The airboat is known as a transportation standard of swamps and marshes the world over, including the Florida Everglades. It also provides a fast and exciting way to experience the River of Grass and other habitats of this unique region of South Florida. They are also called fanboats, blowboats, or “What kind of boat is that?” by the uninitiated. Simply put, they are flat-bottomed boats, also called jon boats, that are moved by a large propeller at the back of it. Before you go airboating in Miami, here is some background information for both the experts and the curious alike.
The first airboat, dubbed “The Ugly Duckling”, was invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1905 in Nova Scotia. In 1920, aviation pioneer and Florida native, Glenn Curtiss, helped build “The Scooter”, which had a closed cabin that could hold six passengers and had a large, uncovered propeller in the back of the craft. The flat-bottom version as we know it is largely credited to a homemade design built by Leo Young, Hortin Jensen, and Cecil Williams in the 1940’s. When word spread about their innovation, the design’s popularity made it the standard.
The Florida Everglades is a large place, with an impressive variety of terrain and wildlife to see here. Offering both an exciting ride and a fun, educational experience for the whole family, airboating in Miami offers a glimpse into an overlooked, but unforgettable part of Florida. Navigating the Everglades by airboat is and has been a vital part of the Gladesmen Culture here at Mack’s Fish Camp for generations, one that we have the privilege of sharing with you.
You’re about to head to South Florida, packed and ready to enjoy some time relaxing near one of its many beautiful beaches. But, if you’re craving some time away from the artificial reefs of city hotels, and some excitement for the whole family, why not book an Everglades airboat tour?
A unique, and memorable experience for everyone, airboating in Miami is also a fun and educational way to see the Florida Everglades. If you’re wondering as to what an airboat is or what the benefits of riding one might be, here’s a quick overview to get you started.
Airboats, also known as fanboats or blowboats, are flat-bottomed boats powered by aircraft engines fitted with caged propellers on the back of the vessel. By having these large propellers spinning above the water, airboats are able to cross the mostly shallow waters of the Florida Everglades quickly, while getting access to its more remote areas better than boats with standard engines. Along with their elevated seating, airboats provide a unique and exciting way for passengers to see out and over plants and grass and observe the wide variety of wildlife that inhabits the Everglades.
Florida is recognized as having a lot of three things: oranges, beaches, and the American alligator. They like to make their homes here in the Everglades, so airboating in Miami is the best way to see them and the many other animal species that reside here too. The Everglades is an environment with incredible biodiversity, with wading birds like the Roseatte Spoonbill and Great Blue Huron, turtles, and more calling it home. Once endangered in the 1980’s, the alligators have bounced back so well that you’re likely to lose count of how many you see while on an Everglades airboat tour.
The Everglades truly is a gem of South Florida, one that no other state has. Outdoor sportsmen, nature enthusiasts and thrill-seeking families alike come from around the world to explore this area, many opting to tour it on a guided airboat ride to best experience it. At Macks’s Fish Camp, you and your family get to behold the vast, natural beauty of the Everglades, guided by the fifth-generation Florida Gladesmen who call it home, at an exciting pace. The chance to see the wide variety of local wildlife and a private airboat tour is just the activity to make for a complete family vacation to South Florida.
During your daily commute, you might spy a glance at a stretch of wilderness that seems unexplored when compared to your all-to-familiar routes to and from work. Getting settled into a traffic bottleneck, you recall that patch of wild earth you saw. You wonder not so much about what exploring it would reveal, only how glad you would be to be there at that very moment.
Sure, you may get a break at work, but what you’re after is a real escape from the maze of city living.
Some would argue that people require constant mental stimulation, but really the opposite is true. Living in a city environment makes a person’s brain work harder to process all of the random sounds and constant movement around them
The burnout of so much focus can make us irritable and impatient, but spending time outdoors can give your brain a much-needed break. Being in nature puts the brain in a type of cruise control called soft fascination, where you’re relaxed and your mind is focused effortlessly.
If the saying “familiarity breeds contempt” rings true for you, that could be reason enough to break out of the urban sprawl. Taking a canoe trip through the Florida Everglades is a great way to see different varieties of wildlife and immerse yourself in its vast landscape. Or if that’s not your speed, a private airboat tour across the alligator holes and sawgrass is the thrilling reunion with the outdoors you need.
With the hectic pace that modern life is set to, sunrises and sunsets can end up just being bookends to a day. When you visit Mack’s Fish Camp, that stubborn urgency is replaced with a sense of timelessness. Having nature so close to the residential areas of South Florida, the simplicity and stillness of the Everglades can easily be overlooked. If you take the time to see it up close, you’ll discover another world hiding in plain sight.
At some point, you’ve heard a co-worker say that you or they “need to get some fresh air,” which can mean jogging through busy intersections for a cup of coffee. Or maybe on a nice day it hits you that the only time you spend under the sun is walking through parking lots. Moments like these are not-so-subtle hints that you’re in need of some quality time outdoors, if only for your health, and a trip to Mack’s Fish Camp could be just what the doctor ordered.
Spending some time in the Everglades could be easy on the eyes in more ways than one. Artificial light can provoke nearsightedness, especially in children. But, plenty of time spent in bright outdoor light helps our eyes to maintain the ability to focus our vision at greater distances. Also, sunlight is our best source of Vitamin D, which is essential to maintaining a strong immune system.
After being treated to a vivid sunset, you’ll soon find yourself under a blanket of stars. Along with the South Florida sunshine to soak up in the Everglades, you’ll be far removed from artificial light. We tend to spend much of our waking hours bathed in the light of computer displays, TV’s and smartphones.
This constant exposure messes with our circadian rhythm, which regulates our sleep habits. Spending just a weekend outdoors can reset your circadian rhythm and potentially provide you with better rest after your Everglades adventure.
The one health benefit of being outdoors that can’t be overstated is stress reduction. People see having stress as much a given part of their day as a lunch break. But just as easily, spending time in nature can lower your heart rate and blood pressure as well as stress hormones.
While laughter may traditionally be the best medicine, nature is a very close second. We often place so much value on endless movement that we forget how to slow down. When you visit Mack’s Fish Camp, you’re free to set your own pace. Whether it’s paddling a canoe or taking an airboat ride searching for largemouth bass or just an incredible view. So, if you’re overdue for some time outside, we can remedy that.