Recomendations for hovercraft

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by Stumble, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. Stumble
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Location: New Orleans

    Stumble Senior Member

    I was talking to a friend the other day and he is having constant problems with his supply boats that ferry crew up and down the Mississippi river here in New Orleans. As you might expect, they keep ripping off or damaging drive legs, damaging hulls, and injuring people when they hit deadheads floating down river.

    The suggestion was made that a hovercraft might be a better solution since it would be immune to these problems, and the cost of operation could be less. Remember these are used 365 days a year. So operational cost is a big driver. Right now he typically has 5 running, and two in the shop getting worked on at all times, primarily for damage from logs/trees/houses floating down stream.

    There is also the problem that in high water, like last year, the USCG shut down the river to small boats due to rip currents, and swirls. So a hovercraft might be immune to this type of restriction, due to it not contacting the water.

    So I was wondering if anyone has a clue where to start a realistic search on a 10-15 person hovercraft? Steel or aluminium Would be prefered, with an industrial design. Pretty isn't so much a concern, but being able to take beating against barges is. A commercial builder is the only option, since they wouldn't consider building themselves.
     
  2. mydauphin
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    Location: Florida

    mydauphin Senior Member

    Never steel, weight is a big issue on a hovercraft. They are expensive to operate, almost like an aircraft. Old Soviet union would be best choice for cargo hovercrafts.
     
  3. Ad Hoc
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Location: Japan

    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    Best choice out there:
    http://www.griffonhoverwork.com/
     
  4. RJordison
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Location: Berlin, WI

    RJordison New Member

    Griffon is a good craft, but what about these???

    faster, quieter, lighter, less fuel consumption...

    www.hover-shuttle.com
     
  5. Ad Hoc
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Location: Japan

    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    No idea, as the link is broken :confused:

    Griffon formed out of the orginal BHC when it closed down many years ago, I believe.
     
  6. RJordison
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Location: Berlin, WI

    RJordison New Member

    strange, the links workin' perfect for me...

    Griffon Hovercraft merged with Hoverwork a couple of years ago. Hoverwork is/was the former BHC.
     
  7. rasorinc
    Joined: Nov 2007
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    Location: OREGON

    rasorinc Senior Member

    How about mounting an external protective keel on the boat with 2 skegs to protect the out drives. Make them out of titanium. The skegs could be designed with a lower trailing edge to go under the outdrive and prop so the boat will ride up and over the flotsum or log. I've torn off 2 lower units by hitting logs just under the surface.
     
  8. Stumble
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Location: New Orleans

    Stumble Senior Member

    Rasor,

    Adding a keel might protect the drives to some extent, but they tend to get ripped off too. Most of the boats currently are using some type of prop/drive protection, but the amount of junk in the water is pretty high. I had to be towed in once, when both of my props were destroyed, in two seperate incidents in the same day.

    Ti's is why a hovercraft was suggested. They may have other issues, but getting above the water would provide complete assurance from hitting just submerged logs, as well as allow running during times when the USCG shuts the river down to small boats. Last year for instance they shut it down to everything smaller than 40' I think it was after a number of boats were rolled by the rip currents.

    No idea if he is going to move forward with this, but I sent him the informaton. I keep thinking it could solve a lot of the crew boat problems on the river. But I am far from a hovercraft expert.
     

  9. Seamasters
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    Location: Aleutian Islands

    Seamasters New Member

    Hello Greg,
    The Jones Act states that all commercial hovercraft must be built in the USA. Kvichak Marine of Seattle build good craft, ranging from 15 to 200 passengers. I am currently working on hovercraft Suna-x which is one of the best large commercial hovercraft ever built.We are operational in the Aleutian Islands. Any operational information you require can be provided as we are proud of this modern craft.
     
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