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Thread: Keep it under control

  1. #1
    Administrator Papee's Avatar
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    Keep it under control

    I was at the river today, a guy stopped me when I was loading my boat and started asking questions about operating an Airboat. I thought it would be a great idea to post some knowledge here about operating a boat since some of the guys here are getting on top the of the water for the first time. I'll start out with a few.

    Start out by practicing in low water.

    Never run full throttle for any length of time, a boat at full throttle is out of control, there in no more pedal after pedal to the floor. No more control for steering if needed.

    If you are in a turn and start sliding towards an obstacle let off for just a second to see if the boat will dig if not power out until you clear the obstacle. You need air to turn, don't second guess and let off and then try to recover, the boat won't turn with no air on the rudders.

    Practice some slides in low water to see how much your boat will turn before it spins out. It is best to know what will happen before it happens.

    Be careful of your wake catching up to you when slowing down, practice slowing down and see how the wake reacts to your boat when slowing fast. Do not slow down too fast at first. Come off plane slow until you know how your boat reacts with the load you are hauling. Some boats will glide for a great distance when coming off the trottle quick and other will fall off plane quickly. Know your boat.

    I've learned a lot running a boat with no chines most learned the hard way.

    There is so much to tell but the most important is stick time and knowing how your boat handles in any situation. Feel free to share your experience and ask questions, we have some very experienced operators here with lots of stick time.
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  2. #2
    Great topic Papee!

    As learned from personal experience: Be aware of the wind direction and strength. It WILL push your boat in the direction the wind is blowing, even more if you boat slides a lot. To prove it, just check out the clip on you tube titled Fatcat Crash. The wind pushed my boat right into the shore....

    Flathead

  3. #3
    KWAZY old Southerner... Duane Scarborough's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flathead View Post
    Great topic Papee!

    As learned from personal experience: Be aware of the wind direction and strength. It WILL push your boat in the direction the wind is blowing, even more if you boat slides a lot. To prove it, just check out the clip on you tube titled Fatcat Crash. The wind pushed my boat right into the shore....

    Flathead
    Flathead,

    Ouch !

    Papee,

    Good thread starter.

    I have very limited stick time, but HOPEFULLY will have an operating Mini-Airboat before too much longer.

    I figure it's like many other things, like riding a motorcycle, for example. I've been doing that for so long that I don't remember.

    When I FINALLY get my boat ready to try out, I know that I've GOT to treat it like a kid on his first tri-cycle. I also know how hard that will be...

    I'll try to be careful.

    Duane
    A KWAZY old Southerner... and darn PROUD of it.

    Airboat Pros MiniPro 116 / Frog Spit
    SS rigging - with side by side seating
    Teledyne 4A084-4 engine
    Solex H30/31 Carb
    Arrow Prop 1.73:1 reduction
    67" Whirlwind 2 blade Mini Prop

    under construction

  4. #4
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    There is a learning curve here if you have never piloted a air boat. you don't drive it you pilot it. It is not like any other boat you have ran before. There is no neutral no brake's and no reverse. And it will not turn if you dont have air blowing across the rudder's. I learend the hard way.

    Thanks Steve

  5. #5
    Administrator Papee's Avatar
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    The thing that got me on my first and only real wreck was changing from deep to shallow water while in a turn. I started a turn an went from a foot or so of water to only a few inches. The boat lifted and I lost the edge. I let off the gas for a second to see if I could get an edge to dig but it wouldn't catch. I mashed the pedal again but was already in the limbs overhanging the river. I ducked a few limbs and when I looked up I was headed straight for the tree. No room to spin out so I ate the tree.
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  6. #6
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    Hey Papee

    I missed the tree but i ate the limbs. There was no damage just my pride

    Steve

  7. #7
    Member fox river rat's Avatar
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    Now you all have me nervous. Just finished dialing in the ivo I bought from Chuck last fall. I have a mini 105 that I bought without an engine and hauled back to Illinois. Dusted off my welding skills and made an engine conversion mount for a used rotax 447. Got all new gauges mounted up, primer, enricher, on/off switch and a mini tach. It's turning a nice safe 6500 rpm on the 2 stroke. Sounds real good. But...I never even been in an airboat, let alone pilot it.

    I don't have Florida type shallow water to practice in. Only 3-4 deep river that's got a decent current. Does anyone have specific advice on the 105 hull? There's not much height between the water and top of hull. Plus the boat I bought has a planer on the transom connected to a shock. I'm guessing that helped keep the nose down.

  8. #8
    KWAZY old Southerner... Duane Scarborough's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fox river rat View Post
    Plus the boat I bought has a planer on the transom connected to a shock. I'm guessing that helped keep the nose down.
    How about posting a photo of this? Are you talking about a spring loaded trim tab?

    Duane
    A KWAZY old Southerner... and darn PROUD of it.

    Airboat Pros MiniPro 116 / Frog Spit
    SS rigging - with side by side seating
    Teledyne 4A084-4 engine
    Solex H30/31 Carb
    Arrow Prop 1.73:1 reduction
    67" Whirlwind 2 blade Mini Prop

    under construction

  9. #9
    Member fox river rat's Avatar
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    Hey Duane,

    I'll snap a shot in the am and post it. I'll also take some better picts of the boat.

  10. #10
    Member fox river rat's Avatar
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    Trim flap picture

    Quote Originally Posted by fox river rat View Post
    Hey Duane,

    I'll snap a shot in the am and post it. I'll also take some better picts of the boat.
    Just trying to navigate uploads for1st time. We'll see if I did this right.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  11. #11
    KWAZY old Southerner... Duane Scarborough's Avatar
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    Rat,

    Your picture seemed to load just fine.

