7 things to consider when searching for and buying hovercraft for sale
Buying Hovercraft – During a recent TV show attempt to beat the hovercraft world speed record, a competitor’s hovercraft sank due to low freeboard, and the engine / cockpit was flooded. Luckily the film crew had arranged for a safety boat. Managed to get the engine dried out and back working again. Check the rear of the duct – is this too low, and likely to let water into the hovercraft when it stops on water?
Payload – on water
All hovercraft create a pressure wave referred to as Hump when starting on water so carry 50% less weight starting on water compared to starting on land – always check on-water payload assuming you intend to use over water. Also, check the weight of your passengers, have they eaten too many pies lately?
Many suppliers make hovercraft hulls from wafer thin glass fibre which can disintegrate on impact, particularly dangerous when traveling over ice. Hovercraft are weight sensitive and thinner glass fibre weighs less than thicker hulls. The Hov Pod is produced from HDPE, so far stronger than GRP and very buoyant.
To reduce weight, some suppliers fit cheap neoprene coated nylon skirt segments that need frequent replacements – it’s not just the replacement cost to consider, but also the shipping cost. Hov Pod fit polyurethane coated, anti-rip nylon weave 375 Gsm, lasts for years and now supplied to our competitor’s customers.
Some hovercraft plough when traveling over water, meaning to nose-dive and throw occupants out of the craft. Hov Pod fit anti-plough skirts and have designed an air management system to combat ploughing problems.
Ensure fans are properly guarded, front and rear – although hovercraft accidents are very rare, most problems have occurred as a result of unguarded fan blades that rotate at 2000 rpm. Suppliers often leave fans unguarded to get more air through the duct, allowing them to fit cheaper lawn mower engines.
Some suppliers invalidate engine supplier warranties by modifying engines to get more power output. Why design hovercraft this way? – it is cheaper than fitting an engine that provides adequate power in the first place, thus making them more price competitive. Engines are designed to acceptable power output levels to avoid unnecessary stress – none of us like running round all day on maximum revs. Engine suppliers do not like their engines being modified, so invalidate warranties if modifications have been done. For latest specifications see our sister website at www.hovpod.com