Two driving event craft, Spares and Training for only £8500.00 inc VAT!

added by Emma on August 16, 2016 at 09:27

 

We have available 2 x single seat hovercraft which are perfect for a corporate events/driving Events Company. Both craft have been fully refurbished by The British Hovercraft Company.

List of work done includes:

 

  • Hull (underside) of the craft completely re-glassed and sealed.
  • New blades and belt
  • Interior floor recovered with non-slip material
  • Engine serviced
  • New graphics
  • New upholstery and fuel tank cover
  • New wire and P-clips
  • New skirt

This package comes with 1 full replacement sk

irt, a full spares package and training on how to drive and maintain the craft as well as advice on how to set up a corporate track if required.

Alternatively, these fun little craft are just as suitable for belting round a field or garden, can be driven by kids as young as 10 years old (under strict adult supervision!) or for use in sheltered water such as bays estuaries, lakes and rivers. In fact, at this price, they're well worth grabbing if you simply want to scratch that hovercraft itch!

Craft are also available individually at £3950.00 inc VAT.

For any other questions call us on 01304 619820

Hovercraft Capability - Wind, Waves and Weight!

added by russ on August 8, 2016 at 08:40

What are the capabilities of a small hovercraft?

We make modest claims for our craft and have exceeded all of them in practical tests. Our aim is for our customers to understand exactly what their hovercraft is capable of, making for a safe and enjoyable experience. Even more than most vehicles, hovercraft are effected by the load they carry - exceed limits in tough considerations mean that lift and thrust are reduced to the point where the hovercraft cannot operate correctly.  This load capacity is reduced in poor/windy conditions or when travelling over mor edemanding surfaces. Being exposed to such a wide variety of conditions, operating conditions and varied surfaces means that any figures we give as to load and speed can only be at best, an indication. Take a look at the graphic below to better understand the capability of small hovercraft in changing operating conditions. If it's too small you can download a larger version by clicking the link below it.

As usual, if you have any questions, just ask us!

 

hovercraft interaction between wind waves and weight.jpg (2.19 mb)

The World's Best Hovercraft? What would we buy?

added by Emma on July 13, 2016 at 06:46

The British Hovercraft Company make a range of hovercraft but by no means do we make something for everyone. We often get asked for hovercraft which aren’t in our product range. Like any vehicle, hovercraft come in all shapes and sizes, and we don’t try to cater for every demand – or market. We stick to building the best hovercraft we can, whilst sticking within reasonable budgets to match our customer’s requirements.

But! If money was no object, what would we buy?

Big = Good!  : Griffon TD 8000

Sold all around the world, Griffon Hoverwork manufacture commercial hovercraft from 6 -60 seats. Undoubtedly, the world leaders in large hovercraft, Griffon's largest craft is the TD8000 is a 21m, 1600hp aluminium craft that is capable of 40knots. There's a military version and the Indian Coastguard ordered 12 of these beasts for coastal patrol. Griffon is a huge British success story and this is a truly amazing machine!

 

 

Beautiful : Airlift Pioneer MkIII

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to visit the Airlift factory in Australia where a Pioneer MkIII was in construction. The attention to detail, the quality of the engineering and that jaw-dropping styling are a result of the simple fact that Company Director Ross McLeod is a genuine artist. The attention to detail is astonishing and I left wanting one really badly. Fast, beautiful and low-noise, if I could have just one hovercraft, this would be it. Although the new Airlift Wildfire would run it close…

 

 

 

High-End : The Slider

The Slider's a lovely looking bit of kit, made in New Zealand, with great styling and a clever lift system. This together with an expensive engine and a labour intensive loop-and-segment skirt means it's very expensive to buy. Shame it’s a two stroke engine, but it's a great looking machine with good performance. Gets a definite thumbs up from us!

 

 

Hoverboard - No, I'm not talking about those stupid wheeled electric things that burst into flames and singe your novelty pop socks. They don't hover and they're rubbish (as proven by the fact I haven't seen one since Boxing Day 2015) Anyway, it's 2016, and watching a re-run of Back to The Future II last weekend I realised I still haven’t got my hoverboard! Despite a spectacular hoax last year YOUTUBE VIDEO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4vE_vpkr90 I think it might be a little while yet as the technology isn’t even on the horizon. But admit it - it’s worth the wait and you want one don’t you? Badly. And believe me, whoever does manage to crack it will be rich beyond dreams!

