New AirRanger Set up ?

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duckman5849
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New AirRanger Set up ?

Post by duckman5849 »

airboat.jpg
Maybe someone can help. This is my first airboat so any advice would be appreciated. I have a new 18x8 Air Ranger with the supercharged LSA. I have not officially weighed it but its heavier end with a bowfishing set up. At WOT running dry its turning 4900 rpms with a 3 blade whispertip at a 15 degree pitch. It has a 2.3 to 1 gearbox. I feel like its underpowered when running dry. Twice now I have gotten it stuck, once on a sandbar with a steep pitch and the other was in a cow pasture with very short grass/dirt. Both times didn't take much wiggling from someone to get it moving. Do I need to add more pitch, do a pully swap to add more power, or are my expectations too high?
18x8 AirRanger Barge 556 HP LSA 2.3 Reduction swinging a 78" 3 blade = Heavy As Shit
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unforgiven11B
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Re: New AirRanger Set up ?

Post by unforgiven11B »

Your asking a lot that boats huge and honestly I wouldn’t rev that LSA any higher than than you have too. Wet sand sucks you down and can be difficult to break lose. If it’s new call Faron at air ranger and he’ll give you a no bs answer
Last edited by unforgiven11B on Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

duckman5849
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Re: New AirRanger Set up ?

Post by duckman5849 »

Thanks. Just to be clear I was not stuck in that picture. Both times I was full of fuel with 5 people in the boat. They just finished building it 2 months ago. Not sure if your aware but Faron is no longer at American Airboats. They went thru some big changes at the beginning of this year. He started his own outfit called Patriot Airboats
18x8 AirRanger Barge 556 HP LSA 2.3 Reduction swinging a 78" 3 blade = Heavy As Shit
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17x54 GatorTrax w/ Stage 3 BossDrive

In South Tx on the Guadalupe River :texas:

unforgiven11B
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Re: New AirRanger Set up ?

Post by unforgiven11B »

No I didn’t know, thanks for the info. I didn’t suspect you to be stuck there. I was stating in general wet sand sucks! loaded like that your going to struggle a tad till she’s beaks lose.

duckman5849
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Re: New AirRanger Set up ?

Post by duckman5849 »

Do you think swapping out the supercharger pulley to make more boost would be worth it? If I remember correctly he said it’s at 8psi.
18x8 AirRanger Barge 556 HP LSA 2.3 Reduction swinging a 78" 3 blade = Heavy As Shit
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17x54 GatorTrax w/ Stage 3 BossDrive

In South Tx on the Guadalupe River :texas:

Gladesman06
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Re: New AirRanger Set up ?

Post by Gladesman06 »

If I was you I'd be taking pitch out of the prop to get it to spin more rpm. If you have the Whisper Tip Ex prop you can safely turn it 5750 RPM's with your gear ratio per Whirlwind. Also you are leaving power on the table by only turning 4900 RPM's. I would recommend getting it to at least 5400 and see what that does. Yes in my opinion and from a lot of experience with big boats I can say the LSA isn't the best choice for that size boat and weight. Wet sand is one of the toughest to break loss from in my experience.

duckman5849
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Re: New AirRanger Set up ?

Post by duckman5849 »

Well at this point the bank still owns half of it so changing the motor isn't an option. I should of went with that when building (story of my life ) but Stan told me I wouldn't be disappointed in the performance which for the most part I'm not. I just expected it to run dry fully loaded. I confirmed they are Ex blades with 13" width. I will adjust the pitch this weekend. What pitch should I start with? My other idea is to put a cam in it or a small shot of nitrous to get it moving when needed. I called several race shops around San Antonio Tx to see about a cam installation but they all want the motor out of the boat. Any one know of someone in the south Tx area that will work on the LSA in the boat?
18x8 AirRanger Barge 556 HP LSA 2.3 Reduction swinging a 78" 3 blade = Heavy As Shit
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17x54 GatorTrax w/ Stage 3 BossDrive

In South Tx on the Guadalupe River :texas:

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GeeLeDouche
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Re: New AirRanger Set up ?

