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September 9, 2015

By hovercraft.org

Hov Pod

Hov Pod Hovercraft

Hov Pod have been designing and supplying hovercraft since the year 2000.

Our company was founded by Peter Ward, a marine engineer and product designer. Peter was not impressed with the hovercraft products available on the market, and saw huge potential, so set about creating hovercraft products to suit leisure, commercial, rescue, survey and military markets.

Hov Pod Hovercraft

Hov Pod Hovercraft

Today, we supply 3rd and 4th generation unique hovercraft that leave all competitors behind. Hov Pod offer design features that make hovercraft ownership safe, and operation / maintenance simple. Hov Pod offer hovercraft manufactured from HDPE / Carbon Fibre / Kevlar that ensure long product life and durability, while other suppliers still supply thin glass fibre hulls that crack on first impact, or larger heavier hovercraft that deliver poor payload delivery at high cost and quote long delivery times.

We exploit CAD / CNC technology to ensure that components are engineered robotically to digitally tight tolerances. We have rejected engines still used by other suppliers, we fit safety features not offered by other suppliers, such as rear fan guards. Our products evolve to eliminate components that fail to ensure minimal part failure and full customer satisfaction.

Evolution

The Hov Pod design team constantly strive to eradicate parts, engines and materials that do not deliver. Any product failure is an irritation to a customer, even more of an irritation to us, since failure diminishes the pride we have in our products. Part failures costs time and money, not only in replacement costs but also in shipping costs – no customer wants to continually replace skirts and pay high shipping costs, so we manufacture them to last years. Fitting the best may cost more and reflect in the price a little, but too often the cheapest products available become expensive liabilities due to constant need for repair and part replacement. This is why we changed skirt materials 3 times, and why we no longer sell glass fibre hovercraft that can crack and need expensive repair.

Different Hov Pod Generations

ACX 52 and 65 (First Generation)

Our first model was manufactured from glass fibre, with double skin floor. Originally we used 52HP and 65HP Hirth 2704 and 2706 engines, but switched from Hirth to Rotax in 2006. Initially we offered the Rotax 503 52HP air-cooled engine until it was discontinued; we still offer the Rotax 583 65HP engine.

SPX (Second Generation)

In 2006, this second generation model replaced the ACX glass fibre design, and designates the switch to using High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) which is stronger and extremely buoyant. Glass fibre has no buoyancy, and there have been incidents where home-made glass fibre hovercraft have sank, causing injury by hypothermia and death by drowning.

SPX TCC (Third generation)

In 2010 we introduced a new version of HDPE hull, that was significantly lighter yet stronger than the SPX version. TCC refers to the thermal process control of the hull. Request link to see the drop test where we drop a Hov Pod SPX TCC hull from the top of a shipping container.

We also introduced the 120HP Turbo version using the Weber Automotive engine manufactured in Germany. This engine provides high power / low weight characteristics, and is supplied with full remote diagnostics software.

Carbon Infinity (Fourth Generation)

Introduced in 2015, the Carbon Infinity is the world’s first production hovercraft to be manufactured from Carbon Fibre / Kevlar / HDPE. The lightweight properties and strength of Carbon Fibre / Kevlar deliver superb performance as measured in on-water payload of half a tonne or 500 Kgs.

Note; many hovercraft suppliers only quote on-land payload – all hovercraft carry 50% less weight when starting from an on-water start, to “get over Hump” the pressure wave created whilst starting from on-water.

Other Developments

Skirts

There have been three significant changes to the skirt material supplied, we rejected neoprene coated nylon as this material degrades in sunlight through UV degradation. We rejected Hypalon since we found that this material tears too easily. We now offer Polyurethane coated anti-rip nylon weave 375 Gsm with triple nylon stitching, and underside double material to prevent wear. We fit 4 different types of segmented skirts to help prevent ploughing issues (ploughing is a term to describe the tendency for hovercraft to nose dive into water, throwing occupants forward)

Drive Systems

There have been at least 3 different drive systems.

Identifying a Hov Pod to request spare parts

Because the Hov Pod has evolved over time, as we reject materials, systems, engines and other parts considered to be below standard, to order parts, you need to provide us with the details found on the information plate referred to as the HIN (Hull Identification Number) located either at rear of seating console, or rear of the craft. Contact us via this website and let us have your full shipping address to speed up the process of delivery.

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