How to remove the governor from a Briggs & Stratton engine for hovercraft use.

added by russ on June 27, 2014 at 11:46

The Briggs & Stratton 35bhp motor is a superb Japanese built engine used for many applications that B&S never even thought of! Here at Flying Fish Hovercraft, we've installed many hundreds into small hovercraft and are the UK's largest buyer of these handy little power units. They've also proven themselves in Ultralight aircraft and US Swamp Boats/Mud Buddies. This video shows you the first job you'll need to do to for any dynamic application (ie not a conveyor belt or stump cutter!)

This is your first job when preparing one of these engines, strip out the engine speed controller/governor.

NOTE : If you're going on to install it using a standard Flying Fish engine frame, there is extra machining required before reassembly!

Lots more videos to follow - make sure to subscribe to our Youtube Channel so you don't miss out!

CLICK HERE :

www.flyingfishhovercraft.co.uk
01304 619820

 

We now have the go ahead from the MCA - commercial operations for small hovercraft are a 'go!'

added by russ on June 20, 2014 at 09:00

After some two years of negotiations with the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA), we have finally been given the formal confirmation in writing - that Ultralight Hovercraft (up to 500kgs) may engage in certain commercial activity without a requirement for coding/certification.

 Not to be too crass about it - this means that using small hovercraft for paying work is now possible!

 To clarify the situation, I've bullet-pointed the situation below.

 

 Uses / Operations

Survey, inspection & maintenance.

Mud & Water Sampling

Geo-technics

Standby & Support

Security & Patrol

Weed Spraying

Nature monitoring/bird counts etc

Any application not involving paying passengers.

 

Operating Areas & Restrictions

Intertidal Areas

Estuaries and Rivers

Tidal Mudflats

Saltings & Marshes

Up to 1/2 a mile from the shore (beyond catagorised waters)

Within 3 miles of a safe haven (obviously, 80% of beaches are a safe haven in a hovercraft!)

Daylight/favourable weather.

 

Hovercraft Specification

Less than 500kgs unladen weight.

Built in compliance with the Hovercraft Code of Practice (HCoP)

Certified to be compliant by manufacturer.

Maximum of four persons (no paying passengers)

 

Operator's Qualifications

RYA Powerboat 2 or equivalent (two day course/exam)

 

Valid From

 June 19th 2014

Hovercraft Availability

The new Coastal-Pro is due for release in approximately 4 weeks and has been designed specifically for commercial applications and of course, to comply with the new HCoP.

We do still have a one off - the last of the current Coastal-Pro models available at a bargain price - so be quick if you're interested at £13,500.00+VAT!

This is a huge step forward for the industry and a fabulous opportunity for those who wish to be 'in at the beginning' and exploit the commercial opportunity it presents. There is genuinely now a viable, safe and cost effective solution to operations on mud flats, saltings, marshlands, beaches - with operating costs LOWER than equivalent conventional boats. Flying Fish have been very much at the forefront during the two years developing the HCoP and obviously we're delighted that it has finally been adopted by the MCA.

If you'd like a PDF copy of the HCoP, or wish to know more, please call or email Russ at Flying Fish.

Email :               russ@flyingfishhovercraft.co.uk

Telephone :        01304 619820

 

 

 

 

Crushing the bad guys!

added by russ on June 18, 2014 at 09:21

 

 

#

BE CAREFUL OUT  THERE!

Looking over the information on our website recently, I realised we may be selling ourselves short. Our 'about us' page is typically wishy-washy and reads much the same as everybody else's. Time to change it I think - because be honest… I’m not sure that’s really us.

There’s no industry on earth that doesn’t contain it’s fair share of rogues, charlatans, wide-boys, dodgy-geezers and downright-thieving-bastards. Even doctors and priests get themselves locked up from time to time. And the hovercraft industry is no different to any other. In some ways, the world of hovercraft is valuable turf for fraudsters and sharp-salesman. Why? Because many people who buy hovercraft have little knowledge or experience of them and are ‘babes-in-the-woods’ when it comes to being sold to.

Two quick examples – in Australia, there’s a guy selling hovercraft who’s notorious for his (shall we say) 'sharp' practices. Three or four years back, two excited future owners of his hovercraft met at a club meeting and were describing the hovercraft they’d ordered and paid a deposit for – they’d both visited the factory over the last few weeks and seen their hovercraft in manufacture. One told the other his was black… so was the other guys….it had a Yamaha engine… so did the other guys…it was on the line being built right now and was just having its screen fitted….they’d have it in two weeks….so would the other guy.

