BHC Hovercraft have been developed over the course of more than 30 years. Living in a house overlooking the old Pegwell Bay cross-channel hovercraft port meant it was inevitable we’d end up hooked by these incredible machines. Our first working machine was trialed in 29th July 1981 – Ivan Pullen wanted to get away from the furor surrounding the marriage of Charles & Diana, and belting around Pegwell Bay in what was, in all honesty, a death-trap was enough to tear his son Russ away from the TV too!
By 1998, the hobby had become a business and the intervening 20 years has seen BHC manufacture over 1000 hovercraft. Initially, the small, single-seat hovercraft were built for our own ‘driving events’ corporate activity business where the public could come along a drive a hovercraft. True-to-form, the public then demonstrated every possible way in which a vehicle can be broken and provided priceless experience in producing a hovercraft designed to survive plenty of rough and tumble! We sold this part of the business off 10 years ago to concentrate all our efforts into manufacture.
In 1997, we also discovered a passion for racing these awesome machines, and it’s impossible to exaggerate how much it has taught us – both from our own successes and failures and the help, input and advice from the super-talented enthusiasts and designers who compete in the sport. Racing really is the at the forefront of small hovercraft design so a 2003 National championship win in the Formula 50 category was a great achievement, but back to back 2005/2006 wins in the challenging 'Coastal Series' championship was a real high-point, as we raced over beaches and tides in physically demanding one-hour races.
In 2008, we thought we'd achieved the 'big one' when two Flying Fish Marlin I personal hovercraft driven by Russ Pullen and Nelson Wood crossed the English Channel from Dover to Calais, passing across the treacherous Goodwin Sands and the busiest shipping lane in the world. The hovercraft then cruised home, taking under and hour each way and using three gallons of fuel for the entire trip. No small hovercraft had managed that feat before and we were very chuffed with ourselves. Since then, we've repeated the Channel trip with a pair of Marlin II's - just to prove it wasn't a fluke!
It's this spread of knowledge from building personal, commercial, corporate events and race-winning hovercraft that make the BHC range some of the most accomplished recreational hovercraft available anywhere in the world. All our hovercraft are made by us, here in the UK, starting with a roll of fiberglass and some very talented fitters and laminators.
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