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Thread: Newbie questions: Please bear with me!

  1. #9
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    Default Re: Newbie questions: Please bear with me!

    Thanks, lots of information there!!

    I think I mistyped what I meant to say, I didn't mean I wasn't going to join the club, just that I wouldn't until i was sure I had a viable plan. As soon as (If!?) I'm ready to pull the trigger on a project like this, it would be one of the first things on my shopping list for sure.

    Maybe a 3/4 person is a bit adventurous - is it that much easier to build a smaller 2 seater one? The act of learning as I go along isn't daunting to me, but I obviously don't want to bite off more than I can chew.

    Fitting out / modifying a hull sounds like an interesting idea.. the really arduous part of the building would already be done - that's definitely an interesting prospect - especially since I'd have to rent space to do the building, the shorter this phase can be the better!! Would the same be said of a kit? I've seen a few of these about, supplied either as patterns ready to be cut or even as almost prefab parts. Seems like an expensive way to do it though.

    Loch Fyne would be interesting - especially if there are going to be a few different designs of hovercraft there, it'll be good to hear the pros and cons of each design first hand.

    Thanks a lot for the information, I think I will modify my plans downward to a 1/2 seater then, and have a look to see what second hand stuff is about.

  2. #10
    Very active > 100 posts Club Member
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    Default Re: Newbie questions: Please bear with me!

    In reality there is not much difference in building a 1-2 seater or a 3-4 seater craft. Obviously it will cost a bit more and take a little bit longer to build. Decide what you want the craft to do, the odd couple of hours in the best of the weather here and there or longer distance cruising in occasionally more challenging conditions with a higher payload. Then buy or build something that suits those requirements. Bigger is usually better with hovercraft. Al Wilkins built a 16' Surveyor for his first build and seemed little daunted by it!!!! There are larger craft out there (BBV and Vortex to name a couple) although not quite so many plans for such at the moment. Hopefully see you at Loch Fyne.

    Steve

  3. #11
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    Default Re: Newbie questions: Please bear with me!

    Quote Originally Posted by hector46 View Post
    . Bigger is usually better with hovercraft.
    I disagree. Over the last 32 years I've had more fun with 1-2 seater craft than I had with a 4 seater.
    The 4 seater I had took considerably longer to build and cost far more money to build than any other craft I've had.. Then you've got considerations such as storage, getting on and off trailers and often larger craft don't trim well when used one-up.I've also felt that larger craft don't handle chop and rolling waves as well. They can get stuck in the troughs whereas smaller, lighter craft will pop over the crests easier.
    Also trying to rescue a big heavy craft way out on a beach or mudflat is a nightmare.

    A 2 seater craft can be quick and simple to build, light and easy to unload and gives hours of fun. It's also far easier to rescue should anything go wrong.

    Whilst I would consider having a larger craft again, I would have to seriously weigh up the benefits against the disadvantages.
    You see quite a few 3,4,5 seater craft used with only 1-2 people onboard most of the time so perhaps the owners would be better off with a 2 seater in the first place.

  4. #12
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    Default Re: Newbie questions: Please bear with me!

    All true, but if I were you ( I am not ) I would do a small simple craft first, Integrated and square.

    I am sure you could pic up a old used Vortex or Eagle 1 somewhere, if not then build yourself one of the clubs Challenger. ( thats how I got started )

    I then chucked in a 503 and the craft was more to my needs, I am now building a Serveyor 16".

    So as you get more and more into the sport, you will find your place and build or buy a craft that is for you. I love the racing and watch it on my laptop as often as I can, not being able to take part, but here in Africa a cruiser is what is needed, a small craft is fun but I had many problems with it in these conditions, ( Hover hight, range, ability to go through long grass etc ) I found myself fixing skirts and holes in it more than I was using it for fun.

    just my 2 cents.
    In the beginning there was the Cube; I know where is came from and it has the power to create Hover life. But with great power comes great Fun.

  5. #13
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    Default Re: Newbie questions: Please bear with me!

    Robert,

    You will get many opinions on which type of craft you should build and it is obviously up to you to make a choice. There is, however, one single thing that should override everything else and that's were and how you intend to use it.

    You are fortunate to live very close to one of the premier cruising sites in the UK - the Clyde estuary. It has hundreds of miles of spectacular scenery and many lochs, inlets and rivers to explore. However, you will need a craft capable of safely handling the challenging conditions you are likely to come across in this area or you could get into serious trouble very quickly!

