In all of its appearances, the Skimmer is simply a Dodo (based on the Cessna 152) with a pair of large pontoons on the bottom in place of landing gears; the GTA San Andreas rendition further includes reinforcement on the connection between the pontoons and fuselage, as well as harnesses between the pontoons and fuselage and the tailfin.
While able to land on water, the Skimmer in GTA Vice City does not feature any functional doors, resulting in the player getting warped inside the plane when entered. If the player exits the plane, however, they are immediately spawned on top of the plane's wing. This problem was rectified in GTA San Andreas, when the plane's door can be opened, and the player can enter and exit through the doors, a feature only possible with Carl Johnson's ability to swim, which Tommy Vercetti does not have. Similarly, in GTA Vice City Stories, if the player enters the Skimmer, they will be warped.
Unlike the Dodo, the Skimmer in GTA Vice City and GTA San Andreas may come in a variety of two-tone body colors (as opposed to the same red-and-white color scheme of the Dodo). The Skimmer in GTA Vice City Stories simply comes with an all-grey body color.
Aside from its beneficial amphibious nature, the Skimmer's performance in the air is very much similar to the Dodo in that they both have the same sluggish acceleration and poor top speed, owing to a low-power engine. However, the Skimmer has a tendency of stalling easier. This makes the plane only suitable for steady, slow air travel. In San Andreas, the Skimmer uses a four-bladed propeller instead of the two-bladed version that the Dodo has. This means the engine may have higher performance, but is offset by the increased weight of the Skimmer's pontoons.
GTA Vice City
GTA San Andreas
- At the Sherman Dam in Bone County, near the Sea Sparrow.
- At the beach near Bayside Marina in Tierra Robada.
- At a jetty at Valle Ocultado near the Tee Pee Motel in Bone County.
GTA Vice City Stories
- By a jetty in Downtown behind The Greasy Chopper, just south of the Downtown Police Station.
- To the east of the lighthouse in Ocean Beach. Available on the PlayStation 2 version only.
- The name "Skimmer" comes from a family of tropical birds with the same name. Similarly, the term "skimming" can refer to dragging something quickly across the surface of water.
GTA Vice City and Vice City Stories
- In GTA Vice City, if a Skimmer is flown into a Pay 'n' Spray, nothing will happen, probably because it's a "boat" modified to fly, unlike a Helicopter which will be resprayed and also come out with generic wheels.
- Since the plane has no functional doors on GTA Vice City and GTA Vice City Stories, if the player enters one while with a wanted level, the cops won't be able to open the door and bust the player on the inside. The cops will simply run against the Skimmer's pontoons without doing anything else.
- If the player tries to enter a blown-up Skimmer in both games, they are instantly killed. This is done by standing on top of the Skimmer and pressing the enter button. The protagonist collapses to the ground and the usual wasted screen sequence is shown.
- In GTA Vice City's game files, the Skimmer is defined as a boat instead of a plane, possibly because of its ability to float on water. This was also the case with GTA III's Dodo, where it was defined as a car. In San Andreas, however, it is defined as a plane.
- According to the in-game files in GTA Vice City, the Skimmer's main colors are 1 & 3 (White and Red) the same colors of a Dodo.
- The name of the Skimmer in GTA Vice City's files is "SEAPLANE" instead of Skimmer, probably its beta name.
- In GTA Vice City, the Skimmer can actually fly backwards by diving the plane completely and pitch it at 90 degrees and then press the brake button, the plane should fly backwards now.
GTA San Andreas
- In GTA San Andreas, the Skimmer plays the radio CSR 103.9 when entered (unlike most aircraft in the game, which play K-DST instead).
- The Skimmer in GTA San Andreas is the only airplane in the whole game that won't explode if it collides head-on with any solid object. This could be because of its pontoons, which have a solid area that may take up space past the front end of the airplane.
- In GTA San Andreas, the propellers of the Skimmer suffer from a visual glitch. When they aren't rotating, they look exactly like the propellers of a Dodo. However, when they start to rotate and pick up speed, they appear wider and with a more rigid, triangular shape, just like the Skimmer from GTA Vice City. This is because the Skimmer's texture files have been handed down from GTA Vice City. This visual glitch is only found on the PS2 version.
- In GTA San Andreas, if the player lands the Skimmer upside down in the water, the airplane will sink a few feet, then turn right-side up very quickly, and slowly float to the surface, where it will be driveable again.
- In GTA San Andreas, if the player is flying on the water, and then tilts the plane so that only one pontoon is touching the water, mist will still be ejected from both pontoons, even from the one that isn't touching the water.
- A seaplane was seen in a trailer of GTA V, which implies that a seaplane possibly named Skimmer was planned to appear in GTA V, although it did not make it to the final version. In the Xbox One/PS4/PC edition of the game, a seaplane now named the Dodo appears.