes to accelerating and steering, I've never felt more out of control. I'm a captain for hire here in Florida and I drive mostly small (20' to 30') boats for a living. It's incredibly unusual to me to not have a reverse or even a neutral. Steering is a skill I can see myself developing rather quickly but still takes some thought while moving at high speeds. I noticed that if I was moving 20mph+ and dropped off the throttle abruptly then I would cause spray from the bow and get sideways quickly. I learned to decelerate slowly.

When restarting the engine after it was warm, the battery was acting like it had low voltage. The engine cranked slowly but eventually fired back up. I checked the voltage when I got home and it read 13.1 so it wasn't the voltage. I have read that it could be a bad ground wire. Any other ideas?

After putting it back on its trailer, I noticed oil had sprayed onto the rudders. Apparently this is caused by blowby from the rear crankcase vent? Is there any kind of cap or filter I should put here to keep oil in or is the oil coming out because it is supposed to? Also the forward breather sits horizontal so when I go to fill my oil it comes back OUT of the breather. Are there any good solutions to this problem? I have since put a 1" filter on the forward breather but will that stop new oil from coming out or will it just drip through the filter?

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Regarding exhaust. I only have headers and I just bought a couple stainless mufflers and I need STAINLESS flex tubing, not that galvanized stuff which plagues the interwebs. Does anyone have two foot and a half long pieces they would sell me?

I was wondering who stranded airboaters call for help since boats and even jet skis can't make it in to the areas that airboats can. What is the common practice for getting stranded downriver when other airboaters aren't around?

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Scotty1
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Re: Reflecting on Maiden Voyage

Post by Scotty1 »

:rebel: As far as the not starting after it warms up it looks like maybe your battery is under the front seat, which is to far a way from the motor needs to be closer and 4 awg wire.That would be the first thing i would check as far as the other stuff maybe someone can help you i run a car motor boat. :rebel:

unforgiven11B
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Re: Reflecting on Maiden Voyage

Post by unforgiven11B »

Welcome to the madness, add you location and we’ll know where your at. You were getting prop-wash and was throwing you sideways. Don’t want to to do that! learn your boat they all handle differently. Sounds to me your timing is a touch off, hard to say without further information on engine and condition. Most run with others for recovery reasons, Knowing who runs the area you ride locally helps as well. Really no option like seatow. Hit the search you can see how to push an airboat with another as well as couple other methods. Stick time will give you the knowledge you need to safely operate if you are willing to learn. Too many get too confident too soon and end up sinking or wrecking. Learn your boat I can’t say it enough and maintain it! A lot of preventable accidents have happened in the last few years. Good luck with your sled looks like a decent first airboat.
Last edited by unforgiven11B on Sat Apr 27, 2019 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Blownaway540
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Re: Reflecting on Maiden Voyage

Post by Blownaway540 »

You will get the hang of it, just go easy for awhile. In picture you are pointing at where oil is coming out? If so it needs a piece of heater hose on it strapped on the cage to the top and then horizontal to very back. Make double sure it is very well secured, if it comes loose it can go in prop and destroy a lot. Mark
IGSO 0540 (W/out IG) built by the late, great, Dick Hoffman, 13 ft. Alumitech. Member - CRA, KRVSA

SkydiveJesus
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Re: Reflecting on Maiden Voyage

Post by SkydiveJesus »

Scotty1 wrote::rebel: As far as the not starting after it warms up it looks like maybe your battery is under the front seat, which is to far a way from the motor needs to be closer and 4 awg wire.That would be the first thing i would check as far as the other stuff maybe someone can help you i run a car motor boat. :rebel:
Good idea to shorten the cables. Even if that's not the cause I can probably reduce the length by a little.

SkydiveJesus
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Re: Reflecting on Maiden Voyage

Post by SkydiveJesus »

unforgiven11B wrote:Welcome to the madness, add you location and we’ll know where your at. You were getting prop-wash and was throwing you sideways. Don’t want to to do that! learn your boat they all handle differently. Sounds to me your timing is a touch off, hard to say without further information on engine and condition. Most run with others for recovery reasons, Knowing who runs the area you ride locally helps as well. Really no option like seatow. Hit the search you can see how to push an airboat with another as well as couple other methods. Stick time will give you the knowledge you need to safely operate if you are willing to learn. Too many get too confident too soon and end up sinking or wrecking. Learn your boat I can’t say it enough and maintain it! A lot of preventable accidents have happened in the last few years. Good luck with your sled looks like a decent first airboat.
I added St Petersburg, FL to my location today. Prop wash must have something to do with engine rotation I'm guessing. I'll read up on it.

My problem with getting help from other airboaters is that I'm in a location where it's quite uncommon. I've never seen an airboater on the water in 8 years of living here.

SkydiveJesus
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Re: Reflecting on Maiden Voyage

Post by SkydiveJesus »

Blownaway540 wrote:You will get the hang of it, just go easy for awhile. In picture you are pointing at where oil is coming out? If so it needs a piece of heater hose on it strapped on the cage to the top and then horizontal to very back. Make double sure it is very well secured, if it comes loose it can go in prop and destroy a lot. Mark
Yes I'm pointing to where it comes out. So I need to run a heater hose from that breather up and over the top of the cage and have the opening facing the stern? Is that so it can breathe without letting too much oil out?