    Become a club member and you will get access to our launch site guides - there is an excellent hovercraft launch site just outside Glasgow

    Conditions can change from this:

    . to this:


    ... in a matter of a few minutes

    In my view, if you want to to cruise in this area (and you would be mad not to want to ) I would recommend a craft of at least 14ft (or larger if you can). The cost and build time over a smaller craft are negligible. There are good reasons why you don't see small (sub 12ft) boats out in the Clyde estuary!

    To reduce rental cost, you could build all of the hull components first (rudders, engine frames, etc, etc) before starting on the hull (the big part).

    Choose your location and purpose, look around for real-world evidence of craft operating in these conditions and then make your choice. If you have any doubts about anything then ask on this site - we are all here to help!
    Last edited by John Robertson; 15-Apr-10 at 10:06 AM.

  6. #14
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    Default Re: Newbie questions: Please bear with me!

    As ever, it's each to his own, but here's my personal view:

    I had a 9' 6" Osprey first. I knew the first time I took it out into open water it was too small for my liking, so I took the rest of the season, looking at what everyone else was using & what was available. I happened to be in the US late in '05, and arranged to meet with Barry Palmer of Sevtec. One ride in his and I knew where I was going - The Surveyor.

    Mines built to 14 ft, I often wish I had built it to 16ft. When you are out there in open water, 14ft is very small, and when you're facing 4ft waves you'll be glad of some structure around you. They have a clever skirt system that means they trim out well one-up to fully loaded, and I find mine easy to get on/off the trailer (although thats got a lot to do with the trailer design).

    Just my thoughts...

    Ian
    Last edited by Ian Brooks; 15-Apr-10 at 07:51 PM.
    Ian Brooks
    Gloucester, UK
    http://www.hoverclub.org.uk

  7. #15
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    Default Re: Newbie questions: Please bear with me!

    After sleeping on it for a couple of days, and re-reading all the comments in the thread, I find I'm more confused than when I started

    I think I would be using the hovercraft primarily for day-trips involving myself an one or two other passengers, maybe with a day's worth of provisions and then a few longer journeys scattered throughout the year. It's hard to judge, really, because right now I have no boat of any kind, so I have no pattern for usage. I don't think I want to race, but who knows if I get bitten by that bug things may change!!

    I live in a city, with off-road parking and have a large hatchback car for towing a trailer, so if it was small enough, it could live on it's trailer under a tarp, where as something huge and unwieldy would mean renting a lockup on a permanent basis. Not ideal but liveable.

    I've had a brief look on ebay, can't seem to see anything for sale there, are there any other places (other than the forum here and on ebay) that are worth looking at for places to buy either a completed second hand craft or the bits of one? The cheaper the better really, without wanting to compromise the quality of the craft at the end. I've also had a look at those sevtec ones on the internet - the bow section of the skirt reminds me of a frog's nose and throat. That's not to say it's a bad thing, just unusual.

    Rest assured, when I'm sure this is a viable project and I'm going to start, I will be joining the club but until I'm sure it's worth doing, I'll hold off. Otherwise it seems like I'm joining the club to find out if joining the club is right for me - not really a good way to entice someone in!

    As for coming along to Loch Fyne - that would be great, if it's not an issue to have a non-member showing up and asking thousands of questions I'd love to come along. There's a new addition to the family (nephew) due at the end of May though, so I hope that it doesn't clash!

  8. #16
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    Default Re: Newbie questions: Please bear with me!

    To be confused at this stage is not surprising !!!

    Your expected usage profile isn't too unusual, like many people at your stage you imagine taking the craft down to the local slipway and launching with perhaps one or two members of the family on board for a cruise. To achieve this, you need a minimum of a 14' craft - the Osprey, for example, is 9ft 6", a one seater and cramped at that.It's not really suitable for a day cruise.

    It is quite unlikely that anything useful will come up on ebay. Lots of small craft come up, none of these are suitable for your usage, and most are only suitable for using in the paddock. Be careful and ask here before you bid, but expect to pay serious amount of money for anything worth having - in excess of 4k for something needing some work, more like 6-10k for something which is 100%, and such craft come up for sale very rarely.

    Ian
    Ian Brooks
    Gloucester, UK
    http://www.hoverclub.org.uk

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