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Jimbo, always nice to learn of a new club member. Glad you jumped right
in and that you are using the Forum.
building my first hovercraft in 1994 and had it operational in nine
months. I had never seen a hovercraft, knew no one who had one, nor did I
have the Internet at my disposal. This is just to say, sure you can
build a hovercraft! But I do want to add some to this
statement. I bought a set of Universal Plans which helped me get off
to a good start. There is no reason for you to re-invent the wheel.
I say this not to discourage you but to encourage you do just what
you seem to be doing and that is to reach out to others. I think that
building your first craft from a set of proven plans will do this for
you: It will help you learn the basics and if you choose a small, simple
design, you can build it faster and get it operational sooner so that you can
enjoy the sport. Then after you do this you will be better equipped to
design and build your own craft. It is sad to see folks who venture out
on their own, spend a lot of time and money building something that is doomed
from the start and then give up never to enjoy a hovercraft and learn what a
great and unique this sport is. I have seen it happen too many times.
certainly hope you are at the Chilson Pond event as I write as this is where
you will learn a good bit in a short period of time and perhaps most
importantly, make some great new friends. I have found that after fooling
with hovers 18 years, the fine friends I have made are more important to me
than the hovercraft.
to lightly touch on tech stuff a bit. In making my first skirt bag for my
original hovercraft, I literally made a mountain out of a mole hill. I
must have worked on this item at least four weeks, paid $100 to rent a
commercial sewing machine, etc. Now I could make one in an evening if I
put my mind to it. For a bag skirt, most of us use tarp/awning material,
vinyl coated nylon or polyester of about 16 to 18 oz and BOND the seams with an
adhesive called HH66. The seams turn out stronger than the material
itself. No sewing!!!
mistake I made was under powering my craft. Still another was trying to
make it look "pretty" and not spending enough time on making it
"go". But, I truly enjoyed the experience and it was a great
education. Overall, it turned out not to be a failure though. I did
win the Quality Construction Award with it at the 1997 National Hoverally and
after I replaced the 10 HP thrust engine with a 30+ HP Kawasaki engine, it would
run 45 MPH half the time. Half the time because that is all the two cycle
engine would run. Trouble was, I never knew which half it was gonna' run!
planning now to attend the National Hoverally in Piqua, Ohio...you
won't regret attending this event. Cheers,