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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Mini Airboat, Styrofoam core composite #13424579 02/02/20 10:09 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,288
R
RealBigReel Offline OP
Extreme Angler
OP Offline
Extreme Angler
R
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,288
I started this project with an RC model.

[Linked Image]

It performed moderately well and so I decided to proceed. Built rudders first.

[Linked Image]

And simultaneously working on an engine mount.

[Linked Image]

After checking prices on various cage materials I decided on 3/4" aluminum electric conduit. I was told it couldn't be bent. But I found that to be totally erroneous. It bends quite easily.

[Linked Image]

Put the aft deck together.

[Linked Image]

Bought 2" 1.5 lb Styrofoam sheet. And with a few judicious cuts and lot of glue.

[Linked Image]

This is designed to be a lightweight build.

[Linked Image]

Laid down graphite fabric on the deck then turned it over. Got a couple of Elders from the Church to help with the graphite on the bottom. It laid down nicely over the curves.

[Linked Image]

Bought an Ultra Prop and Lifan 15 HP engine a seat a few other items and put it together with the help of a friend who is a lot stronger than I am. Puting the 83# engine on the engine mount would have been difficult. At this point the airboat weighs about 230 lbs. The deck is coated with 2 layers of epoxy tinted titanium white. The bottom is coated with 2 layers of epoxy mixed with graphite powder. Graphite power is a powerful tint and it makes the bottom slick, so that damage is minimized sliding across rocks and logs etc.
Bought a basic trailer and bolted some bunks onto it. It rides really well.

[Linked Image]

Had a difficult time finding where I could register this airboat in decent time frame. There is no TPWD within an hour of Stephenville. Ended up driving 93 miles to Abilene to get it done.
Then Friday 1/23/2020 I maidened this mini airboat. First trip out, well it floated. Never got it to plane and it was obviously tail heavy. Never got above 2950 RPM. Idled too fast to troll. One thing that worked well was puting it in the water and taking it out while keeping feet dry.
In the next week I moved the seat forward. Re-tuned the propeller to 11 degrees down from 12. Moved the gas tank to the deck out from in front of the propeller. Installed a fuel pump, fuel regulator and pressure gauge, after several days of research some miscues.
Disabled the governor and made the carburetor direct control. Reduced the idle RPM.
Fuel system

[Linked Image]

So I took it out Friday 1/30.

[Linked Image]

There was too much wind to hit full speed but I did get it up on plane for a bit. Have to be careful to keep some power on or the wind will whip the rudders around.
Saturday I took it out again. Some wind but found a flat piece of water and ran it up to 16 MPH per GPS. That seems fast sitting so low.

[Linked Image]

The gas tank is temporary. I have a custom aluminum tank being built. And some more tunng to do.
Rudders are on the pedals and the throttle is on the right hand.
Fuel pump switch and starter switch are on the left. Kill switch is on the engine frame.
The digital tachometer (13 bucks) is inductor. Just wrap the end around the spark plug wire. Cable was too short so we soldered another 4 feet onto it and it still worked!
Still have some tuning to do. And bells and whistles.


RealBigReel
My kayak STRIPER2. I don't go too fast but I go pretty far.
Re: Mini Airboat, Styrofoam core composite [Re: RealBigReel] #13424820 02/03/20 02:18 AM
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 154
T
Texas Grown Offline
Outdoorsman
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T
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 154
Nice build! smile


G3 river Jon - "The Wild Thing"

"The fish are biting, and there's hogs to be kilt. Gotta go!"
Re: Mini Airboat, Styrofoam core composite [Re: RealBigReel] #13425167 02/03/20 02:14 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,231
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gander Online Content
Extreme Angler
Online Content
Extreme Angler
G
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,231
Interesting project..! Very nice thumb

Re: Mini Airboat, Styrofoam core composite [Re: RealBigReel] #13425256 02/03/20 03:19 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 11,278
T Bird Online Content
TFF Guru
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Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 11,278
Very cool. Good job. thumb


[Linked Image]
Alumni 1985-1989

Okie by birth, Texan by choice.
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