Flying Fish Coastal-Pro Hovercraft

added by Emma on April 28, 2014 at 06:38

Testing out a Coastal-Pro Hovercraft which is off to Finland for a rescue organisation. Delighted with the performance - when she gets to Helsinki and our Finnish dealer RAF HOVERCRAFT , she'll receive her lights and graphics, plus all the other kit required.


Out cruising in Flying Fish Personal Hovercraft.

added by Emma on April 23, 2014 at 17:05
0044 (0)1304 619820

10 Personal Hovercraft, 9 Flying Fish Marlins and Coastal-Pro's. 7 Set out on a cruise in the Swale and River Medway. A great time had by all, very sociable event with three pub stops!

Subscribe to our Youtube channel to see more, and check out the Flying Fish Hovercraft facebook page or website - or the HCGB website - to be kept up to date with upcoming cruises.

More hovercraft fun on the River Medway!

added by Emma on April 9, 2014 at 05:35

Well, no sign of the much vaunted Mercier-Jones Hovercraft to show us how to do a river cruise!

Still, we seemed to enjoy ourselves in any case. This was first time out for Ben &  his brother Rick in Ben's brand new Marlin III - they were both grinning from ear-to-ear every time I saw them!

I've put together a quick 5 minute video of our 20 mile cruise - don't forget to like it/subscribe to our channel!


What a lovely start to the week - Thank you Warwick!

added by Emma on March 31, 2014 at 05:07

Quite out of the blue this morning, a package turned up from Warwick Jacobs at the Hovercraft Museum in Lee-on-Solent. Inside, totally unexpected, I found a beautiful print, numbered 10/10 of the museums SRN6 in the Solent.

Other mail included invoices, packets of nuts and bolts and a heap  of sales brochures - so this really made my morning! Thanks Warwick, it's going to be given pride of place in the entrance hall, a lovely surprise and a great start to the week!


Demonstration Days

added by Emma on March 24, 2014 at 07:31

To coincide with the end of our Spring special offer, we have 2 demonstration days coming on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th March 2014. We have a Coastal Pro and Marlin III to try out. This will be the last chance to try one of these craft and get 25% off of our retail price!

Call or email us today to book your slot. 01304 619820 or


Some of the historical 'haunts' on the River Medway.

added by Emma on March 20, 2014 at 07:14

The Medway is a spectacular river for those interested in maritime history. Last weekend, we used small hovercraft to explore some of the more interesting sites. There's still lots to see in the tidal area leading right up to Allington Lock. Check back for more updates as we explore this fascinating intertidal world!


View the video on  Youtube
0044 (0)1304 619820

Spring Special!

added by Emma on March 19, 2014 at 11:25










Mercier-Jones Hovercraft - I'm calling you out!

added by Emma on March 18, 2014 at 07:21



The hovercraft community is pretty small, and the industry manufacturing them even smaller. So it's been very frustrating to watch the hype surrounding the Mercier-Jones hovercraft which has been created in Chicago and has secured so many column inches of newsprint over the last year or two.

It's fair to say, it looks very striking, and the manufacturers have clearly spent their money on the design, styling and marketing, which has landed them huge amounts of coverage in the media. Mercier-Jones  modestly claim the aesthetic inspiration of high end sports cars like Bugatti Veyrons & Audi R8's and make some incredible claims as to its performance and how their product will revolutionise an 'old-fashioned' industry. This is 'the future of personal transportation' apparently and it's amazing new system of steering paves the way for a 'street- legal' version… oh please, its vectored thrust, it's not new, it doesn’t work and the day will never come when one of these things drives legally down the road in a civilized country.

They claim 'hybrid technology' - Ah! All those batteries will explain why - at 400kgs plus - it's far too heavy for its size, leading to an unrealistic skirt pressure which means, it quite simply cannot work - these guys might be geniuses for all I know, but they can’t defeat physics.   

My hobby - away from building recreational and small commercial hovercraft - is racing them. I race in Formula 2 - my craft weighs half what the Mercier-Jones does, and has three times the horsepower. I reckon its good for 60mph. You should see what the 200kg Formula 1's can do with their 200bhp engines.  Take a look here and you'll get the idea!

I doubt the bespoke, lightweight 200bhp hovercraft in this video are achieving much above 70mph, yet the Mercier Jones is faster than these apparently! "With top speeds estimated at over 80 MPH and acceleration that will rival it’s supercar cousins, Mercier-Jones hopes to handily beat the hovercraft land-speed record this summer of 56.25 mph and go after the water-speed record of 86.5 mph." It's rather like claiming your Dacia Duster will lap Spa Francochamps faster than Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes.

