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Old 12-27-2016, 11:49 AM   #1
Pricestavern
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Question Airboat or Hovercraft?

We are perusing the idea of getting an airboat or a hovercraft to get us out to Rattlesnake in the winter - anytime between when we pull our 'normal' boat to when we launch again in the spring. We're hoping the esteemed members of this forum could shed some light on the choice - which is the better option, pros-cons of each, experiences good or bad. We're just starting to explore this path would appreciate any and all input.

2 person capability + light supplies for extended weekends at the cabin.

Thanks and see you all out there!
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Old 12-27-2016, 12:52 PM   #2
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I would look at a 1000 Islands Airboat. Mine was incredible. Much safer than a hovercraft or a traditional "florida-style" airboat. My 18' would hold 6 people plus gear and would cross/go through anything. They do make a smaller version as well, not sure what the price difference is. Mine was about $50k when I got it, I think they are still somewhere in that range.

There are a few threads on airboats vs hovercrafts if you search for it.

I just spoke with someone a week or so ago that has a new place on Kenniston Island that just got one.
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Old 12-27-2016, 12:54 PM   #3
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I agree with the air boat. Hovercrafts are a POS.
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Old 12-27-2016, 01:12 PM   #4
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And here I was thinking my next toy would be a submarine...

Watching the video made my day!
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Old 12-27-2016, 01:18 PM   #5
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Default Airboat

When I was seriously looking at getting one a few years ago, it was the 1000 Island one that Codeman mentions above. They seem to be heads and tails above all others especially with weight carrying and options such as heater!

Good luck!!

Dan
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Old 12-27-2016, 02:19 PM   #6
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Didn't some guy die by drowning when his small hovercraft flipped over on him at Harilla Landing in Moultonborough in early April, 2009, and he either got clunked on the head, and/or was not wearing a pfd, or both?

It was discussed in this forum ...
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Old 12-27-2016, 02:26 PM   #7
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Many years ago I had a friend of mine that had a hovercraft out on Paugus bay. It was the middle of January and he had his girlfriend on the back. He tried to go across the open water in the channel and the thing took a nosedive when they hit the water. They had on snowmobile suits and no floatation devices. When those things got soaked with water they almost drown. They were very lucky.
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Old 12-27-2016, 03:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatlazyless View Post
Didn't some guy die by drowning when his small hovercraft flipped over on him at Harilla Landing in Moultonborough in early April, 2009, and he either got clunked on the head, and/or was not wearing a pfd, or both?

It was discussed in this forum ...
Yes. That did happen.
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Old 12-27-2016, 03:29 PM   #9
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We love our hovercrafts. They are perfect for getting out to the island when the ice is marginal. I would not use them if the water is rough, as they can be wet.

The hovercraft incident at Harilla Landing had nothing to do with the hovercraft per se. It stalled, and the owner fell out of the craft while trying to pull start it.
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Old 12-27-2016, 04:09 PM   #10
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Just saw this on Ebay. This is the 24' version. Awesome machine! Same year as mine.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2007-24-Sear...m=252690405902

The newer ones do have some refinements such as completely foam filled hulls for CG approvals. The one on ebay does look to have spring action seats, mine did not and let me tell ya my spine knew it at the end of the day!
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Old 12-28-2016, 12:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codeman671 View Post
I would look at a 1000 Islands Airboat. Mine was incredible. Much safer than a hovercraft or a traditional "florida-style" airboat. My 18' would hold 6 people plus gear and would cross/go through anything. They do make a smaller version as well, not sure what the price difference is. Mine was about $50k when I got it, I think they are still somewhere in that range.
Thank you all for the feedback. What makes an airboat so much more safe than a hovercraft? I've also heard tell of airboats 'welding' themselves to the ice once stopped after the hull heats up from friction during travel. Any comments on this happening?
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Old 12-28-2016, 04:34 PM   #12
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Mine stuck once, but I was able to push it free by hand. It didn't take much. The 1000 islands are polymer skinned, not sure if that helps prevent adhesion or not.

There are probably pluses and minuses to both.

A few that come to mind:

Airboats have a much better weight capacity than hovercrafts.
Airboats don't have bags that can rip, which could leave you stranded.
Airboats are typically powered by Lycoming aircraft engines or standard car engines, both are easy to work on.
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Old 12-29-2016, 09:20 AM   #13
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Just saw a hovercraft listed today in the boat section of craigslist NH for $2800. if interested.
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Old 12-29-2016, 10:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggd View Post
Just saw a hovercraft listed today in the boat section of craigslist NH for $2800. if interested.
I don't think that I would trust my life in that one. The one in Vermont for $7999 is a much more solid setup. Check that one out.
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Old 12-29-2016, 10:55 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codeman671 View Post
I don't think that I would trust my life in that one. The one in Vermont for $7999 is a much more solid setup. Check that one out.
I wouldn't feel safe on any hovercraft. I was just passing the info along.
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