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keys2pines
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Re: Reflecting on Maiden Voyage

Post by keys2pines »

For the hard starting, upgrade to 0awg. Fixed my hard warm starts immediately, boat starts as soon as I push the button now.
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Blownaway540
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Re: Reflecting on Maiden Voyage

Post by Blownaway540 »

In short yes, the oil it pushes out will slide back down hose. I always put a piece of heavy, large hole scree over end. Mud dobbers love to built their nests in the end of hose. If they build one and you don't see it the oil will "melt" the nest and then the sand and mud will run back down into your crankcase. It is never a bad idea to carry one of those jump boxes with you, those newer, lightweight ones. Also always have your cell phone and a go bag with mosquito repellent, tools, etc. just in case you break down. Periodically check all nuts and bolts for tightness, one falling off can go thru the prop and explode it. Let friends and family know where you are going, always which direction and location. Don't know if you drink but don't for now until you get used to it. If you get in trouble the old saying is "When in doubt, power out". Remember that there are two types of airboaters- Us who have sunk and those that will. I have been at it for close to 40 years and have sunk two. Mark
IGSO 0540 (W/out IG) built by the late, great, Dick Hoffman, 13 ft. Alumitech. Member - CRA, KRVSA

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kwanjangnihm
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Re: Reflecting on Maiden Voyage

Post by kwanjangnihm »

Welcome to SA!
Blownaway540 wrote: Periodically check all nuts and bolts for tightness, one falling off can go thru the prop and explode it.
x2 At the ramp, every time you stop & back at home! :salute:
Start with replacing this bolt with the correct length! :thumbleft:
nut.PNG
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mojoe
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Re: Reflecting on Maiden Voyage

Post by mojoe »

kwanjangnihm wrote:Welcome to SA!
Blownaway540 wrote: Periodically check all nuts and bolts for tightness, one falling off can go thru the prop and explode it.
x2 At the ramp, every time you stop & back at home! :salute:
Start with replacing this bolt with the correct length! :thumbleft:
nut.PNG
X2

Visual check everything constantly. Every trip and most stops. At least every 25 hrs go through and check torque on EVERY nut and bolt on the boat/rigging/motor. It only takes a few minutes. Nylocks are nice, so are lock washers, but an airboat prop will eventually vibrate something loose. If you don’t catch it, it is potentially dangerous and always expensive if steel goes in the prop at speed, even just something small. Steel vs carbon= carbon looses every time!
Mark 7:9

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mojoe
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Re: Reflecting on Maiden Voyage

Post by mojoe »

39803C4C-FE2A-47C5-BC25-D9C52E35D1D2.jpeg
Maybe it’s overkill, but on some bolts that I have had trouble with or I otherwise didn’t trust, I drilled a small hole and tie them off A/C style. Hopefully the wire keeps them from backing out, but if it doesn’t, I will be able to see that it moved before the dreaded “dink” in the prop.
Mark 7:9

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Slidin Gator
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Re: Reflecting on Maiden Voyage

Post by Slidin Gator »

This is all good advice. My alternator lock bolt is double nutted. It needs to be anti-seized or double nutted or loctited.

Move that battery aft to improve start voltage and you will pull weight off the nose to find the boat tracks better.

That hull you got ain’t for the faint of heart. She goes sideways better than straight. Keep your weight aft and your foot in the gas. Chicken out and you roll her sideways.
I still think I-10 is the Mason Dixon line.
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Re: Reflecting on Maiden Voyage

Post by One Eyed Gator »

A lot of good info
My 2 cent

Be careful with the mag. If you don't now how they work ,learn.

If the mag is not grounded, then it is hot and rotating the prop can have severe consequences.

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Re: Reflecting on Maiden Voyage

Post by flcracker9 »

As far as who to call? My suggestion is to join one (or more) of the many airboating clubs in Florida. Post on here when and where you are riding, to see if any others may be riding that particular day. Another good source is Southern Airboat Facebook page if you do the Facebook thing. Always better to "buddy up" when airboating, should something happen, Uber won't be an option to get home.
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SkydiveJesus
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Re: Reflecting on Maiden Voyage

Post by SkydiveJesus »

One Eyed Gator wrote:A lot of good info
My 2 cent

Be careful with the mag. If you don't now how they work ,learn.

If the mag is not grounded, then it is hot and rotating the prop can have severe consequences.

When I first got the boat the mag didn't have a ground but I've since wired in a switch so that I can keep my fingers.

SkydiveJesus
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Re: Reflecting on Maiden Voyage

Post by SkydiveJesus »

mojoe wrote:39803C4C-FE2A-47C5-BC25-D9C52E35D1D2.jpeg

Maybe it’s overkill, but on some bolts that I have had trouble with or I otherwise didn’t trust, I drilled a small hole and tie them off A/C style. Hopefully the wire keeps them from backing out, but if it doesn’t, I will be able to see that it moved before the dreaded “dink” in the prop.

I like this idea. I can see from the prop that something has made contact with it in the past. There is a small dent on the wing tip.

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Andy
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Re: Reflecting on Maiden Voyage

Post by Andy »

I've always been told if you need to move the prop turn it in the opposite direction it normally runs so if there's a mag issue no accidental starts

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