    It does appear to be a spring loaded trim tab.

    I have no experience with them myself. Years ago, I remember seeing them on a few outboard powered boats though. They had 2 of them, one on each side of the hull, with the motor in the middle. This was before hydraulic trim on the motor. I think the idea was to push the bow down at slow speeds, but at higher speeds they'd not have much impact. I know that some folks swore by them, while others swore at them.

    Don't know how it'd behave on a Mini Airboat. Don't know how adjustable the spring or shock is, but I'd guess it'd be very difficult to match to your needs.

    I'm just thinking out loud, O.K. ? My "guess" is that you'd be better off to remove it, (or somehow fix it into an "always full up position" ) at least temporarily, until you get other things fine tuned. It being spring loaded means that it's impact on the your hull's performance would be constantly changing as your speed changes. How can you possibly fine tune things, when you've got something attached to your hull that's constantly changing?

    Once you've got the other fine tuning done, then you could start playing with the spring loaded trim tab.

    OR replace it with an adjustable trim tab. That way you could adjust it yourself, as needed. Some of the BIG airboats use them.... but not many.

    Good luck with it. Please keep us informed.

    Duane
    Last edited by Duane Scarborough; 07-02-2011 at 02:45 PM.
    A KWAZY old Southerner... and darn PROUD of it.

    Airboat Pros MiniPro 116 / Frog Spit
    SS rigging - with side by side seating
    Teledyne 4A084-4 engine
    Solex H30/31 Carb
    Arrow Prop 1.73:1 reduction
    67" Whirlwind 2 blade Mini Prop

    under construction

  12. #12
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    It looks like the tab is mounted upside down. The sides of the tab should be turned up. That is the first 105 i have seen a trim tab on. It must be the one that had the 65 Cont. on it. If the rigg and engine is mounted in the right place in the boat and the engine is level with the bottom of the boat, a trim tab is not needed.
    Thanks, Chuck

  13. #13
    KWAZY old Southerner... Duane Scarborough's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckitt View Post
    It looks like the tab is mounted upside down. The sides of the tab should be turned up. That is the first 105 i have seen a trim tab on. It must be the one that had the 65 Cont. on it. If the rigg and engine is mounted in the right place in the boat and the engine is level with the bottom of the boat, a trim tab is not needed.
    Thanks, Chuck
    Chuck,

    Good catch ! After looking at the photo again, it DOES look like it MAY be mounted upside down.

    Looking at it another time, I'm not so sure.... it may just be the angle that the photo was taken from. Hard to say for sure from that photo.

    I do agree with you about the trim tab not being needed. An adjustable (from the operators seat) trim tab MIGHT be a benefit to adjust for changing loads, but if it was really NEEDED, then it would have came with one from the manufacturer.

    I think that for a trim tab to serve any real purpose, the operator would need to be able to adjust it from the operators seat, while underway. A spring loaded trim tab seems like a wild card. That's JMO.

    Duane
    A KWAZY old Southerner... and darn PROUD of it.

    Airboat Pros MiniPro 116 / Frog Spit
    SS rigging - with side by side seating
    Teledyne 4A084-4 engine
    Solex H30/31 Carb
    Arrow Prop 1.73:1 reduction
    67" Whirlwind 2 blade Mini Prop

    under construction

  14. #14
    Member fox river rat's Avatar
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    The trim tab is on correct. That is an illusion from the lighting. And, yes this was the boat with the Continental 65. The engine was off when I got it. Sounds like I should take the tab off before getting on the water.

    I'm wondering if the weight of the Cont. 65 was much more than my 447 rotax. Rotax is pushing 40hp and only weighs 80lbs. That could make a big difference in how the little boat handles versus the 65. Could have kept the nose up longer with that weight. Just checked with wiki and the cont 65 weighs 170 lbs.

    I've been pretty busy at work and haven't had time to get my sticker and registration taken care of yet. St of IL wants the trailer reg. and licensed, then I have to mail my title to them with the taxes due from buying the boat! They give you 30 days from when it comes into IL. Story time.

  15. #15
    Member fox river rat's Avatar
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    FINALLY. Getting the IDNR to come out on Thursday this week to do an inspection. Illinois has way too many regulations. I may have mentioned on another string that my Rotax stopped running well last fall, after it was adjusted to max out about 6500rpm. I threw in the towel and had a rebuilder go through it. After giving the guy $700 when I picked it up he mentioned to make sure my enricher cable wasn't too tight because the engine was fouling. Well, the proverbial light bulb went off. That was the last thing I added after it was running. At least I know now that all the tolerances are in good shape. Near new condition. And, I really didn't need to hook up the enricher. Maybe I'll get to do that maiden voyage this weekend...if we don't get snow.

    Thanks for all you guys encouragement and tips!

  16. #16
    Administrator Papee's Avatar
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    Re: Keep it under control

    Something I thought of after running the boat yesterday. I came out of a cut of islands at a pretty good clip and as soon as I cleared the islands there was a boat anchored. The only way I could avoid hitting the boat with two younger guys in it was to spin the boat out. I suggest you do this as soon as you feel comfortable with your boat.

    Find a clear spot to practice this, water a foot or less is beast for this. Get going then give it gas and a good yank of the stick and spin it out. This will let you know what is going to happen if you do accidentally spin out also. Your boat will probably dip in the front, mine will splash a good bit of water as the nose dips.

    There will be some circumstance at some point that you will need to spin the boat out so this is real important to know, It will also let you know how hard you can take a turn before the boat spins out. This is very important for the guys running a hard or soft chine boat, those with chines not so much but still important.
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