Never mind anything I said in the "Bending Aluminium" thread about building a boat. Part of the conversation that brought up my friend's idea was that I was talking about building an airboat for myself.
I've been looking for a shallow draft boat for some time now. And while I am tight on funds. You never know when things can change, and I like to plan for the future.
Near where I live, we have a river that for a long time was concidered basically a sewage canal. And for all intensive purposes dead. Things changed in the late 80's when for 3 consecutive years we had massive flooding. All this flooding pushed all the junk out of the river bed. Our states DNR took advantage of this and began a major restocking program as well as extensive restrictions on local communities and industry preventing future pollution.
What this means to me as a fisherman 20 years later. The fishing now is outstanding, if you can get to the sweet spots. During a year when there's average rain fall, many parts of the river is only 1-2' foot deep. The honey holes where the big walleye, sauger, pike, smallies, and even muskies hang out are mixed in areas that are difficult to get to. I've heard many horror stories on a local fishing forum that I belong to from guys trying to get to these spots with thier jon boats and using a trolling motor. Only to have thier trolling motors get beat up.
Then reicently I seen a show with guys running around the everglades in one of those airboats. And that's what made me start to think of building one of these. Further research on the net, and I found out about a class of boat described as "mini-airboats" which use small 10-30hp horizonal shaft eninges.
Why aluminium. Having asked about this on another forum, a person who also fishes a simlar type river in a different state, pointed out that had he gone with a wood or fiberglass hull, he'd of destroyed it by now. The aluminium has held up for him much better. So, now I'm on the hunt for plans for a mini airboat hull that uses aluminium. I have googled plans on the net, and have come up with only one comany that sells plans for a mini airboat. Those plans are for a wooden hulled boat. And from what I've read about this company's plans, they're a good idea for PLANNING, but not actually using thier plans for building a boat. I was hoping maybe someone on here may have already built an airboat or might know where I can get plans from for an aluminium hull.
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