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Buying a Hovercraft
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New 2010 Marlin 2/3 Seater Hovercraft
Frequently Asked Questions
The All New Marlin II Hovercraft
Marlin II Recreation, Cruising & Light Commercial Hovercraft.
Flying Fish Hovercraft is the UK’s leading manufacturer of small hovercraft, now available through Flying Fish Australia, based on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. We've supplied literally hundreds of recreational and light commercial craft around the world to private buyers, businesses and organisations. Our hovercraft have been developed over ten years, completing literally thousands of miles in such diverse environments as water sampling in English estuaries, leisure use in an African desert, busting 30ft rapids on French river cruises, worldwide corporate and leisure use, and search and rescue services on an Italian Lake. Whilst designed and built as a recreational craft, the reliability and performance of these craft in a race environment proved unbeatable in 2005 and 2006, claiming the title of ‘F35 Coastal Racing Champions’ in the UK Hovercraft Club’s 2005 National Championship. It's popularity, performance, simplicity and reputation have made it one of the world’s most prolific hovercraft.
With such astounding credentials, it’s not surprising that the Flying Fish Marlin 2/3 seat hovercraft is the only contemporary small hovercraft to have crossed the English Channel – and the only small hovercraft ever to have completed a return trip, a record set when two absolutely standard Mark I customer craft made the round trip in July 2008, taking under an hour each way. At the same time that was happening, one of our client's was making a return crossing from Ireland to Scotland - these hovercraft genuinely perform as you'd wish!
You can download our full sales brochure
The Mark II craft has a sporting, modern and professional look and comes with a warranty on both the craft and engine for added peace of mind.
KEY FEATURES OF THE MARLIN II
Engine - The BIG Difference!
Flying Fish discontinued 2-stroke powered craft nearly ten years ago. The use of environmentally friendly, low emission 4-stroke power is becoming necessary in many sports previously dominated by 2-strokes – Microlighting and Snowmobiling being two obvious examples of how environmental pressure is changing the face of motorised sport, in fact two stroke engines are actually banned in many countries. Four stroke hovercraft are likely to welcomed at many more venues than 2-strokes, due to noise and pollution levels.
But environmental issues aside – do you really want the hassle and safety concerns of 2-stroke power? Do you want to be changing oiled plugs on your day out? Tracing a persistent mis-fire or replacing burned pistons? Floating a quarter mile off shore with a dead engine – hoping like crazy that your mobile phone has a signal? Do you really want to be measuring out 2 stroke oil and premixing endless jerry cans? Of course you don’t! Recreational Hovercrafting should be as easy as turning the key and enjoying the ride!
The key to the success of this fabulous machine is the brand-new, lightweight four-stroke, air-cooled Briggs & Stratton 35bhp engine. At the turn of a key, this quiet 1000cc engine produces fabulous performance. Unlike our competitors noisy, unreliable and thirsty two strokes, the Marlin is extremely quiet, and it’s frugal too. Under normal operating conditions, it sips around 6 litres of fuel each hour. With Hirth or Rotax two stroke engines, most hovercraft will consume around 20-25 litres an hour - plus expensive two-stroke oil!
To put that into real money, in typical operating conditions.
Two stroke powered craft – typical 4 hour cruise
Marlin, fuel costs for a 4 hour cruise
It’s also likely that a two stroke craft of comparable size will need to be refuelled at least once during a four hour cruise (none we know of have 90 litre fuel tanks!)
Four strokes are inherently more reliable and less temperamental than a two-stroke engine, particularly in a harsh salt-water environment. The Marlin's engine is fully 'hoverised' for use in a marine environment.
Hull, Design & Bouyancy
The Marlin offers superb buoyancy and freeboard. The attractive but strong GRP hull has been designed to reduce drag and lift at high speeds and weighs a featherweight 220kgs. It’s protected from minor bumps by an aluminium bar around the outside and the double-skinned floor has two strong keel strips for protection. All fittings used in construction are of marine quality – designed for use in a salt water environment. It can easily be loaded and unloaded from its trailer in a few minutes by two people and the light weight construction means that performance is not hampered by carrying excessive weight.
