What material to use?
Hovercraft Skirts – many people ask me what type of skirt material to choose.
We have tried neoprene coated nylon, but find this degrades when exposed to sunlight, UV degradation. We also tried Hypalon, but found this tears too easily and needs constant replacement. The best material we have found is polyurethane coated nylon weave at 375 gsm. Polyurethane is used on the sole of the shoe, it is very hard wearing, and nylon weave prevents tearing.
Segmented skirts are better than one piece skirts, – the cost of replacing a one piece skirt is very expensive, whereas segments localise damage and reduce the cost of ownership. The other consideration is how to recover a hovercraft with a damaged one piece skirt assuming the damage was done during operation – can you get home ok? With segmented skirts, you can change just one skirt section in under a minute, it is very easy to do.
The style of skirt is according to the model of hovercraft you have, you cannot easily change as doing so will affect the performance of the hovercraft, and may cause the hovercraft to plow-in to the water.
We now supply polyurethane segmented skirts to owners of competitive hovercraft who complain there skirts wear out too quickly – one chap told us a complete set of skirts from a competitor lasted only 8 and a half days in hovercraft experience use – not only was he irritated by the cost of buying new skirt replacements, the shipping cost was also expensive.