 

 

Racing Hovercraft : Eurocraft

Designed by Swedish Formula One world champion Magnus Ivanoff, the Eurocraft was a long time in development and drew on the huge experience of a team of European racers. Since then, it has gone on to take numerous European and World championships in the hands of Italian ‘Superstar’ Michele Scanavino and many others.  Constructed from vacuum bagged carbon-fibre/kevlar and powered by tuned snowmobile engines, an F1 Eurocraft can call on over 220bhp….providing simply ballistic performance, demanding God-like driving skill and massive plums. Oh Boy…

 

 

Concept Hovercraft : The VW Aqua Hovercraft

Okay, it won’t ever happen and the photo here is computer generated -it's a bit of fun sponsored by VW, the dream of a Chinese student and wouldn’t work. But if it did get built and it did work (you know, we learn how to break the laws of physics) then I may have to reconsider my opinion that VW make good but boring cars!  Hydrogen fuel cells, retractable wheels, superb styling - what's not to love (apart from the dodgy emission figures!)

 

 

‘Plane’ Stupid! - WIGS

A hovercraft that flies? Now that’s got to be a good idea! WIG (Wing In Ground Effect) technology was pioneered by the Russians back in the 1960’s with the awesome Ekranoplan ‘Caspian Sea Monster’ and has subsequently made its way into the recreational market with either fully built or (even more scarily!) home built offerings from Universal Hovercraft in the USA.  Flying low above the surface (water if you have any sense) using the interaction between wing and surface, the idea of blatting through the middle of London, weaving between the River Cats, 15ft above the Thames does have a certain hooligan/suicidal appeal!

 

 

Historic - The SRN4

There’s been plenty of weird and wonderful designs over the years, and many of them now reside in the Hovercraft Museum in Lee-on-Solent. Well worth a visit (open Weekends and Wednesdays, see their website for details) and stuffed full of crazy inventions and some wonderful old monsters including the biggest passenger craft ever built, two of the SRN4 cross channel craft operated by Hoverlloyd, Seaspeed and later the joint company, Hoverspeed. They were taken out of service in 2000 but remain an imposing, majestic monster from another age, the like of which we’ll never see again. One of my favourite British inventions of the last century (the Spitfire just edges it out of the number one spot!) the two on display are fighting for their lives in the face of hungry property developers who wish to build flats on the land upon which they stand. I love these beasties – in fact a handbuilt model of ‘Swift’ which once graced the Hoverlloyd MD’s office now takes pride of place in mine!

 

 

Well - that's our selection - who knows what we'll end up building in the future? Maybe there's a few ideas here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Genuinely affordable and dependable hovercrafting with the Coastal-Pro!

added by russ on May 20, 2016 at 05:20

Thought we'd share this nice testimonial sent to us by one of our customers. It's particularly appreciated as Ben is a commercially endorsed skipper and has enormous experience piloting the large Griffon Hoverwork commercial hovercraft. The Coastal-Pro is his weekend fun!

'The Coastal Pro works exceptionally well as a leisure craft whilst maintaining a ruggedness not found in other light hovercraft which allows it to be used in more demanding roles. True "turn-key" hovercrafting, cheap to run, easy to maintain, manoeuvrable in tight confines and stable in a seaway. You won't find another twin engine craft, with the same ability, for the price.'

VIDEO OF BEN'S COASTAL-PRO, 4-UP!

 

Ben Avery at the helm of his Coastal-Pro.

Peter Large.mp4 (939.03 kb)

Hovercraft Hire for Survey, Crew Transfer, Environmental Monitoring & Habitat Surveys

added by Emma on May 11, 2016 at 07:07

Low-cost, small hovercraft hire is now possible due to the Hovercraft Code of Practice. With no requirement for commercial coding, operating costs are considerably reduced leading to affordable hire/rental costs. We now provide MACV hire to businesses and organisations needing access to areas where previously the only option was to walk.

Here at The British Hovercraft Company, we are ideally positioned to provide hovercraft hire and rental services to companies and organisations that need access to intertidal areas.

Our Coastal-Pro hovercraft is a handy, easily deployed professionally prepared 3-4 seat hovercraft which benefits from the fact that we as the manufacturer, have unrivalled backup, support & workshop facilites for our (very reliable!) hire hovercraft. It has a load capacity up to 350kgs (depending on surface/wind/conditions) on water, even more on mudflats.  It offers the lowest noise levels of any professionally manufactured hovercraft, so quiet that it meets and exceeds the EU standards for recreational boats (the Recreational Craft Directive.) This means that it is particularly suitable for use in SSSI's and other environmentally sensitive areas. It creates absolutely no damage to the surface over which it travels, exerting less pressure on the ground than the tide does.

