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Old 06-13-2017, 10:08 PM   #1
Eagle19
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Default Darrells inspired mini air boat build

Funny story....I have two threads floating around on the forum that one failed and one was uncompleted. I was going to build a short tail mud motor but ended up getting a way bigger boat than I thought I was going to get so I abanded the project. I've had an 18hp lawn mower engine just sitting in my garage for a year and a half. The other thread was a failed foam kayak thread. I used the wrong type of fiberglass and it melted the foam...

With all that said I saw Darrells' thread about mini airboat the other and got interested because I have the 18hp engine laying around. The more I got to thinking about and researching it, I got more and more interested. The cool thing is I found some people were building it out of wood and fiberglassing it. Well I build houses so I have an unlimited supply scrap wood. I still have a lot of fiberglass material left over from failed kayak build. They also said they would build the cage out of emt conduit and I have some left from my duck boat overhaul thread where I built a blind.

So I have 90% of the materials just chilling in my garage and decided to give it a shot.

I bought lake buggy plans for $12 just to get an idea of side measurements. I decided to go with treated 2x8's for the sides and back. In the plans it uses some other materials. But I figured it would just be easy to go with treated 2x8's for sturdyness. I'm going to do 2-2x4 treated stringers to help with reinforcement. Then I will use 1/4 plywood for the bottom. Once it's all together I'm going to use left over fiberglass cloth on the corners of the sides where they meet the plywood. Then I will use fiberglass resin to cover the rest of the bottom and sides. To save on weight, the inside I will caulk, primer with killz(a couple coats), then probably use a couple cans of flex seal for good measure. In my head, it all should work just as well.

Then I'll weld the cage, and motor mounts, and I am waiting on what the prop guys suggest to buy the prop. Should be a fun project!
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Old 06-13-2017, 10:36 PM   #2
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Sounds a lot like the first jon boat I built and got titled with TP&W, so I could go duck hunting. Only I used 1x12x12' for the sides. And 1/2" for the bottom. 2x6 for the transom and bow. No stringers.

Good luck on your build.

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Old 06-14-2017, 06:03 AM   #3
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nice
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Old 06-14-2017, 07:17 AM   #4
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Will either be a great build or an epic failure.......Im in to see the final product. Sounds like it may actually work.
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Old 06-14-2017, 09:23 PM   #5
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So my phone died before I started cutting the sides. So I cut the sides and transom and screwed them together and screwed the plywood sheet on the bottom.


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Old 06-14-2017, 09:29 PM   #6
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I notched the transom and sides to allow me to put 3" deck screws and have them going a few different directions. The last thing I wanted was to hit a log or something a certain way and the screws start pulling loose. On every joint I have run a bead of waterproof wood glue in hopes to seal that wood. On the bottom, I used 1" 3/4 deck screws. On the transom I did it every 3-4" and on the sides I did every 6-8" until the slope picked up and went back to every 3-4". Again, lots of wood glue.


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Old 06-14-2017, 09:31 PM   #7
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Flipped over, starting to look like a small boat!


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Old 06-14-2017, 09:37 PM   #8
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Just got done adding the stringers. Glued and screwed them in as well. Manage to miss the stringer in a couple places, but I will use Bondo to fill it in. Need to make a scrap material run at the job sites tomorrow. I want to get a 2x8 to put on the front as a brush bumper and add a couple more 2x4's to brace the stringers.

As it sits right now I can pick it up by myself on the sides. My guess would be somewhere around 100lbs. My motor weighs about 70lbs and I weigh 200lbs. So this boat probably won't be fast by any means.


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Old 06-14-2017, 10:00 PM   #9
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Great job so far. I have watched many vids of the lake buggies. They seem to work good.

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Old 06-15-2017, 06:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texan16 View Post
Will either be a great build or an epic failure.......Im in to see the final product. Sounds like it may actually work.
It'll work.
https://youtu.be/GWAH4DaFGLQ

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Old 06-17-2017, 07:38 AM   #11
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Hi fellas that sounds interesting and we dont have anything like it here in tasmania Australia but i can see possibilitys in a project like that and it could be made lighter using epoxy glass ply using stitch n glue

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Old 06-17-2017, 10:20 AM   #12
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Hi fellas that sounds interesting and we dont have anything like it here in tasmania Australia but i can see possibilitys in a project like that and it could be made lighter using epoxy glass ply using stitch n glue

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In an environment where there is sand and water I would think stitch and glue would work. Where I would take this thing it needs to be really sturdy due to tree stumps so I went with 2x material.


