The All New Marlin II Hovercraft
The Marlin - The World's Best Selling Hovercraft.
The 2014 Marlin II & III
During it's ten year development, several hundred Marlin's have been sold making it one of the world's most prolific hovercraft.
With such astounding credentials, it's not surprising that the Flying Fish Marlin 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. Just to prove it was no fluke, the feat was repeated in 2011 with a pair of Mark II's!
The Marlin is a turn-key hovercraft built to marine standards and has a sporting, modern and professional look and comes with a warranty on both the craft and engine for added peace of mind.
Vanguard 35 The Engine makes the difference!
Flying Fish discontinued 2-stroke powered craft nearly ten years ago and became the first hovercraft manufacturer to use the 'Big Block' Vanguard motor. 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 - two strokes are a poor choice for hovercraft use. Reliability in a salt water environment is poor making it - at best - a depressing choice of engine and -at worst - plain dangerous for maritime usage. Two strokes are also very noisy and consume vast quantities of fuel (and with petrol at £7.00 per gallon, this is increasingly important!)A well-sorted and protected four stroke engine can resist pretty huge quantities of water - take a look HERE to see what we mean!
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. Under normal operating conditions, it sips little more than a gallon of fuel an hour (approx 25mpg) With Hirth or Rotax two stroke engines, most hovercraft will consume around five gallons an hour - plus a pint of expensive two-stroke oil!
To put that into real money, in typical operating conditions.
Two stroke powered craft - typical 4 hour cruise is approx. £156.00
Marlin, fuel costs for a 4 hour cruise is approx. £35.00
It's also likely that a two stroke craft of comparable size will need to be refuelled a couple of times during a four hour cruise. So you may need to add a couple of jerrycans to your luggage!
The only advantage that two-stroke engines have is their excellent power-to-weight ratio. As a result, we sometimes, we get asked if the Marlin needs more power. Well,the simple answer is that the craft is faster, has better acceleration and can carry more load than many more powerful hovercraft of the same size. This is due to it's light weight, uncluttered fan and superior power-to-weight ratio. Hovercraft owe much to aircraft design - and quite simply, heavy hovercraft don't work properly! Take the challenge, try a Marlin out at one of our demo days and you'll be amazed at this 45mph rocket!
Still, if you want even more... simply specify the 50bhp Rampage engine in your Marlin III.... we promise you a thrilling ride!
Hull, Design & Buoyancy
The Marlin has always offered superb buoyancy and freeboard, which has improved even further on the Mark III. The attractive but strong GRP hull has been designed to reduce drag and lift at high speeds and the craft weighs a featherweight 210kgs all up. It's protected from minor bumps by an aluminium bar around the outside and the kevlar sandwich floor (sthe same material they make bullet proof vests from!) has four landing pads to further resist wear. All fittings used in construction are of marine quality - designed for use in a salt water environment, including the entire transmission system. It can be supplied on a one man easy-load trailer and can be unloaded and on it's way within a couple of minutes.
The new 2014 Marlin features massively improved internal aerodynamics and means less air is used for lift... giving more for thrust. So it's faster and hovers better than ever before, even in demanding sea conditions. The new floor of the 2014 model also displaces much more water, meaning it floats even better than before and contains more flotation foam.
It can start from a dead stop in water with absolutely no problem whatsoever (called 'Getting Over The Hump' in the world of hovercraft!) 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, year after year!
Seating is very comfortable with padded seating featuring marine upholstery and the drivers legs extended in front (no sitting on your knees!) Control is via simple handlebar steering with throttle control. Most people are driving it easily within 10 minutes! With the new 2014 rudder design, steering is precise and because of it's light weight and excellent thrust, much faster and more responsive than you'd expect.
The unique fan assembly is robust and well protected. It is CAD designed to be light and easily serviceable but is extremely strong. The 6 bladed fan gives phenomenal lift characteristics to allow the craft to operate over virtually any surface. All pulleys are stainless steel to resist salt-water corrosion and the drive belts are toothed HTD belts which will not slip when wet, unlike 'V' belts. Unlike a 'bag skirt' the Marlin's skirt is in 58 separate segments - so any damage is quickly and easily repaired. Being individual segments means the skirt can seal more effectively on the land or water, so the hovercraft hovers correctly in all conditions. The skirt and lift performance is so good that the craft has been tested with 8 segments missing, giving amazing 'return to base' capacity. The chances are that you'll do whole days cruising without ever having to change a skirt...but in the event of a segment needing replacement, it is a really quick and simple job to change.
The 2014 model has a CAD designed 'splitter plate' - a crucial part of the aerodynamic package which divides the air from the fan between thrust and lift. It's proved quieter and much more efficient than the previous model, providing increased performance.
Coastal Cruising, Maritime Usage & the Flying Fish 'Coastal Kit'
In the UK at least, there is no legal requirement for a license or qualifications to drive either a boat or hovercraft. However, like any other boat, it's crucial you prepare properly for its use. Hovercraft aren't magic, and failure to respect the sea can land you in trouble, whatever you're driving. We advise joining the hovercraft club and - initially at least -, using your craft with others at organised events. We'll teach you how to drive your new craft as part of the 'handover' when you come to collect it, but if you have no maritime experience, we recommend gaining some basic boating qualifications from the RYA, Powerboat II for instance. Before using your craft in a maritime environment, you should equip yourself adequately with all necessary equipment, clothing and safety gear, register it and carefully check the weather and tidal charts before setting out. If you don;t have relevant safety equipment, consider adding in an optional but recommended 'Coastal Kit' which includes everything you need to use the Marlin in an 'uncontrolled' environment - estuaries,