TOPIC: HOVERCRAFT

 

We had some fun outings on the UH-14 last fall on the waters of the scenic Bow River and the Pine Coulee reservoir in southern Alberta.  Most of these trips led to some sort of modification or tweaking before the next trip.

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During our first trip to Pine Coulee we found the 30hp B & S was running very hot according to the oil temperature gauge I had installed.  To resolve this issue I added an air intake scoop on top of the engine cover which includes an air plenum that supplies air directly into the top of the engine air intake. An auxiliary oil cooler was also added to help with cooling.

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After a couple more trips we realized the need for a windshield wiper.  My windshield is Lexan so I was hoping I could avoid the wiper to prevent marking up the windshield ....but opted for the lesser of two evils.  A small solar panel was also added to provide a continuous trickle charge to the battery as a precaution against a drained battery.

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The Bow River, just downstream of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, is one of the top three trout streams in the world, harboring the most consistently large river run trout you will ever catch.  I was concerned how we would be accepted by the many fly fishermen along the banks ....we respectfully steered clear of them and where mostly met with curiosity and the occasional wave. 

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It was clear to me that the loading system I had designed and built was not really suitable for the unimproved shore lines of the Bow River.  The castoring wheels which are necessary in a collapsing "winch on" platform system made it very difficult to align the craft with the ramps for loading and moving in any direction once unloaded ....the craft weighs over 500lbs.  This system worked great when unloading on a hard surface such as a parking lot.

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My new loading system consists of a fold-down fly-on ramp with extensions to make it 10' long, the trailer is a 16' car hauler.

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 There don't appear to be nice sandy sand bars in the middle of the Bow River in this region .....they are pretty rough and pebbly.  This section of the Bow River is about 40 or 50 miles from it's headwaters which begin in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains so the water is cold ....not ideal for swimming but great for fly fishing for Rainbow, Speckled and Brown Trout.

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My son Kent is an amateur videographer ....he captured some of our first trip to the Bow in this You Tube video. https://youtu.be/5Wtg8M2X9p8

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Author / Member : bilco5

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