New Inshore Slipway

New launch and recovery trials

 

The new slipway is not designed for flying out and flying in. For this to happen the gradient would have to be more shallow and with that comes a longer slipway and a lot more cost.

So, using the tractor as a drogue, the hovercraft is lowered down the slipway to within 2 metres of the mud or waters edge. (Higher water may facilitate a direct launch)

The teather is then unhooked and the shore crew cleared, then the hovercraft is free to go. Even with just a 2 metre run, the momentum gained is sufficient to ensure that the hovercraft hits the water at above hump speed whilst still remaining comfortably in the pilots control.

Returning to station similarly is a vastly simplified affair to our previous arrangement. The hovercraft's bow just needs to be bought to as central as possible on the slipway and set down. From there the tractor takes control and the slight inverse camber on the slip helps to keep everything in line.

 

At this point in proceedings the main thing on the crew's mind is usually 'who is manning the kettle'!

     

Have a look at this video which comprises of time-lapse photography from our crewman Tony. Marine construction is a specialist operation in it's own right and this team managed to build our slipway ahead of schedule against short winter daylight, rough weather and two high tides a day!