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Old Feb 01, 2015, 09:18 PM
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Cheap airboat

I am thinking about buying an airboat to use as a rescue boat.
Is there a difference between the Alligator and the Swamp Dawg?
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Old Feb 02, 2015, 12:35 AM
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I have the Swamp Dawg and like it. From what I can tell, the Alligator and Dawg probably come from the same factory. That being said, there are quite a few differences between the two, though they appear to share the same hull and motor cage. Here are the major differences that I know of:

Alligator:

1) Comes only as RTR
2) Uses a brushed motor
3) Motor mount/support is all plastic

Swamp Dawg:

1) Comes as a kit
2) Comes with a brushless motor
3) Motor mount/support is made up of aluminum and carbon fiber parts
4) You need to provide a brushless ESC and radio system

On mine and possibly the Alligator too, the hull is made up of a bottom half and a top half joined together with screws with a rubber gasket inbetween. Water will get into the hull regardless of the rubber gasket. You must separate the two hull halves and put a bead of sealant along the joint (I used silicone) and put it back together. Put sealant around where the screw holes are and where the cage enters the hull too.

As far as use as a rescue boat, hmm, not sure it has enough power and maneuverability for that role. It's pretty slippery in the water with no keel, rudder or v-hull. It's handling is like driving your car on ice, it likes to drift, but that's what makes it so much fun. It doesn't like wind or really rough water. The last time I ran mine, the wind flipped it over. I guess those big air rudders act as sails in the wind.
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Old Feb 02, 2015, 01:58 AM
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A Rescue Boat

I have had the Alligator, and even with upgrades, (which made it faster, AND, flip easier) I would not call it a very good rescue boat! My 12'' long, Truckable Towboat, is good rescue boat. But, recovering FLIPPED racing boats, because of their smooth, tapered hulls, and the drives sticking out, is a real pain in the a--, anyway!!
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Old Feb 02, 2015, 02:18 AM
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At my local lake, one of the guys made a rescue boat using PVC pipe, some of those swimming pool foam tube thingies, two brushless motors (with independent throttles for steering) and 11/12" airplane propellers. Kinda "U" shaped to capture the boat. Works pretty good, easy and cheap to make, too.
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Old Feb 02, 2015, 10:17 AM
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Thanks guys! Really good info!
I appreciate your help!
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Old Feb 02, 2015, 04:23 PM
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What if I replaced the rudders with a boat rudder for stability?
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Old Feb 02, 2015, 06:23 PM
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That won't add very much to stabilty plus you still need the air rudders otherwise at slow speeds or at a standstill, little to no water is being pushed pass the water rudders to give any control. And you'd still be under powered. Not enough room topside for a bigger propeller.
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