Some Basics on Airboat Safety

Everglades city Airboat oursAirboats are one of the most exciting, up-close-and-personal ways to get around the Everglades. They give visitors a chance to see the wetland’s vastness, along with its flora and fauna. Airboats are a safe way to glide through the waterways, but like anything there are risks. Airboat injuries and accidents have occurred, so it is important as a passenger you follow all safety precautions and rules.

Captain Mitch of Captain Mitch’s Airboat Tours has more than 30 years of experience exploring the Everglades on an airboat. Safety is a top priority for Captain Mitch.  He is familiar with the area and is trained and experienced in proper navigation techniques. Before going out on a tour, the airboat captain and staff perform a pre-operation check to see if there’s an issues or concerns with the boat. Many accidents and injuries can be avoided by keeping up with regular checks and maintenance.

What kind of things are looked at during these boat inspections? Here are just a few of many items an airboat captain or staff member in the state of Florida will check on:

  • Safety chains
  • Oil level, radiator fuel level
  • Navigation lights
  • Leaks
  • Safety gear
  • Gauges
  • Hull
  • Engine and engine mounts for anything loose
  • Rudders and propellers

While on an airboat, the captain will instruct passengers to not go near the propeller as a precaution. Any loose items and clothing can get caught in the propeller, which can bring harm to both the person and damage the boat. People will be instructed to secure all items they have with or on them.

On the airboat, there is ear and eye protection, a first-aid kit, a cell-phone, drinking water, and a fire extinguisher.

Since nature is unpredictable, airboat captains keep an eye on the weather. Florida is home to some powerful thunderstorms and hurricanes, so it’s extra important captains know the timing of these storms. If lightening, thunderstorms, or high wind is happening, a captain will dock the boat.

Captain Mitch has been touring through the Everglades for decades. Whether it’s a medical or weather emergency, Captain Mitch is trained to handle the situation and get everyone to safety as soon as possible. Captain Mitch’s Everglades Airboat Tours aims to bring people on fun and safe tours for decades. Click the airboat tour page too schedule a trip, or call 239-695-3377.

The Anatomy of an Airboat

Everglades airboat rideUnlike most boats, airboats glide flawlessly through shallow waters. These vessels, also known as fanboats, work particularly well in marshy areas like the Florida Everglades and Louisiana Bayous. This is due to their flat-bottom design combined an above-water aircraft propeller. Originally, airboats served as a primary mode of transportation throughout the Everglades, and now they’re commonly used for recreational activities like hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing.

In 1942, Barrel Head House built one of the first commercial airboats. From then on, Everglades visitors enjoyed skimming above the swamp’s surface. Tourists and locals alike enjoy airboat tours for the chance to sight alligators and other popular Everglades wildlife. Airboat rides quickly became a staple in Everglades ecotourism, and to this day they are of the most popular attractions in South Florida.

Airboat Elements

Constructing an airboat is an intricate process unlike an ordinary boat. Below are just some components of an airboat.

  • Engine: airboats call for an aircraft or automotive V8 engine ranging from 500 to 600+ horsepower.
  • Propeller: an aircraft propeller operates out-of-water to power an Everglades airboat.
  • Propeller cage: the propeller sits inside a metal cage, which protects the boat and its inhabitants from injury.
  • Rudder panels: steering airboats relies heavily on rudder panels, which help direct air.
  • Rudder stick: located on the airboat driver’s left side, the rudder stick directs the boat through the swamp.
  • Accelerator: the captain uses the accelerator to gain speed during airboat rides.

Take a tour with airboat originals

Did you know Captain Mitch’s Everglades Airboat Tours, based in Everglades City, is the oldest airboat tour provider in the Everglades? For generations, Captain Mitch and company have delivered safe, fun and family-friendly excursions throughout South Florida wilderness. To schedule your private Everglades ride, contact Captain Mitch’s Everglades Airboat Tours at 239-695-3377.