Composite hull hovercraft being built in Florida

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by charmc, May 29, 2008.

  1. charmc
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    charmc Senior Member

    I stumbled on this project purely by accident as I was returning from a business meeting this week. This company is building the prototype of a 120' x 50' hovercraft in Green Cove Springs, FL. The first will be configured as a ferry, but other potential uses include hauling supplies to remote mining sites, disaster areas, etc.

    The hull is all composite construction, with many structural members poltruded. Power is diesel-electric, with VFDs and electonic controls. No exposed fans, they are inside the structure and will use vectored thrust nozzles for propulsion and steering. Engines are fully isolated, radiator cooled, and muffled to hospital standards. The goal is a light, fast, ferry to carry 150 passengers @ 60 knots in relative quiet, with much better economy than "traditional" hovercraft. The flexible skirt design is claimed to reduce/eliminate the spray and dust kick up of older designs.

    I mentioned in another thread that the company seems well organized, with experience and expertise in composite construction, operations, fleet management, purchasing and logistics, etc.; claims of innovative design and technology applications, but actually building a full scale prototype to demonstrate to future customers.

    The company recently received an award at the 2008 World Poltruson Conference in Rome.

    Lots of information on their website: http://www.atlashovercraft.com/
     

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  2. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    This looks interesting. We have a few big Coast Guard hovercraft up here, but they're loud and cumbersome. The old SRN units out of Britain, as cool as they were, were also loud and cumbersome. I haven't read the whole site yet, but if Atlas's crew is successful on the noise and agility problems, they may be on to something here. Skirt durability will also have to be addressed, but there are already possible solutions around for that issue.
    Pinging kach22i?
     
  3. charmc
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    charmc Senior Member

    "Pinging kach22i?" marshmat

    Natch. :D :D
     
  4. kach22i
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    kach22i Architect

    Charlie, please post some of the other pictures you have, there is no way you only snapped two shots.;)

    Thanks for posting this, I'll have to go back down to Florida for a ride. I made my own shop visit February 2007.

    This concept is going to give fast Cat's, Penta-cats and SES's a good run for the money. It's all about operation costs, and hovercraft on a time/speed and fuel consumption basis look darn good.

    More Pictures:
    http://www.atlashovercraft.com/
    [​IMG]
    You have to click the last selection "PHOTOS" on the left for the page to come up.
     
  5. the1much
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    the1much hippie dreams

    could ya use 1 of those "spaceships" in cold regions,,like Alaska and so forth?
     
  6. kach22i
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    kach22i Architect

    Of course, hovercraft are great for getting in difficult and remote places. Just don't break down, no one else but another hovercraft may be able to get to you.
     
  7. the1much
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    the1much hippie dreams

    and they make a big deal bout those truckers in the "circle" when ya could use 1 of those bigones,,hehe ;)
     
  8. dockdave
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    dockdave Junior Member

    does anyone know if that vessel is being built at the ol mega cats site. Did some time there late 90's, working on BIGG cataraman. Definately learned alot there. Love to know what happened to that fat wavvy cat.
     
  9. kach22i
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    kach22i Architect

    The WWII era aircraft landing apron and runway which connects all the pre-fab metal buildings in the industrial park is cut off from the water by a road. I doubt that the same layout would be of much use to a boat builder, they will have to close off the road so the hovercraft can fly across it. This hovercraft company is new, and not a former cat builder. I don't know who rented the building prior to them, gotta mention that.

    In another part of Florida there is another company which is building boats, and which would like to build a hovercraft, but nothing is happening (that I know of) on that just yet.
     
  10. Ramius41
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    Ramius41 Junior Member

    You are assuming that the thing is going to actually work!...:eek:
     
  11. the1much
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    the1much hippie dreams

    uhoh,,,hehe ;)
     
  12. Tiny Turnip
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    Tiny Turnip Senior Member

    70 year old landbased lookalike?

    reminds me of the Antarctic Snowcruiser built in 1939 - an extraordinary vehicle, even if it didn't work in snow! So no help in Alaska, The One Much!
     

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  13. charmc
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    charmc Senior Member

    There is a commercial shipyard along the banks of the St Johns River just across the highway from the old airbase where the hovercraft is being built.
     
  14. charmc
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    charmc Senior Member

    The only info on Mega Cats Inc shows the Green Cove Springs, FL adress in the shipyard, and a portion of a local news story from 1997 describing them as a local business hoping to make it big. I found a listing for a 47' catamaran named Mariah, listed as built in 1996 by Mega Cats Inc.
     

  15. charmc
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    charmc Senior Member

    I wouldn't be surprised if those mining cos bought a few once the prototype is running. Be nice (especially for the driver :) ) not to have 50 tons of cargo fall through the ice.
     
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