Sunk Airboat

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Stevehaas2017
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Sunk Airboat

Post by Stevehaas2017 »

Just help pull a newly bought used airboat out of Lake Hatchinaha. Was underwater for 15 hours, now what? Been told under any circumstance not to start the motor up. It's a Continental aircraft motor.

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John Fenner
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Re: Sunk Airboat

Post by John Fenner »

Drain oil, fuel pull all plugs, will need to have starter and alternator and all wiring replaced, magnetos will need rebuild, ok now, fill sump with fresh oil, doubtful that starter will work, but try it, need to spin it over and get oil pressure with plugs out, drain out carb, flush with fuel, you may pull all covers off mags and run a heat gun at them for about an hour, not too close but get them hot, they might fire, reinstall plugs, prime carb up and see if it will run, if it runs, get it hot as possible till breather quits steaming. You need to do this asap.
I never finish anyth,,,.

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Slidin Gator
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Re: Sunk Airboat

Post by Slidin Gator »

First thing I would do is find the registration and make sure the numbers match to make sure you got the right boat, plenty of others have gone down in that lake :blackeye:

Some more detail from Mr. Fenner on drying out the oil:
viewtopic.php?f=47&t=72806&p=700391#p700391
John Fenner wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 1:22 pm
You need to do this asap.
X2, you need to get it running, tonight if possible. When you first pulled it up the cylinders would be full of water, cranking would destroy the engine due to hydrolock of the cylinders.

Having sunk some buggies, the first thing I do is pull the oil drain plug and drain only water, put plug back in when you get oil (i.e. leave the oil, not the water). Next pull the spark plugs and turn it over with starter or by hand if you have to to flush out water. Spray WD40 in the plug holes liberally while turning over. If starter runs keep turning until it spits out all water and builds oil pressure. If starter does not work, get it working and spin the motor before moving on. I have cranked and run on the old oil from this point when needed, otherwise change the oil and move on to fuel and spark to get her running.
I still think I-10 is the Mason Dixon line.
2013 Mike Stossel Boats, 13' x 7' deck over, IO-540, 74" NGQ less winglets.

Stevehaas2017
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Re: Sunk Airboat

Post by Stevehaas2017 »

I was given a phone number to local Continental aircraft motor mechanic here in Lake Wales. He said, as I remember, that there is some type of venting going on into the crank case. Therefore, his question to me was, "what part of the lake or Kissimmee River did the boat go down in?" His first concern was about the sand that would find its way into the bearings. He went on to say that the motor needs to be tore down and totally cleaned out. He plans to replace the gaskets, the plugs and whatever.
He also let me know that anyone who does not follow his recomendation, and then sells their airboat to someone else, (as I have read on this site has done before,) is really doing a damn damn on the buyer. I'm green as horn on this. A little more history. My father in law, 80 yrs old, on his 2nd time out, turned back into his wake, and sunk it in 3ft of water. Then, using his Ranger Bass boat, he pulled it out of the mud. After getting it into deeper water it flipped. Tied a buoy on it and left it there until morning. The next day, not having another airboat there to pull it onto dry land, and not wanting to flip it again, he pulled it all the way back to the dock 1/2 full of mud and water. At the ramp, it sunk again, but was made easy pull out of the weater right onto the trailer.
I'm not sure whether it's good idea to mention who we took it too, so, they want around 2 grand to get it right.
I only found one video on youtube of someone pulling a sunk airboat out of the water. I just hope the old timer doesn't let 2 grand stand in the way of all the good times to be had.
One last thing, I can't find any videos or diagrams on the most basic operating principles of how the electrical works, ie, the five switches on the control box. I know it takes three switches and a starter button to get it started? Two of the five are are lights? There are no gauges. Under the most basic circumstances I want to help keep it running. He won't ask. Learn and burn.

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kwanjangnihm
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Re: Sunk Airboat

Post by kwanjangnihm »

Steve welcome to SA!!
Stevehaas2017 wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 10:20 am
My father in law, 80 yrs old, on his 2nd time out, turned back into his wake, and sunk it in 3ft of water. Then, using his Ranger Bass boat, he pulled it out of the mud. After getting it into deeper water it flipped. Tied a buoy on it and left it there until morning. The next day, not having another airboat there to pull it onto dry land, and not wanting to flip it again, he pulled it all the way back to the dock 1/2 full of mud and water. At the ramp, it sunk again, but was made easy pull out of the weater right onto the trailer.
Good for him being 80 years young and still out there getting after it!! :thumbleft:

What kind of hull is he running?
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.

Blownaway540
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Re: Sunk Airboat

Post by Blownaway540 »

Which Continental motor is it? If it's true aircraft, then it should be worth rebuilding. Yes, it will very likely have sand, mud in the case. It will need to be tore down, cleaned and put back together. For a real aircraft mechanic to do it, $2,000.00 seems reasonable, but if it's a shade tree that's another story. I sunk my first airboat in the canal between Cypress and Hatchineha close to 40 years ago at 2:00am, didn't find it for 12 hours. The 0360 was full of sand in crankcase. We all sink once, me....twice so far. Mark
IGSO 0540 (W/out IG) built by the late, great, Dick Hoffman, 13 ft. Alumitech. Member - CRA, KRVSA

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