Would you like to run your own business? Do you want to earn a lot of money and have fun at the same time? Are you ready for an exciting new challenge? Then don’t delay, set up your own hovercraft activity business today. With our support it’s very simple and a proven money maker!

The British Hovercraft Company (BHC) are delighted to offer an exciting new Hovercraft Activity Business Package. Having manufactured hovercraft for over 20 years, and with over 35 years experience, we have a range of small hovercraft ideally designed and suited to activity events businesses and driving experiences. Here in the UK, 90% of the companies running such events have chosen BHC hovercraft as their provider. We are now starting to see significant demand from overseas operators for hovercraft activity and events businesses, some have even built their own facilities especially for it.


These British built machines provide incredible thrills to the public, both with customers driving them, and giving rides. Having operated our own driving events business for over ten years in Kent and also in Australia, we understand all the challenges and can advise on all aspects of how to set up a successful business. We’ve now chosen to make this into a ‘package’ including the hovercraft, spares packages, operator training and all the other necessary equipment. You will get all the support you’ll need, including advice on track design, pricing & marketing strategies and literature. You can add them to your existing activity events business or start from scratch as a very profitable and enjoyable business. If you already have your own venue, you can simply allocate an area of land for your hovercraft activities. A huge advantage is that hovercraft do not damage the ground – even in winter – allowing you year-round operations when wheeled vehicles cannot be used. You can also offer a ‘we come to you’ hovercraft activity business and attend a multitude of events such as summer parties, county shows and corporate events.

The huge variety in where and how to operate profitably is the key to success. Whether you work from your own venue, or travel around to customers, whether you’re offering self-drives, passenger rides, or both – you’ll be sure to provide a unique, fun and thrilling experience that has been proven to keep your customers coming back for more!

Jeremy Clarkson – Top Gear

The Hovercraft Activity Business Package details

£33,000.00 + VAT includes much more than ‘just’ three amazing, brand new Marlin hovercraft! It also includes our help and support to get you up and running quickly and safely.

  • Three Marlin Hovercraft in your choice of colours (full details below).
  • Three weatherproof craft covers.
  • Comprehensive spares package including replacement skirt segments,  service parts, control cables, various fixings etc (totalling over £1000.00).
  • Vouchers/Gift Certificates/Presentation Certificate Designs.
  • Visit to your site to advise on hovercraft course design / training your staff (UK Mainland only – overseas visits may incur an additional cost).
  • One days training for company principle/administration & maintenance training.
  • Introductions to packaging and ticketing companies.
  • Advice on where to source insurance.
  • Generic Risk Assessments & Standard Operating Procedures.
  • Become an agent for BHC with sales demonstration opportunities and TV/Media introductions.
  • Link on our main website for Hovercraft Activities.
  • Finance is available, enquire for details.

If you prefer, you can purchase the Marlin hovercraft individually for £11,000.00 + VAT each.

Tanner Foust – Top Gear USA, Drift & Rallycross Champion

The Marlin 2-3 Person Hovercraft

The Marlin was developed specifically to provide a thrilling driving experience or passenger ride for the public at activities centres and events. These incredible little craft are very easy to drive and fast enough to be a superb amount of fun. They’re tough and easy to service. They look fantastic and are professionally finished with a strong fibreglass/diolen hull.

We’ve personally run our hovercraft and events for over ten years and in that time have learned everything there is to know about maintaining and repairing them. No other manufacturer produces a craft which is designed specifically for driving experiences or has as much experience of operating their own craft as BHC does. We’ve found what works and what doesn’t work, so you can benefit from our many years of experience and get off to a flying start!

The Marlin is a Turn Key – electric start which is quiet, economical, reliable!

  • Very robust craft and engine.
  • Seats 2-3 people (Max load 200kg). – Can be used for self-drive and giving passenger rides.
  • Max speed 40mph and 20mpg on land and water.
  • Your choice of colours from our standard range – or upgrade to something more adventurous.
  • Powered by 1000cc Vanguard V-Twin 4 stroke engine.
  • Low noise (78dbA at 25m) at a low frequency.
  • Fully marinized and floats just like a boat when you stop on water.
  • Commercial engine power means long service intervals and long service life when looked after.
  • Cheap and easy to maintain segmented, flexible skirt. Only takes 2mins to swap a skirt segment.
  • Simple driving controls consisting of handlebars/throttle – that’s it!
  • Training takes less than ten minutes per driver.

The Event

A grassy field and a water splash – that’s all you need! You can even dig your own if there is no water on your potential site – it only needs to be 12 inches deep for the full ‘hovercraft experience!’ – and in fact this is what we’ve done at our own venue. You can work from a home office, taking bookings by either phone, website, ticketing system (included) or from voucher companies. We’ll show you how to train people in under ten minutes before they start pursuit events, relays and individual competitions. You’ll easily ‘process’ 30 people a day at an average rate of £65 per person. With good marketing, you should fill most weekends through spring, summer and autumn, producing a turnover of approx. £3900 per weekend – it’s not speculation, these are proven figures!

