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November 10, 2014

By hovercraft.org

Guy Martin – Hovercraft

Guy Martin – Hovercraft

I watched with some dismay, Guy Martin’s TV Program (Channel 4) attempt to beat the hovercraft speed record, and to read the comments on various forums the day after.

 Forum comments included:

  • Flying Bathtub
  • Heath Robinson design
  • All hovercraft seem to be made that way
  • Guy was lucky not to get hit in the face by the exploding lift fan
  • Good job the rescue boat was on hand, the hovercraft sunk.
  • You need to spend £1 million for a military one

Our Hov Pod hovercraft design addresses all the issues highlighted in the program, though I will be the first to agree that the Hov Pod will not win any world speed records, but then most people don’t buy a F1 car for leisure or commercial use.

The TV program showed Guy Martin’s attempt to break the world hovercraft speed record which according to Wikipedia was set by Bob Windt (USA) 137.4 km/h (85.87 September 18th 1995.

With regards to the perception that  “All hovercraft seem to be made that way’, this is not true, so let me explain why.

To attempt a world speed record, will require a hovercraft that is extremely lightweight, and not a hovercraft that you would consider for personal hovercraft leisure or commercial use.

If you watched the program, you would probably imagine that all hovercraft suffer from the problems the speed attempt highlighted.


 Problems Highlighted:

  • That all hovercraft plow in. Guy managed to break the handlebars when the hovercraft stopped suddenly on the water.
  • That all hovercraft have lift engines in the front of the craft that can disintegrate – “lucky not to get hit in the face by the exploding lift fan”
  • That all hovercraft are lightweight and unsteady, and prone to disintegration when an accident occurs.
  • That all race hovercraft have unguarded rotating fans.
  • That all hovercraft have a very low freeboard that will result in the hovercraft sinking and submerging your engine with expensive consequences.
  • That exhaust systems wrap round the outside of the hovercraft to expose bystanders to 3rd degree burns.

Race Hovercraft differ from personal and commercial hovercraft

Race hovercraft need to be lightweight, and they tend to be made from very thin glass fibre that shatters all too easily – racers are happy to rivet patches to repair their hovercraft, they don’t expect them to last very long.

What really shocked me, was the low freeboard in the hovercraft design – as soon as they tried to tow it back to shore, water entered into the rear of the hovercraft because the water line was far too low – this hovercraft was designed by someone with years of experience apparently. The engine was completely submerged in the water, and to Joe Average, such an accident may have resulted in a hefty repair bill, and a long swim home.

Hov Pod Design

  • The Hov Pod design addresses all of the issues mentioned, but won’t win any races, top speed of up to 40 mph which is fast enough for most people who wish to enjoy hover-crafting.
  • The Hov Pod hull is constructed from HDPE so will not disintegrate on impact.
  • Rotating fans are guarded, from and rear.
  • The Hov Pod has anti-plow skirt and air management design to help prevent ploughing in.
  • The Hov Pod has a high freeboard, and fantastic buoyancy, so unlikely to sink and immobilise the engine.

The Hov Pod does not cost much more than the fibre glass so called “race pedigree” hovercraft – the type of hovercraft that leisure and commercial users should steer well away from. For a detailed hovercraft guide, please contact us.

Guy Martin - Hovercraft

Guy Martin – Hovercraft

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