Preparing your hovercraft for commercial operations
in an intertidal or marine environment.
Under the terms of the Hovercraft Code of Practice, Ultralight hovercraft are expected to meet minimum standards for build specification and equipment.
The Code of Practice is a voluntary code which means Ultralight hovercraft can be used for some types of commercial work. Previously, this was in theory possible, but very very difficult to achieve in practical terms. So now, Ultralights are operated under PUWER (Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations) rather than vessel standards.
Failing to observe the terms of the MCA Ultralight Code *could* in some circumstances lead to cancellation of insurance or liability for prosecution were an accident or incident occur.
In order to ensure you are fully insured and compliant, you'll need to ensure the following
1. The hovercraft is a suitable model for the work.
2. The hovercraft is designed, built and equipped in accordance with the HCoP.
3. Manning requirements are met, with an adequately trained skipper.
4. Sufficient safety and backup measures are in place.
4. The hovercraft is maintained and inspected regularly by a Competent Person.
From fuel lines, fan design and steering redundancy system, to the skirt material & engine specifications, there are numerous MCA standards for Ultralight hovercraft. There are also requirements for minimum equipment, but in reality, these are only some of the equipment we have found to be useful for operations in the harsh marine environment.
It's always worth remembering - small hovercraft will take you to places that no other vehicle can reach. You need to be self sufficient in all aspects of the operation, as well as ensuring that the crew are kept comfortable. If you suffer a breakdown or accident, you need to be prepared to deal with it yourself. Having the correct tools, spares, knowledge and emergency provisions are crucial in all circumstances.
As one of the lead authors of the MCA Hovercraft Code of Practice, we have full knowledge of the requirements for hovercraft operations, and have hundreds of hours, and dozens of hire jobs, safely behind us. No other hovercraft company has utilized the opportunities presented by the code more than we have! This experience allows us to advise you from a position of genuine and operational experience in how to safely and effectively complete commercial work using a hovercraft - whether you are hiring it in, or your company has purchased a small hovercraft for your own project.
Coastal Transit Services
07584 996 552
Skirt repairs on the beach can be tricky. You'll be isolated and in potentially muddy conditions, so you'll need all the correct spares and tools, something to lie on - and the knowledge to look for handy natural 'ramps!'
No matter what time you finish, no matter how cold or dark - you must wash down the hovercraft!
Vital equipment - VHF and a chart plotter.