Recent work has been with universities, survey companies, piling companies (Mersey Gateway project) and civil engineers where the hovercraft has provided a much safer transport option than walking across dangerous mudflats carrying equipment and damaging the marine substrate.

Hire costs are in the region of £700 per day, depending on travel/deployment etc with discounts for longer term contracts.

For more details, visit www.coastaltransit.services

 

 

Early start working alongside Argocats

 

The flat hull on a Hovercraft offers a firm, solid base for survey equipment.

 

Using wheeled transport in a sensitive environment can cause enromous damage, these tracks were visible a month later!

 

Red and Silver Marlin II 'Beast' hovercraft, *** NEW! *** ONLY £9950.00 inc VAT

added by Emma on May 9, 2016 at 09:53

 

 

This red hull/silver trim Marlin 'Beast' looks superb and is another bargain from our 'Spring Clear Out!' It's shown here part way through the build and will be completed within a week. The hull itself is perfect, the screen has some very slight scratches. It's priced to sell at >2£k less than list price, because the customer changed their mind on colour choice, so this one needs to go. We're offering it at Marlin II money because it's in the way!

37bhp Vanguard, 'T' Seat, dial kit (GPS speedo/heading compass) tacho/engine hour meter, nav lights, yellow beacon, fully marine ready with stainless/alloy components throughout and marinised electrics.

Ready  for use in a marine environment, floats like a boat, does 40mph, 15mpg, low noise levels and a years warranty. An absolutely thrilling toy for lads and dads, yacht tender or summer fun. Simply (as JC put it) "The Most Fun You Can Have With an Engine!" This is a professionally built, serious bit of kit which complies with the regulations in the MCA Hovercraft Code of Practice and comes with training and a years warranty.

Can be delivered in the UK or shipped overseas in a container. Price includes VAT.

For full details, see our website http://britishhovercraft.com/Buy-A-Hovercraft/Marlin-2-3-Seater.aspx

Any questions, call or email us.

info@britishhovercraft.com
0044 (0)1304 619820

 

 

*** Our 6 Seater Hovers...! ***

added by Emma on May 5, 2016 at 05:28

Very early sneak-peak of our upcoming 6 seat open/cabin craft. What you see here is a basically 'naked' hovering platform. No screen, no thrust engine, no seating etc etc. This was today's first test of its lift characteristics and the results look very positive. Here it is with six on board, fully lifting - trim appears okay at this stage, the screen, cowling and components are calculated to bring the front down to where we need it. It has a full 14" of hover height, and a load capacity in the region of 500kgs or driver and five passengers.

 

 

We promise it'll look as pretty as a Coastal-Pro when completed and fully clothed! Pricing from approx £40-50,000.00 plus VAT for the open version. We aim to be delivering the first customer orders by summer with the cabin version available a little later.

Hovercraft Manufacturers Association wins industry award!

added by Emma on May 4, 2016 at 04:24

We're delighted to announce that the Hovercraft Manufacturers Association has been awarded a Marine Safety Award by the Royal Institute of Naval Architects. RINA is an internationally renowned professional institution whose members are involved at all levels in the design, construction, maintenance and operation of marine vessels and structures, so it's particularly exciting that the hovercraft industry has been recognised by such a prestigious organisation. I'm pretty sure this is a first (for many years at least!) and it marks another step in our ongoing efforts to mature the hovercraft industry.

The award was jointly shared with Griffon Hoverworks, who contributed their enormous experience in the technical preparation of the Hovercraft Code of Practice. Speaking for ourselves, the new code has already made a substantial difference to our business, with an increase in sales of our Coastal-Pro model to small UK companies who are operating them in a commercial role for survey, monitoring and crew transfer. We also have our own craft that we hire out to companies and organsations operating in intertidal areas via Coastal Transit Services. None of this would be possible without the new code, and other members of the HMA are benefitting equally, seeing both opportunities and safety improved through a set of clear, plain regulation written specifically for small hovercraft by the industry itself.

Our thanks, on behalf of the HMA to RINA, and on a personal note, congratulations to the HMA members who contributed so much time and experience in seeing this daunting project through to its successful completion.

 

 

Mark Downer from Griffon Hoverworks and Russ Pullen, from The British Hovercraft Company receiving the award from RINA at the Lancaster Hotel, London.

