Things to check on a hovercraft demonstration
Sadly we do not have dealers in every town to provide product demonstrations, so let me walk you through things to consider if you are considering to buy a hovercraft.
Hovercraft terms and characteristics
The first thing to understand about hovercraft is their weight sensitivity. Suppliers try reduce the weight of a hovercraft where possible to get better performance in terms of speed, but ofcourse a very lightweight hovercraft made from glass fibre may not last very long, so you need to consider the weight versus durability. Race hovercraft hulls are ultra light and often in need of repair.
Hov Pod make 3-4 seater hovercraft from HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) or 7-seater models from Carbon Fibre / Kevlar / HDPE. HDPE is extremely buoyant and durable, so will last many years. Carbon Fibre is extremely tough, Kevlar is used for bullet proofing applications.
Payload and Hump
When starting from an on-water start, hovercraft create a pressure wave known as The Hump – generally speaking, every hovercraft can carry 50% more weight when starting out on land – when starting on water, the hump effect will reduce the effective payload, so never ask a hovercraft supplier how many seats a hovercraft has, always drill down to the on-water payload capability if going over water. Some suppliers will quote payload without mentioning on-water payload, so always insist on knowing the on-water payload. To get over hump requires the driver to shift his weight forward, and then once over the pressure wave or hump, to move his weight back, hence why we fit inline seats for the driver.
Many hovercraft have a tendency to nose dive when going over water, so the Hov Pod Hovercraft designers have designed the air management system, skirts and trim to prevent the Hov Pod from plowing.
Some suppliers leave off guarding to the fans, thus allowing more air through the duct – this allows them to fit smaller (and cheaper to them) engines. Fans rotate at 2000 rpm so we always fit a front and rear guard to protect you, your passengers and any bystanders.
Some suppliers up-rate or modify the engines to get more power output, sounds great but doing so will invalidate the engine manufacturer’s warranty, so we never modify engines so we can ship with full warranty.
Hov Pod Models and Payloads
The Hov Pod SPX TCC 65HP will lift up to 275 Kgs or 607 pounds when starting on-water or up to 412.5 Kgs or 912 pounds when starting on land.
The Hov Pod SPX TCC 120HP Turbo will lift up to 325 Kgs or 718 pounds when starting on-water or up to 487.5 Kgs or 1077 pounds when starting on land.
The Hov Pod Carbon Infinity 120HP Turbo will lift up to 500 Kgs or 1105 pounds when starting on-water or up to 675 Kgs or 1492 pounds when starting on land.
We have a shipping department to arrange shipping to all destinations. Our shipping manager will get the best shipping quotes for you, arrange shipping for you, and offer advice to ensure trouble free shipment to you.
The Hov Pod is CAD (computer aided designed) and uses CNC robotic technology to engineer parts to digitally tight tolerances. We have done away with unnecessary complexity, the direct drive requires no gearbox, we fit no elevators, the trim is optimized in the factory to ensure simple operation. By keeping things simple, there are less problems to go wrong. Any competent mechanic could service your Hov Pod in the same way he would service your car or boat – we supply full technical support materials 24/7 via our on-line technical library, and parts if ever required can be usually couriered within 24 hours.
People ask – what consumables will I need? Most hovercraft supply hovercraft with neoprene coated nylon skirts – we rejected that material since it degrades from UV or sunlight. We rejected Hypalon since that tears too easily. We fit segmented skirts instead of a bag skirt, so each section can be changed, and any damage to the skirts is limited to just a small area. We fit polyurethane coated anti-rip nylon weave skirts at 375 Gsm, and less than 2% of our customers have ever purchased replacements, they last many years. Fitting this type of skirt may cost more but think of the saving in shipping costs alone – some customers complain that neoprene coated nylon skirts last just a few months.
Most customers take the electric start option to simply start the engine from a switch. For safety reason, you must first fit the kill cord and wear this around your wrist or ankle. Once the engine starts, by revving the twist grip throttle, the air fills the segmented skirts and when you reach 3800 revs, the Hov Pod will start to rise up on the cushion of air. From a cold start, the engine has twin choke levers, that need to be switched off after 20 seconds.
From the slip-way, depending on conditions and weight on-board, you should starting forward motion at 3,900 rpm. The Hov Pod uses just one engine to create lift and thrust air – some hovercraft have two independent thrust and lift engines, but we use a splitter to direct 25% air under the craft to escape through the skirts, and 75% of the air to pass through the duct to generate thrust and forward movement. At around 4,800 revs subject to conditions and weight, cruise speed of 23 mph can be reached, at 5,800 revs, full top speed of up to 40 mph.
How to stop?
Either stop in a straight line (the underside of the Hov Pod has shock pads and runners to allow the hovercraft to stop on land) or kill the forward speed by practicing stopping into a 180 degree turn.
Are they difficult to control?
We designed the Hov Pod to be easy to operate and control – after an hours practice most people report that riding a Hov Pod was far easier than learning to ride a bike.
Where can I learn more?
Simply contact us via the form if you have specific questions, we would love to hear from you.
What about delivery times
This depends on the seasonal demand as each Hov Pod is built to customer order – we offer a wide choice of colors and options, but allow anywhere from 10 days to 8 weeks depending on shipping method.