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HOVERTRAVEL: New Hovercraft


Caulkhead
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Yep, 2 oldies working today as they were packed with the £5 Sunday deal. Struggle to keep to time when full. It is not helped by passengers boarding from both sides and instead of going up the aisle the side you boarded they go across and cause a jam the other side. Then there is the fussy ones who can never just choose a seat and start coming back down the aisle against the tide. once underway fine until the announcement we are arriving soon but do not get up until steps in place as may delay the landing. Just like aircraft, ignorant people get up immediately and start going for the door. Not allowing those nearest the back to disembark first and in an orderly fashion. Don't you just love peoples manners! Great day despite these minor issues. Lunch in Cowes at The Globe on the waterfront. Gearing up for busy weekend next week. Great homemade burger and sweet potato fries. Chain ferry now a £1 for footies single way, so all the howling and protests ignored.

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Yep, 2 oldies working today as they were packed with the £5 Sunday deal. Struggle to keep to time when full. It is not helped by passengers boarding from both sides and instead of going up the aisle the side you boarded they go across and cause a jam the other side. Then there is the fussy ones who can never just choose a seat and start coming back down the aisle against the tide. once underway fine until the announcement we are arriving soon but do not get up until steps in place as may delay the landing. Just like aircraft, ignorant people get up immediately and start going for the door. Not allowing those nearest the back to disembark first and in an orderly fashion. Don't you just love peoples manners! Great day despite these minor issues. Lunch in Cowes at The Globe on the waterfront. Gearing up for busy weekend next week. Great homemade burger and sweet potato fries. Chain ferry now a £1 for footies single way, so all the howling and protests ignored.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well I must admit surprise. Mrs Adicat and I walked along Southsea seafront this afternoon and it was rather gusty. Solent Flyer was one of the two hovercraft operating which bearing in mind she has not been in nice sunny calm days was quite a surprise. She was catching the older one up so being higher seemed to be coping with waves better and maybe more power.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Island Express came back from Southampton to permit a three craft service during the Bestival exodus. Since then its been FREEDOM 90 and ISLAND EXPRESS on the passenger service, SOLENT FLYER on trial runs and ISLAND FLYER back at Southampton. When I asked today I was told the new craft are still too unreliable!

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  • 1 month later...

Things don't seem to be going to well with the new craft:

 

http://www.hovertravel.co.uk/service-status/

 

Craft still not bedded in??

 

On that note I was over the at Ryde today watching the craft - this morning Island Flyer was doing some sort of trials, including a couple of stops in the water, and a 720 turn!

 

She later came into service, but I found she disliked going in a straight line, the pic attached shows her approaching the pad at Ryde - she is actually going essentially along the white line, not in the direction of the bow.

Edited by The Ferry Man
Wrong Craft
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Not getting any better!

 

MECHANICAL problems with Wightlink's catamaran coupled with Hovertravel's new hovercraft continuing to experience difficulties conjure a perfect storm for Isle of Wight cross-Solent travellers tomorrow (Monday).

After Hovertravel announced reduced services that will probably last until Friday, Wightlink confirmed tomorrow's 06:40, 07:40 and 08:40 sailings from Portsmouth are cancelled and a slower charter vessel service will run from Ryde Pierhead at 07:10, 08:10 and 09:10.

Hovertravel apologised for its two new craft taking longer to "bed-in" than expected and said a total of 14 services each day would not run.

They are:

From Ryde: 07:30, 08:00, 08:30, 16:00, 16:30, 17:00 and 17:30

From Southsea: 07:45, 08:15, 08:45, 16:15, 16:45, 17:15 and 17:45

Hovertravel said priority would be given to season, travelcard and company ticket holders at busy times and its managing director apologised on the company website and promised an update on Wednesday.

Neil Chapman said: "I would like to apologise for the recent delays and disruptions you have experienced in recent weeks.

"As I previously advised the 'bedding in’ of the new craft Solent Flyer and Island Flyer has taken considerably longer than expected, and following a review of the current situation it has been decided to operate a revised timetable for this week."

 

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Not getting any better!

 

MECHANICAL problems with Wightlink's catamaran coupled with Hovertravel's new hovercraft continuing to experience difficulties conjure a perfect storm for Isle of Wight cross-Solent travellers tomorrow (Monday).

After Hovertravel announced reduced services that will probably last until Friday, Wightlink confirmed tomorrow's 06:40, 07:40 and 08:40 sailings from Portsmouth are cancelled and a slower charter vessel service will run from Ryde Pierhead at 07:10, 08:10 and 09:10.

Hovertravel apologised for its two new craft taking longer to "bed-in" than expected and said a total of 14 services each day would not run.

