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General / Re: First timer, some advice?
« Last post by Dmitri on Jun 08, 2020, 9:13 pm »
@tonymunnsThank you very much for your insight.

The skirt pressure is the same as the cushion pressure on a segmented skirt craft - and the cushion pressure depends ONLY on the craft weight and footprint area.  So, I'm not sure what you're being told?
I quote:
I have to confess that the Marlin III was only in production a short time as we discovered very early on that it needed the Mark II floor on it to make it work properly and the skirt design was too high therefore it fell of skirt relatively easy so all in all we stopped manufacture. In fact there are probably only 20 of them in existence.
The new design as opposed to the old Marlin III design are,
* Lighter and more durable
* Increased skirt pressure
* Steering improved with 3 rudders
You said you're skeptical about the 3.2m craft out on the sea with two people.What about the 3.8m craft? It is rated at a 20kg higher lift capacity in ideal conditions. It also has a 7 blade fan compared to the 6 blade on the shorter version.
A proper EFI engine costs only a little bit extra over the carbed engine, so that's nice too.
For Sale & Wanted / Osprey for sale
« Last post by joncurtis on Jun 08, 2020, 8:21 pm »
BMW r850 engine, fast capable single seater. Not used for a couple of years, selling due to illness.

Hull is a stretched osprey.

Trailer could do with a clean up, but towable.

General / Re: First timer, some advice?
« Last post by tonymunns on Jun 08, 2020, 8:09 pm »
Hi Dmitri

I have owned two Marlins and currently have the excellent Snapper. Both craft are built to very high standards and if well maintained will not give any major problems. As with anything mechanical sometimes there are failures, but most if not all things on a BHC craft are easily fixed - especially if you know your way round an engine and understand some basic mechanics.

Spares for both craft are easy to find either new or secondhand, and frankly the amount of fun you can have compared to jet ski is incomparable. I have done both, and the hovercraft is streets ahead for versatility, economy and sheer enjoyment. It turns heads, starts great conversations and friendships, and is a joy to own.

That might sound like a sales pitch, but trust me if you're serious about buying one then BHC are definitely top of the list. I have no vested interest but, put simply, they've been doing it for years and know their stuff.

Hope this helps

PS I'm also an instructor at an activity centre using Marlins and they are pretty bulletproof - some trainees have got out of shape and ended up in reeds, tyres, and hedges but they have survived pretty much intact :-)

General / Re: First timer, some advice?
« Last post by John Robertson on Jun 08, 2020, 6:36 pm »
The skirt pressure is the same as the cushion pressure on a segmented skirt craft - and the cushion pressure depends ONLY on the craft weight and footprint area.  So, I'm not sure what you're being told?

Where you use the craft depends  on how averse to risk you are (hence the IMHO in my advice  ;) ).  Other opinions are available!

Saying that, a larger footprint craft (lower cushion pressure) will always be more seaworthy (and more efficient) than a smaller one (as with boats, etc.).  Also worth considering is outside storage - it's just some plastic and metal so should be able to withstand some weather if built to a reasonable standard.

The other thing not mentioned is wind - hovercraft (not being IN the water) are very susceptible to wind.  Much over 35kph or so can become an issue for both progress and manoeuvrability.
General / Re: First timer, some advice?
« Last post by Dmitri on Jun 08, 2020, 3:56 pm »
BHC themselves said that the current version of the Marlin has higher skirt pressure. They also said the Mk3 wasn't particularly good, due to the skirt design being too high, and that there are only about 20 of them ever made.
Your comment about it not being suitable on the sea for two people makes me quite worried, if I am honest.

They also do a somewhat stretched version (3.8m long), which has 20kg higher lifting potential. The new price is somewhat eyewatering though when taking into account the fact that I can't even test it before committing.

Another issue is storage. The 3.2m version incl. trailer will fit into my garage when turned sideways on the trailer, the 3.8m version might not.

On the flipside, I can order the new craft with an EFI engine. That means saving some money if I were to fuel inject the used craft.
General / Re: First timer, some advice?
« Last post by John Robertson on Jun 08, 2020, 3:30 pm »
Hi Dmitri
I'm also not a Marlin owner but I can offer some general advice (below).
So my main worries are:
1. Would a Marlin (Mk3 or newest one) be realistically a half-decent replacement for the Jet Ski? I understand I won't be able to go out in 2m waves, but will it be decent in normal good weather? I am not planning on going too far from shore. Mostly close to the shore island hopping. I have safety equipment and we have an automatic flare detection grid on the shore over here as well.

Not a direct replacement in any way I can think of (that size of hovercraft will be less seaworthy and slower than a ski).  It's an apples and oranges thing!  The ski does a different job to a hovercraft.  The main advantage (for me) of a hovercraft over a boat or ski are the ease of launch (any type of surface that slopes into the water) and the ability to stop on shore almost anywhere (no wet feet!).

2. Between myself and my wife we weigh in at around 140kg. Will a Marlin be OK for that? Or is it more like a single person craft?

The payload will be determined by the conditions you intend to operate in.  In open water I'd be very wary of 2-up in that size of craft (as you know, conditions can change rapidly and with it your safety margin!).

3. How are your guys real world experiences with spray? With ride comfort on the sea?

Spray shouldn't be an issue at all unless there is a problem with the skirt (or you've exceeded the performance envelope).  Ride is better than a ski or boat in moderate conditions, can be worse in mild chop (150mm) but better in "softer" waves.  A Marlin-sized craft should be good for up to 500mm chop (

4. Reliability - I read a lot about it not being very good, I also read the very helpful guide that deals with insulating a number of key places in the ignition system. I would probably convert the craft to EFI if I buy a used craft, and in case of getting a new one I'd get one with the EFI engine directly. There is a used very low hour mk3 for sale, which is somewhat tempting - but I also have to add the container shipping costs on top of that.

No idea what the build quality of current craft are but the main issue is usually marinising electrics (quite easy to do).  Mechanically, fan-based craft like the Marlin are more susceptible to fan failure in rough conditions (low mounted, relatively high speed plastic fan) - a big lump of water through the fan is likely to cause significant damage). General reliability in hover-land, whilst it has improved significantly in recent years, still isn't near as good as boats and skis IMHO.
General / Re: Sevtec surveyor
« Last post by Pat Tobin on Jun 08, 2020, 2:03 pm »
Hello Andy
Its a twin engine version 12.5 for lift and 23 for thrust

General / Re: Sevtec surveyor
« Last post by Sohandyandy on Jun 08, 2020, 10:51 am »
Hi Pat

I've just noticed that you have the "indent" in H6, have you gone with 2engines or is to accommodate a non B&S set up.

I might get the hang of this eventually 😁.


General / Re: First timer, some advice?
« Last post by Dmitri on Jun 08, 2020, 10:32 am »
The thing is, over here I have to register the craft for it to be legal to operate over water. You also need to have a small boating license to operate any craft with the engine power over 25 kW (34 PS).
If it's self-built there are more hurdles than if it is produced by a manufacturer.

None of that is a problem in the end, however it seems everyone really wants to sell me something, and always says theirs is the best, when life experience has taught me to take such claims with a grain of salt.
General / Re: First timer, some advice?
« Last post by joncurtis on Jun 08, 2020, 7:28 am »
I have a osprey clone coming up for sale, exactly the same Hull, with a BMW bike engine.

This this out perform any marlin, and be a 1/4 of the price.
Let me know if you want to chat.
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