How Do Airboats Work?

An airboat is basically a boat without a motor and propelled by a giant fan.  Since there is not a motor in the water it allows for the boat to move over surfaces that many boats cannot; such as low water and swamps.  Airboats are an ideal way to get around Florida marshlands to get up close and personal with the local wildlife.

When you take an airboat ride you are experiencing Newton’s Laws of Motion first hand!  Newton’s Laws of Motions is composed of three laws:

Newton’s First law: 
An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an unbalanced force. An object in motion continues in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.  This law is often called “the law of inertia”.
Basic Example:  When boarding for an airboat ride; the boat is sitting in the water.  The airboat is considered to be “at rest” and needs the “force” of the propellers to move.  When the captain turns on the propellers the boat will move forward unless acted upon an “unbalanced force.” Your captain turns off the propeller in preparation to dock and the friction of the water will slow the boat down.  Your experienced captain will use the “unbalanced force” of the shoreline and gently guides the boat into the dock.

Newton’s Second law: 
Acceleration is produced when a force acts on a mass. The greater the mass (of the object being accelerated) the greater the amount of force needed (to accelerate the object).
Basic Example:  Your captain pilots a large airboat.  In order to take your airboat ride it will need a proportionately sized propeller to apply “force” to the “mass” of the boat.  The larger the boat, the larger the propeller you will need.

Newton’s Third law:
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Basic Example:  The airboat you are sitting on has the propeller positioned in the back.  When the propeller is turned on it “throws” air behind the boat.  This “action” creates an “equip and opposite reaction” thus pushing the boat forward.

Black Hammock Airboat Rides are piloted by licensed and experienced captains on our U.S. Coast Guard approved vessels.  Our 30 minute airboat rides depart every half-hour with no reservation required from 9:30 am – 4:30 pm!  Your captain will take you on an exciting airboat tour around Lake Jesup and Bird Island.  Lake Jesup is known for being the most alligator populated lake in all of Florida.  With alligator mating season just around the corner – now is the perfect time to take an airboat ride just a stone’s throw away from Orlando!

 

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