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Old 03-04-2012, 09:12 AM   #1
Pricestavern
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Default Hovercraft Issues?

My wife and I are considering a purchase of a hovercraft sometime in the future. What operating issues/considerations should we be aware of? For instance, after running across the frozen lake for a while and then stopping, does the skirt have a tendency to freeze to the ice (due to friction heating)?

Thanks in advance!

R & M
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Old 03-04-2012, 10:10 AM   #2
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Default + 1

We too are also contemplating a hovercraft or airboat. Not being able to get out to our island camp this year really brought the issue to the top of the list. Your question about freezing to the ice is one we thought about also.

Not to hijack your thread but I am curious what brand and model hovercraft are you looking at or thinking about?

Dan
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:51 AM   #3
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Default Hovercaft

My first concern (in freezing weather) would be the spray that blows out from under the skirts when you fly over open water..OR.. ponding water on top of the ice. The spray would instantly freeze on everything ...including those persons on board. Ever notice hovercrafts always have "windshield wipers"...and No defrosters.

As mentioned in the above post..I would be concerned with the skirts freezing to the ice when parked. I believe they would, but Not because of friction warming up the skirts and then freezing. The skirts are usually a dark color..black..and would absorb heat from the sun and gradually sink into the ice and Stick Solid after a short time. I might even suspect that residual engine heat trapped under the skirt when the machine settles onto the ice would also cause ice melt and then freezing to the ice.

I like the idea of an airboat.....not necessarily the commercially available enclosed dedicated kind, (expensive) but a simple aluminum pram bowed "John Boat" with an air cooled engine clamped on the transom, driving an AIR propeller. Like an Everglades Swamp Airboat but on a much smaller scale. No air rudders required at all...just steer it like a tiller steered outboard.. I have seen such Air Drive Outboards available in the past. NB

EDIT: Google "Outboard Air Drive". This is just one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylvn0OuH2iE
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Old 03-05-2012, 01:50 PM   #4
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A hovercraft is a great means of transportation. We currently have two. The newer skirt designs dont spray as much water as the old ones do. However, if you are doing 360's on the water, you are going to get wet. We always wear helmets when using ours in the winter.

The skirt isnt going to melt the ice after use. However, there are several things to watch for while operating a hovercraft during the winter. Specifically, snow/ice build up in the skirt can cause poor performance.

If you can find one thats been well cared for, I highly recommend it as means of 4 season fun on the lake.
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Old 03-05-2012, 01:52 PM   #5
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We have a Scat and a Hovercraft Concepts model. The Hovercraft Concepts model is by far superior.
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:35 AM   #6
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Default RE: Hovercraft Issues

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Most of the current light hovercraft skirts are made out of a variation of nylon fabric in order to ensure lightweight and performance. These are really great on water, however tend to wear quite a lot on ice and land. Heavy duty skirts are heavier and may decrease performance but are not that easy to rip while hovering on ice or freeze.
Neoteric Hovercraft has a very easy user friendly skirt replacement system and it takes 10 seconds to replace one segment. We sell a lot of craft to customers from Canada who have their own islands up north and are unable to access them in a transition period where ice is not stable enough to drive through. And you don't need to worry about the cold, since we can provide a fully enclosed cabin with a heater, so spray will not make you feel uncomfortable. Please check us out: http://neoterichovercraft.com/ or email me at: filip@neoterichovercraft.com if you've got any questions.

Thank you and good luck!
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:39 PM   #7
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Question Hovercraft vs Airboat

Pros and cons - which is a safer choice?


Airboating in New Hampshire

A few years back there was a great thread discussing both types of boats, but I couldn't locate the thread.
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:51 PM   #8
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I would say the airboat would be safer because of it's higher payload capacity and basically because it is more like a boat. The airboats are a lot more expensive from what I have seen at least twice the price.

Dan
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:02 PM   #9
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I would take the .."Airboat", ANY DAY over a hovercraft. Look at the hovercraft videos; They slip and slide and can hardly make a corner...blowing water everywhere. It also seems you have to "Ride" the hovercraft on your toes.. standing up..to maintain balance and control.

The "Airboat" will skim the ice..AND... bank in a turn on the water. I like the "Airboat" consept for Water AND Ice use. NB
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rattlesnake Gal View Post
Pros and cons - which is a safer choice?


Airboating in New Hampshire

A few years back there was a great thread discussing both types of boats, but I couldn't locate the thread.
My old boat! I remember that day, people were lining up to see it.

I am a major fan of the airboat and can't say enough about the 1000 islands brand. After doing 80 with 6 guys in it, you can't beat the payload capacity. No weight concerns, no skirts to rip, killer heat and weather protection, the list goes on. Hovercraft are a lot more finicky, although they are a smoother ride on hard conditions. Gary at 1000 islands tells me the newer models (mine was an 07) are more refined- better cushioning in the seats, engine improvements, positive flotation to meet Transport Canada specs, and an improved trailer.

To replace mine it's about $58k. A hovercraft can be bought for half that.

How do you replace a ripped skirt if you are out on unsafe ice conditions and can't get out of the craft?
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:22 PM   #11
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Default ? for Codeman

Codeman;

What keeps the bottom of the boat from freezing in the ice when parked for an extended period??

