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.

Bargain Marlin II Hovercraft - "Seconds"

added by Emma on January 22, 2014 at 12:26

We're having a clear-out and have a couple of "seconds" craft available
  

Brand new Marlin II Hovercraft. Craft is completed as a freestyle with a 35hp engine and a padded back seat.

All parts are brand new and finished to our factory standard. However the hull has some pigment defects and the screen has some small gel coat repairs. For more photos see here

Craft is available to view at out factory in Sandwich and is available to take away this week.

Feel free to call or message for further details 01304 619820  

WANT TO WORK IN THE HOVERCRAFT INDUSTRY?

added by Emma on January 2, 2014 at 05:38

WANT TO WORK IN THE HOVERCRAFT INDUSTRY?

WANTED : General Manager / Accounts Manager for SE Kent based manufacturing company. Flying Fish manufactures around 100 small hovercraft each year, employs 20 people and exports to a dozen countries from our factory in Sandwich. In  order to achieve consistent, targeted, production deadlines, we need an experienced full-time manager to join the management team,  overseeing all aspects of production staff management including fibreglass hull manufacture, engineering and fitting out. In addition, the manager will be required to administer company book keeping and accounts, including VAT reconciliation and filing, deal with suppliers and customers and have knowledge of Quickbooks or similar accounts software.

This role will suit a mature and experienced person with a working mechanical knowledge, a management and accounts background and the ability to motivate and organise staff.
 
Flying Fish is a small but expanding company, and this is a key role - so  you'll need to display a flexible, committed and proactive approach which can assist the management team at the highest level.

The role is 40 hours per week, plus extra hours as required in busy times and the successful candidate will start at the end of January.

For more details, please send your CV to Emma or Russ at Flying Fish Hovercraft,  via email : russ@flyingfishhovercraft.co.uk

Christmas Closure - Merry Christmas!

added by Emma on December 20, 2013 at 06:22

Well Ladies and Gentleman we are off for Christmas! Its been a challenging but productive year here with the Launch of the new "Toyota Pro" and Marlin III. Both can be seen at the London Boat show from 4th January at the Excel, London. Otherwise we will be back in the office on 2nd January! So from all of us at Flying Fish Hovercraft Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Update to the MCA/Hovercraft Manufacturers/Hovercraft Club revisions to small hovercraft legislation

added by Emma on December 16, 2013 at 08:48

The continuing work on the new 'Hovercraft Code of Practice' was presented to the MCA last week at a very constructive meeting chaired by Simon Milne, manager of the MCA's Vessel Standards Branch. The meeting was attended by John Gifford and Russ Pullen from the Hovercraft Manufacturers Association (HMA,) and representatives from Lloyds, Hovercraft Club of Great Britain, The Hovercraft Trust and commercial hovercraft operators, Intertidal and Ecospan.

The draft code was warmly received by the MCA, with just a few relatively minor changes and clarifications being required. These changes will be submitted in the new year and it looks very much like the code will be usable from as early as April 2014 - though the actual legislation may take some while. What is clear is that the basic structure of the proposed code will be adopted - currently the categories that concern us here at Flying Fish are the Ultra-Light and Light hovercraft.

In short, 'Ultra-Light' hovercraft will be henceforth excluded from any MCA legislation when used for commercial (non-passenger) operations. Operating parameters will be tightly set - this is not an open door to operate in a 'cavalier' manner without any rules, but more of an acceptance that a small hovercraft operating on the shoreline is more akin to a piece of equipment than a marine vessel. Health & Safety legislation obviously dictates safe operations, and the code makes extensive recommendations as to construction/training etc, plus operators will still need a permit for most work. But this is a huge step forward and we're expecting UK sales of Coastal-Pro's to boom in 2014 as it's now a much clearer and more straightforward procedure to use a small hovercraft for commercial purposes.

The Code even extends to clarification of recreational, leisure and racing hovercraft with recommended technical standards for manufacturers and builders to consider. Obviously, we will ensure all Flying Fish hovercraft are compliant.

'Light Hovercraft' is the category that the BBV500 will fit into, safety, construction and operating parameters are wider reaching but it means there is a clear route for commercial operators to use a small hovercraft for passenger rides, taxi's etc.

Categories

Ultra Light : Up to 500kgs, maximum 4 Persons, no passengers.

Light : Up to 1000kgs, maximum 8 Persons including passengers.

Small : Over 1000kgs, less than 24m and up to 12 passengers.

Large : Adheres to the High Speed Code.

Below is a link to the draft code as presented. If it's of interest, do please take a look, but as stated above, it is subject to revision and cannot be considered as more than 'work in progress' at the present time.

Hovercraft Code of Practice Draft Revision 7 (08.11.13).pdf (1.88 mb)

If you'd like to know more, please don't hesitate to contact us. Email russ@flyingfishhovercraft.co.uk or call on 01304 619820.

 

 

 

Last Demonstration Day of 2013

added by Emma on December 12, 2013 at 09:07

So due to popular demand we will have our last demonstration day of 2013 on Wednesday 18th December. Call us for details and we will arrange a time slot for you!

Marlin III now available at early-bird discount!

added by Emma on December 10, 2013 at 07:57

Just in time for Christmas- here's your chance to be one of the first owners of a fabulous new Marlin III hovercraft at an introductory price.

 

The Mark III is an evolution of the best selling Marlin II - but with many improvements to what was already the world's best selling hovercraft. Improved presentation includes a new one-piece mould that incorporates the screen into the main hull and so removes the awkward join between the two, it looks better and also makes the hull more rigid as well. Seating has been revised and is more comfortable, slightly higher and now finished in marine quality fabric.A new splitter plate design and much larger air receiver have improved noise levels slightly and gives improved lift characteristics. New rudders have improved steering as well as adding slightly to the thrust the hovercraft produces. Underneath, the floor is now constructed of foam composite, so is to all intents completely resistant to piercing by sharp objects, adds further hull stiffness and flotation. The plenum chamber is now laid up 'inside out' so that it features a smooth finish to the exterior - much more resistant to ice or mud sticking to it. The plenum surfaces are now curved as well, making for a larger, more free flowing plenum chamber which is much stronger and displaces more water - the Mark III floats much higher than the Mark II and is very resistant to roll.

 

As standard, the Mark III comes with upholstered seating, speedo/heading compass, tacho and hour meter, Phase II skirt, new design of headlights, navigation lights and yellow beacon. The net result of all these changes is that the Mark III looks and feels 'more expensive,' - moving from a Mark II to the Mark III feels like stepping out of a Kia and into a Mercedes!

We believe we've designed the finest leisure hovercraft available anywhere in the world - add in a 50bhp Rampage engine and we think it's probably the fastest too! To get things started, and get some Mark III's out there, we're offering a '10% off-or-free-trailer'-incentive to the first 5 retail craft ordered, but the offer ends December 31st 2013, so be quick! For more details - call us on 0044 (0)1304 619820 or mail us on sales@flyingfishhovercraft.co.uk

 


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