Month: October 2019

The History of Airboats

From board games to video games, many of the greatest forms of entertainment have drastically evolved since their invention—but few items have made as big of a transformation as airboats. The way they’re designed and even the reason passengers take airboat rides is vastly different from when the watercraft was first invented over a century ago.

What once was used exclusively for testing machinery and researching aquatic life is now a go-to, family-friendly form of Florida recreation, and here’s a look at how it all got started.

The Airboat Prototype

Alexander Graham Bell invented the first airboat in 1905. Nicknamed “The Ugly Duckling,” the first version of these famous watercrafts was very different from the flat, smooth one known today. And, rather than using them for entertainment or sport, Graham Bell used his primary prototype to test various engines and tools for other pieces of equipment.

The First Official Airboat

Although a man named Glenn Curtiss registered the first Florida airboat in 1920, it wasn’t until 1943 that these machines began to take their true shape. Modeling the boats with lightweight aluminum materials, Cecil S. Williams, Leo Young, and G. Hortin Jensen introduced the first airboat model to have both a flat bottom and a seat for the pilot, which inspired the designs for modern versions.

The Introduction of Airboats

As airboats became more popular across the country, scientists began using them for research, and everyday citizens began using them for recreation or transportation. Many people even created homemade versions of the watercraft so that they could easily access their local waters without having to make such a large investment up front.

The Use of Airboats Today

Airboats have come a long way since the first version was designed over 100 years ago. Now, these watercrafts are fast, efficient, and safer for both passengers and aquatic wildlife. They’re a major attraction for Florida locals and visiting tourists, and they’ve even become a standard watercraft for natural disaster relief and water emergencies.

The Best Central Florida Airboat Ride

If you want to learn more about the history of airboats, schedule your airboat ride with the history-rich Grape Hammock Fish Camp. Our airboat captains have extensive experience with their watercrafts and the Florida waters around them. To plan a fun adventure for the whole family, call us today at 863-692-1500 and book your airboat ride.

Tips for an Unforgettable Largemouth Bass Fishing Trip

Some people book Florida fish camp trips to have an unpredictable outdoor adventure, but there are others who plan their trips with one goal in mind. Because, catching a largemouth bass isn’t just something fisherman hope to do; it’s something they’re determined to do. So, if you’re tired of wasting time on sub-par sizes, here are some tips to help you take home a trophy fish in no time.

Know Where to Look

Bass are attracted to areas with a lot of vegetation, which means you’ll have to aim for cover. Your first instinct might be to simply fish deep to find the biggest catch, but largemouth bass always head for hidden spots to hunt for smaller bait. However, if you’re unable to uncover some cover at your fishing spot, check for any fallen structures like trees or bushes, because bass often use them when they can’t find a dense area to wade.

Bring the Must-Have Items

Even if you manage to hook a largemouth bass, you put your catch at risk by casting without the right equipment. Some of the most important pieces of gear to bring on your trip include:

  • Strong lure – Largemouth bass thrive under dense cover. If your lures aren’t strong enough to handle the brush that comes with the cover, your chances of landing a largemouth are significantly smaller.
  • Fish finder – If you want to improve your chances of reeling in a largemouth bass, invest in some tools to help you find them. Fish finders use sound waves to track movements and even estimate the size of fish, which can help you to cast at the right catches.
  • Multiple rods – Like people, fish have their moods. And when they aren’t feeling as energetic, you can still have some successful casts just by changing up your rod and reel. Instead of lugging around your heaviest rod throughout the day, carry a lightweight option that you can easily hang on to while you wait for the waters to wake up.
  • Extra line – Anything can happen on the water, and you don’t want to miss out because of a broken line. Carrying a surplus of strong line will keep you in the casting, reeling, and catching game for the long haul.

Visit the Right Florida Fish Camp

When you’re ready to lock in on a largemouth, book a trip to the Florida fish camp favored by locals and visitors: Grape Hammock. At the Grape Hammock general store, you can pick up just about everything you’ll need for a full day of fishing. And, our experienced staff can point you to all the thriving spots of Lake Kissimmee. For more information, contact us today.

Are Airboat Tours Family-Friendly?

If you’re planning a family trip to Florida, you might have a hard time finding the right attractions to suit everyone in your party. Although you want to take the little ones on an adventure they’ll never forget, Grandma and Grandpa can’t be on their feet all day.

Fortunately, airboat tours are the perfect way to accommodate and entertain both the youngest and eldest passengers in your party.

Get Close to Wildlife

Passengers of all ages enjoy airboat tours, because each outing on an airboat is a one-of-a-kind excursion. While cruising through the waters of Florida, everyone on board is guaranteed to see some wildlife up close. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot a sunbathing gator or cross paths with a rare Florida bird.

Learn Something New

Airboat tours are a guilt-free way to entertain your children, because they can learn all about the Florida waters, ecosystem, and aquatic life right from the watercraft. And, although the propellers on an airboat create some serious noise, each passenger is given a headset linked directly to the captain’s microphone. This system cancels out the sounds of the watercraft, so you can easily hear all the tips and tokens of wisdom from your airboat captain.

Go on an Adventure

Most people assume that airboat tours are only for daredevils and thrill seekers, but they’re actually the perfect adventure for children who might be intimidated by some other attractions in Florida. Rather than being strapped into an oversized seat and separated from Mom and Dad, your children can sit right next to you to feel totally secure on their excursion.

Tips for Every Passenger

No matter how young or old your party members are, here are some essential items that will help you make the most out of your airboat tour.

  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Water
  • Bug spray
  • Camera
  • Comfortable clothing

Airboat Tours in Central Florida

At Grape Hammock Fish Camp, our USCG captains have years of experience with Florida waters and wildlife, so you can feel good about bringing your whole family along for an exciting and educational airboat tour. For more information or to schedule a tour for your family, call us today at 863-692-1500.

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