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      Members Only Fluid Forum View   08/08/2017

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MuntzAngling

Airboats?

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Does anyone know if there are any airboat motor manufacturers? You know, like fan style motors like in the everglades. I want to buy a 12' jon boat and use it in slop and on the river.

The other use that makes it desirable for me is for ice fishing. A steerable ski sled underneath the boat could be added for ice transportation. There is a guy at the Apostle Islands who has one.

It seems like the only way to get something like this is to know someone familiar enough with airboats to custom make one for you, right?

I would really like to eliminate buying a snowmobile down the road. I would only use it for towing a portable ice shack anyway.

Any suggestions on propelling fan motors and boat snow sleds is appreciated.

-Andy

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Airboats usually use automotive motors I believe. Don't want to go too big with the motor on a 12' Jon, maybe a 4cyl.

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Airboats Unlimited in Bainbridge, GA builds airboats and ships them all over the world. They build the full size ones that use either a full size automotive V8 or a reman aviation engine. They also build a smaller one that uses a 4-stroke 18 to 24 hp engine - probably what you are looking for. Their site is airboatsunlimited.com . Check out his "Dixon Twister" series. Give Paul or Carol Dixon a call. I have known them for 10 to 15 years and they are great people!

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Our shop foreman at work is big into the airboat addiction. They use them a lot on the Platte river in Nebraska. Sounds like the boats and motors run the range of beer to champagne just like "normal" boats. They are starting to build their own glass hulls also. If you want I can get his contact info. Quite sure he doesn't have any experience on ice though!

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I found out that the custom shop is above weight and price for me. I was hoping to find a boat small enough to put on the roof as I have no room for a second trailer. Apparently, to displace more water a wider boat is necessary. Their 14ft is 7ft wide! Also, the jon boats don't steer as well since they are ribbed. The air rudder needs less resistance from the bottom.

The smallest horsepower there is 35 which has an output of 55 hp. The fan was 64" wide, too big to put in the truck. The speed was 18-24 mph, not the horsepower, fyi. Thanks for having me call him, I learned a lot and haven't given up on my search.

As far as winter use goes, he said a 1/4" polymer coating could be used to protect the bottom from ice. That would eliminate the ski rack from being necessary.

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I dont know fore sure are airboats illeagal in Minnesota? I thought only law enforcement could use them.

Like I say I dont know it just one of those things that stuck in the back of my head

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