« Reply #1 on: Feb 18, 2012, 6:14 pm »
What’s it going to be used for?

The first thing you need to do is decide what you will want to use the craft for, and there are two main categories,  racing or cruising.

First things first; the Cruising HoverClub isn’t about racing, so if that’s your thing, best head on over to the Hovercraft Club of Great Britain who are big into that sort of thing. If, like us, you are into Cruising, either relaxed family style, or challenging long distance work in open water, then read on … you’re in the right place. Here’s a few questions you should be asking yourself:

How many passengers?

A small (10-12ft) hovercraft can be great fun, easily handled and stored, but will obviously have less capacity for equipment and people. So if you’re wanting to take just yourself,  then this could be for you. If you want to take the family out, and need two or three seats, then you will need a mid sized (13-16ft) craft, but if your plans include 4 or 5 seats, then you’ll be looking for a 17ft+ craft.

The maximum size of craft you can operate easily in the UK is 1000kg, but you’re unlikely to come across something this big – it would be in the region of 24ft+

How much equipment?

Taking people is one thing, equipment is another – it doesn’t sit quite so neatly on seats! If you’re thinking about day trips only, then you’ll need fairly small storage – enough for some tools, emergency equipment, sarnies and so on. But – if you want to go overnight camping on longer trips then you’ll need space to store lightweight camping gear- the type of equipment you might take back-packing or motorbike camping.
Length (feet)Passengers

When it come to the capacity of any craft, be careful of poor advice. It is common to rate the number of passengers as the number that can physically fit into the craft, and this will be unsafe on water – even if the craft will lift them on a field, it is quite different on the water. Subtract 1 or 2 from this number for safe on-water operation. 

« Last Edit: Oct 31, 2017, 7:46 pm by Ian Brooks »
Ian Brooks
Gloucester, UK