Last of the Marlin II's reduced in Price! Only £8000.00 inc VAT

added by Emma on February 25, 2014 at 11:54

Two Marlin III hovercraft off to Finland

added by Emma on February 21, 2014 at 06:44

The Mark III's are selling well - and these two Arctic spec craft were loaded yesterday and off to Finland, sold by our dealer RAF Hovercraft at the Helsinki Boat Show.

With a further, bespoke, Coastal-Pro sale made to the emergency services and over twenty demos lined up, it was a very successful show indeed.

I have to say - the 'Starsky & Hutch' styling of the red and white one is by far my favourite Mark III so far! Now we're considering some 'classic' colour scehemes for future models - Gold Leaf Lotus maybe? John Player Special? Lancia Martini? Golf Porsche? A-Team van? Del-Boys Robin?

The possibilities are endless! Laughing

 

 

 

 

 

How tough is a Flying Fish Hovercraft?

added by Emma on February 18, 2014 at 08:48

One of the challenges of manufacturing hovercraft is that they can travel over pretty much any surface you may wish them to. So, customers can fly small hovercraft along at 40 mph on water, before flying straight over a stony beach without stopping. No other vehicle can do that! Hovercraft  of all sizes owe more to aircraft construction than that of a boat or land vehicle and this means they have to be built as lightly as possible, whilst retaining enough strength to be safe and practical. Quite simply, if a hovercraft is built too heavy, it won't work safely or well on either land or water so weight is a factor and hulls built with extra strength in the areas which take the knocks and bangs of daily usage. 

This requirement dictates that small hovercraft must be built from composites such as GRP (fibreglass), Kevlar or carbon fibre type materials. Wood or aluminium makes for an ugly design, and is crude, heavy and not commercially viable. Plastics such as HDPE weigh twice as much as GRP, and no hovercraft can work properly if it's 100% overweight (the clue is that the 'HD' in 'HDPE' stands for 'High Density' - ie heavy!)

Fibreglass remains the material of choice for small hovercraft production. It's light, can be laid up in attractive shapes and has a fantastic finish quality. It's strong for its weight, is impervious to salt-water, dirt and mud easily washes off the high gloss finish. Whilst somewhat labour intensive, fibreglass is a cost effective material which allows us to keep the price down to an affordable level. It's preferantial to carbon fibre for this application - as it doesn't 'shatter' in the way carbon fibre does if it takes an impact. The new Marlin III takes the concept even further with a 25mm foam core in the floor which adds stiffness and impact resistance.

However, hovercraft - as stated above - can be used in many and varied environments. So we incorporate a 'core' material within the hull to further strengthen the hovercraft, together with Kevlar (the same stuff they make bullet proof vests from!) However, crashing the craft down onto rocks, hurling it into 10ft deep gullies, thrashing it at 100% throttle everywhere - all these are unrealistic expectations of a lightweight vehicle. They'll shorten the life of the hull and show up premature wear  - in some cases, excessively hard use will invalidate the warranty. It is absolutely imperative that the servicing requirements are followed and that the craft are 'pre-flight' checked each time they are used. It's all there in the user guide that we supply with our craft. In the last year, we've calculated that misuse or brutally hard use were a factor in 75% of all warranty claims, closely followed by poor or neglected servicing. We've made, sold and used over 600 Marlins and there's not much we haven't seen! Flying Fish craft have been improved year on year and when used and maintained properly, give very little trouble.

We're always very fair in our administration of warranty claims and are always willing to help, advise and replace any parts which fail. However,  no other vehicle can take you - theoretically at least - anywhere. A hovercraft can, but cannot ignore the laws of physics! We don't limit where you can use your hovercraft - whereas motor manufactures exclude damage from off-road usage of any type - but expect owners to look after their craft without relying on our warranty to put right damage and misuse.  Building an effective small hovercraft is full of challenges and we believe that overall, the Flying Fish range achieve more of them than any other make. 

Hopefully, this sets out our design philosophy and explains a little about why looking after your craft is so important in order to enjoy trouble-free and enjoyable ownership!

Here we are again? Still no hovercraft presence in UK flood relief efforts....

added by Emma on February 12, 2014 at 07:25

Yet again, parts of Britain find themselves underwater.

  • Environment Agency has urged people to stay away from the sea and rivers because they risk being killed 
  • Almost 300 flood alerts and warnings in England and Wales, with torrential rain expected to batter South first
  • Met Office warns rain could give way to ice and snow as bitterly cold Arctic air brings freezing temperatures
  • Third death last night as 47-year-old man's mobility scooter falls into river in Oxford off flooded pathway
  • The Met Office has issued a rare red warning for gusts of up to 100mph in west Wales and north-west England.
  • There are sixteen severe flood warnings in Berkshire, Surrey and Somerset.
 
Yet again, Flying Fish have sent numerous emails and letters and offers of help - to the RNLI, to Somerset Council, to COBRA, to the head of the environment agency Paul Leinster. We've even gone as far as contacting the offices of the Home Secretary and Prime Minister to offer our services in the flood relief efforts on the River Thames  and Somerset Levels. We've sent literally dozens of emails and not had a single response, just one or two replies fobbing us off!

Now I know these are busy folks but really - if ever the hovercraft was to prove its worth, these flood conditions are what they were designed for. Able to easily travel over any depth of water, irrespective of the gate/log/sunken car/road sign inches below the surface - hovercraft are safer, faster and more use in flood conditions than any other vehicle. When we get enquiries from people wanting to buy hovercraft for a purpose better suited to a boat, I've always advised them to use a boat... hovercraft aren't 'magic' - they do have their limitations and in many environments, there are other amphibious vehicles that may be more suitable (who didn't love the 'Quadski' seen this week on Top Gear for instance!)

But this isn't one - this is hovercraft territory! To not exploit a great British invention at a time like this is madness. 

In Australia in 2010, we helped out the SES (State Emergency Services) and they were 'wowed' by the capabilities of our small hovercraft (their own boat has caught its propeller on that gate post on Day One... result - no more boat!) and we ran round with medics, delivered insulin and provided transport through some terribly demanding conditions. It was an eye opener and our offer of help is made with that knowledge.

Look at this... What's more sensible, safer and quicker....

This?

 

 

Or this? (Australia 2010)

 

 


So, come on folks - we have two craft equipped, on standby with experienced pilots - , ready to assist in flood relief operations.

All we need is your call!

Our numbers (01304) 619820 and we're awaiting your call.


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