Hovercraft Running Costs

  • Fuel Tank Capacity = 22.5L / 5 Gallons.
  • MPG = 20 (A full tank of fuel will last for approx. 2 hours)
  • UK Average Fuel costs based on average rate of £1.20 per litre (This may vary)
  • Daily Fuel Cost per craft = £54.00 based on 4 hours use
  • Weekly Fuel cost per craft = £270.00 – based on 5 days and 4 hours use per day
  • Monthly Fuel cost per craft = £1,080.00 – based on 20 days and 4 hours use per day
  • Yearly Fuel cost per craft = £9,720.00 – based on 9 months, 180 days and 4 hours use per day


  1. What is the price of servicing kits for all the periodic inspections?

You can order the parts individually as required but the initial ‘Corporate Spares kit is highly recommended. The cost for this is £1,900 – this comprehensive kit can be shared between the craft as each craft will need different replacement parts at any one time, during its lifetime. We can also provide a craft cover for each craft which we discount to £200 with the purchase of each craft.

Corporate Spares kit 
x1 full skirt + 15 spares (10+5)
x1 drive belt
x2 throttle cables
x2 steering cables
x1 set cut blades
x100 peeler rivets
x500 cable ties
x50 P-clips
x100 top clips
x2 oil filters
x2 air filters
x2 fuel filters
X1 5Ltr bottle of oil
x2 sets spark plugs
x1 craft cover – weatherproof (and dustproof for when in storage)
  1. What price would you charge for conducting a service including parts?

Our labour charge is £40 per hour. The initial service at 10 hours is the oil & filter change and general inspection of the craft. Parts = £30 and labour (1hr) = £40. Total = £70. Any competent mechanic will be able to do this.

  1. What is the life expectation for an engine before overhaul is required (estimate).

It’s likely a top end overhaul will be required at approx. 350- 500hrs. Head gaskets and / or piston rings may need replacing prior to this.

  1. Price of replacement/exchange/overhaul engine.

New engine supplied ready to fit (which includes 4 hours labour to make the engine fit ready).
New engine supplied, ready to fit = £1,400
Parts for an overhaul = £250 (estimated as dependent on parts needed)
Labour for an overhaul (10hr) = £400 – if brought back to BHC.

  1. What is the expected/suggested life of hovercraft in medium to high usage experience environment?

For driving events, craft are generally used for an average of 4 hrs per day / 5 days per week in peak season. The fiberglass should be regularly checked, especially underneath for the ‘skids’ which are x2 metal runners mounted on the underside. Also checking for any holes/damage in the fiberglass caused by impact. We are aware of companies using GRP craft that are in excess of 15yrs old.

  1. What is the typical utilisation of an experience craft per/month, per/year, versus private use?

For driving events it’s around 4 hours per day / 20hrs per week / 9-10 months of the year. Private use is so varied, some clients are out every day on their farm/land/lakes or some use their craft on the weekends with friends and family, whereas some owners just attend several organised cruises per year.

  1. What is the expected life of hovercraft engine?

Engine life can be up to 1000+ hrs if well maintained and periodically rebuilt as previously mentioned. With an overhaul at 350-500hrs it is impossible to predict the overall life of the engine, but it is likely that it will become more cost effective over time to replace rather than repair. However this is an advantage of these low cost engines.

  1. Are there any non-engine, non-skirt related maintenance and spares requirements that might be envisaged and planned for?

Transmission parts and other ancillaries such as control cables (steering & throttle), drive belt, fan blades will need to be regularly checked and periodically replaced as and when. The fact that the craft are modular and the parts are available at a low cost is a huge advantage.

  1. What is the likely skirt maintenance cost and plan?

The most common item to be replaced will be the cable ties which secure each skirt segment to the stainless-steel skirt wire which is under the craft. The cable ties are the sacrificial item that will break in preference to the skirts. If running on very short grass and over a water feature the skirts will last very well.  Skirts should be checked at the beginning and end of each day, checking should be ongoing during extended use, the reason being that if there is a small hole developing in a segment or 2, it’s best to replace/repair them as continuing to use the craft will then wear the adjacent skirts quicker, so more will then need to be replaced.

We estimate that between 2-4 skirt segments will need to be repaired per 20hrs use. However, some craft will need no skirts replaced during this time, where others may need more, depending on pilot skills i.e dragging the skirt on and off throttle. It is also dependent on the payload i.e. the more ‘ample’ clients flying the more abrasion on the skirts. We can provide the skirt material if you prefer a local seamstress to make your skirts. The specialist material used is £8.95 per metre and each segment is approx. 1m². You can of course order them from BHC individually at £12 per segment ready to fit. Skirts – 4 segments repaired per week, per craft @ £5 per segment = £20 Full skirt replacement each year with new segments £650 per complete skirt.

All above prices are subject to VAT.

  1. What maintenance stock would you suggest we hold; basic list and associated cost estimate?

We suggest as in point 1, that you include a discounted corporate spares kit package for the craft and then order replacements parts when your stock levels are getting low. It also depends on how many craft you will be running. If you own 6 craft, then it’s recommended to order at least 3 corporate spares kits to ensure you can replace the necessary parts at your event and just top up on parts when required. You can easily assess what parts you will need in advance and just order those parts from BHC as and when required.

