Briggs & Stratton Hovercraft Engines

The british Hovercraft Company is an OEM user and appointed service centre for the 'Vanguard' range of Briggs & Stratton commercial engines.

It's the perfect engine for small hovercraft and a vast improvement on two-stroke technology - which for very good reasons, is being quickly phased out in virtually all forms of transport.

The Vanguard offers low revs, low noise, superb economy, electric start, air cooling and fantastic reliability. Of all the hundreds of engines we've used in the hovercraft we've supplied over the last ten years - we've never had a single engine back with a mechanical failure during the warranty period! That's pretty impressive and the reason we've stuck with Briggs & Stratton!

'SMALL BLOCK' 23bhp VANGUARD

The earlier 22bhp engine was superseded by the 23bhp engine in 2011. The 'baby Briggs' was the engine we used in the Snapper single seat hovercraft (now available only in component form) in both its standard form and (approx) 28bhp 'Savage' form. It's a superb little engine which provides surprising performance when installed in a small craft.

Standard engine specification
  • Cooling : Air - no radiators, pipework or water to restrict airflow, add weight - or leak!
  • Fuel : Premium Unleaded Petrol
  • Fuel Consumption : No more than 2 gallons/hour at fuel revs.
  • Engine : Weight : 35kgs including exhaust
  • Capacity : 625cc
  • Bore x Stroke: 75.5mmx70mm.
  • Horsepower : 23bhp (manufacturers figures)
  • Maximum Revs : 4000rpm on standard valve assembly.
  • Number of Cylinders : Two, V-Twin.
  • Compression Ratio 8.4:1
  • Ignition System Magnetron, maintenance free.
  • Carburetor Two Barrel Float Feed
  • Mechanical PTO (Standard) 1" SAE Keyway
  • Cylinder Block : Aluminium Alloy with Dura-Bore Cast Iron Sleeve.
  • Shaft Rotation Counter-clockwise from PTO Side
  • Starter : Inertia starter
  • Lubrication Full Pressure Lubrication w/ Spin-On Oil Filter. Centrally Located Oil Pump allows for a higher angle of operation.
  • Oil Cooler : Reduces oil temperature, improves lubrication and extends oil change intervals.
  • Air Cleaner : Pancake filter on top of engine.
In order to use a Vanguard in a hovercraft, it's necessary to make some modifications to the electric and fuel systems - and to completely remove the governor system.

'Savage' Engine

Upgraded with a reprofiled camshaft, the Savage engines produces approx 27-28bhp at 4000rpm

'BIG BLOCK 35bhp VANGUARD

The standard 35bhp engine is ideal for either smaller integrated hovercraft or as thrust-only units for larger twin engines craft. However, it's also very easy to extract more power from the engine without raising the revs, or compromising reliability or economy. Here at The British Hovercraft Company, we can modify the engines to either 'Savage' or 'Rampage' specification to gain more power and torque whilst retaining the reliability for which these engines are famed.

Standard engine specification
  • Cooling : Air - no radiators, pipework or water to restrict airflow, add weight - or leak!
  • Fuel : Premium Unleaded Petrol
  • Fuel Consumption : No more than 2 gallons/hour at fuel revs.
  • Engine : Weight : 56kgs including exhaust
  • Capacity : 993cc
  • Bore x Stroke: 86mmx87mm.
  • Horsepower : Genuine 35.4bhp (tested on a dynometer)
  • Maximum Revs : 4000rpm on standard valve assembly.
  • Number of Cylinders : Two, V-Twin.
  • Compression Ratio 8.2:1
  • Ignition System Magnetron, maintenance free.
  • Carburetor Two Barrel Float Feed
  • Mechanical PTO (Standard) 1-1/8" SAE Keyway
  • Cylinder Block : Aluminium Alloy with Dura-Bore Cast Iron Sleeve.
  • Shaft Rotation Counter-clockwise from PTO Side
  • Starter : Industrial Grade Pre-engaged.
  • Lubrication Full Pressure Lubrication w/ Spin-On Oil Filter. Centrally Located Oil Pump allows for a higher angle of operation.
  • Oil Cooler : Reduces oil temperature, improves lubrication and extends oil change intervals.
  • Air Cleaner : Large, cylindrical filter, provides maximum engine protection.
In order to use a Vanguard in a hovercraft, it's necessary to make some modifications to the electric and fuel systems - and to completely remove the governor system.

'Savage' Engine

The Savage engine upgrade is fitted to all Marlin III and Coastal-Pro hovercraft. It raises horsepower from 35 to 37bhp but crucially it raises the torque figure by 20% considerably and offers a nearly flat torque curve. This makes for a very responsive engine. As (most) small hovercraft don't use a clutch or variable ratio gearbox, this makes it far easier for the engine to 'spin up' a fixed load - ie the fan or propeller.

'Rampage'

In 2012, we developed the 50bhp 'Rampage.' Using twin carburettors, a bespoke CDi electronic ignition system and some internal modifications, we achieved a reliable engine suitable for larger hovercraft (or for speed freaks who just 'want more' from their craft!) The engine actually produced 56bhp when dyno tested, at 4600rpm. In the interests of reliability, we only run the engine at 4000rpm. Further work to improve the top end of the engine are underway and will mean that the Rampage can achieve its full potential. For now however, the engine delivers fantastic performance, enormous torque (up on the standard engine right across the rev range) and superb reliability.

BUYING AN ENGINE

For more advice on the range of engines we offer, call for advice.

We can either small or big block Vanguards to any specification from 'boxed/untouched' to 'hoverised (with mods to electrics/fuel/governor to allow hovercraft installation) through to 'Rampage' specification.

RETRO FITTING UPGRADES

We can retro fit Savage & Rampage engine upgrades to your own engine, or even supply parts and kits for you to modify your own engine. Ask for details.

WARRANTY

When installed into a hovercraft, there is no manufacturer's warranty from Briggs & Stratton. As a company, we fully warranty all engines fitted to hovercraft we manufacture but cannot do so when we do not fit the parts or engine ourselves. Failures can be caused by poor fitting and maintenance. However, for a period of 12 months from date of purchase, The British Hovercraft Company will provide warranty assistance as follows.

  1. Provide telephone support and advice.
  2. Supply replacement parts at cost price (on return of failed item.)
  3. Repair any failed parts or items at a discounted labour rate.
This does not affect your statutory rights.
Telephone 01304 619820
Email
Address British Hovercraft Company
Building 4
Sandwich Industrial Estate
Sandwich
CT13 9LU