 

 

FOR SALE! - The Jeremy Clarkson Marlin II Hovercraft! As driven by JC at CH&M LIVE!

added by russ on April 27, 2016 at 09:04

 

 

 

Absolutely as new (apart from one small dent which JC applied whilst showing off.....) this Marlin II 'Beast' is the actual craft used to open the LIVE Shows in 2015.

Fantastic condition, with a brand new Vanguard 37bhp 'Savage' engine, fully marine ready, lots of extras including LED lighting, chrome blades, deck lights and flexiteak flooring.

It's even been signed by James May & Jeremy Clarkson!

Awesome hovercraft, ready  for use in a marine environment, floats like a boat, does 40mph, 15mpg, low noise levels and a years warranty. An absolutely thrilling toy for lads and dads, yacht tender or summer fun. Simply (as JC put it) "The Most Fun You Can Have With an Engine!" This is a professionally built, serious bit of kit which complies with the regulations in the MCA Hovercraft Code of Practice and comes with training and a years warranty. Just a few hours from new and never been used in the sea or gotten dirty.

Can be delivered in the UK or shipped overseas in a container. Price includes VAT.

For full details, see our website http://britishhovercraft.com/Buy-A-Hovercraft/Marlin-2-3-Seater.aspx

Any questions, call or email us.

info@britishhovercraft.com
0044 (0)1304 619820

Hovercraft and your Public Right of Navigation

added by Emma on March 24, 2016 at 09:38

 Your right of navigation on UK tidal waters

We often get asked “where can I use a hovercraft?” by potential buyers. The answer is simple enough and very few of our owners have any issues using their hovercraft. Drive sensibly, with due respect to other water users and public, follow our code of practice, understand what you can and can’t do, where you can and can’t operate your hovercraft - and you should be safe in the knowledge you are breaking no laws.

What we’re looking at here is what your rights are when you occasionally run into an over-officious warden or harbour master who will cite a bye-law or rule which means you should not be operating on ‘his’ patch. To avoid an argument, or being ‘bullied’ it’s wise to be ready with the facts.

Now – we’re not lawyers, let’s be clear about that. But the basis in law of our answer ‘anywhere you can use a boat’ can be simply broken down into a couple of points.

In the UK, we have a Public Right of Navigation (PRN) using a vessel in tidal water.

Hovercraft are vessels, just like boats (Jetski’s aren’t – legally speaking)

The ongoing battle between (primarily) kayakers and fishermen with rights to fish non-tidal rivers is a separate matter altogether (even though it’s proven that the kayaks don’t disturb the fish, but that’s another matter…) But, the PRN in tidal waters an uncontested right. For sure, no cases have been found which disputed the existence of a public right of navigation on tidal waters.

However, there are one or two places around the country where hovercraft have been ‘banned’ using a local bye-law. We strongly contend that this is not legal because the law of England is that public rights can only be extinguished in three ways.

  1. Statute (ie an act of parliament.)
  2. Statutory Authority,
  3. Conditions changing so that the right cannot be exercised,

In 2002, Mr Justice Lightman said “PRN may only be extinguished by legislation or exercise of statutory powers” (Josie Rowland v Environment Agency – 2002.)

 A byelaw is NOT a statutory law – therefore it cannot be used to remove a PRN.

For rivers, the normal reason that the right cannot be exercised is that the river has silted up and is no longer passable by conventional boats - but public rights are not extinguished by non-use for any period of time. This means that even if a boat hasn’t used / cannot use a tidal river, the right still exists.  Lord Lindley in the House of Lords who said “the doctrine ‘once a highway always a highway’ is, I believe, as applicable to rivers as to roads.” 

The foreshore is the area between the high water mark and the low water mark. When the tide is in there is an absolute right to navigate through the water (although not necessarily a right to land a boat or launch one) and so it is not possible to fence off foreshore areas, as this would limit navigation. All foreshore belongs to the Crown unless it has in the past been sold or given away. This has occurred in a few places and there are often bylaws prohibiting bait digging on or near the foreshore, which is probably the most common reason for people to use such areas. In any case such activity is usually prohibited by law in protected areas. However, this activity is clearly a separate matter to the PRN which exists.