  1. What is the Fuel and Oil usage per hour?

Fuel is approx. 6ltrs per hour / 20MPG. Oil usage is extremely low, maybe the odd top up of a 50ml-100ml or so now and then. Preflight checks should include checking oil level and topping up as and when required. The engine will burn more oil when operating in higher temperatures.

Hovercraft Maintenance              

Every 10 Hours

  • Check and clean plenum chamber for grass and debris which may prevent air circulation.
  • Check all nuts and bolts on fan assembly and engine frame for tightness.
  • Underneath the craft, check skirt cable(s) are taut, and not frayed. Check tightness of the clamps securing the cable at the rear of the craft.
  • Check ‘P’ Clips (which hold the cable around the perimeter of the craft) and replace any loose/flattened/broken items.
  • Ensure skids are fixed and undamaged. Inspect floor and hull for damage.
  • Check all lines and cables for damage or seizure, including steering/throttle/fuel lines/carburettor pipes.
  • If operating in hot/dusty conditions, air filter and oil requirements may be more demanding. These engines can burn some oil in hot operating conditions so do check before operation. If you don’t use your craft much (i.e. not clocking up 40 hours within 12 months) then you still need to undertake the 40 hour service each year.
  • Undertake a pre-flight check in workshop.

Every 25 hours

  • Change oil (10w/30 Synthetic)
  • Change oil filter Thrust/integrated engine part number (Pro, lift engine part number 696854)

After first 10 Hours

  • As above plus
  • Change oil (10w/30 Synthetic)
  • Change oil filter Thrust/integrated engine part number (Pro, lift engine part number 696854)

At 50 Hours (and each 50 hours thereafter) or every six months as required to retain performance.

  • As above, plus
  • Replace fuel filter
  • Clean / replace air filter as required
  • Replace spark plugs
  • (Depending on hub type) Grease hub with LM Grease
  • Lubricate steering/throttle cables
  • Clean carburettor with aerosol spray internally/externally
  • Check valve clearances (0.15mm/0.006” both inlet and exhaust)

At 100 hours

  • As above plus
  • Replace drive belt
  • Replace fan blades

Skirt Maintenance / Replacement Costs

The skirt on our craft is made in individual segments so in the event of damage, you simply replace one small segment – not the whole thing. It’s easy! It takes just a few seconds and in any case, due to the nature of a segmented skirt, what happens is that the segments either side of the damaged one will simply expand more into the available space, so you shouldn’t see a deterioration in performance until you’ve damaged quite a number.

The skirt is made of a bespoke material – neoprene coated nylon – which is resistant to salt water, UV and tearing and has excellent wear characteristics. It’s amazing stuff – very resilient to everything we ask of it! Our hovercraft has superb lift characteristics so there’s no skirt dragging on the floor to snag obstacles. Heavier craft tend to be more prone to skirt damage for the opposite reason! In normal recreational usage, we find most customers get around 1-2 years from their skirt before it requires complete replacement.

The Marlin hovercraft has 56 skirt segments – 41 front and 15 rear. Skirt segments are only £12 each and readily available to order from BHC.

The British Hovercraft Company (BHC) is a family owned business based in Sandwich, Kent producing over 100 hovercraft each year, making the company the largest manufacturer of recreational and light utility craft in the world. The business has developed the craft over 25 years in which time hundreds of hovercraft have been sold throughout the world. Alongside this, BHC have run their own events business in both Australia and the UK. We have taught literally thousands of people to fly/drive their craft.

BHC have proven their craft in the harshest possible environments and taken on the biggest challenges. For instance:

  • The only small hovercraft to make multiple two-way crossings of the English Channel and Irish Sea.
    • Eight successful completions of the annual 1000km ‘Rhone Raid.’
    • National Coastal Racing Champions in 2005/2006.
    • Inaugural National ‘Formula 503’ champions/3rd in Formula 2 2013.
    • Suppliers of craft to the makers of the BBC’s ‘Frozen Planet’ for use in Arctic conditions.
    • Suppliers of craft for BBC’s Top Gear.
    • Suppliers of craft for Microsoft and Xbox for Forza Horizon 4 game recreation at Goodwood.
    • Suppliers of craft for UAE crew safety and transfer.
    • Supplied for unexploded ordnance detection in Kuwaiti oil fields.
    • Supplied to Search & Rescue organisations for frozen rivers.
    • In use around the world in hundreds of different applications from flood response to cockling and from mud-sampling to yacht tenders!

Today, employing 15 full-time staff at our factory in Sandwich in Kent, the business continues to supply thrill seekers with exciting, reasonably priced hovercraft and commercial users with a vehicle able to access all areas at very moderate cost. We live and breathe hovercraft!

For more details, please visit our website www.britishhovercraft.com and contact us on
+44 (0)1304 619820 or email info@britishhovercraft.com

Don’t delay, join the hovercraft family today!