Home Hovertoys Information Uses DIY Games Music FAQ Links About
Click here for your favorite eBay items

How to buy a Hovercraft

The Hovercraft Buyers Guide


So you have decided you want buy a hovercraft. This guide has been designed to help you make the most of your purchase. Before you purchase a craft you should first understand how a hovercraft works and even read the section about driving a hovercraft.


Before you purchase your craft you need to determine what type you would like and what size. Hovercraft come in all different shapes and sizes. If you are looking for a small remote control craft you can check out the RC Hovercraft Page. If you are looking to for a large craft for transporting groups of people then take a look at the Mass transit page. If you something for search and rescue then look at this page.

Smaller hovercraft can generally be classified as homebuilt or commercial.
1. Homebuilt craft are built buy DIY (do it yourself) builders typically from a set of plans or kits.

2. Commercial craft are more expensive, usually easier to maintain, and safer to operate than homebuilt craft.

Hovercraft are typically used for liesure/entertainment or for racing. Racing and leisure craft can either be homebuilt or commercial.

You need to determine how you craft will be used before you purchase one.

Commercial versus homebuilt hovercraft.

Cost versus Safety and Reliability. Homebuilt hovercraft are almost always cheaper than commercial hovercraft. This does not necessarily mean they are not as good. The quality of the homebuilt craft depends largely on the skills of the builder. Commercial craft are built in greater numbers with greater quality control.


Most hovercraft use two engines. One is used for lift and one is used for thrust. Smaller personal hovercraft and some racing craft only use one engine. The drawback to having only one engine is that as soon as the engine has produced enought thrust to lif the craft, the craft will start moving. This is somewhat problematic at low speeds but it can be overcome.

With two engines the craft can be hovered by just using the lift engine. The craft can easiled be moved and it make it easy to load and unload from a trailer. The drawback is that you use more fuel and there are two engines to maintain instead of one.


Hovercraft can travel over land and water. The bottom of the craft must be strong enough to handle hitting rocks and tree roots. Most commercial hovercraft have a thin skin of fiberglass on the bottom. You need to make sure the skin is not overlay damaged or punctured. Homebuilt craft usually have a foam bottom. This foam must be protected with fiberglass and epoxy or water can get in and damage the craft.

Since most craft are operated over water you need to make sure the vehicle has proper flotation. If you are buying a commercial craft check with the manufacturer. When buying a homebuilt craft check to make sure the craft was built with enough flotation by checking with the original plans and make sure the flotation has not deteriorated over time.


Occasionally, hovercraft skirts may get damaged so you need to know how to replace a skirt, or skirt segments, and how difficult it is. You need to have a skirt repair kit or spare skirt segments when you take out your hovercraft.


You need to consider how you are going to transport your hovecraft. Most people don't live on land that they use for hovering. You will probably need a truck and a trailer depending on the size of your craft. Smaller craft can be loaded into the back of a truck, but larger craft will require a trailer. Does the hovercraft you are purchasing come with a trailer?

There are basically two types of trailers that are used. Simple flat bed trailers and fly-on trailers. Flat bed trailers require people to lift the craft on an off, or they can be used with a boat ramp. The craft can be floated just off just like a boat. A fly-on trailer is a trailer the either has a ramp that folds down or it has the ability to tilt. Fly-on trailers allow for a single person to be able to load or unload.


Before you are ready to purchase your hovercraft first determine the following:

1. Size - What size you need. 1, 2, or 15 person craft.

2. Homebuilt or Commercial - Do you want to build your own craft or purchase one.

3. Engines - One or two engines. This also depends on the size of the craft and what it will be used for.

4. Construction - What is the craft made from, or if buying a used craft, check the quality of the construction and look for damage.

5. Transportation - How are you going to transport the craft. Along with that, where will it be stored.

6. Have fun! - Owning your own hovecraft is a unique experience. A large number of people still think hovercrafts are pure science fiction. So be ready to answer questions.


Links to other great sites.

HobbyTron.com Mini Stunt Car -- Free Shipping
National Geographic Kids Shop