Yup, you guessed it – they'd both been told the hovercraft they’d seen was theirs so they’d both recently paid their balances. One (or both) of them was being robbed and I can only imagine the moment when they both realised that they may have been ‘had.’ We’ve since heard two separate accounts of buyers who have had to take legal action against the same company to get deposits back for hovercraft that simply never got built. And this clown’s still in business?

 Come on Australia, grow some balls and close this idiot down!

In the UK is a company whose hovercraft truly suck. Truly, truly suck. They look great and their marketing is superb… but quite simply their hovercraft, (which is the same size as, but weighs twice as much as) the Flying Fish Marlin (itself not a lightweight racing craft by any means) cannot and does not work properly. Hovercraft aren’t magic, they can’t break the laws of physics and weight is the ultimate killer of a successful hovercraft. Yet they sell decent numbers of hovercraft - in fact they’re our closest competitor. Not one of their hovercraft have ever been seen at a UK cruising event (in fact, I’m told they ‘advise’ their customers to stay away!) as the community would probably fall around laughing if they did witness the noise/spray/20 mile range and slug-like performance from a 120bhp turbo engine(!) For ten years, we've been inviting them to come cruising, race us, offer craft up for an independent review…we're still waiting!

Ask yourself why!

Unfortunately there’s several other examples I could give such as the industry favourite, the ‘revolutionary new hovercraft’ idea – there’s one being marketed in Chicago, USA right now. Can’t work/won’t work (the only video of it in action is farcical – it’s on the end of a rope, creating a rainstorm in a pond!) but as it’s been styled to look vaguely like a Bugatti Veyron, and has no fan duct (ah, now, there’s a clue – see?) they’ve attracted a bundle of cash from naive investors and deposits from even-more-naïve buyers – the poor little lambs. But at least their $75,000.00 purchase will get them a nice looking pond ornament/garden sprinkler for the herons to shit on.

Even the government can get caught out - one UK Fire Service bought two Italian built, counterfeit copies of an US design… and guess what? They didn't work, are incredibly dangerous and basically languished in the shed for  six years - making BBC headlines when it was announced that £150,000 of taxpayers' money was wasted on them! We could have sold them two equivalent hovercraft which do work for around a third of that…

So why the rant?

Well, quite simply, our business gets damaged by the charlatans. Hovercraft manufacturing is a small industry and the problem is, when people buy a substandard hovercraft from a dubious company, what we hear is along the lines of ‘small hovercraft don’t work – I tried them.’ And that’s not fair, because if you tried the new Land Rover out and it was a dog, you wouldn’t state that '4x4’s don’t work.' We as an industry, still have some why to go to establish ourselves and the conmen and idiots do so much damage to the legitimate companies struggling to improve the image of perfectly good craft.  

So, how about that Flying Fish crowd? What do they do differently?

We get complaints occasionally – all businesses do. We’ve made silly mistakes that have been missed on the pre-delivery inspection and have been occasionally been a little late delivering. But, we do our best to sort any problems out quickly and efficiently and constantly improve what we do. We chase feedback, not avoid it, we build in reliability so that we don’t have to see your hovercraft again until its either service or upgrade time.  We don’t lie to people (I can do without the grief to be honest!) and if we don’t think a hovercraft is the best vehicle for your application, we’ll tell you. We want happy customers, an easy life and we want you singing our praises and back for more hovercraft in the future.

We have trained dealers in several overseas countries – as well as the UK. We’re formative members of the Hovercraft Manufacturers Association (HMA.) We – together with Griffon Hoverworks – pretty much wrote the 2014 MCA Hovercraft Code of Practice. We don’t take deposits for hovercraft models that we haven’t built yet. We head up cruising events for the hovercraft club (UK club members have clocked up a total of some 2000 miles at club events and private cruises in 2014 already) which constantly improves the breed. We race hovercraft which gives us enormous  amounts of information to find its way into production craft.

Above all else, we offer Money Back Guarantee – we can’t be fairer than that can we?

That’s us. That's what we do - that’s why we sell more hovercraft than any other company in the world. We aim to keep growing, both in terms of the company, and the hovercraft we manufacture.

So here’s our Top Ten Tips.

AVOIDING THE RIPOFF MERCHANTS!

1.    If you don’t know anything about them, do your research into hovercraft in general. Be sure about what they should be able to do, whether a hovercraft is what you want, how they work and join your local club. Hovercrafting is still a small (but growing) community and you can gather some very useful information and feedback.

2.    Do not pay for a hovercraft if you can’t actually see a real one exists – especially do NOT pay a deposit on a hovercraft which is only available in CGI form!

3.    Is the supplier a member of the HMA? Hovercraft Club? Chamber of Commerce? BMI?

4.    See it in action, preferably drive it, and ask to see its capabilities – as described – demonstrated. Drive more than one model before making any decisions.

