Giant Car-Carrying Hovercraft

Regulars will know that as well as a ship-nut, I’m quite a big Hovercraft fan.

Do fellow Brits remember the big car carrying Hovercraft (SRN4’s) that operated form Ramsgate in the 1969 to 1981, crossing to France? They also operated from Dover until 2000.

These were incredibly impressive machines, with later versions carrying up to 60 cars and 415 passengers.

My first time on the SRN4 was when I was a child in 1971. We travelled to Calais on a rather rough day. Unfortunately were allocated seats at the bow and the craft slapped down on every wave. The noise and vibration was also quite high – but I still loved it!
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2 Responses to “Giant Car-Carrying Hovercraft”

  1. Malcolm Oliver Says:

    Thanks Bruce, interesting information.

    Yes they were noisy, suffered from a lot of vibration and ‘slapped’ on the waves in rough conditions. It’s easy to see why the SeaCats have replaced them, but I still LOVE Hovercraft!

  2. Bruce Tucker Says:

    Although I never travelled on them, in the late 1970s I supplied British Hovercraf Corporation in Cowes, Isle of Wight with some of the abrasive material used to cut SRN4s Princess Anne and Princess Margaret in half before new sections were added to lengthen them.
    I’ve travelled on the smaller passenger hovercraft on the IOW routes but found the vibration very uncomfortable, preferring the better sea keeping of hydrofoils.

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