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Airboat for the ice?????

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:39 pm
by mutts
Anyone using an airboat for travel over ice and snow????
In particular for going onto frozen lakes where the ice conditions will not allow snowmobile or pedestrian traffic.
I am an avid ice fisherman with a strong aversion to drowning, so it seems like the airboat would be a perfect vehicle. :idea:
If it falls through the ice it would float.
Only question... would it run over snow and ice????

Comments / experiences / rational thoughts are most welcome.
Mutts

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:54 pm
by upspirate
I would think that they would...they run them over wet grass down here sometimes.Maybe have to put some runners on the bottom like pieces of angle iron or aluminum.

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:44 pm
by leakcheck
I used to land my plane on the ice, so there is no reason why the airboat would not work. I think I would make a snowmobile type ski on all four corners, the front two should be steerable...but if it is solid ice with little snow I would just put those PVC strips on the bottom and go for it...

the only problem with stability is if the ice only gives way on one side and you actually "tip" into the water...it should still stay upright depending on the weight onboard. It sure would be fun though !

Water to ice and back again !

Steve

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:56 pm
by old750
If it's thin ice the plane could break through the ice and become an ice breaker. Seems to me it could send ice flying in all directions and possibly damage the plane. I say if the ice isn't at least 12" thick, stay off it. I too prefer not to fall through when I go ice fishing! This season really sucks in Southern Ontario so I have yet to get out there.

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 6:23 pm
by leakcheck
I used to plow Gilmore pond in Jaffrey NH with my F-250 supercab. Ice thickness was typically 10inches plus (sometimes really "plus" well over 12inches)...but it is a very still pond with beautiful green ice solid as a rock at the right time, the plane on the other hand is very light and doesnt require as much thickness as a truck does. The other thing with the airboat is if the bottom is left flat it spreads the weight out over a larger surface and makes it safer as well.

I miss those days (nights) or going up to the pond at midnight and skating around the lake by moonlight...great ..now I am homesick !

Steve :roll:

Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:41 pm
by FDMSIV
I think your problem is going to be maintaining the bottom of the boat. The bottom is going to get torn up. Any little rocks or debris on the ice will leave some very nasty marks on the wood/aluminum.

The only boat that would be successful in this situation would be a hovercraft. I know there are some plans out there for home builds.

AIRBOAT ON ICE

Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:48 pm
by REAPERNINK666
Most of the airboats that are used on ice are powered by big block chevy's. they need a lot of power to move them. As long as you put a polymer on the bottom you wouldbe fine. Go to this link they sell a product called GATOR BACK. comes in sheets can be applied with screws or epoxy. I am building the Glenn-L airboat now and am doing it with the polymer.


http://www.tse-ok.com/products/airboatpolymer.php

Happy Boating

Bobby

Posted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:13 am
by Caber-Feidh
FDMSIV wrote:I think your problem is going to be maintaining the bottom of the boat. The bottom is going to get torn up. Any little rocks or debris on the ice will leave some very nasty marks on the wood/aluminum.

The only boat that would be successful in this situation would be a hovercraft. I know there are some plans out there for home builds.
My kid's hover is great on ice, or semi-frozen, chunk-filled lakes but snow presents a strange problem. Most high speed skirts are bag-skirts, they are easier to build,less drag, less expensive. The problem arises at low speed/stopped on the cushion, the snow blown up gets sucked back into the lift fan, and fills the bag.

You don't go anywhere with a skirt full of snow.

FOLLOW UP

Posted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:25 am
by REAPERNINK666
HERE IS A FOLLOW UP FOR THE POLYMER FOR THE BOTTOM OF AN AIRBOAT

Hello Bobby,

Thank you for contacting TSE-OK for airboat polymer.

We currently have 1/4" thickness available in 80" x 160" in Black and 80" x 120" in Gray - both are 100% true UHMW polymer and not from a roll or welded with seams.

1/4 x 80 x 160 $375.00 each + $85.00 pallet charge if ordering less than 5 sheets total.
1/4 x 80 x 120 Gray $ 281 each + $55.00 pallet charge if ordering less than 5 sheets total

It looks like we will not have the new "GXP" Gatorback formula sheets in house till late March - so if you are only interested in that I will have to put you on a list and let you know when we have them. They will be about 25% more
in cost over our standard Gatorback sheet.

Let me know if we can be of help - we are here to serve.

Best regards,

Phil Lamb
TSE-Okulen Americas LLC

Ph: 727-456-2872
Fx: 727-456-2873
Or call toll free 866-652-2557 ext 2872

Visit us on the web at: www.tse-ok.com

Posted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:26 am
by upspirate
Caber-Feidh wrote:[

You don't go anywhere with a skirt full of snow.

That's what my mom always used to say!!!

Posted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:14 am
by FDMSIV
Caber-Feidh wrote:The problem arises at low speed/stopped on the cushion, the snow blown up gets sucked back into the lift fan, and fills the bag.

You don't go anywhere with a skirt full of snow.

It always amazes me when you almost always assume something only to realize you are mistaken. Textron Marine is a little ways east of here and they build the LCAC (Marine landing hovercraft). I have seen countless presentations and sat through just as many lectures about those hovercrafts and I never though about debris going into the bag. They are powered by gas turbines, so maybe it isn't such a huge issue, the snow probably melts pretty quick in jet exhaust. I also don't think that the Marines were planning to assault any snow covered beaches during the design.

Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 8:18 pm
by lone Duck
I had a small 8' airboat with a snowmobile engine on it. I used it on the river to get to my trapline. After the river froze up but not thick enough for a snowmobile to run on safely I used to fire up the airboat and cross the river to my snowmobile. I had teflon on the bottom (puck board or arena board 1/4" thick.) fire it up on the ice and cross. Some times the ice broke or there was over flow on top. I had two problems (1) hard to stop. (2) Went crazy on a side slope. Heh Heh!