Why buy from us?
Since 1998, with over 1000 hovercraft sold to over 30 different countries, BHC have supplied craft for use in as varied locations as the blistering heat of Kuwait to the frozen north of Canada. The Snapper is the industry standard for drivingevents craft, the Marlin is the world’s best-selling recreational hovercraft and the new Coastal-Pro the choice of many utility and commercial users.
So what sets BHC hovercraft apart from the competition?
Our hovercraft look great! A great design, well presented and finished to a high standard means a BHC hovercraft is something you will be proud to own. We produce hovercraft that are influenced by current ‘looks’ – be it cars, bikes, Jetskis or boats.
Our hovercraft work – well! Excellent lift characteristics, good acceleration and a proven ability to exceed our performance claims means you can be sure you won’t be disappointed. Noise levels are very acceptable, quite likely the quietest in their class – in fact the Coastal-Pro is below 74dbA at 25m, probably the quietest production craft in the world.
Hovercraft hull manufacture is a specialist task. Whilst it has to be strong, it must also be as light as possible in order to work properly. It’s a very different technique to boat-building. Some small hovercraft use heavy materials like HDPE for their hull construction, which is why they don’t work at all well. Our team of specialist laminators are highly trained to use GRP, Diolen, and Nidaplast core material to produce strong, lightweight structures with an excellent finish.Our hulls are consistent in weight and finish and any parts not up to scratch are discarded.
We’ve been racing hovercraft for over 15 years, winning championships in both the inland racing series and the Coastal Racing championship. This broad range of experience has taught us huge amounts, giving our hovercraft superb performance and reliably. For just the same reason Ford or Jaguar go racing, we use racing to provide the opportunity for research and development. When ‘Top Gear’ wanted help with the Hovervan project, they came to us, and our craft have been featured on numerous TV shows. In fact, we were delighted when JC decided he wanted a Marlin to open his live show in 2015!
Colour (or colours!) are up to you from our extensive range (we’ve done Marlins in Newcastle FC colours, national flags & complimentary Superyacht colours – see if you can spot the ‘Duck-Pro below!) You can upgrade the already extensive standard specification to include plotters, extra lighting and even vinyl wraps. Everything is built to your specification, on order. Upgraded engines, plotters, covers, trailers, lifting points, lighting, radar reflectors – ask andwe’ll try to accommodate your wishes!
Skirt Design & material
Many buyers worry about skirt damage – having seen our competitor’s overweight HDPE hovercraft barely dragging themselves across the ground ripping their skirt to shreds. Our ‘double rip-stop’ skirt materialis simply the highest quality light hovercraft skirt material available. Its design is to our own specification and is based on17 years’ experience, manufactured by one of the UK’s largest technical fabric manufacturers. The neoprene coated nylon is highly resistant to abrasion, rips, UV, water and delamination. But the main reason our skirts last so well is thatthat our hovercraft hover properly – the skirt is barely touching the ground!
Marinised engineering, Electrics & Seat Material
We exclusively use stainless steel and alloys throughout all our hovercraft. Engine frames, fan frames, exhaust, fuel tanks – everything is made to last in a corrosive marine environment. Our four-stroke engines are modified in-house to perform well in dusty, icey, sandy, salty and hot environments and we personally warranty them. Our bespoke transmission systems have been developed in partnership with Megadyne of Italy - Europe’s largest manufacturer.
Most small hovercraft are built for use in rivers and freshwater environments and don’t offer acceptable reliability in saltwater. Our electrical system uses marine quality wiring, waterproof terminals, LED lights and marine fittings & watertightconnections which are essential for reliable salt-water operations. This adds considerable reliability over non-marinesystems and means that as long as you look after your craft, it won’t let you down. We provide twin battery systems oncommercial craft. The seat material we use is marine fabric and comes with contrasting piping which stays looking great,even if you smother it in mud – it’ll wash up clean again and stay looking great for many years.
We’re a ‘proper’ business!
The hovercraft industry has traditionally been the province of ‘one-man bands.’ No bad thing, but it limits the ability to support products and invest in R&D. Whilst we’re a family run business, The British Hovercraft Company Limited is an incorporated, VAT registered company with 15 staff, producing in the region of 80-100 hovercraft each year from our 11,000 sqft factory. We’re founding members of the Hovercraft Manufacturers Association. Our extensive website has comprehensive information, videos and photos, we provide professional brochures, order forms, credit card facilities and recently, a broker offering hovercraft finance decided to advertise on our website – and industry first! Our exhibition trailer is regularly found at international Boat and Trade Shows, we have several active dealers around the world, and an online shop which stocks hovercraft parts. Our company constantly expands and grows, offering new products and services. Our hovercraft are plated to show their compliance with EC/2004/108/EEC – this makes them the only UK built hovercraft to comply with the legal requirements. BHC isn’t micro business operating from the garage, we manufacture pretty much everything in house, and we don’t resell Chinese junk!
ExperienceOur practical experience is unrivalled. We still love hovercraft, we organise and attend cruises and ‘gettogethers’ all around the country. Every year, together with a growing family of BHC hovercraft owners, we do thousands of miles of real-world marine cruising. We’ve long since learned what breaks, what can be improved, what works and what doesn’t – all our hovercraft genuinely work. Our new service, Coastal Transit Services, provides rental craft to businesses which has taught us much about producing tough, commercial hovercraft built to the standards of the Hovercraft Code of Practice. No other manufacturer operates their own hovercraft nearly as much as we do. When we’re not building and operating small hovercraft, our Directors act as Hovercraft club officers, a hovercraft museum trustee and secretary of the Hovercraft Manufacturers Association which has worked for three years alongside the MCA. We liveand breathe hovercraft, they truly remain our passion! Visit our YOUTUBE CHANNEL to see lots of videos of our hovercraft in use in real world conditions.
Sales & after-sales support
Call or email us with any questions you may have. The team here at BHC have pretty much seen it all and done it all where hovercraft are concerned and if we think your application is better suited to another vehicle, we’ll tell you that. We get many enquiries where a boat, argocat or quad is the better option and we only sell hovercraft to people who need a hovercraft. Your new BHC hovercraft comes with a user manual, spare skirt segments, a training session and we stock all the parts to build and maintain our hovercraft at our factory. You may buy from one ofour dealers but you still have full factory support. For your added peace of mind, all our hovercraft come with a year’s warranty, telephone support and (for UK sales) SSR Registration and a Hovercraft Club membership allowing you accessto some amazing events around the country.
Subscribe to our newsletter