Until now, hovercraft have tended to be backyard vehicles or supplied
in kit form, designed by enthusiasts for enthusiasts. Our design
approach has been to take a 20th century invention, and create a 21st
century vehicle, designed for the demands of the marine leisure
For the combination of excitement, ease of use, manufacturing quality,
passenger carrying capacity, safety, durability, handling, comfort,
and serviceability, the Hov Pod is the best small hovercraft on the
market, and offers great value for money; there is no comparison.
Quality comes at a price, and typically, consumers try to cut costs
where it is prudent to do so. We all like to compare aesthetics, build
quality, safety features, performance and durability, to get the best
value for money.
By introducing the Hov Pod to the leisure market, we realized that
many people will be comparing our product to other marine products
available, but they may not be familiar with essential aspects of the
Hov Pod design. For example, why are weight performance ratios so
critical, can I trade performance against ease of use, durability and
the safety of my passengers, and what operational advantages does the
Hov Pod offer?
Cut corners and costs too far, and occasionally you end up with a
product that proves to be very expensive, prone to breakdowns,
unreliable and at worst extremely dangerous.
Reading this document, you have already begun to ask essential
questions, and we feel confident that the answers provided here will
leave you in no doubt as to the Hov Pod’s superior quality.
The following document looks at many aspects of the design philosophy
of Hov Pod.
All specifications are subject to change without notice.
All prices are excluding local taxes and are Ex Works.
Hov Pod is a trademark of Reaction International Ltd.
All Text and Images are Copyright© Reaction International Ltd.
The Hov Pod Design
Design & Manufacture for quality, reliability and
Ease of use and
Inshore salt water
Set up for on water starts with three
Ease of maintenance and
Styling, ownership and customer
Full clear instruction, user and service
Dealer network and service
Design & Manufacture for quality, reliability and durability
Hov Pod uses the very best components and manufacturing processes
available today within the marine and aviation markets. The points
below detail just some of the factors that were considered in the
design and engineering of the Hov Pod.
ü Electrical connections and all electrical terminations are made in
dry compartments and/or contained within sealed boxes using the
highest quality marine IP67 sealed inline connectors. When operating
on water this offers far greater security of operation than standard
exposed terminal blocks and crimped butt connectors.
ü The Hov Pod uses a stainless steel marine steering cable supplied by
Teleflex® (the worlds leading supplier of marine steering systems). To
give the craft even greater reliability this cable was then modified
by Teleflex® to our own specification, to ensure stainless steel
ü All other parts of the steering system are made from 316 high
chromium marine grade stainless steel. These parts are of the
316-presentation grade and are fully polished to a standard as seen on
high quality sports and cruising boats.
ü Reliability and simplicity are paramount in selecting an engine. The
Hov Pod uses a simple air-cooled 2-stroke engine proven by many years’
use in the microlite industry. The simplicity of the design ensures a
greater degree of reliability by limiting components such as
water-cooling systems and complicated electronics and electrical
circuitry as used by both marinised and four stroke engines.
ü In designing the Hov Pod we considered whether to use one or two
engines. The use of one engine to provide both the Hov Pod’s lift and
thrust was selected as this further minimizes the number of components
and electrical circuitry and offers the customer greater reliability
and peace of mind. If a second engine were to be used it would need to
be situated in front of the cockpit and this has high reliability
problems as it is exposed to water ingress when operating in rough
conditions or stopping quickly.
ü Many people think that the Hov Pod uses a one-piece skirt. The
problem with a one-piece skirt is that if a large piece of surface
debris could not be avoided then a large area of the skirt could
suffer damage or deteriorate further before being fixed. The Hov Pod
incorporates 65 individual segmented skirts to provide peace of mind
that any rips or damage due to surface debris will be limited to
wholly separate and individual segments. The segments are easy to
repair or replace by the customer, taking two minutes to replace one
ü The manufacture of the hull is sub contracted to experts in GRP and
composite boat manufacture. Their years of experience ensure that the
Hov Pod’s hull construction uses the very latest materials and is to
the very highest standards of workmanship required for marine usage.
