Hov Pod Review
Original Glass Fibre Model Hov Pod ACX
The Hov Pod ACX was first introduced at the Southampton Boat Show in September 2002.
Originally manufactured in glass fibre, demand quickly outstripped supply, so manufacturer Reaction International Ltd looked to see whether other materials could be used in hovercraft manufacture and the first HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) model, the SPX, was introduced in 2006. HDPE is far stronger than glass fibre, and has excellent buoyancy properties, unlike GRP.
HDPE – High Density Polyethylene
The Hov Pod SPX is manufactured using a rotational molding process, and is produced in batches to shorten delivery times, up to 9 hulls are kept in stock in various colours.
HDPE Construction – SPX and TCC
The Hov Pod design ethos focuses on safety and durability. Hovercraft are weight sensitive, so although hovercraft are generally manufactured from glass fibre, (used for boats so what’s the problem?) glass fibre construction for hovercraft is much thinner, to reduce weight. You will appreciate that if you wish to reduce weight, this can have an impact on durability, indeed any impact on glass fibre hovercraft can cause serious damage and costly repair. One death was recorded in the USA when the victim succumbed to Hypothermia and drowning, when his home made hovercraft was damaged when he journeyed over a frozen lake – glass fibre shatters on impact with ice.
HDPE is far stronger than glass fibre, and very buoyant.
The original Hov Pod SPX was replaced by the Hov Pod SPX TCC model with improved HDPE hull in 2010. The SPX TCC version (from another supplier) has three layers compared to two layers on the SPX model – the SPX TCC hull is better controlled (by computer) during the cooling process, and much lighter than the original SPX version.