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Old 06-17-2017, 01:44 PM   #13
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built one of the lake buggys years ago, it will work,
just remember one thing weight is your biggest enemy.
ron
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Old 06-17-2017, 03:09 PM   #14
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I hope you know how to calculate for center of gravity. I was at the boat ramp one summer when a few fellows show up with a home made air boat? It was a deep sided 14 ft jon boat modified to air boat. they had vw bug engine on a mount with cage, prop etc etc. I asked if they figured center of gravity as it looked tail heavy by design. they laughed and said they will be up front to offset weight of engine and fuel. when they backed into water and slid off trailer, the transom sank to the water line while trying to stand nose up in the water . one guy jumped from dock to the front seat and the tail went under and the boat sank to the bottom in 4 ft of water. I just smiled sipped my beer and said that looks like a hell of a job to get it on the trailer again.
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Old 06-21-2017, 11:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I hope you know how to calculate for center of gravity. I was at the boat ramp one summer when a few fellows show up with a home made air boat? It was a deep sided 14 ft jon boat modified to air boat. they had vw bug engine on a mount with cage, prop etc etc. I asked if they figured center of gravity as it looked tail heavy by design. they laughed and said they will be up front to offset weight of engine and fuel. when they backed into water and slid off trailer, the transom sank to the water line while trying to stand nose up in the water . one guy jumped from dock to the front seat and the tail went under and the boat sank to the bottom in 4 ft of water. I just smiled sipped my beer and said that looks like a hell of a job to get it on the trailer again.


Trial and error. There is a development I'm building in that has drainage that has 4-8" of water in it all times. That will be my test lake.


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Old 06-21-2017, 11:05 PM   #16
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Added some bracing, will do fiberglass this weekend hopefully!


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Old 06-22-2017, 12:35 PM   #17
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Here is an old hot roder trick. If you can figure out how to do it without destroying the structural integrity, drill holes in the 2x4's. this will help to shave a little weight off of it. It won't make a huge difference but every little bit helps.

Have you looked into reduction yet? It can make a world of difference.
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Old 06-22-2017, 01:02 PM   #18
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Here is an old hot roder trick. If you can figure out how to do it without destroying the structural integrity, drill holes in the 2x4's. this will help to shave a little weight off of it. It won't make a huge difference but every little bit helps.

Have you looked into reduction yet? It can make a world of difference.


Yeah, I was thinking about doing that to the 2x4's but I almost feel like as many holes I would have to make to make it worth it might not be worth the work. But this morning I did think about doing that to the sides. That's the heaviest part as of right now. I was thinking this morning I might have some 1/4 ply in the garage that might be good to laminate on the sides if I cut holes in it.

Absolute worst case scenario it's way to heavy and/or doesn't float and I spend another $400 on aluminum and make it out of that.


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Old 06-22-2017, 01:36 PM   #19
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Have you figured out your cage design yet?
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Old 06-22-2017, 02:41 PM   #20
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Have you figured out your cage design yet?


Not yet. Just want to wait to make sure the boat is going to float first. Lol

After that I'll start building the cage and wait until the prop gets here.


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Old 06-22-2017, 03:42 PM   #21
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It will float. You can always get np1 from mccoys and seal the interior seams. That is some great stuff.

If you build the main hoops out of 3/4" emt you can use 1/2" emt for all the braces. They fit together well. If you use 3/4" for everything then you will have to bird mouth the ends.
I'm sure that came out real clear! I can explain it better in person.
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Old 06-22-2017, 04:19 PM   #22
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In for the first test video - that's gonna be fun!
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Old 06-22-2017, 05:58 PM   #23
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It will float. You can always get np1 from mccoys and seal the interior seams. That is some great stuff.

If you build the main hoops out of 3/4" emt you can use 1/2" emt for all the braces. They fit together well. If you use 3/4" for everything then you will have to bird mouth the ends.
I'm sure that came out real clear! I can explain it better in person.


Yeah but I don't think paint will adhere to np1 so I'm going to go with some paintable silicone. Between the waterproof glue, fiberglass on the bottom and sides, paintable silicone, and a couple coats of killz, I don't see how water could get through.


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Old 06-22-2017, 05:59 PM   #24
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I can't decide if I want the motor in the cage or outside of it. I like the look of it inside the cage, but it could be a pain to work on it that way.


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Old 06-22-2017, 07:40 PM   #25
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My cage was held in by 6 bolts and covered the engine. It was easy to remove.
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Old 06-22-2017, 08:32 PM   #26
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This is going to be pretty cool. I've always wanted to build a poling type skiff
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Old 06-22-2017, 10:11 PM   #27
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Hmm. I have a busted up JD riding mower out back that runs. Wonder what i could put together when I'm done with this pirogue...

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Old 06-27-2017, 08:14 PM   #28
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Well??
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Old 06-29-2017, 07:48 AM   #29
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Well??


Got busy last week. Work is picking up. Gonna try and work on it tonight.


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Old 07-02-2017, 10:37 PM   #30
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Only got to work on it a few hours today.

Hollowed out the sides. 1.5 from the bottom and 1.5 from the top I drew lines all the way down. Then used a Paint can to give me the curves.



One part cracked to a glued it and counter sank a 3" screw into it. Should hold I would think!



Just before she got covers on the sides!


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Old 07-02-2017, 10:44 PM   #31
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I found some extra 1/4" I had but it wasn't quit long enough. But I found a way to make it work. I glued the crap out of it and screwed it down.



Then I caulked every joint on this boat! So I've got several lines of defense on this boat against water. I'll have fiberglass, waterproof wood glue, caulk, primer and Paint. I'll be very surprised if water leaks in!