5.    Ask to see videos of other – identical - craft in varied conditions (water, land, mud, one up/two up etc) and look online on Youtube specifically for the make you’re considering  – do you have plenty of confidence that WYSIWYG?

6.    Does it come with a service manual, warranty, training and registration?

7.    Does the manufacturer offer a Money Back Guarantee if the product doesn’t measure up to the  sales hype?

8.    Does the manufacturer have agents and dealers? This is a good sign that they are established and serious.

9.    Can you obtain references from dealers/customers?

10.  Ask to see photos of the build as it happens, or visit the factory. Small hovercraft should be easily completed within 4 weeks – any longer should make you nervous.

Good luck with your purchase – just be careful with your money!

Flying Fish Hovercraft - Coastal Pro EX-Demo only £13000.00

added by emma on June 4, 2014 at 05:26

Straight from the manufacturer, this Coastal-Pro is a late 2013 build and was displayed at the 2014 Excel Boat Show in London.

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Flying-Fish-Coastal-Pro-Hovercraft-ex-demo-/331220993638?pt=UK_Power_Boats&hash=item4d1e4f4666



It's fitted with a very powerful Toyota 996cc three cylinder engine giving approx 80bhp and spectacular performance. It can seat up to 4 adults and has a capacity of approximately 350kgs - it's been tested up to 40mph and has simply phenomenol lift characteristics - it's inegrated design means that it lifts as soon as power is applied and never runs out of lift even in demanding conditions.

It's fully prepared for salt-water conditions, is strong and reliable. The screen is very protective in poor conditions and it floats extremely well when on the water with the engine turned off (it makes an ideal fishing platform as its extremely stable due to the skirt acting rather like a sea-anchor.)

I'd estimate it has around 60-80 hours use providing demos to customers and general cruising.

It's currently liveried in a chequer pattern (vinyl graphics which can be removed if required) and comes with dry storage under the seating, paddles, life-buoy set and fire extinguisher. I'll be very sad to see this craft go - it's been enormous fun and is actually pretty sporting in character, not at all lumbering or difficult to control. This is a serious bit of kit suitable for maritime use in either a recreational or light commercial role.

To see some video of this actual craft in action, click the links below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoEvd0RUbyM

On-board (from 2m25sec) or three up (7m50s) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24L0lEd_Jvs

There's also plenty of videos of identical Coastal-Pros to see on Youtube.

New price for this craft is £19,750+VAT - and they rarely come up for sale used, so grab a bargain!

Trailer can be supplied for an extra £750.00

Any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Flying Fish Hovercraft www.flyingfishhovercraft.co.uk
(01304) 619820
sales@flyingfishhovercraft.co.uk

 

FLYING FISH COMPONENT SETS - BUILD YOUR OWN HOVERCRAFT!

added by emma on May 2, 2014 at 06:19

 

FLYING FISH COMPONENT SETS - BUILD YOUR OWN HOVERCRAFT!

 

Lots of people enquire to us about building their own hovercraft - or call us for advice and parts when they hit snags building one from plans. Unfortunately, most of the plans and kits available to build your own craft fall well short of providing the first time builder with any realistic chance of assembling a decent, working, attractive craft.

 

Many of the plans available are poorly written and based on outdated 1970’s designs. They usually rely on a very simple, flat wooden hull  which is heavy, porous, ugly and expensive. They often feature a nasty little, two stroke motorbike engines and worse… a bag skirt!  They have no freeboard or flotation and whilst 90% are never finished in any case, those that are completed often work poorly – and almost none produce a genuinely usable recreational craft.

 

Many are never finished and end up on ebay....another “unfinished project, just needs.......” etc. This is largely because many parts need to be sourced, salvaged or made - many are difficult to find or expensive to buy and this leads to a lot of frustration and a loss of motivation to see the project through.

 

So what are the other options?

 

Buy a used craft. Certainly an option but they’re often battered, scruffy looking and in need of restoration. Many are inland racing craft and unusable (or even dangerous) for cruising and recreational use in a salt-water environment. Very few used cruising craft come up for sale which also means prices are high.

 

Buy a new commercially manufactured craft. The perfect solution if funds allow or you’re not the type of person who looks at things and thinks...”How does that work?” But obviously, a manufactured craft costs a reasonable amount of money and may not offer the 'Caterham Cars' thrill of being able to say "I built that!"

 

The third option - Flying Fish Component Sets.

 

For some years now, we’ve supplied Pro-Build Component sets to two overseas manufacturers who produce Marlins under licence. And, in response to the almost constant enquiries we receive to supply parts, kits, hulls and even plans to home builders, we've chosen 2014 to launch or component sets into the retail market.

