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Why am I losing control in Shallow Water?

Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:29 pm
by pevtsovy
So I have been taking my new to me airboat down to a shallow creek to practice. I try to hug the shoreline, and I mean like a foot off the shore. Depth is maybe one inch to two inches. I’ll be running fine and all of the sudden the back will turn to the right and the boat will spin around. I have to power out to get clear.

I have about 1 hour stick time now and I have to be doing something wrong.
Boat is a 12x6
Lycoming 150 hp

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Re: Why am I losing control in Shallow Water?

Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:55 pm
by Rich Andrews
Move over more...

Re: Why am I losing control in Shallow Water?

Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:03 pm
by Deano
... into a little deeper water.

Re: Why am I losing control in Shallow Water?

Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:04 pm
by 220gpuguy
Probably making contact with the bottom of the creek? Agreed, move to where it is maybe a foot deep to where the boat isn't touching the bottom when stoped

Re: Why am I losing control in Shallow Water?

Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:35 am
by Gary S
Sounds like left front is hitting bottom. Also sounds like you did the right thing . Keep practicing.

Re: Why am I losing control in Shallow Water?

Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:36 am
by Gary S
Sounds like left front is hitting bottom. Also sounds like you did the right thing . Keep practicing.

Re: Why am I losing control in Shallow Water?

Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:37 am
by Keeth1123
I took my first airboat to lake pierce and stayed towards the shore but more like 3’ of water. I may be wrong on this, but personally I think it’s easier to get into trouble in shallow water. I’m really skinny water you can find yourself getting pretty fast if you have to over-correct a steer. The only thing you can do is power out until your going straight again where you can slow down. If you panicked and let out while sliding sideways you will probably wreck.

Main concern I always knew with deeper water was stopping. Nice gradual let down not like an all pro bass guy who goes 100 to zip in 5 feet. This is why I stayed 3 - 5’ of water.

Re: Why am I losing control in Shallow Water?

Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:00 pm
by pevtsovy
Thank you everyone who took the time to repond.

Next trip out I'll keep to the center of the creek.

You can also see me running it on YouTube. Type in "Los Olmos Creek airboat" in the YT search bar and the videos will pop up.

Re: Why am I losing control in Shallow Water?

Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:32 pm
by fhp6
Looked at your YouTube link.....not many air boats will run on mud like that. Stay in the water! :bounce:

Re: Why am I losing control in Shallow Water?

Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:30 pm
by kwanjangnihm
pevtsovy welcome to SA!

I added the video to your earlier post :thumbleft:

Re: Why am I losing control in Shallow Water?

Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:49 pm
by Rich Andrews
doesnt make sense the way ur spinning maybe Im all wrong but if your steering is very responsive to throttle in that shallow water your driving habit may be throwing it into a spin?

Re: Why am I losing control in Shallow Water?

Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:29 pm
by Slidin Gator
Does the boat have polymer? If so give it a good inspection for anything coming loose. Otherwise, you backed off throttle when you got shallow, so your rudders have nothing to work with. Try it again but hammer down when you get to the scary parts.

It sounds like the boat is running hard on the nose so the aft end is always trying to come around. Backing off throttle in shallow water just compounds the issue. Hull needs to be freed up. Are there jacks in the hull? If so, back off the ones in the stern some.

Raising the rear of the engine to point the prop up and lift the nose is a last resort, but this only has any effect when in the throttle.

Re: Why am I losing control in Shallow Water?

Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:57 am
by Andy
I’m with SG. Seems nose heavy plus that’s a strong side wind. It takes a lot of steering to compensate for that, the shallow water may raise the hull enough to lift the chimes out of the water by the time you try to correct it’s to late experience will correct that..

Re: Why am I losing control in Shallow Water?

Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:45 am
by Sniper
This is the kind of thing that makes me cringe people getting Airboats and trying to learn on their own with no formal training or and experienced operator to show them the ropes, there are so many things that are totally different than a regular boat on an Airboat but at least your playing it smart and staying close to the shore and staying in shallow water and best of all seeking advice from experienced operators , just keep your speed down and take it easy and keep learning in shallow water, Airboats are a different animal in deep water so remember that and ware a life vest at all times it will do you no good if your in the water and its in the boat

Re: Why am I losing control in Shallow Water?

Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:10 am
by Rich Andrews
THis is how a step hull rides all day long on the step, or a good free glades hull petsovy. I personally feel it is a bit nose heavy and you are loosing control then tapping the gas putting you in a spin.(compensating the wrong way initially?) Keep trying to figure it out thats what its all about just keep on being careful and slow

Re: Why am I losing control in Shallow Water?

Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 10:53 am
by pevtsovy
Once again,

Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond to my post.

Next trip out I'm going to run in the center of the creek where it is deep (6" to 1').

Re: Why am I losing control in Shallow Water?

Posted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 3:42 pm
by TC66
My rig acts like that when I run my trim tab down too far. I need it in deep water but put it up running skinny. That trim tab will sure make mine squirrelly.

Re: Why am I losing control in Shallow Water?

Posted: Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:16 pm
by Blownaway540
You are doing it right, after a while it will all become second nature to you. Don't know if you drink, but leave the cold beverages alone till you are real comfortable. It won't be long till you are a pro.......Mark (been at it for close to 40 years).