Post by GeeLeDouche »

Beautiful setup! They build a nice rig, just heavy.
16x8 Utah style hull With a Waterthunder motor W/ 2.3 CH3 reduction swinging a 3 blade 78" R.
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Mossy Cypress
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Re: New AirRanger Set up ?

Post by Mossy Cypress »

Hard to say without seeing the terrain you were stuck on, I know everwhere the conditions are significantly different. That being said i have a heavy boat like yours 16x8 though, minus the bowfishing rail/lights. Its 500+hp ls3 with a 2.3-1 belt and 3 blade whirlwind ex,not sure of the pitch but turns just under 5600 @WOT, I have not been stuck with a full load yet but dont really push the envelope to far. Like stated above I would take pitch out to increase rpms. Maybe even take it back to the manufacturer,I would think they would take the time with you to repitch the blades to your performance liking, especially if they build the boat for you two months ago. Where are you located? How many gallon fuel tank? How many batteries? I just noticed also you have 2 power poles, an extra seat/stand, cage platform and that's just what I can tell from the pics, Yours I think is significantly heavier than mine.

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kwanjangnihm
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Re: New AirRanger Set up ?

Post by kwanjangnihm »

duckman5849 wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:55 am
What pitch should I start with?
duckman welcome to SA!!

You already have a great starting point! "At WOT running dry its turning 4900 rpms with a 3 blade whispertip at a 15 degree pitch."

Take a few degree's out at a time and run it! :salute:
He'll cut your throat, baby, stick you in the back, drive off in your Cadillac.
He's more trouble than you think, he'll kill your sugar, leave you in the drink.

Gladesman06
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Re: New AirRanger Set up ?

Post by Gladesman06 »

I would drop it down to the 12 or 13 mark on the hub. For a ruff estimate you will gain 50-75 rpm per blade per each mark on the hub when taking pitch out. You will lose 50-75rpm per blade per each mark on the hub when adding pitch. Also your static (on the trailer) Rpm will be about 200rpm or so less then it will be on the water.

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digginfool
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Re: New AirRanger Set up ?

Post by digginfool »

Owning a heavy DB with the LSA, I think I can weigh in here. First, you are leaving lots of power on the table by choking that engine down to 4,900 RPM. Whether that engine is a Levitator or Marine Power setup, it can safely turn 5,600 - 5,700 RPM. I'm running a 2.55 gearbox with a 4 blade 81" NGR and it runs; won't say I haven't gotten stuck (the emerald green grass on the KCOL has stopped me) but it is truly a point and go setup. I have my prop pitched for 5,750 RPM. If I were in your shoes, I would start by letting that engine breath; re-pitch for at least 5,400 on the trailer. If you still find yourself wanting, I would then consider changing the ratio of your beltbox to 2.5. Adding a supercharger pulley is not going to help you if you can't re-program the ECU for the extra air so you need to wipe that off your list. Even if you do find a way to adjust your fuel map, the LSA is not a forged engine and you're playing with fire. The stock hypereutectic pistons are great for rolling down the highway or short blasts stoplight-to-stoplight but won't last long at all if you push the engine into detonation; real easy to do with a supercharged engine and a lean fuel condition. I think you have a lot of room with your current setup by just doing a few easy adjustments. Finally, expecting any airboat to move under those conditions (big boat, 5 adults, full fuel and gear on a sandbar) to not get stuck is unrealistic, even for the most powerful of setups. Make sure your guests have waders or don't mind getting wet when it comes time to shake the rake.
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duckman5849
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Re: New AirRanger Set up ?

