Fun Facts About Airboats

airboatsAirboats and the Everglades just go together – the image of an airboat gliding across the waters in this wetland are iconic. People have been using airboats to get around in the Everglades for decades.

Captain Mitch House of Captain Mitch’s Private Airboat Tours has been in the airboat tour and tourist attraction industry since he was knee-high. Captain Mitch was and raised in Everglades City, Florida where he ended up following in the footsteps of his Father Captain Doug and great grandfather Barrel Head House, who was the pioneer of airboats.

Airboats have evolved over the years and now take tourists and visitors around to view the beauty that is the Everglades.

For this article, we wanted to share with you some fun facts about airboats:

  • Airboats are also known as “fanboats.”
  • Airboats are propelled with either aircraft or automotive engines.
  • Automotive engines are preferred for airboats, as automotive gas is much less expensive than gas for aircraft.
  • Airboat hulls are made from aluminum or fiberglass.
  • Airboat propellers can produce prop wash behind them of around 150mph.
  • Propellers must be enclosed within protective cages to prevent injury to riders and operators.
  • Airboat operators must have extensive operational safety knowledge.
  • Airboats do not have brakes and cannot move in reverse.
  • Airboats are steered by passing forced air across vertical rudders.
  • Airboats have no operating parts below waterline.
  • Airboats have elevated seats for operators and passengers that allow for better views.
  • Modern airboats are built with mufflers to reduce the loud noise from the engine and propellers.
  • The first airboat was built in 1905 in Nova Scotia, Canada, and was nicknamed the “Ugly Duckling.”
  • The first airboat registered in Florida was brought to the area in 1920.
  • The first commercial airboat in Florida appeared in the early 1930’s.
  • Today’s airboats are used for eco-tourism, fishing, hunting, and rescue.
  • Airboats were used to save thousands of New Orleans residents and flood victims after Hurricane Katrina.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Military, and U.S. Special Forces use airboats.

Ready to experience an airboat for yourself? They provide a fun ride! Our captains are trained, experienced, and knowledgeable on airboats and the Everglades. Ask us questions!

Our guides and team know the Everglades well! Our airboat tours are fun and educational for the whole family! Get excited you’re in for a fun ride!

Call Captain Mitch’s Airboat Tours at 800-368-0065  or visit our Everglades Airboat Tours page. Captain Mitch’s Everglades Airboat Tours are open seven days a week 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. If paying by cash, adults cost $40 (plus tax) and children 12 and under cost $20 (plus tax. If paying by credit card, adults cost $45 (plus tax) and children cost $25 (plus tax).