Warwick Jacobs resigns from the Hovercraft Museum Trust.

added by russ on October 19, 2016 at 10:21

Sad news from the hovercraft museum this weekend when we heard that Warwick Jacobs has resigned from his role as a trustee and curator.

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that there would be no museum without Warwick. Back in 1986, in an attempt to save the last of the Hovertravel SRN-5’s, he approached the ‘Hovercraft Society’ and successfully called in favours and sponsors to store the 40ft hovercraft ‘here there and everywhere’ until a permanent site could be found. From this beginning, the collection grew quickly, found its home at HMS Daedalus, and in 2000 took possession of two of the monstrous SRN-4’s which had been plying their trade across the channel for over 30 years. More recently, with these important pieces of British transport history facing the likelihood of being scrapped (issues with the ownership, and tenure of the site…) Warwick again took a lead in winning a stay of execution whilst alternatives are sought. None of this would have happened without his flair, drive and ambition – and his knowledge of the history of hovercraft is well into ‘obsession’ territory! I know I speak for many volunteers when I say it’s a terrible shame that the face of the museum (Warwick is the  ‘Go-To’ man for TV interviews on either hovercraft or the museum itself) has found it necessary to leave the Hovercraft Museum Trust.

This will certainly mean there are challenging times ahead for the remaining trustees, and we truly hope they can continue to match Warwick’s commitment and devotion to this valuable collection.

Everyone here at The British Hovercraft Company would like to thank Warwick for the 30 years of hard work. The place won’t be the same without you!

Warwick (left) accepting an award on behalf of the museum from The Transport trust - with Frances Cockerell & Stuart Wilkinson.

 

What you may not know is that Warwick is also a very talented, professional  artist. Here's a  framed print he sent our own Emma Pullen on her birthday!

You can see his work HERE

 

The Medway & Swale Boating Association (MSBA) Meeting at Kent Boat & Ski Club

added by russ on September 3, 2014 at 09:10

 

 

It's fair to say I live and breathe hovercraft! Apart from running Flying Fish alongside my wife Emma, I'm also secretary of Hovercraft Manufacturers Association, Chairman of SE branch of Hovercraft Club of Great Britain (HCGB), and 'Cruising Director' for the HCGB (which frankly, sounds a bit weird.) I also race in the national championships and still thoroughly enjoy taking a hovercraft out for a spin on my favourite patch - the River Medway & Swale.

 So it was with some interest that I stumbled across the Medway & Swale Boating Association (MSBA) a little while ago.

To paraphrase their aims (from their website) :  “To promote and protect all waterborne sports and pastimes on the tidal Medway and Swale.”

The hovercraft community has been using Medway and Swale for a very long time, why wouldn’t we be part of the MSBA for the modest joining fee?  If you've seen any of my videos from Hoverclub events, you'll understand why - it's very tidal, loads of mudflats and shallow water to explore - and an amazing history with Napoleonic forts and WWI shipwrecks to visit.

So I decided to join up on behalf of the Hovercraft Club of Great Britain. As I'm involved with organising club events 8-10 times  a year, which usually launch into the Swale at the Long reach Ski Club, I felt it was important that our sport was represented within this new Organsiation.

Last night, along with Carl & Geoff, two of our growing list of active local enthusiasts, we went along to the Kent Boat & WaterSki club at Cuxton to see what it's all about. We were made very welcome and met loads of interesting folks who work and play on the Medway & Swale. The MSBA looks a very valuable resource and a great way of ensuring that the river is used responsibly - but that we water users don’t see more of our rights diminish as a result of increasing legislation and the 'environmental takeover' of the seashores. It was an interesting meeting and I'm pleased the Hoverclub now has a representation on it.

One issue was the contents of some previous minutes which indicated that reports were being made to Peel Ports (the harbour authorities) of illegal hovercraft launches from Gillingham Strand. I had to question this as the minutes seemed to indicated that the MSBA agreed with these complaints. The feller who's made these reports is a member and has my respect for saying 'that was me' and explaining why he made these reports. Basically, his position is that as somebody who runs a business on the Medway, he's sick of seeing so many laws and rules flouted by water users  and not being enforced. I can see that - if you're going to have rules, then enforce them. We explained that hovercraft are not PWC's - legally they are boats and the MCA categorises them as such and are therefore entirely legal to launch at Gillingham Strand. Further discussion centred on usage and speed limits - explaining that hovercraft create less wash at speeds over approx 8 knots which is the approximate speed where the hull is completely out of the water, resulting in no wash! In our experience, most harbour masters understand that and allow a small amount of leeway on the tightest speed limits - after all most speed  limits are made largely to prevent dangerous wash in busy and confined moorings.

And one point to remember. In the UK, you have a common law right to navigate on tidal waters. Restrictions may be made, permissions may be required, but you do have that right and it cannot be removed with a byelaw. Just remember that if you are ever told otherwise.

Bearing in mind that there have been literally hundreds of launches and hovercraft operating in the areas, to the best of my knowledge there have been absolutely no accidents involving hovercraft, very few breakdowns or recoveries and to the best of my knowledge and no prosecutions or charges brought against owners.

Statistically, hovercraft are the safest  means of passenger transport and its to my own personal delight that this amazing record also applies to the recreational hovercraft.

Hovercraft have considerable environmental advantages compared to other powered vessels.

  • They do not pollute the water like a PWC or boats - the exhaust is vented to atmosphere not into the water.
  • Recreational craft achieve approximately 20mpg, so use much less fuel than a boat of equivalent size.
  • They do not create any wash so they cause no damage to river banks
  • They have no protrusions underwater, so cannot strike marine mammals such as porpoises, dolphins or manatees. The lack of propeller  or jetdrive also means they do not damage the seabed in shallow water.
  • They exert 75 times less pressure on the ground than 12" of tide, or 100 times less than a man walking.

Hovercraft do have a rep for being noisy but modern craft using small commercial spec air-cooled engines are around a quarter of the noise of earlier two-stroke models.  The noise is directional in nature and due to the low frequency dies away very quickly. At 100m it is not any more intrusive than many other water vehicles.

One key point is that recreational hovercraft use tends to be 'get in and go' and are used in much the same manner as many people use a rib or small boat.  Club events are usually organised so that the group travels to an objective. Our last four hovercraft club cruises this year covered 23/32/50 and 45 miles - we don’t just go round and round in circles near the shore.

Being part of the Medway & Swale Boating Association looks to me like it will be a valuable and useful part of organising events and continuing the growth of the Hovercraft Club of Great Britain - and our thanks for allowing us to be part of it.

 

Contacts

Medway & Swale Boating Association

Hovercraft Club of Great Britain

Flying Fish Hovercraft

 

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!

 


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