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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone Run one of these boats or know someone who does? how do they perform? how are you loading it and how are you running?

So, As of now I'm planning on getting one of these little boats. I want to be in it by/before next season. Its Time.
I will be using it solo or with another guy and gear ranging from 1 doz deks to a couple layout blinds w/ shells and full bodys.

I'm looking at the 12' fiberglass with the suzuki 1300cc Or the 13' 4" aluminum with the suzuki 1300cc but, I could be talked into the lycoming engine.

This will be a solo to 2 man boat with gear. Would be nice if I could get 3 guys once and a while but, that occasion rarely comes up so it's not my first priority
wondering which would be better and trying to keep it in the $20-$25k range

And NO, I don't want to buy a used Airboat.

Who uses them?
 

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I looked into them extensively, and in my opinion they're not for utah. Fiberglass for the first thing means no ice, at least for me.
And for me they didn't haul enough weight. Granted I'm usually hauling a little more than you proposed.
In my opinion there are better options for the same or less money.
Later,
Kev
 

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Seen a few of the early models nearly capsize in the channel when bigger boats come by. Also have heard from a lot of others that have gotten stuck pretty bad out in the lake when they were overloaded. They are small boats and 2-3 guys with average amount of gear can be a lot for even some of the bigger boats out there. The waves on the lake and strong winds would concern me the most.

Fiberglass is a death wish on the ice. For $25k you could get a pretty decent "big boat" setup.

The larger aluminum boats with the lycoming would be the way to go if you go this route IMHO.
 

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Nate just call glade he is a dealer for them. His boat was awesome but it was a little more the 1300 cc it was a turbocharged Honda.


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I've run a mini for the last 3 years out at FB. I haven't had any issues in the channel with other boats. It's a 12x54 aluminum hull with step chines. It's designed for 2 men and gear. I hunt a lot by myself, and it's easy to get unstuck by myself. It's 49hp and will do @ 35mph. I've had 2 other larger boats but prefer the one I have, especially when I take it to the Gorge to chase the big Macks.
 

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I have driven honkins boat and its a lot of fun and goes exceptionally well. On the other hand, I have also seen first hand guys with those dragonfly boats get stuck BAD in 4 inches of water..

I agree that there is better options out there for the $$ but its your choice and you have apparently made up your mind. Either way, get as much power as you can afford. then join the airboater association!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I have driven honkins boat and its a lot of fun and goes exceptionally well. On the other hand, I have also seen first hand guys with those dragonfly boats get stuck BAD in 4 inches of water..

I agree that there is better options out there for the $$ but its your choice and you have apparently made up your mind. Either way, get as much power as you can afford. then join the airboater association!
I made up my mind on buying a new boat because the problem buying used is your buying someone else's problem.
Makes me wonder about the guys you have seen get stuck. what set up are they driving, if they have the aluminum do they have poly on the bottom. Those are light weight boats with quite a bit of power behind them. I don't see them getting as stuck as some people think unless the driver is doing something stupid with it, IMO.

I watched a few demo's done with the lycoming on it and from what I can tell those boats roar

those lycomings they put on have 200hp and for the size boat they put them on I think that would be plenty
I think the 1300cc suzuki has 105hp , put that on a 12' or 13' boat and I think it would fly...again IMO
 

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I'd bet those that get stuck bad and stranded were loading up the boats more than what they could handle. Any airboat can and will get stuck. The bigger the motor the worse you get stuck! As long as you use it for what it can handle it would probably be fine

Like Jerry H said a boat that size with a Lycoming on it would be a pretty fun little ride!!

Are the lycoming motors new or rebuilt?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
so, if I got the lycomng engine, i'd put it on a 15x82 boat and I think those motors are pushing 200hp ( the model they use)

My dad talked to clint at MB the other day about it and I think he said they have a guy that has been rebuilding engines like that for 40 years. He says they build them from the ground up (close quote)

from what I hear, they really favor the guy that build their engines

I'd bet that most the season my load would be maybe 2 dozen duck decoys and a few goose floaters, 2 shotguns and me with another man, or just me solo but, their will be a few times where I will put 2 layout blinds, 3 dozen shells and as many bags of full body that I can fit on the boat. which full body's don't weigh a whole lot

If I hunt with me and 2 other men, the load would consist of maybe 2 doz ducks and if I did the layout blind trip I would make a few trips if I had to

I might add that for the 1300cc suzuki, it gets like 11 miles per gallon
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Right now I hunt with 1 dozen ducks and 4 goose floaters. So, I'm not really changing they way I hunt, I'm changing the way I get there. Some of my trails I cut in the phrag are 1.5 miles long.. Imagine doing that. It sucks but, ultimately where I hunt is nearly accessible by airboat but, not completely. Its no 1-2 mile walk through the mud either

BUT its got to be able to get me and 1 man with layout blind gear out on ice
 

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A 15x6 is to big of hull for a 4 cylinder Lycoming or the 1300 Suzuki. You will be overworking the motor all the time. Those motors would work great on a smaller hull. You will get better longevity if your not wringing the motors neck all the time.

A 6 cylinder Aircraft or a 6 cylinder GPU would be a better choice for a 15' hull. If you want an air cooled motor. If you are looking for an aircraft motor look for an angle valve. They develop more HP at less RPM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
All those Dragonfly demo's i'v watched look pretty legit to me..

I mean were not talking about a $80K air ranger here.

Cant help but wonder why someone would mass produce a boat that doesn't perform
 

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My 2 cents......

Stay away from Fiberglass period! once first ice hits your done... so that will push you into the aluminum hull.. There not a bad set up, but for the cost I would step into a boat with more HP and bigger haul.. Its all about options then don't sell short for what would work for now, as to what will work for everything!! Plan ahead for what the future could be.. that's more gear and more people. once you have kids... you take twice as much stuff to make it work.. believe me I know! If you going to spend 20K+ for a boat spend the same coin for a bigger option!
 

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Seems to me a new AB even with a car motor is pretty danged expensive, like maybe $35K for a rather modest boat, motor and trailer. That's what I have into my Hewescraft and I put 600# of tuna in it in 2 days this year. Darin's boat would be a nice alternative except it's too big for what I'd want to do.

Don't know who's building the IO360s for Dragonfly, but they're $60K new without a core. Don't think you can get a good rebuilt for much under $15K, but I could be wrong.
 

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Hey there nice teeth :mrgreen: long time no talk to. good luck on your purchase I wish ya the best. Buying an airboat will keep ya up at night. I would make sure that boat is built for the ice. extra stringers, thicker bottom / sides and poly wouldn't hurt. When it gets cold you'll be running rotten ice most of the time or you'll have a flow with jagged ice edges that will raise havoc on your sides, Its gotta get pretty cold to get good running ice and then there never is good ice. I would hate to see ya invest that much money and be looking for a new hull after a year. I would ask a whole lot those ? if your going to buy from Mud Bubby. Utah airboating is harsh when it get cold.
 

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Buy the fiberglass hull and don't look back. Once the ice comes you can watch all the other boats keep their season alive while you still make your boat payment for a parked boat!
 

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I think a 360 cubic inch Lycoming would typically have 180 hp, assuming it has the same power as a certified aircraft engine of the same displacement.
 

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I think a 360 cubic inch Lycoming would typically have 180 hp, assuming it has the same power as a certified aircraft engine of the same displacement.
I read between 180HP-220HP. About 258#.
 
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