Post by duckman5849 »

Thanks everyone for their input. I will definitely do what y'all are recommending and adjust the pitch, that's why I asked before spending the money on engine mods. As far as bringing it back to American Airboat to tune it I would prefer to do what I can myself if possible. Its a 4 hr drive each way for me and I wont be taking up space in there shop I'm located in Gonzales Tx about an hr east of San Antonio. Most of my riding has been on the coast in the Rockport area. A little more specs on the boat: Dual batteries, 50 gallons of fuel in the tank and I carry an extra 6 gallons with me until I can learn more about the fuel consumption since we drive long distances. dual power poles, 3/8 poly, 65 qt Ice chest was full of beer/ fish and I had a 45 qt cooler with water for live bait. Passenger weight was around 955lbs. Basically its heavy lol. Even with all that weight it still pushes 50+mph. I have not had the nerve to go much faster than that yet.
18x8 AirRanger Barge 556 HP LSA 2.3 Reduction swinging a 78" 3 blade = Heavy As Shit
&
17x54 GatorTrax w/ Stage 3 BossDrive

In South Tx on the Guadalupe River :texas:

duckman5849
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Re: New AirRanger Set up ?

Post by duckman5849 »

ImageAlright so I finally got around to changing the pitch weekend. I previously stated the pitch was set at a 15 but I when I looked closer it was actually a 16pitch . I set it at 14 this weekend and the rpms went to exactly 5k when full throttle on the water and wouldn't budge past that. Is it possible they have some type of programming in the computer the limit the rpms? I will bring them down to 12 and see what that does. I feel like it did perform better when running dry but I had a few passengers less this time. Btw I did get it stuck again. this pic doesn't do this place justice. The reeds and brush are about 12 ft tall and the bottom was dry. I made it in 100 yards no problem but when I stopped to take a look around I couldn't get it moving again
hell hole.jpg
18x8 AirRanger Barge 556 HP LSA 2.3 Reduction swinging a 78" 3 blade = Heavy As Shit
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17x54 GatorTrax w/ Stage 3 BossDrive

In South Tx on the Guadalupe River :texas:

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ringneck
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Re: New AirRanger Set up ?

Post by ringneck »

Relax and have fun with your new boat. A year from now you will be fully equipped with one of the best high performance additives money can buy... stick time.
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carte89
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Re: New AirRanger Set up ?

Post by carte89 »

duckman5849, Im not sure if you are on Facebook or not but Southeast tx airboats group has quite a few people in the rockport area who would probably be more than willing to give you a hand.
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Slidin Gator
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Re: New AirRanger Set up ?

Post by Slidin Gator »

duckman5849 wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 12:23 pm
The reeds and brush are about 12 ft tall and the bottom was dry. I made it in 100 yards no problem but when I stopped to take a look around I couldn't get it moving again
Duckman,
This past weekend I got into some 12 foot high stuff myself, the bushes started turning into trees. Off to my right I saw a glimmer of things opening up, so I pushed the rudder stick forward and mashed the gas.
ringneck wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:43 pm
A year from now you will be fully equipped with one of the best high performance additives money can buy... stick time.
The point is, no one stops in 12 ft high crap to "Take a look around", unless one knows for a fact that the boat will plane out from that spot. Otherwise, we keep our foot hard into the throttle and our eyes and rudder hand focused on something a hair less rank than what we are in.
I still think I-10 is the Mason Dixon line.
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duckman5849
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Re: New AirRanger Set up ?

Post by duckman5849 »

only reason I stopped in the tall stuff was because it felt to be moving good and it only looked thicker up ahead. Didn't realize it was so dry until I came to a stop.
18x8 AirRanger Barge 556 HP LSA 2.3 Reduction swinging a 78" 3 blade = Heavy As Shit
&
17x54 GatorTrax w/ Stage 3 BossDrive

In South Tx on the Guadalupe River :texas:

duckman5849
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Re: New AirRanger Set up ?

