How do personal hovercraft differ from other hovercraft?
Personal Hovercraft need to be safe to operate and more durable than race hovercraft.
All hovercraft are very weight sensitive, so to win a race, racing hovercraft have ultra light hulls, and lack the on-water characteristics that personal hovercraft require.
A more durable personal hovercraft hull is bound to be thicker thus heavier than a lightweight race hovercraft one. Many suppliers produce glass fibre hulls, which may look nice, but are more prone to damage should the hovercraft collide with another object. Hov Pod hovercraft hulls are either manufactured from HDPE or Carbon Fibre with Kevlar.
Personal hovercraft need to fly over and land on water, so good buoyancy is required.
Sufficient power to start on-water.
When starting from an on-water start, hovercraft create a bow wave called the HUMP. Getting over the bow wave created when starting takes considerable effort, and requires the driver and passengers to move their weight forward during the process of getting “over hump”
Hovercraft suppliers should always quote the on-land and the on-water payload, because starting on land is always easier, due to no hump - hump only affects hovercraft when they start on water.
Always ask the supplier - what is the on-water payload for this hovercraft? - some manufacturers fudge the answer by quoting on-land payload only. Generally, hovercraft carry 50% less weight when starting on water, so if you stop on water, you may need to swim home and abandon your hovercraft if it does not have sufficient power to get over hump.
More powerful engines
Don’t imagine that by simply installing a more powerful engine that you can get better performance - more powerful engines are far heavier than smaller specialist engines with high power to low weight characteristics. If you buy the cheapest hovercraft available, you’ll get an under-powered lawn mower engine designed for cutting grass, not designed for marine use.