ü For all craft supported by air, such as planes and helicopters,
weight needs to be kept to a minimum. However whilst wishing to keep
the weight down we also needed to maintain a high degree of durability
and strength in the crafts design. For its size the craft is fairly
heavy, at 250 kilos. This is due to the much-enhanced levels of
durability, reliability and safety that are built in to the Hov Pod as
standard. Aspects such as a thick double skinned floor, large car
battery etc add weight but give far greater security of use.
ü Where we can save weight, we have done so without compromising the
crafts quality or durability. For example the Hov Pod uses a high
power to weight engine to give great performance characteristics for a
minimum weight penalty. In addition to give maximum strength for
minimum weight the hull is built using advanced construction
techniques and high strength lightweight composites. This approach
give users greater peace of mind, increased life and reduced repair
ü Hov Pod incorporates extensive features to minimize the risk of
damage to the craft. A rubber impact bumper strip surrounds the craft
to protect it against minor scratches and knocks. Under this rubber
strip is positioned a full aluminum impact plate. This aluminum plate
will protect the craft against knocks that would otherwise crack and
break exposed GRP. To absorb the energy and load of even harder
impacts the aluminum strip is attached at the point where the hull and
deck are bonded together. This means that impact taken by the aluminum
strip is reinforced by and transferred to the thickest section of the
ü The bottom and front of the Hov Pod is constructed as a double skin
with marine sandwich foam buoyancy between. This style of construction
is very important because it ensures that the craft is far more rigid
and solid than a single skin construction and that the Hov Pod is far
more durable and able to meet day-to-day stresses. The double skin
also ensures a far greater degree of protection should a solid object
be impacted at speed. We recognized that a single skin could puncture
or crack, and start taking on water whilst afloat.
ü The bottom of the craft incorporates twin longitudinal aluminum
skids that protect the craft when coming to rest on the beach and
ü The front corners of the Hov Pod utilize Kevlar® wear patches.
Kevlar® is used in the manufacture of bulletproof vests, being one of
today's most advanced impact absorbent materials. The use of this in
these critical areas offers greater levels of safety and protection
from accidental impact.
ü The front and rear of the craft also incorporate large aluminum
impact wear plates. These plates are placed in critical areas to offer
greater reliability and safety by protecting the hull and directly
absorbing any accidental impacts or knocks.
ü Design of the Hov Pod recognized the need for strengthening load
areas such as operator access and seating areas. This is achieved
during the hull manufacture stage through use of a strengthening foam
ü For high levels of durability the Hov Pod hull uses isothalic resins
and incorporates a layer of quad axial mat. This material was
developed for the aerospace industry and due to its high strength to
weight ratio is now the material of choice for high performance glass
fiber boat construction. Many other marine craft and hovercraft use a
full chopped strand mat (CSM) construction because it is cheaper and
quicker to use. This method was not chosen for the Hov Pod because,
weight for weight, CSM construction is more susceptible to weak points
ü Where stainless steel cannot be used all metal components have
undergone a marine standard five-stage coating and galvanizing process
offering the highest degree of corrosion protection.
ü The duct construction incorporates an inner and outer skin for
greater protection against duct damage.
ü To ensure the highest levels of quality, components are manufactured
by companies with years of expertise in their own field to ensure that
the latest methods and standards are adhered to.
manufacture of the hull is sub-contracted to experts in GRP and
composite boat manufacture. Their experience in boat manufacture
ensure that the Hov Pods hull construction is to the very highest
standards of workmanship required for marine usage. The hull
manufacture takes place in a temperature controlled environment using
logged batch Scott Bader materials.
