The paper describes the development of the sidewall hovercraft or surface effect ship as a commercial high-speed passenger hoverferry or "Hovermarine". Early work in the U.K. and U.S. is traced to the introduction in 1968 of the first Hovermarine--the 60 passenger HM.2. That prototype craft with limited sea state capacity developed through eight years of passenger service and two distinct "model changeovers" into the current 84-92 passenger Mark 4 waterbus with greatly improved passenger comfort and system reliability, while maintaining the initially conceived high-speed operational efficiency. This HM.2 development in increased payload, extended sea state capability and improved ride quality is reviewed and quantified. The now standard 40 mph HM.2 has an 18,000 disposable load capability which lends itself readily to roles other than pure passenger carrying. Designs using the standard hull but configured for crew boat, survey and firefighting missions are presented. The 200 million in-service passenger miles experience gained on the 28 ton HM.2 served as the principal development background to the 220 passenger, 80 ton HM.5 Hovermarine, the prototype of which is now in construction. The characteristics of the HM.5 are presented, and the Hovermarine series craft are reviewed on basic parametric terms with other types of high-speed marine vehicles. This review extends the Hovermarine concept to the 500 ton region. Hovermarines are finally discussed in regard to their capability as "waterbuses" in alleviating the currently favored, but tremendousy expensive land-based roadway and fixed guideway solutions to the U.S. mass transit problem in spite of the fact that waterways serving most large cities remain underutilized.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Proceedings of Second International Waterborne Transportation Conference, October 5-7, 1977, New York City. Available April, 1978, approximately 750 pages, Cost: to ASCE members $15.00; non-members $30.00.
  • Corporate Authors:

    American Society of Civil Engineers

    345 East 47th Street
    New York, NY  United States  10017-2398
  • Authors:
    • Davison, E F
  • Publication Date: 1977

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00170277
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Proceeding
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 14 1981 12:00AM