How Much Does an Airboat Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 10, 2018

Although it is commonly seen in the Florida Everglades, the Louisiana Bayous, and other swamp or marsh locations, the airboat has seen greater action in rescue efforts and during eco-disasters. The reason for this is that airboats have powerful propellers that are located out of the water. Unlike standard boat engines and propellers which may get entangled in swamp vegetation and are impractical in shallow waters, airboats can zoom above waters at jet speeds.

Airboat in the Florida Everglades by David Jones, on Flickr
Airboat in the Florida Everglades” (CC BY 2.0) by David Jones

How much does an airboat cost?

On average, the cost of an airboat will be like pricing any other boat.  It will depend on the model, the features, its condition and if any premium add-ons are added.  Be prepared to spend anywhere from $40,000 to $95,000+ for a brand new airboat.  As for buying used, the costs can be more than 60 percent less than the retail value.

 To make things easier, we broke down the average costs of popular airboat brands we found online in our table below.  Do note that these are preowned prices.

TypePrice Reported
1999 18×8 PANTHER CLASS 425HP$29,000
2004 16′ x 8′ AirRanger w/ 327 hours on engine$36,000
2012 15′ x 8′ AirRanger w/ 6.0L 450HP and 59 hours$45,000
2014 18′ X 8′ Floral City$49,999
2017 16′ x 8′ Floral City Airboat w/ 52 hours on engine and 556 HP LSA Supercharged Levitator$49,999
2008 19′ X 8′ Alumiteck Airboat w/ 572/620 HP Engine With Only 70 Hours$55,000
2016 16′ X 8′ AirRanger w/ 450HP LS1 and 10 hours on engine$59,000
2013 20′ x 8′ AirRanger Thrills and Kills Outdoors Boat w/ 625 Horse Power LS Engine 630 HRS.$67,500
2012 18′ x 8′ AirRanger Dragon Lady Edition w/ 600 Mast Motor under 20 hours$69,995
24′ x 10′ AirRanger 20 Passenger Boat$75,000
2015 20′ x 8′ Airranger w/ 70 hours on engine$85,000
17’x8.5′ AirRanger w/ 1000HP$90,000
22’x9′ AirRanger w/ 900+ Horse Power Turn Key Engine Mammoth Super Charged engine$95,000

As for the MSRP for a brand new airboat, here are some of the estimates we received via some of the most popular manufacturers:

BrandAverage Price (NEW)
American Airboat Corp$69,900 (16') to $420,000 (24' enclosed)
Diamondback$32,000 (12') to $59,000 (20')
Panther Airboats$37,000 (12') to $121,000 (33')

NOTE:  These are prices for a base model with no customizations/options or trailer attached.  Customizing, of course, can greatly increase these numbers.  Use an estimate only.

Airboat overview

The most basic airboats from most manufacturers will come with the flat-bottomed Jon boat, an engine enclosed in a protective metal cage, propeller, one to two+ passenger seating, and a trailer. These manufacturers tend to be smaller family-owned companies that create build-to-order boats.

A standard sized airboat, measuring about 10 feet long, can accommodate two to three people, whereas a tour boat can accommodate close to 18.

The choice of material, when being manufactured, will either be aluminum or fiberglass.  This material choice will greatly depend on the terrain where the vessel will be operated.

Airboats are going to be either powered by an air-cooled, four or six-cylinder engine, or water-cooled V-8 automotive engine.  Horsepower commonly ranges from 125 to 600HP.

What are the extra costs?

Customizations, just like you would with any other boat, need to be considered.  Popular customizations/options, which can affect the cost, can include customizing the artwork, adding a boat cover/enclosure, installing electronics (autopilot, battery charge, fish finder, GPS, inverter/charger or radar), adding entertainment (TV or stereo) or including fishing options (bait tank, downrigger, storage center or live well) to name a few.

While most of the boat estimates mentioned prior did include the trailer, in some cases, you may have to budget for either a new trailer or to replace one if it is in poor condition.  An airboat trailer, greatly depending on the size of the airboat, can cost about $1,000 brand new.

Tips to know:

The speeds of an airboat can reach over 135 miles per hour, and in most cases, the average airboat can reach these speeds in as little as four seconds, according to AmericanAirBoats.com.

Airboats do not have brakes, but rescue boats, if used in icy conditions, may have brakes to incrase the drag of the boat, making it easier to stop.

How can I save money?

Buying used will almost always be your best bet as long as you do your due diligence.  Be sure to check out Craigslist, specialty online classified ads or go directly to the manufacturer’s official website as many have preowned tabs you can browse.


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