TOPIC: HOVERCRAFT

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After my last article about getting the craft back on the water "The Norm" was not ready to co-operate.  I took it out with a friend of mine and after about an hour of running perfectly on Morton Bay one of the other hovercrafts in the club had an issue with his motor near the boat ramp, when I went in to assist we noticed an oil slick from the back of my craft.  We had to sort him out and then I could land and my oil cooler had split loosing almost all my oil.

I was again back with the company who had worked on the craft, Driftking Performance.  They again did a great job.  The manufacturer of the oil cooler was happy to replace it but I did not want the same cooler.  We have installed a much more sturdy cooler and mounted it with rubber isolaters so the cooler should not see the vibrations.

IMG 6300

On the thrust prop I had installed a front edge from an aircraft supplier.  It was a metal tape and while it looked good it lasted about 2 mins and pealed off at the ends of the prop.  I cleaned it off, built up the slight damage with repainted the prop with Plasti-Bond and then re-painted the prop with my polyurethane marine paint.  I then purchased a much thicker metal tape for an aircraft prop so we will see how this performs.  It looks good and is strong and can be seen in the side decking photo below.

IMG 5780

While I was working on the craft we removed the lift fan assembly where the bearings were "noisy" and the bearings turned out to be rusted.  I had environmentally sealed bearing housings but salt water has got in.  The bearings have been replaced and the grease is now marine grease that should help with the salt.  There are two housings and I am installing an auto lubber to continuously pump a little grease into them that should keep the salt out.  I also changed all the grease in the bearing housings to marine grease.

IMG 6296

 

My other "issue" was the rubber matting at the sides of the craft.  The original matting had melted when the summer sun arrived.  It looked like someone had taken a blow torch to it.  I have found another matting that should resist the heat and it has been installed.  The difficulty was that the original matting was held on with 3M adhesive and it had to be removed.  I used WD40 to dissolve it and a paint scraper to remove the glue.  Thanks for a very hard polyurethane marine paint the glue came off without a mark.  The other issue I had was that some of the decking had again parted from the foam core of the craft, probably from heat.  I had easily fixed this before by drilling small holes and injecting epoxy and then use bricks to hold down the ply against the foam.  I did this again and it worked well but 5 bricks had leaks in the tape that closed the holes and 5 bricks were firmly glassed to the deck.  Removing the bricks tore off the first layer of ply and the repair was to build up the whole in the ply with fiberglass, smooth the surface, undercoat and repaint the deck before putting the new covering over it.  It took some time but worked well.

IMG 6239  IMG 6464

The craft is now looking good and ready to go out again so I hope all works well this time. 

 

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Author / Member : lazza

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