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-   -   Dumas Swamp Buggy (http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/rc-airboats-246/1845862-dumas-swamp-buggy.html)

tdonily 05-25-2004 07:15 PM

Dumas Swamp Buggy
Can anyone tell me the pros and cons of this as a first airboat? I know that building one from scratch seems to be most advisable. I do plan on doing that, I even have a set of scratch plans that I drew up some years back. Thanks...

BoneHead 05-25-2004 07:44 PM

RE: Dumas Swamp Buggy
Hey Tdonily,

There's nothing wrong with using a "KIT" as a first airboat. It gets you out on the water with all the trial and error (mind you it can be fun as well as frustraiting). It also helps you understand how these are made (well at lease a general Idea for the wooden ones) and can help you out even more when trying to scratch build one later on. The Dumas line of boats are great as the wood is good and instructions are usually easy to follow as well. Whatever your decision, have fun doing it!!

Happy building!!

tdonily 05-26-2004 01:16 AM

RE: Dumas Swamp Buggy
Also, has anyone any experience with the Windy boat from Dumas?

pro27 05-26-2004 01:18 AM

RE: Dumas Swamp Buggy
The Original 28" version Swamp Buggy is an excellent way to get your feet wet in airboats....A much better choice than the BIG Swamp Buggy , which is harder to build due to it's tunnel configuration.

There are some mods that can be implimented during construction that would make it more fun to run though. They are easy to do and add no additional cost.

Change it from a pusher configuration to a tractor configuration.

Move the radio compartment from the front (as kit stock) to a more rearward location.

Relocate the fuel tank so it is behind the engine instead of under it.

Use a bigger engine than specified. Specs say a 15-19 engine, but then this kit was designed MANY years ago. It can easily handle more power. A .25 is a good mid-range size that allows some decent speed. You could also go all out and go with a .40, but for this you would have to construct a bigger engine pylon for it to fit.

A decent .25, .28, .30 or .32 would fit right in. The only mod for this would be to add a little height to the engine pylon so the prop has clearance. (just add ply spacers to the bottom of the pylon mount to increase height).

tdonily 05-26-2004 01:58 AM

RE: Dumas Swamp Buggy
I gather you would recommend to hold onto the (old but not used) OS FP20 for a homebuilt project? I had already planned on reversing the engine facing as well as adding a second rudder. Being new to these, I wasn't aware of how under powered this boat was with the recommended 20 size. This kit would actually be my second that I've owned. The first met an untimely demise prior to completion of construction due to a move an kids. As did the second (scratch built) attempt at an airboat hull. It's been so long, I couldn't tell you how old this engine is. But I'm sure it's never had fuel through it, hense no rust. Plus, I've checked it for that latter culprit.

pro27 05-26-2004 09:00 AM

RE: Dumas Swamp Buggy
By all means, go with the FP20. This is a pretty powerful engine. More so than the LA20.

There are ways of reducing the overall weight of this hull to make it perform better. Weather building from scratch ( substituting lite ply for most of the wood) or building the kit ( lightening the formers with cut outs, which can also be done with a scratch built hull).

For general bashing around, the hull is very durable in it's design and should last a long time, even when lightened up. If you need more specific details, I can add those to this thread.

tdonily 05-26-2004 09:37 AM

RE: Dumas Swamp Buggy
If I'm on the right track, in lightening, you're refering to creating a 'swiss-cheese' look to the internal parts to reduce some of the all-up weight once the boat is completed. As far as replacing some of the parts with plywood, what size do you recommend? Thanks,

BoneHead 05-26-2004 09:42 AM

RE: Dumas Swamp Buggy
Hey Travis,

Yes the swiss cheese effect works well....well not too many holes. You want to make sure that you keep the strength of the parts. Too many holes will lead to a weakness in the wood! As for size, I'm sure Pro will be posting shortly to help you on that one...he has helped me and is a little more knowledgeable in that area!