They are:

From Ryde: 07:30, 08:00, 08:30, 16:00, 16:30, 17:00 and 17:30

From Southsea: 07:45, 08:15, 08:45, 16:15, 16:45, 17:15 and 17:45

Hovertravel said priority would be given to season, travelcard and company ticket holders at busy times and its managing director apologised on the company website and promised an update on Wednesday.

Neil Chapman said: "I would like to apologise for the recent delays and disruptions you have experienced in recent weeks.

"As I previously advised the 'bedding in of the new craft Solent Flyer and Island Flyer has taken considerably longer than expected, and following a review of the current situation it has been decided to operate a revised timetable for this week."

 

This is disappointing news but I thought that their existing to craft (Freedom 90/Solent Express) were enough to operate the timetable service without needing the new hovercraft in service. Is one of those out of action too?

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Things don't seem to be going to well with the new craft:

 

http://www.hovertravel.co.uk/service-status/

 

 

On that note I was over the at Ryde today watching the craft - this morning Island Express was doing some sort of trials, including a couple of stops in the water, and a 720 turn!

 

She later came into service, but I found she disliked going in a straight line, the pic attached shows her approaching the pad at Ryde - she is actually going essentially along the white line, not in the direction of the bow.

 

Do you mean Island Flyer, one of the new craft?

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This is disappointing news but I thought that their existing to craft (Freedom 90/Solent Express) were enough to operate the timetable service without needing the new hovercraft in service. Is one of those out of action too?

 

 

I think you mean Island Express (Solent Express being the ill-fated large BHT 130 craft that was introduced and retired a few years ago, all in the space of a couple of years).

 

You're right - Island Express and Freedom 90 have been doing a sterling job on the Hovertravel route for many years, and have been successfully filling in for the two new craft during this rather optimistically-termed "bedding in period". Unfortunately, it seems Island Express was somewhat prematurely withdrawn from the route a couple of weeks ago, and is now sitting at Griffon Hoverwork in Southampton. We can only assume that either they're going to re-commission her rapidly, or that there's a plan to suddenly get the new craft more reliable (whatever the problems are).

 

I've heard through a couple of separate grapevines that the problems are serious and fundamental though, and remedial work may take some re-designing.

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Do you mean Island Flyer, one of the new craft?

 

 

That I did :o

 

Have since fixed

 

 

http://www.griffonhoverwork.com/products-services/used-hovercraft.aspx

 

Freedom 90, Island Express AND Solent Express all advertised for sale, so lets hope the problems get fixed before they get a buyer (The AP1s just need a freshen up, they are still great craft in my opinion)

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Well I am somewhat baffled. I asked Hovertravel about my £5 return as the 1700 which I was booked on later this week was cancelled. Its not transferrable yet they say I cab get anyone back. I asked why only 1 craft on and what about Island Express. They said a newbie would be running with Freedom 90 as back up. I asked was it a lack of Pilots as they seem to say 3 craft available but said they are working on some craft and took half term to do it. Strange since they have gone for the £5 offer to make them busier.

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I watched Freedom 90 leave and one of the new ones land on the pad at Southsea and spent the whole time up down side to side then up down and side to side on the pad then leave when Freedom 90 came back then sat hovering about 1/4 mile offshore until Freedom left then back on to the pad for another round of up down side to side action....Very strange possible Pilot training of some sorts..

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Well I thought I was in for a day of disappointment as arrived to see Freedom 90 depart for the 1000 flight and then return for the 1030. I asked why only 1 on and they said maintenance on the others. However, a few minutes later we were told Island Flyer was coming over for additional sailing as fog had caused a few delays. So hoorah, on a newbie. Not sure what really is going on as rebooked to come back as the 1700 was cancelled at the beginning of the week. So rebooked for 1545. When I arrived in Ryde, Freedom 90 was running. However, suddenly she was stopped and Island Flyer started up, so newbie home again. If they have 2 craft why are they saying they are running a 1 craft service. Solent Flyer had her engines going as well but not on the run. Guess Furuno test is when one of the newones is not in service but running as AIS comes up with that and not their name.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Something is still very wrong. Hovertravel announce last night that there will be a shuttle service today - meaning only one craft available, which we can only assume is Freedom 90 (the only remaining 1-88) with the two new craft unavailable (yet again, for whatever reason).

 

Unfortunately, Freedom 90 broke down first thing morning so no service whatsoever for early morning commuters. More regulars deserting to the Wightlink ferry service, no doubt.

 

Why aren't they bringing Island Express (the other 1-88) back into service until the new craft are "bedded in" (to use Hovertravel's own words)? Don't they realise how important reliability is? Has her ticket expired?

 

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Thought they were doing things right but certainly seem to have scored some own goals with decisions about taking off the old craft and sending to Southampton thus leaving them short when the newbies have to come off. Still not worked out why they can run both of them 1 day and next they are off the run again.

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