Dan
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:18 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ishoot308 View Post
Codeman;

What keeps the bottom of the boat from freezing in the ice when parked for an extended period??

Dan
I did notice that a few times when running on bare ice. The polymer would heat up the ice as and melt the surface below when parked then freeze as it cooled.

I simple push on the bow would break it free, or a quick hit on the throttle would as well. With a 6' fan blade and 350hp you have plenty of torque to move it. Also the hydraulic ice brake could lift the rear of the boat a bit.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:39 AM   #13
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If someone does get one, stop by and fix snake eyes!
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:42 PM   #14
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The ride of a hovercraft is going to be much better on snow and ice. Not even close.
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:46 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by NoBozo View Post
I would take the .."Airboat", ANY DAY over a hovercraft. Look at the hovercraft videos; They slip and slide and can hardly make a corner...blowing water everywhere. It also seems you have to "Ride" the hovercraft on your toes.. standing up..to maintain balance and control.

The "Airboat" will skim the ice..AND... bank in a turn on the water. I like the "Airboat" consept for Water AND Ice use. NB
Have you ever been in a hovercraft??? Ours is a side by side two seater with a joystick in the middle. No leaning required.
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Old 03-08-2012, 02:52 PM   #16
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The ride of a hovercraft is going to be much better on snow and ice. Not even close.
After riding on bare ice in the airboat my spine agrees with you!
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:12 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowisl View Post
Have you ever been in a hovercraft??? Ours is a side by side two seater with a joystick in the middle. No leaning required.
As an Aside to this discussion.....YES SIR: I HAVE been on a hovercraft. Try this.... NB

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landing_Craft_Air_Cushion
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Old 03-09-2012, 07:23 AM   #18
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Default codeman

Curious as to how you "launch" that boat.What kind of trailer and how do you load/unload it?
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:16 AM   #19
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Curious as to how you "launch" that boat.What kind of trailer and how do you load/unload it?
My trailer was a tilting single axle bunk boat trailer. Since the bottom is polymer, when the trailer was tipped the boat would basically slide right off. To load, you would pull the boat up until it touched the rear center roller, tilt it then crank it on. You could also wet launch.

I am told the new one is some sort of powered system. I am sure it is a powered winch, it may be power tilt as well.
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:11 AM   #20
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Quote: "I would take the .."Airboat", ANY DAY over a hovercraft. Look at the hovercraft videos; They slip and slide and can hardly make a corner...blowing water everywhere. It also seems you have to "Ride" the hovercraft on your toes.. standing up..to maintain balance and control.

The "Airboat" will skim the ice..AND... bank in a turn on the water. I like the "Airboat" consept for Water AND Ice use. NB"

The airboat's hull has to constantly touch the surface, which is fine on water. But try to imagine the "comfort" of such ride on anything else! The hovercraft flies on a cushion of air, so you feel weightless and an experienced pilot does not need to worry. Only a laymen would stand in a hovercraft to maintain balance and control, no one who can actually fly one would do that. And if somehow you'd loose it and needed an "airboat like" grip, you can always decrease the pressure of air in skirts and let your hull land and slow down without the fear of sliding into something. It's all the matter of proper training and practice which every hovercraft salesman does to do to their customers. Neoteric Hovercraft provides a whole day training session to their customers in the price of the hovercraft, ensuring the proper flying skill and maintenance of the equipment. Anyone who has ever been in hovercraft and airboat will chose hovercraft over the airboat, due to its versatility. Airboat won't fly over the land, hovercraft will. And they just look so much better
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:51 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neoteric Hovercraft View Post
Quote: "I would take the .."Airboat", ANY DAY over a hovercraft. Look at the hovercraft videos; They slip and slide and can hardly make a corner...blowing water everywhere. It also seems you have to "Ride" the hovercraft on your toes.. standing up..to maintain balance and control.

The "Airboat" will skim the ice..AND... bank in a turn on the water. I like the "Airboat" consept for Water AND Ice use. NB"

The airboat's hull has to constantly touch the surface, which is fine on water. But try to imagine the "comfort" of such ride on anything else! The hovercraft flies on a cushion of air, so you feel weightless and an experienced pilot does not need to worry. Only a laymen would stand in a hovercraft to maintain balance and control, no one who can actually fly one would do that. And if somehow you'd loose it and needed an "airboat like" grip, you can always decrease the pressure of air in skirts and let your hull land and slow down without the fear of sliding into something. It's all the matter of proper training and practice which every hovercraft salesman does to do to their customers. Neoteric Hovercraft provides a whole day training session to their customers in the price of the hovercraft, ensuring the proper flying skill and maintenance of the equipment. Anyone who has ever been in hovercraft and airboat will chose hovercraft over the airboat, due to its versatility. Airboat won't fly over the land, hovercraft will. And they just look so much better
I based my comments on the many videos on YouTube ..particularly the SKAT, that "cowisl" remarked ... "We have a Scat and a Hovercraft Concepts model. The Hovercraft Concepts model is by far superior". NB

PS: I've ridden in the Navy LCAC..(Prounounced El-Kak) and they slide as well...but then again, they don't don't do that many steep turns..OR.. fly over land much. Just an observation. To each his own.

Last edited by NoBozo; 03-12-2012 at 04:08 PM. Reason: (SP)
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