pro27 05-26-2004 11:02 AM

RE: Dumas Swamp Buggy

Ya, you could go the swiss cheese route, but chedder is bedder....:eek:

Boring some holes is one way to do it. What I like to do is to cut squares or rectangles. I'll use a ruler to measure off 1/4 - 3/8" all the way around the former/bulkhead, like you were going to make the part smaller. Then I put 2 upright portions, or 3, to keep the up/down strength and cut out the rest on my jigsaw. ( imagine a ladder...you have the sides and the rungs, all the space between was cut out) This still leaves the part with strength, but a lot lighter. The whole framework interlocks together for the remainder of the strength. It may seem flimsy at first, but once the deck and bottom sheeting goes on, it stiffens right up.

If you use lite ply, go with 1/8" for all the frame members and 1/16 ply sheeting. If you use regular ply, you can go down to 3/32".

I built a few hulls with a balsa/ply combination. I used 1/16 balsa backed with an identical piece of 1/16 ply, also 3/32 balsa with 1/32 ply. They worked very well, but more work is involved

2manytoyz 08-22-2005 11:46 AM

RE: Dumas Swamp Buggy


ORIGINAL: tdonily

Also, has anyone any experience with the Windy boat from Dumas?
I had one years ago. It was a little underpowered with an OS-10. I upgraded to a .20, and it screamed! Handled very well. Couldn't push over tall grass like the Big Swamp Buggy with a .60, but did quite well. I have pictures I need to scan and upload to my website...

smitty4 09-29-2005 10:06 PM

RE: Dumas Swamp Buggy
I know this was talking about nitro but do any of yal know if the Dumas airboats can be electric also? I am an electric guy and really dont like nitro. I would also want to start with a kit and since there are no electric kits it looks like I will be modding some way or another. Thanks in advance.

TERBObob 09-30-2005 01:29 PM

RE: Dumas Swamp Buggy
yes , some of the littler guys can be converted to EP ... ( not sure about the BIG SWAMP and such ... some ARE a bit on the heavy side )

dvonlangen 12-23-2009 12:30 PM

RE: Dumas Swamp Buggy
stevens aeromodel waterboard is a great electric kit

crispyspa 12-23-2009 11:18 PM

RE: Dumas Swamp Buggy
WOW.. really old post. LOL 6 years. [X(]

2manytoyz 12-24-2009 01:54 PM

RE: Dumas Swamp Buggy
'tis a very old thread! I'm sure some will still find it interesting.

Pics of my old Dumas Windy...



Had it a couple of season before I beat it almost to death. Gave it to a friend to rebuild & use it again. That was in the mid 80s!

Recently I've been using my Aquacraft Alligator Tours airboat, and building a Dumas Big Swamp Buggy, and another Dumas Windy. The Windy handles very well with a .20 sized engine. No need to lighten it, runs fine on the grass as well.

Old threads never die... :D

insalacosm 12-28-2009 02:25 PM

RE: Dumas Swamp Buggy
Hey, I just posted a video from last week of my 20 year old Windy Swamp Buggy. It's powered by an OS-15 and does great in the snow. It's a blast when the planes are stuck instide.


crispyspa 12-28-2009 10:08 PM

RE: Dumas Swamp Buggy
Cool video..thanks for sharing. Looks like it runs out really well.

Nosedragger 12-29-2009 12:05 PM

RE: Dumas Swamp Buggy


ORIGINAL: smitty4

I know this was talking about nitro but do any of yal know if the Dumas airboats can be electric also? I am an electric guy and really dont like nitro. I would also want to start with a kit and since there are no electric kits it looks like I will be modding some way or another. Thanks in advance.

20 years ago we "electrified" a Windy with the motor from a GP Electric Cub, its nitro counter part used a .10 or .15. Was a little slow but well worth the effort.

These days with brushless motors and lipos you could set up an electric Windy that performs as well as nitro.

