Airboat Rides: The Best Type of Eco Tour

You may wonder why we use airboats for our nature tours?  What are the advantages of using an airboat anyway? Believe it or not, airboats are the only safe way to venture into the watery world of swamps, marshes & river deltas.

Airboats are safe – both for the local wildlife and plant life, and for the guests on board. All of our airboats are U.S. Coast Guard approved and driven by licensed Master Captains.  Airboats provide for a stable platform which is much more safe than jon boats, inflatables, canoes or kayaks. Without any moving parts below the waterline, airboats are safe for the aquatic habitat. Vegetation does not get damaged or uprooted by the propeller, and should there ever be a collision with an animal – e.g. a manatee or alligator – the animal will not get injured by a water propeller. In fact, in case of a collision, the air boat will simply glide over the obstacle without causing nearly as much injury as a regular boat with a propeller would.

Of course the responsibility always remains with the Captain – no reckless speeding!

In shallow waters, water-propeller driven vessels get frequently entangled. Though it is possible to lift an outboard engine and pick out bits and pieces of vegetation as it gets entangled. This however causes severe damage to the aquatic plants.

Conventional boats increase turbidity by causing soil and organic particles to become suspended in the water column. Turbidity increases with water traffic and during periods of low water levels. It affects the amount of light available to underwater plants, and may affect fish and aquatic wildlife. In addition to increasing turbidity, excessive use of water propellers may redirect natural water currents. In marshes, channels created by conventional boats effectively alter the surface hydrology: sheet flow becomes channel flow; the severity of the channelization is related to the number of passes.

Advantages offered by airboats are numerous:

  • Airboats have no moving parts below the water line:  Only minimal impact to the aquatic environment
  • Airboats have a closed water cooling circuit – like a car.  No chemicals are being discharged into the water.
  • No slipway or launching ramp required.
  • Helpless in the bush?  Only one person is enough to launch and dock an airboat.
  • No matter how much water – or no water at all – an airboat can go anywhere!
  • An airboat can cross over sandbanks, floating grass islands and dam walls.
  • Hidden rocks can be overcome easily
  • Dense aquatic vegetation is no obstacle.
  • An airboat is stable – passengers can move about without risk to tipping the boat over or fall in the water.
  • Airboats can provide excellent visibility thanks to high seating.
  • Airboats can be very fast – to simply cover distance quickly, or get away from danger. No drifting off into the pod of unhappy gators…

Airboats’ versatility as all terrain vehicles, combined with their feature of providing a stable working platform, make air boats an ideal solution for wetland conservation and ecotourism fun!  Black Hammock Adventures  is located on Lake Jesup known for the LARGEST alligator population in FL. Home of of the BEST Gator tail in town! Attraction includes a Lakeview Bar, Airboat Rides, restaurant, Free Wildlife Exhibit, Live Music every weekend and more!

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