 

These aren’t just kits; our comprehensive pro-build packages are designed to be quick and fun to build. All the parts you need are supplied ready to assemble, not requiring any donor vehicle, fabrication or any special skills.

 

Building your own hovercraft undoubtedly adds some satisfaction to the finished product - we should know, we build two a week and they still thrill us! But the Flying Fish Component Sets offer two huge advantages over building from plan or a partial kit.

 

The Flying Fish craft work! The Marlin II and Snapper hovercraft have been sold in substantial numbers, and are almost the 'industry standard' for personal hovercraft (Hovercraft Club cruises are usually attended by 80-90% Marlins) so you can be sure you'll be building a professional looking craft that will perform as it should and will 'wow' everyone who sees it. It will work, you’ll have amazing fun with it and it’ll be safe. Building from a plan just isn't a 'sure thing'  - it really doesn’t guarantee that you'll end up with a safe and effective hovercraft -whereas building from a proven component set does.

 

When/if you come to sell your hovercraft, it’ll be worth a good price - you have a fully working, professional looking craft that people will genuinely want to buy. Take a look on ebay for instance, there's probably a Marlin or Snapper on there for sale, and they always fetch decent money. Build it well, look after it and your hovercraft has real value. Plywood/aluminium hovercraft built from plans and kits almost never fetch any money as the hull material makes them look quite ugly and crude.

 

 

 

Which Component Set Should You Choose?

Snapper

Small but enormous fun - the Snapper is the hovercraft of choice at most UK driving events businesses because it's incredibly easy to drive (both adults and kids) and offers very good performance. It will carry two adults on land but is limited to approx 100kgs on water. It's powered by a Vanguard 23bhp engine, so it's quiet, reliable and

economical. It is incredibly manoeuvrable, it must be the easiest hovercraft in the world to drive so its great to share with the kids. It' suitability extends to an uncontrolled environment in calm conditions -  many owners venture into coastal areas every weekend and the component set includes stainless steel fittings for salt water use. You can even race it in Hovercraft Club events!

 

 

Marlin II

The  Marlin II was launched in 2010 and is a longer version of the Snapper with a higher seating position (you sit in the Marlin, kneel in the Snapper) larger screen, 35bhp engine and improved performance - particularly in a marine environment. Overall, it's best described as a ‘sports-cruiser’ and really looks the part! See our website for lots of details and photos.

 

What's included in the set?

 

Everything! All parts are 'straight off the shelf' - ie they're exactly the same components that we use in production of our own craft.

 


Complete set of fibreglass parts, trimmed.

Complete Fibreglass hull. Top and bottom decks bonded together.

Buoyancy foam and engine mounting timber installed.

920mm duct - inner and outer mouldings (inner fitted to hull)

Rudders & Flow straighteners.

23bhp (Snapper) or 35bhp Briggs & Stratton (Marlin) engine, boxed.

Built in fuel tank with filler fitting (Marlin) or 12l outboard tank (Snapper)

Seat cover (not upholstered)

Screen.

Belt cover and rear cone

Steering cable installed


Fan frame.

Alloy engine mounting plates.

Fan blades and hubs, with bearings.

Guard, guard saddles.

Stainless Steel Top & Bottom pulleys, taper lock.

Platinum Spec Drive Belt

Stainless steel Exhaust and downpipes.

Fuel line/filter and primer bulb

Steering kit - handlebars, uprights, stock, mount, grips.

Skirt Material and template (finished segments available at extra cost)

Bilge pump & piping.

Throttle Cable & Lever

Wiring loom & Toggle Switches

Hatch Covers

Skirt fixing cable and clamps (lower)

Titanfast skirt fixing (upper)

Mooring cleats

Skirt fix top clips

Sikaflex, peeler rivets.

Complete nut and bolt set.

Keel strips


Aluminium edging

 

 

 

Hull colour

 

 

 

White with your choice of red or blue trim/secondary colour.

 

Other colours available at an additional cost of £250.00 (hull) and £150.00 (secondary)

 

 

 

Other options include

 

 

 

Lights (beacons/navigation lights/headlights)

 

Marlin Screen with Snapper purchase.

 

One man/one minute trailer.

 

'Marinised' or upgraded engine.

 

Skirt segments in place of material.

 

Teak effect flooring.

 

Coloured blades.

 

For more details, contact sales@flyingfishhovercraft.co.uk or call us on 0044(0)1304619820

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

www.flyingfishhovercraft.co.uk
www.hovercraft.org.uk
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 emma@flyingfishhovercraft.co.uk

   


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