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Author Topic: Hovertravel - the Isle of Wight service  (Read 666 times)
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John
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« on: August 19, 2016, 18:28:50 PM »

Hovertravel gave out a press release in June 2016 detailing the introduction of two new hovercraft for the Portsmouth - Isle of Wight route. The two craft - Solent Flyer and Island Flyer, were christened by Sir Ben Ainslie at a ceremony on the Island in July. But I happened to get a sneak preview of one of them a couple of months before that, as it scooted down Southampton Water past Fawley..

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John
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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2017, 07:08:25 AM »

Freedom 90 at Ryde. This little beauty has now been in service for over a quarter of a century, but her days are numbered..

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John
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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2017, 12:44:15 PM »

And here's Freedom 90 nipping between the Wightlink catamaran and Spitbank Fort - it left Ryde after the cat, and arrived before.. a ten minute crossing, I believe.

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Pete
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« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2017, 17:19:06 PM »

9 or 10 minutes usually which made it best, if however you could stand the take off of moving down the beach slope backwards then turning at the same time -add that to a rough sea and spot the green faces (mine included). Went over once on the last crossing before the weather cancelled flights- nearly standing on it's side  Angry
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John
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« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2017, 18:11:02 PM »

I've still never travelled on a hovercraft - I missed out as a spotty Southampton youth, when they were running a service from there to Cowes. I will give the Ryde - Southsea service a go in a few weeks time just to say I've done it.

Here's the Island Express at Ryde, no expense spared when it came to giving her a flamboyant paint scheme  Cheesy

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Timc
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« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2017, 20:40:07 PM »

A couple of years back I happened to be sailing along the south Coast and stopped off at Hythe Hants to pick up my Uncle to give him a days sailing. He worked on the early development of hovercraft at Hythe. Believe at some point it was called NPL... poss National Physical Laboratories  or similar... I'm sure Ill be corrected. Anyway, whilst sailing down Southampton water my uncle pointed out a couple of markers between HMS diligence (as was) and Fawley. He said these were a mile apart and were used for timing the hovercraft speeds during testing.
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John
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« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2017, 18:54:34 PM »

I think this is Solent Flyer - I forgot to walk a few feet to the side to clock the name  Roll Eyes

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« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2017, 16:12:13 PM »

Disembarking at Southsea - arse-end view. (I'm getting good with the technical terms  Grin )

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Man of Kent1
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« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2017, 23:22:43 PM »

I travelled on a hovercraft to the IOW in 1971 for my wife's *sister's 'impromptu' wedding; spent the day there and travelled back on the ferry before catching a train back to London.

(* She and her beloved had met while working at Warner's Holiday Camp, fell in love and decided to get married.  They gave us but 48 hours notice of this and it was all a bit of a whirlwind, frankly!  As soon as the manager found out they had got hitched they were sacked on the spot, banned from the use of their quarters and kicked out of the camp.  They arrived in London in the small hours of the following day. They are still together!
)
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John
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« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2018, 06:37:27 AM »

.

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« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2018, 18:33:45 PM »

 Unlike John, I have traveled on the hovercraft too many times to count - as a stewardess, or 'purserette' as we were known.
Oh the joy of a force 7 (we stopped at force 8 ) holding my hat on with one hand, tray of drinks in the other. On a bumpy day it was a strange bouncing movement - never dropped a tray of drinks, but did once end up on a passenger's lap...
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Tim Sargeant
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« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2018, 22:25:09 PM »

I used to go to the IoW in the 1970s to collect cars. If these were runners, (and many of the cars we had dealings with were not!) I would go over on the hovercraft and drive the cars back via the ferry from Fishbourne. (I believe the early hovercraft used on this route was the one which went on the expedition up the Orinoco River which was not navigable by an ordinary boat, a feat that boosted the use of these craft.) I think in those days doing this must have worked out either cheaper or quicker than taking the ferry both ways. When collecting non-runners I took a truck and recovery trailer so that two could be brought back. It also wasn't unknown to take a spare driver along and bring a third vehicle back towed on a rope behind the trailer. The ferry people were much more 'understanding' in those days! A small 'gratuity' would often get you to the head of the queue, or if arriving late possibly in the space reserved for an ambulance.You wouldn't get away with those antics today unfortunately.
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