The Crown Estate gives what it calls a ‘general permissive consent’ for ‘non-commercial public access’ along the foreshore it controls. Approximately half of the UK foreshore and around half of the tidal riverbeds are owned by the Crown and managed by The Crown Estate, in addition to virtually the entire UK seabed out to 12 nautical miles. The Crown Estate is a landowner and not a regulatory authority and ostensibly the owner of the foreshore by virtue of prerogative right. The same applies to the seabed, being land below mean low water. This, in effect, means that the Crown owns all of it unless it has in the past given it away or sold it.

Other owners of foreshore include, for example, the Duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster, Local Authorities, RSPB, National Trust, MOD and some is in the ownership of private individuals. Beaches are owned, although almost all beaches allow public access, often because of the practical impossibility of preventing it. Ownership does not necessarily revoke the PRN. The judge in the 1864 case of Gann vs Free Fishers of Whitstable said that “The foreshore is owned by the Crown except in those places where the ownership has passed to an individual by grant or adverse possession. Where this has happened the grantee takes it, in general, subject to the public right of navigation.”

While we’re on that, it’s worth mentioning that the judge also ruled that ‘constructed’ pits where the owner has dug out an area which fills with tidal water are legally designated as privately owned. He mentioned gravel pits, but bringing that forward to today, inland waterways constructed to give ‘river’ frontage and inland marinas which are controlled by tidal/sluice gates etc – for instance the Sovereign Marina, Eastbourne (look it up on Google Earth) - may well not have a PRN.

Low water, and travelling over mudflats.

There’s lots of court cases which firmly set the precedent that you have a PRN even when the tide is low and you are navigating over foreshore or seabed – some of which I’ll quote here. Lord Widgery : ‘The public right of navigation in tidal waters is a right given by the common law which extends to the whole space over which the tide flows and is not suspended when the tide is too low for vessels to float.’

This was supported by Sir James Hannen, ‘The rights of all vessels are not co-extensive. It may be reasonable and right that a small vessel should go up to the farthest point she can reach in order to give the public the benefit of the public way.’

Lord Denning, ‘There are many cases where people with canoes have a right to take their canoes up and down a river. They certainly have such a right in tidal waters. The right of soil in arms of the sea and public rivers must in all cases be considered as subject to the public right of navigation”

More recently Park J said, ‘There is a right to navigation over all tidal waters, even where at certain states of the tide the water may disappear from the particular place where the navigation is taking place.’

Interestingly, in 1990, Brotherton Vinelott J held that on a section of the river Derwent which was probably tidal there was no public right of navigation. This part of his judgement was effectively reversed by the parties to the action who, when the case came to the Appeal Court, stated that it was agreed by the parties that there was a right of navigation from Sutton to Stamford Bridge. No reasons were recorded. This would seem to mean that the decision of Vinelott J on this matter is void of any authority. As stated previously, no cases have been found which disputed the existence of a public right of navigation on tidal waters.

In Conclusion.

Hovercraft frustrate authorities due to their ability to operate at low water, over mudflats and to access areas they hadn’t ever considered would be available to recreational ‘boaters.’  That’s not our fault - or problem. We’re boats remember. We have a right which we exercise in accordance with the law and if they prevent such, they are potentially committing a criminal act. Back to what I said at the beginning of this article - behave responsibly, in accordance with the code of practice and I honestly cannot imagine any authority would wish to challenge such operation in court. However, this is our advice only – we’re not lawyers and this case has never been tried. To be fair, it’s never come even remotely close to that in 35 years of hovercrafting!

  • Stand firm!
  • You have a right of navigation on tidal water.
  • A bye-law is not a statutory law and cannot, therefore, remove that right.
  • It is uncontested that the right includes use of a vessel.
  • Hovercraft are legally categorised as vessels.  
  • The PRN extends to the foreshore and seabed.

 Other Matters

There’s two other issues that you need to consider. A harbour master can control access and behaviour within his area of authority. Nothing here is meant to suggest otherwise and you should and must act in accordance with local bye-laws. So, it may be that you need to observe speed limits or request permission to pass through the harbour to avoid conflict with (for instance) commercial traffic or lifeboat operations. Council’s may decide to restrict your ability to launch from their slipways. However, you have an ancillary right to exercise your PRN, and if they control the access and prevent you from launching, they are likely committing a criminal offence in doing so.

The other issue is your legal right to operate in protected areas such as RAMSAR sites, SSSI’s (and a million acronyms!) which are mostly administered by Natural England, and organisation with a huge history of Ultra Vires behaviour. We’ll look into that in a future article.

If, as a hovercraft operator, you do run into any issues where your PRN is challenged, do please let us know.

Happy Hovering!

 


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