The difference between Hovercraft and Hoverbarges

There is a difference between the high speed Hovercraft and the heavy lift Hoverbarge, some of these differences are described below:

Construction Material
Hovercraft are designed and constructed to be lightweight and high speed.  This means the construction is normally from aluminium or composite materials.  The Hoverbarge is designed to handle heavy weights and to travel at a low speed, therefore the construction material is normally steel.  The steel provide a more robust structure for the typical commercial applications the Hoverbarge is used in. Cold weather steel can be used if the Hoverbarge is designed for extreme cold operating conditions.

The Hoverbarge can be designed to be a modular, this enables the Hoverbarge to be split into separate units and then trucked to site.  The units can be designed to be ISO container size to help reduce transportation costs.  The modular system enables transportation and trucking to in land areas which would be difficult with a large mono structure Hovercraft.

Large Flat Top Deck
The large flat top deck of a Hoverbarge provides easy access for working over the side, for situations such as oil spill response or drilling work overs.

Hovercraft Skirt System
The common hovercraft skirt system uses a bag or loop and finger design.  A similar design was used on the very early Hoverbarges, however, it was found in the industrial environment, the loop/bag section was very easily damaged.  This led to the use of just a finger design on the Hoverbarges which is further protected by a steel structure.  Such a design using very large fingers (which self seal if one is torn) is only possible on a Hoverbarge due to the ability to carry the extra weight of such a skirt.

For further information about the Hoverbarge, please Contact us.