View Full Version : Hovercrafting to Work - Is it feasible!?

phildabeast - n/a
18-Oct-06, 06:41 PM
Hi Guys

First Post on here, so Hello to you all!

I'm not a hovercraft expert, but while I was at uni we did a project with hovercraft and ended up taking a few trips to k+m products to see what they did - so the seed was sown!

I now work near an estuary of the River Ribble in lancashire - near Preston. The site (BAE) I work at has an entrance near to estuary. I'm looking to move house at some point, so had a (probably crazy) idea that I could move somewhere on the other side of the river and hovercraft to work. It's not so daft.. is it??

So - here's where I'm talking about:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=penwortham,+ (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=penwortham,+uk&ie=UTF8&z=13&ll=53.727186,-2.836018&spn=0.069467,0.21698&t=h&om=1&iwloc=A) uk&ie=UTF8&z=13&ll=53.727186,-2.836018&spn=0 .069467,0.21698&t=h&om=1&iwloc=A

The site is clearly marked with the runway, and I'm at the bottom right of it in one of the white buildings at the end of Pool Lane (lane marked if you zoom in). That is where the entrance is.

As for somewhere to live and therefore start from, I was thinking about Longton or Higher Penwortham. Longton would probably be more feasible for launching a hovercraft I think - probably flat enough to just drive out on to the sand / water...

I will of course go look at the landing/launching sites before I take this any further!

So a few questions:

1, Can I legally fly a hovercraft there? Do I need permission / license, lights, radios, insurance?

2, If I obtain permission to launch (from land owners??) and storage space at either end, is that enough to allow me to get on with it?

3, How does one go about finding out who owns what land?

Thanks for reading, I hope you don't think I'm mad!

Don83000 - n/a
18-Oct-06, 11:08 PM
I sold a craft to a guy in Scotland about 7 years ago for just this purpose across a 1 mile wide stretch of water as his house backed onto the water and his works were on the other bank this saved him a 35 mile trip each day to a bridge to drive across so saved him a fortune although he did say it was bloody cold in the winter but worth it.

As for a license no law to say you require one,Lights good idea and legaly required after dusk,Mobile phone good idea,Insurance would depend on local byelaws but even if not required a good idea to get some from www.onrisk.co.UK

As for land do a search at the Local Council Land Registry Dept.

Answer to 2 would be in a nutshell yes as long as there is no local byelaw banning the use of hovercraft. You should check out if there are any local bird sancturarys as they could cause you strife the best bet is if all seems ok get yourself or build yourself a craft powered by a 4 stroke so its as quiet as possible even better fit a prop rather than a noisy fan.Take a look at this site and check out the video's http://www.hovercruiser.org.uk

phildabeast - n/a
19-Oct-06, 06:32 PM
Cheers for that Don83000!

Today I spoke to the Environment agency, british waterways and the guy who sits in the control tower at preston dock. Each though the other was in charge of that stretch of the river, so the environment agency are looking into who's responsibility it actually is! Hopefully they'll call me back tomorrow!

Everyone thinks I'm mad!

Don83000 - n/a
19-Oct-06, 09:00 PM
Best thing to point out to them is you will obey any of their speed limits and that hovercrafts cause NO wash so you will cause no decay to banks etc and also that you craft is quiet compared to any of the small ones they may have seen as often lots of noise is a big no no.

jar2 - n/a
19-Oct-06, 09:31 PM
I can't see any problem with what you are trying to do at all. As Don says the only two things to watch for are noise and speed limits - other than that, a hovercraft is a far more environmentally friendly form of transport than almost anything else.

You have a statutary right of navigation on tidal water - that covers the estuary you are proposing to use. If it is an SSSI/SAC/NNR or whatever, it may be worthwhile checking the notification as it should specify the reason why the site has been so designated (http://www.jncc.gov.uk/Default.aspx?page=1457 for SACs for example). They should tell you what 'features' you need to avoid damaging (could be birds, strange moss, river bank vegetation, etc). AFAIK it is a criminal offence to intentionally damage these features on an SSSI/SAC.

In my experience, the 'authorities' are often not fully aware of the limitations of their power - the answer you will get to any access request is always NO (it's a safe answer as it can never result in any problems!). Good luck!

BTW - watch for the sewage works up river when the tide comes back in - on every river I've used I always pass by a stinking sewage works.

phildabeast - n/a
22-Oct-06, 08:48 PM
Thanks for your posts!

The story so far...

I finally got it out of the Environment Agency that the estuary is governed by preston council rivers - who is the bloke in the control tower on the docks - and it is definately stautory right of navigation on there. So good news!

I think I could probably get on land where I hope to on the edge, but I'll go take a few pics to see if it is actually feasable. My concerns are around ground clearance and slope climbing... but it doesn't look too steep and the tussocs of grass are about 6inches or so. Need to see a low tide to get a better idea, will take photos!

I am going to see local land owner about hovercrafting across his field to intended parking place - need to speak to different owner about a potential parking place.

I've been offered a craft for sale... please see my post entitled Osprey 3!