ü Such expertise ensures that Hov Pod customers do not experience
long-term problems, such as improper curing, softness, poor mechanical
properties, shrinkage, and discoloration. Manufacture of any glass
fiber object other than by experts, or in a fast uncontrolled manner
can lead to poor fibre/resin ratio leading to poor impact strength,
soft spots, cracks, and easy surface chipping. Long-term problems with
poor GRP construction can include de-lamination that can lead to
severe weakening of the molding. Other problems that can occur over
time include surface bubbling and blisters, crazing, cracks, hard
points, voids and a general poor finish. Time and energy invested at
the design and manufacturing stage ensure that the Hov Pod is built to
ü Assembly of the Hov Pod takes place in a production line system to a
laid down system and procedure. Quality checks are undertaken at every
stage of production. Our objective, through attention to detail, is
complete customer satisfaction; and we achieve this by adhering to our
company-wide ethos to create products that everyone in our company can
be proud of.
Ease of use and control
ü In the past, hovercraft have been difficult to operate and learn how
to use. This is not the case with the Hov Pod because it was designed
to address all known problems and went through hundreds of hours of
testing so that the overall balance and set up of the craft make using
it very simple, natural and easy to use.
ü By closely working on aspects such as the interaction of the
controls, the feel of use, stability, performance, response, and
balance, first time users quickly become confident and comfortable
with the operation and are surprised to find that after about only ten
minutes they can put the Hov Pod through long controlled graceful
slides and maneuvers.
ü Since their first introduction, hovercraft have suffered from an
operational problem referred to as plough-in (or digging in). In
certain operating circumstances, the nose of a hovercraft will dip
into the water and if not corrected, cause the craft to rapidly stop.
This can cause the occupants to be suddenly thrown forward, and
requires the driver to be on guard to prevent this potential hazard.
Some hovercraft manufacturers accept this is an operational problem or
try to overcome this problem by adding elevators and additional
counter-measure controls. Having recognized this as a major problem,
the Hov Pod designers conducted a year-long feasibility project to
look into ways of overcoming the problem, to eliminate anxiety during
operation. From this research emerged the IAPSS system (integrated
anti plough skirt system) which is designed in to the craft. As a
consequence, we are proud to report that to-date, Hov Pod has never
ü The Hov Pod uses one engine, which is controlled by a handlebar
twist grip throttle as on a motorbike or personal watercraft and this
means that Hov Pod users are immediately familiar with the style and
layout of the controls. Increasing the engine revs gently brings the
craft up and away in whichever direction the handlebars are operated.
This deliberate simplicity of use means that you do not have to worry
about controlling two engines at once or reducing revs on the wrong
engine. Lowering the wrong engine revs at the wrong time can cause a
craft to lose its lift air and stop very violently whilst still
travelling with maximum thrust and speed, or lose its thrust and
steering air while still sliding along possibly towards an object on a
fully inflated skirt.
ü Many craft incorporate elevators and/or reversing mechanisms but our
design philosophy was to keep it as simple as possible for operators
to use the craft. By paying particular attention to the operation,
feel and responsiveness of the Hov Pod, these extra controls are not
needed. In terms of maneuvering the Hov Pod it can be used to
undertake long graceful turns or make tight turns in confined
waterways or marinas. The balance and set up of the Hov Pod means that
you can turn it on the spot on both land and water.
ü The engine and drive arrangement were carefully considered during
the design stage and a belt driven assembly was chosen. We eliminated
the need for a gearbox driven fan as this necessitates the engine to
be raised up at head height and makes the craft harder to control due
to decreased stability and increased roll characteristics.
ü The Hov Pod has been designed with emphasis on fun; the 52hp engine
has been selected for its high power to weight characteristics so that
you can be off and away for exploration, fun and excitement (from an
on water start if required) with 3 large adults or 2 adults and 2
ü Hov Pod is the ideal size for excellent handling, ease of use and
performance to ensure that you can undertake a whole range of
thrilling maneuvers. We particularly wanted to create a craft that is
responsive and easy to control. It was also equally important that the
craft was not too small, slow or under-powered.
Hov Pod has been designed so that that the thrill can be shared with
your family and friends.
Do you want one of these?
and check out what we have to offer you.