Check out the motor systems for electric airplanes, I'm sure there is one that will work well.

insalacosm 12-29-2009 03:30 PM

RE: Dumas Swamp Buggy
I've been considering converting mine to electric, and if starting from scratch I would do so with a brushless in-runner and lipo. The only issue I envision is keeping the water/snow out of the motor while maintaining adequate airflow for cooling. I would also keep the battery in the main compartment to keep CG low vs under the top hatch where the fuel tank resides.

robbthepilot 12-29-2009 11:37 PM

RE: Dumas Swamp Buggy
I have ordered this kit and am waiting for it to arrive. I wll be using a Suppo 2217 brushless and a 3s 2200mah lipo. Should go like hell. Any build mods that will make the boat better. thanks.

robbthepilot 12-29-2009 11:38 PM

RE: Dumas Swamp Buggy
how to delete a mistake

insalacosm 12-30-2009 09:19 AM

RE: Dumas Swamp Buggy
Here are my observations after having one for 20 years:
1. Seal boat with epoxy - Be sure to seal the entire boat and wood parts inside and out. I was a kid when I built this and didnt' seal the bottom of the hatch. Of course it warped and needed to be rebuilt. I sealed the entire craft with epoxy. It's heavy but the weight doesn't hurt and helps strenghten.
2. Reinforce rudder hinge tube - The rudder has a brass tube embedded with epoxy in the leading edge, which a pin passes through to hold it onto the vertical stab/engine mount area. My brass tube never totally came out but it has come lose from flipping the boat which puts a lot of pressure on the rudder. To ensure the tube is very secure I would install the brass tube as instructed, but then run a 2 inch piece of fiberglass over it and wrapped onto each side of the rudder. You can then use bondo or epoxy with micro balloons to smooth the edge caused from the tape.
3. Replace bow leading edge of boat with hardwood - The front end of mine gets beat up by (my friends) running it into things. Once, it cracked the front end open so I replaced the most forward piece of wood with a piece of hardwood sanded to shape (I may have actually used a 1/4 dowel epoxied into place). It seems to be holding up well now, only the paint chips off. I can't remember what the original leading edge was made of but it wasn't as strong as a solid piece of hardwood.
4. Use canopy latches to allow easy access to main hatch - Since you'll be using the main hatch for the battery, you'll need easy access. One idea would be to use canopy latches to make it easily accessible.
5. Redesign engine pod for motor - Since you're going with electric, you may want to totally redesign the engine pod. You don't need the tank area, but you will need a way to protect the motor.
6. Prop - You'll probably need a 3 bladed prop for clearance. I would recommend APC-E or nylon versus wood because the wood will swell when it gets wet.
7. Keel - Since I drive mine on the snow, I had to shave the keel to be only about 1/8" at the center, 0 at the bow and 1/16" at the stern. With the full stock keel it will not turn on the snow, but with this mod, I can skid and turn on the snow. However, it doesn't track in water so I built a flip down rudder that attaches to the stern which I flip down when ever I want to use it in water.

Good luck, it should be great!

turner_6104 01-04-2010 01:14 AM

RE: Dumas Swamp Buggy
I am building the lil swamp buggy right now. I am using an O.S. .10 LA engine and throwing a 6x3 3 blade prop. I was thinking about fiberglassing the bottom and partially up the sides....????? This is my first kit i have ever built so any hints or tips would be nice!! thanks

robbthepilot 01-27-2010 09:29 PM

RE: Dumas Swamp Buggy
Well the swamp buggy kit arrived to day and I am about to get started. The kit looks ok and I will be adding one coat of fiberglass to it when it is all done. The Dumas directions are rather sketchy at best..

bigbullets 05-17-2010 03:57 PM

RE: Dumas Swamp Buggy
I'm almost finished with my Big Swamp Buggy, and the tank they reccomend for it does not fit where it supposed to.  Is it possible to mount the tank under where the plans say, on the lower level?

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