Unfortunately, Mercier-Jones aren’t the first company to flood the hovercraft market with ridiculous claims  The industry seems to have attracted lots of bullsh****rs over the years. They tend to come and go, usually leaving an investor or two considerably poorer.  But I have to say, this is certainly the most far-fetched, unrealistic  and misleading set of claims I've seen in my 30 years involvement with hovercraft. I'm sure their intentions are honest and this is a huge misunderstanding on my behalf.  

One of the outrageous claims that Mercier-Jones make is that their hovercraft works.

And that's an outrageous claim because….  it doesn’t! Look here for their test video….

There it is in a pond on the end of a rope (maybe that’s what they mean when they claim it's fly-by-wire?) in a big ball of spray hovering no more than one inch off the ground!  It's a fair way from this to their 87mph ambitions, that hovercraft does not produce a thrust ratio "which is slightly better than the supersonic B-2 Stealth Spirit" I've got to ask, what exactly are they celebrating at the end? That nobody drowned?

They claim the first craft will be delivered in May 2014, really? Who would witness this and splash out $75,000 on something which obviously doesn’t work? I've only ever seen one real one on film - everything else has been computer generated images.

You may well have picked up on the fact that I'm angry about this and may ask why. Well, it's not jealousy, (though I wouldn’t mind my company getting 1/10th the press coverage they've managed!) but I know just how much damage the Mercier Jones may cause the industry with their high profile shenanigans.  As secretary of the 'Hovercraft Manufacturers Association' (HMA) I'm very keen to mature and develop this nascent industry. Together with our some of our members, I've spent two years dealing with the UK Authorities to develop a new 'Hovercraft Code of Practice' and we're constantly lobbying government organisations and commercial operators who've had bad experiences with small hovercraft - and are firmly of the opinion that they simply don’t work. The Mercier Jones is simply going to further that opinion - negatively impacting on honest manufacturers and operators who are trying to develop their own businesses.

What I don’t know is what the aim of this whole project is - they've already attracted some funding from the IndieGoGo website - is the ambition to attract more, whilst they draw a decent wage? The problem is that plenty of people are excited by the idea of a hovercraft (when I finally invent a hoverboard, I'll be richer than Bill Gates) and I've seen some rather naïve investors and overexcited buyers jump in without first checking their facts.

One thing's for sure, the Mercier Jones doesn't work - yet they claim they’re taking orders. And that worries me.

Michael Mercier, Chris Jones - I'm calling you out to protect my industry and the sport I love. My company manufactures and sells over 100 of those 'old fashioned' hovercraft each year, and I'm happy to take on any dynamic challenge you can come up with. Flying Fish hovercraft steer accurately, hover a foot above the ground, do 40mph and work with up to four people on board - you can see them on the internet cruising  on rivers and the sea, beaches, ice, snow, sand, mud and estuaries. Can you provide a single piece of evidence that any of your claims are justified?

Because, if your company is ever going to achieve  100 hovercraft sales a year, one thing is pretty important.

They need to work.




Last week on the Medway & Swale. Eight Flying Fish hovercraft on a 40 mile cruise.

added by Emma on March 17, 2014 at 09:43

First organised cruise of the year from the Swale, exploring Queenborough, Stoke Marshes, Isle of Grain Tower, Upnor, Deadmans Island etc. Fantastic time - 8 hovercraft attended the event - all Flying Fish Marlins and Coastal-Pro's - and we covered around 35-40 miles, returning safely at Sunset.

There's events thoughout the year, including cruises on the Mersey and the Solent, the Dover Regatta, mid-week Isle of Thanet cruise - and even an overnight stay on one of the Napoleonic Forts in the Medway!

If you'd like to find out more, contact for dates and information.




Happy St.Patricks Day!

added by Emma on March 17, 2014 at 05:46

A pretty substantial road-trip last weekend, saw this Volantis Extreme III delivered to Cork in Southern Ireland - just in time for St Patricks Day (and some 6 Nations celebrations...grumble grumble!)

Fully specified with a 50bhp Rampage, LED lighting, complimenting chrome kit and two-tone metal-flake coachwork..,. this is a colour scheme we've never done before and will soon be seen exploring the southern coast of the Emerald Isle!












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