Latest Project: Mini-airboat

Here are some pictures from my latest project, a mini-airboat made from a small Jonboat and a paraglider motor. The eventual goal is to have an all-terrain vehicle with wheels that can run on water, land, and ice. This is the first time I’ve worked with a radial engine or done anything with an air-propulsion boat.

The engine is an MZ-34 Paramotor that is rated at around 30hp.

The first step was to get the parts together. The boat hull was small enough that I didn’t even need a trailer! I was able to find it on Craigslist for $100, and it included a bunch of free mice living in the seats!

Here’s the initial setup to verify how things should look.

I constructed a safety cage around the motor and propeller, which also serves as the framework for the rudder.


I also installed a complete electrical system with battery, running lights, headlights, bilge pump, and even a horn!


The entire engine and rudder assembly folds down for easier transport and storage.The wheels are designed to fold up and/or be removable.


Here are the initial on-water tests. The boat still needs a few tweaks and some final adjustments, and I’m still working on a few components for the wheels.

5 Responses to Latest Project: Mini-airboat

  1. Joe says:

    Hey this is awesome. I was wondering what you used for a propeller? I’ve been thinking of doing something similar with an old snowmobile engine i have but i cant decide what to do about a propeller thats relatively cheap. Any suggestions would be great.

  2. […] mini airboat recently suffered a temporary setback, resulting from a high-speed collision on the safety […]

  3. Red says:

    That is cool. I have been thinking about doing that with my old paramotor

  4. Charles Ek says:

    There is a long history of similar contraptions –

    My uncle owned a snowmobile version that he operated on Lake Vermilion in Minnesota back in the 60s. It had a pretty hefty aircraft engine for power. I only got to ride in it once, while my father accompanied me. Once we got back to shore, my father declined all further opportunities to join in the fun …

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