It can start from a dead stop in water with absolutely no problem whatsoever. Within the hull is more than adequate foam buoyancy. This means the craft can be safely set down on water when loaded to its operating capacity. To illustrate this, on the Rhone Raid, craft need to float for up to an hour in 70ft deep commercial locks, something that these craft achieve with no problems whatsoever.
use a Marlin II as a fishing platform!
Seating is very comfortable with padded and upholstered seating and the drivers legs extended in front (no sitting on your knees!) Control is via simple handlebar steering with throttle control.
As standard, the craft come with the iconic Flying Fish headlights.
Craft can be specified with a variety of options. We offer an extensive range of standard colours include blue, red, green, black, yellow, orange – with contrasting trim and hull colour if desired. Metallic finish and ‘special’ editions are available at extra cost.
The craft can be specified to your own taste from a variety of options (see below)
We heavily recommend that you purchase additional safety equipment if you are planning to operate in an uncontrolled environment such as rivers or coastal use, in which case, ask for details of the ‘coastal kit’ which can be supplied with your new craft.
The unique fan assembly is robust and well protected. It is CAD designed to be light and easily serviceable but is extremely strong. The large, 940mm, 6 bladed fan gives phenomenal lift characteristics to allow the craft to operate over virtually any surface. The Marlin has a flexible, segmented skirt – so any damage is quickly and easily repaired. This skirt design is a closely guarded secret and offers a significant advantage over our competitor’s craft. The skirt and lift performance is so good that the craft has been tested with 20% of it's skirt segments missing, giving amazing ‘return to base’ capacity, but in the event of a segment needing replacement, it is a really quick and simple job to change.
Optional, but recommended kit including everything you need to use a recreational Marlin in classified 'Smooth Waters' in Queensland. Includes two lifejackets, yellow beacon, navigation lights, flare kit, handheld VHF radio, bilge pump, fuel gauge, fire extinguisher, V-Sheet, anchor & bail.
We hold regular demonstration days, please contact us to find out when the next session is.
Marlin Pricing starts at $28,000.00 including GST. Please contact us for more details.
Hull construction - Glass reinforced plastic (fibreglass.)
Protection - Two keel strips, perimeter aluminium strip.
Fan protection - 50mm guard to front of duct.
Dry Weight - Approx 220kgs.
Payload - 195kgs or 2/3 persons depending on conditions.
Seating - Padded seats in 'T' shape arrangement for two or three people.
Steering - Handlebars with throttle control.
Length - 3.3m
Width - 2.0m
Engine - 'Hoverised' Briggs & Stratton 'Vanguard' 35bhp V-Twin 4-Stroke. Engine upgrades available for the speed crazy!
Starting - Electric.
Max Revs - Static 3800rpm
Flotation - Floats and starts on water.
Bouyancy - Foam filled plenum, positively bouyant when swamped.
Noise - 75dbA (25m) at cruising speed.
Fuel Capacity - 27 litres in integral tank.
Range - Approx 160kms, depending on conditions.
Maximum Speed - Approx 70km/h depending on surface/wind/load.
Cruising Speed - 45km/h depending on surface/wind/load.
Skirt - Neoprene coated nylon in 83 replaceable segments.
Fan - 6 Blades, 940mm duct, 120m/s tip speed.
Flow straighteners - 7 concentric, give extra thrust & fan protection.
Lights, two headlights as standard, navigation lights optional.
Battery - 12v.
Standard Fittings - Passenger grab handles, towing eye, three mooring cleats.
Water Ingress - Two drain plugs to void interior, bilge pump in plenum chamber.
Strengthened load points - handles, tow eyes, cleats, frame, steering etc. Can be fitted with davit/lifting points.
Storage - Front pockets, unders eat storage and rear seat removable to provide a small deck area.
Engine/Fan frame/Exhaust - Stainless steel.
Recommended Operating Conditions - Preferably no more than a WMO Sea State 3.
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