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Thread: What's the best airboat

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    Member jerryl's Avatar
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    Default What's the best airboat

    Looking for opinions and pros cons for the best airboat in Alaska I do not want to see a war just want to know what to watch for when buying an air boat! All shapes and sizes welcome

  2. #2
    Member akblackdawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerryl View Post
    Looking for opinions and pros cons for the best airboat in Alaska I do not want to see a war just want to know what to watch for when buying an air boat! All shapes and sizes welcome
    Jerry, happy to show you mine and I'm sure others will offter also. To answer your question, it all depends on what you want to do with it. I'm very happy with mine and built it for Alaska and for what I do with it. Best if you tell us how much room you need, if moose hunter, if running in cold weather, how many passengers you will carry, how fast you like to go, will you operate near the road system or be buying gas in the off road villages, lots to consider up here, and even more opinions. Feel free to call if you want to talk about it. Bud
    Wasilla

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    As Bud stated...more details needed.
    It's like asking what's the best truck?
    BK

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    Member jerryl's Avatar
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    I see where you guys are coming from I have a wife and 2 boys, I would like to take a moose out with it but yet be able to run long on very little gas I know there are tons of options as far as winter I would love to have a cab but is it a mistake to have a cab in the summer months? I dont really want a recreational but more for hunting boat. I really want to find the right boat and not have to buy 2 type thing... I was just kinda looking for the guy like Bud that has everything he likes in a boat for what and why. I know everyone is not going to want to waste there time blabing about there boat what they like and dont like about it what they use it for and what they could changeif they could but more or less thats kinda what I was looking for.

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    Member skip olsen's Avatar
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    Since I Build Them You Need To Talk To The People That Run Them And Own Them, I'm Not Going To Tell You Mine Is Better Then Some One Elses. For Me And What And Where I Go Mine Is Built For That Purpose Witch Is Hunting And Running Ground To Get To Where Good Hunting Is And Chances Are No One Else Is. But If You Ask These Guys On Here About There Boats And How They Us Them And What Kind Of Area's They Us Them To Access For Hunting And Fishing In Alaska You Will Find What You Are Looking For And By All Mines Go For A Ride In Them If You Can Before Buying One So That You Are Happy That You Made The Right Choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by jerryl View Post
    I see where you guys are coming from I have a wife and 2 boys, I would like to take a moose out with it but yet be able to run long on very little gas I know there are tons of options as far as winter I would love to have a cab but is it a mistake to have a cab in the summer months? I dont really want a recreational but more for hunting boat. I really want to find the right boat and not have to buy 2 type thing... I was just kinda looking for the guy like Bud that has everything he likes in a boat for what and why. I know everyone is not going to want to waste there time blabing about there boat what they like and dont like about it what they use it for and what they could changeif they could but more or less thats kinda what I was looking for.

  6. #6
    Member akblackdawg's Avatar
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    Jerry, pm me with your email, I'll send you some photos and more information. Do you want new or used. How much can you afford, there are some good ones on CL. If new, toss up between what you perfer in a Alaska Airboat built boat or a Skip built boat. Skip built boat will cost you less and are very good quality. You are dreaming if you think you will find a moose hauler size boat that is economical to run. Mine is 15' and Bkmail's is 18 i think, 18 would better suit your family. Enclosed cab is ok in summer, canvas comes off and very nice with keeping wind out of your face, but warm and comfy in fall hunting and winter. Primary purpose of mine is duck hunting but I also look for moose and bear. Bud
    Wasilla

  7. #7
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Jerry,
    All good advice on the above posts. Take some of us up on our offer to go for a ride a decide what works for you.
    Our boat is an 18' Alumitech hull with a 2' rake on the front, 502 big block with a 2.55 gear reduction and 4 blade master blaster push props. She has a 4 person insulated cab, bucket seats that fully recline, windshield wipers, heater, intercom system, etc.... Couldn't be happier with my Skip Olsen airboat and I started on an open Alaska Airboat and sold it after 2 years.
    As for the cab, it's the best feature on Skip built boats. Next time you drive the highway in the summer, tell your kids and wife to roll down the windows and stick their heads out of the car....then pull them back in, roll up the windows, turn on the heat and ask them which they prefer. It's that easy to decide....now add a foggy morning or some rain and it gets even easier to make that decision. No worries on the cab, it's the best kept secret if you have never been in one!
    The gear reduction is necessary if you want to quiet the boat down and have the ability to carry a load as it allows the motor to spin up to 4500-5000 RPM and make full power/torque while the prop is going considerably slower. With a direct drive set-up, you can only spin the motor up to 3000 RPM and it also wears on your bearings as the thrust is transferred to your crankshaft. (For lots more info on this subject I'd look at "southernairboat.com" and do some digging around.)
    A slick bottom (plastic) is a must in Ak with the places you are looking to go (moose hunting). Props are a matter of opinion, I have always ran master blasters and been happy.
    We run all over the state in ours to include the Big Su, Deshka, Knik, The Chena w/Skip, The Ivishak at Prudhoe Bay, and more.
    Send me a PM if you have more Q's or want to go for a ride.
    If you really want answers from a true pro, get Skip on the phone, you meet a nicer guy!
    BK

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