Post by duckman5849 »

Well I’m thankful we were able to walk away from yesterdays accident. I had a friend with me and we were fishing some skinny backwater in the rockport area when we both got ejected. We were cruising at about 20-25mph in some 2-4 inch water over sand bars when it all came to a stop. I guess I had backed off the throttle a little too far. Next thing I know I felt the boat stick and I couldn’t react fast enough with the throttle. I was launched 30 ft, broke my collar bone and he broke his leg pretty bad. His bone was sticking out , the tibia came thru the front of his leg and we had to use a tourniquet. Worse part was we were an hr from the boat ramp. Luckily there were some friendly people at the ramp to help us get it out of the water and on our way to the hospital. I had driven across these sandbars prob a dozen times and It never reacted like that.
Last edited by duckman5849 on Tue Aug 25, 2020 12:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
18x8 AirRanger Barge 556 HP LSA 2.3 Reduction swinging a 78" 3 blade = Heavy As Shit
&
17x54 GatorTrax w/ Stage 3 BossDrive

In South Tx on the Guadalupe River :texas:

Gladesman06
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Re: New AirRanger Set up ?

Post by Gladesman06 »

WOW, I'm glad you both are going to make a full recovery. With an Airboat things always happy in a blink of an eye and when you least expect it. Sand is one of the most stickiest stuff when it comes to airboats. With out being there my guess is when you let off the throttle a little to much the boat squatted low enough to catch the sand with a lot of the bottom of the boat and the boat came to an instant stop. I'll be praying for a fast recovery for you both.

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kwanjangnihm
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Re: New AirRanger Set up ?

Post by kwanjangnihm »

duckman glad you guys are not hurt any worse and prayers for a speedy recovery sir!!
He'll cut your throat, baby, stick you in the back, drive off in your Cadillac.
He's more trouble than you think, he'll kill your sugar, leave you in the drink.

duckman5849
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Re: New AirRanger Set up ?

Post by duckman5849 »

Thank you all. You are right about things happening fast, I keep playing it back in my mind about what I should’ve done different. I’m thankful the kids weren’t in the boat and we weren’t injured worse. I’m gonna be gun shy with around that sand I can promise you.
18x8 AirRanger Barge 556 HP LSA 2.3 Reduction swinging a 78" 3 blade = Heavy As Shit
&
17x54 GatorTrax w/ Stage 3 BossDrive

In South Tx on the Guadalupe River :texas:

Pato Sicario
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Re: New AirRanger Set up ?

Post by Pato Sicario »

Duckman,

Glad to hear youre ok and wishing you a speedy recovery.

Lots of good advice and people willing to help on this forum.
I really like digginfools post on July 17th. He has your same motor. I too would say if you don't get the results you like with repitching the prop, going to a 2.55 reduction is prob the best option. There is a guy here in Utah that switched out his LSA pulleys to get more HP (up to 700). The challenge there is he now has to run race fuel. I also know two guys in Utah that are running LSA set ups with four S blades. So you might consider a 4th blade, if your willing to go to a 2.55 reduction.

Tinkering with your boat to find the sweet spot is part of the fun with airboats. I have two boats. Very diff HP set ups.
The last boat I had built 9 months ago has 1100 HP and a 5 blade JX. Using it for duck hunting I don't care about speed. Just push. So I had them pitch it to the 20 mark when it was built. But different from my other boat, it actually pushes better pitched less at the 13 mark with higher rpm. That took 5-6 adjustments over 6 months to figure out.

There are lots of variables to airboating. Where I will go with 2 people in the boat is different than 5 people in the boat.
There isn't a boat out there that will "go anywhere". Best advice I received when I started airboating is go where your boat will take you at 2/3 throttle so you still have 1/3 throttle to get you out of it.

Stick time and knowing your boat is King. Get back out there and good luck with the recovery.

Great looking boat!
16x8 Utah style Diamondback. Steve Morris 427 LS3 w/3.6L Kenne Bell blower, Holley EFI, 2.55 OxBox swinging a 5 blade 82” JX

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ringneck
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Re: New AirRanger Set up ?

Post by ringneck »

Hey Duckman,
Hope you're having a good recovery from the accident.
Hang in there man! It's all part of the sport we love.
16x8 AIRRANGER RHINO, LEVATATOR 450, CH3, WW-EX-3B-80
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