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Old 07-24-2017, 07:07 PM   #32
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First fiberglass session done


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Old 07-25-2017, 08:41 PM   #33
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Did a second full coat last night and just tested it out! She floats good!

I had a bucket that weighed about 70lbs full of window weights. To represent the weight of the motor. I ended up scooting it back about a foot from where it was and standing about a foot in front of it and paddled around for a minute. No leaks and I think it might've had a 2" draft. It also glided pretty well with one paddle stroke. Even with the bucket full I could easily drag it on land and load it in the back of my truck.

If anything this hull will most likely be a proof of concept. I'm debating on making a mold and making a few changes to be able to replicate with full fiberglass.


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Old 07-25-2017, 09:49 PM   #34
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Pretty dang cool !!!!
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Old 07-26-2017, 09:11 PM   #35
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Good job

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Old 08-06-2017, 07:15 PM   #36
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Pretty cool. Any more updates?
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:22 PM   #37
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Pretty cool. Any more updates?


Nothing new at the moment. We have some rain coming this week and I'll be out of town next week so I've been working on house chores.

With all that said, I've been doing calculations of using a strictly fiberglass hull with 12" sides. Weight wise I might be looking at about 30lbs.

I need to hurry up and finish. I've got 2 buddy's that want to build one of it works well. We would just make a fiberglass mold out of wood and then build them. Our biggest unknown is how these hulls with this little power will handle sand on the coast.


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Old 08-06-2017, 08:38 PM   #38
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Nothing new at the moment. We have some rain coming this week and I'll be out of town next week so I've been working on house chores.

With all that said, I've been doing calculations of using a strictly fiberglass hull with 12" sides. Weight wise I might be looking at about 30lbs.

I need to hurry up and finish. I've got 2 buddy's that want to build one of it works well. We would just make a fiberglass mold out of wood and then build them. Our biggest unknown is how these hulls with this little power will handle sand on the coast.


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What are you planning on doing with them at the coast? I can see these being pretty fun for small lakes, rivers, and creeks but things could go south pretty quick at the coast.


Don't take that as being negative...I think these small airboats are pretty awesome but she-who-makes-the-rules has already banned me from making one!
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Old 08-06-2017, 08:41 PM   #39
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Quote:
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What are you planning on doing with them at the coast? I can see these being pretty fun for small lakes, rivers, and creeks but things could go south pretty quick at the coast.





Don't take that as being negative...I think these small airboats are pretty awesome but she-who-makes-the-rules has already banned me from making one!


Just going in the back lakes. Wouldn't want to get too far out especially on a choppy day.

Just want to chase some ducks and tailing redfish


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Old 08-24-2017, 03:25 PM   #40
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So I finally got my prop in, bought my cables and bike handles off Amazon today. Pretty much the only thing I lack at this point is the mud slide which will be here next week. Since my motor is 400CC I bought a fuel pump for an arctic cat so I can move my fuel to under my seat.

The goal is to get this this thing dryfitted this week. Hopefully the rain will wait a bit so I can play with it in the street.


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Old 08-28-2017, 11:17 PM   #41
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Did some welding and pipe bending. I bought a pipe bender for 3/4 conduit from harbor freight. I definitely wouldn't recommend it. It's very hard to replicate bends and bend them according to measurements. There's no markings on the bender making it difficult.

Needless to say I got the motor mount made. Since I couldn't replicate the same bend twice everything had to be eyeballed.

Next step is actually to mount the motor to the mount. I'm having to install the prop, put fishing line with weights on it to make sure the motor is parallel to the back of the boat. Then I'll can mark holes to bolt motor down.





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Old 08-29-2017, 10:41 PM   #42
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Got the motor mounted tonight. I wanted to fire it up but the motor is pretty hard to pull start and I can't find my diagrams to hook up the electric start. Looked online and the Duramax website is under construction so I have emailed them to try and get the diagrams.

This motor I have upgraded some parts to get me a little more power. I rejected the carb, changed the timing, put on a better air filter, removed muffler, and changed valve springs. On the valves of the valve springs there is a cap on the valve rod to keep the rocker arms from damaging the top of the valve rod. My intake rod was missing a cap. Not a huge deal for now but I'm emailing Duromax about getting a new one. That's one of those rather safe than sorry things.

Lately I've had this on my car creeper to move it around. It doesn't help too much so I'm trying to figure out a way to put some clips on the back of the boat where some wheels can clip on for movement and loading, the come off for water use.


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Old 08-29-2017, 10:56 PM   #43
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Awesome work!
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Old 08-29-2017, 11:16 PM   #44
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Fire it up and drive it around!!!!!
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Old 08-30-2017, 09:39 AM   #45
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this is awesome!
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:13 AM   #46
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That's awesome
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Old 08-30-2017, 11:07 AM   #47
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That is one cool azz build. Cant wait for some video cruising it around.
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Old 08-30-2017, 11:20 AM   #48
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Just curious. How do you steer it?
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Old 08-30-2017, 11:30 AM   #49
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Just curious. How do you steer it?


I'll have a stick steer connected to rudders on the cage. Hopefully will finish that in the next few days.


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Old 08-30-2017, 06:20 PM   #50
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Seems like the motor could be moved further back towards the boat?
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