Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Why buy a seaplane?

Why buy a seaplane?
My interest in seaplanes started back in the early 80’s when I earned my private license. I always had a fascination with the idea of combining boats and airplanes. My favorite plane at the time was the Lake Buccaneer, which was what I originally started looking for 5 or 6 years ago.

I was unable to find one that met my criteria, and when I came across a friend selling a Cessna 150 floatplane, I was originally skeptical of its capabilities. 5555F turned out to be a great performer. I also learned that insurance on a straight float airplane is a third of what an amphibian runs, and the maintenance is a lot simpler.

If I had it on wheels it would probably live in a hangar, or at least at an airport, and thus I would have those fees to contend with. The airplane costs less to buy than a new ski boat, and runs about twice what a standard 150 would cost on insurance. It burns much less gas than the average boat while cruising smoothly above the water or land at around 100mph.

There are few more satisfying feelings than walking out to your dock, getting into your own plane and taking a sunset cruise around the lake; watching a $100,000 cigarette boat losing ground beneath you comes in a close second. Owning a seaplane has been a really good experience for me and a fairly reasonable financial hit considering that it involves both aviation and boating.