Dan's Mexican Adventure


I thought that you'd like to hear how the hovercraft did in Mexico,
so here's the report. At first, it was slow... really slow in the 
water. We then realized that maybe the small holes towards the back 
of the skirting shouldn't have been patched up. After a bit of plastic
surgery, it worked great on the smooth sand and small pools that is 
left behind during high tide. Small obstacles such as crab pots and 
their marking stakes proved difficult to miss for some (even though 
there were only 3 within about 400 yards). Everyting was cool, tough. 
Top speed was about 25-30 mph, and it was a blast. It could probably 
use more lift, as the front engine that we put on to replace the 
damaged one was 2hp less (5hp for the original 7hp).

The only real snag that we ran into occured overnight on new years eve.
The tide came in about 20 ft higher than on previous nights and washed 
the hovercraft out to sea. We thought that all was lost until someone 
spotted a small yellow dot on the horizon. In the end, we realized that 
it was about a mile and a half or more out and about 20 miles downshore. 
We weren't about to let it go, though, so Danny and I half inflated a 
small raft (the pump broke while we were inflating it), and paddled out 
for over an hour to get it. The raft had a leak, and we made it to the 
hovercraft just in time. 

Luckily for us, it started and had just enough gas to get us to the tide 
barrier. Danny and I then spent a couple of hours pushing it along the 
low tide pools until finally help came and we got a tow and some extra 
gas. So, to end the story, the hovercraft is safely in a garage in Mexico 
awaiting repairs to the skirt and a new rear prop.

We nearly lost your pride and joy, and I'm sorry for that, but you can 
rest easy with the satisfaction of knowing that Danny and I went though 
hell to get it back. I hope that New Years Eve treated you all well, and 
that you have prosperous years ahead of you. Thank you for providing us 
with a tool to a great time.

Dan Delanoy
Channel Coast Corp.
Shop Coordinator

-----Original Message-----
From: Daryl [groovyd@onebox.com]
Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2002 2:03 PM
To: Blaine Elliott
Cc: Shop Coordinator; SmartAss@GroovyDomain.com; 'Ruppert R. Koch'
Subject: Re: Happy New Year! Here's a story to start the year out right.
Importance: High

Who the hell is that?!?!  Is that Blaine?  Bullshit!

Shop - You guys are great!  I gotta hand it to
you, that thing makes for a good story every time
someone takes it out and yers is certainly no exception.
 I am so excited to hear you took it to mexico!
 I thought by the sound of things you didn't have
time for the repairs.  Did you get a new lift fan
and thrust prop?  Yeah, bigger is better when it
comes to engines and some other things. Can't believe
you patched the drain slits in the skirt.  Real
detail oriented. That is classic!

Congratuations!  You have now been indoctorinated
into the club.  Club Murphy (the hovercraft's obviously
appropriate name).

Man, I am so jealous I wasn't there to see it.
 I really hope you took some pictures...

Hey guys - Lets organize a trip down there for
some fun.  I miss that damn boat.  Maybe I can
fly in and we can road trip down for a week or


The props were merely repaired with marine grade epoxy, varnish, andelbow
grease from some of our laborers. I wouldn't say that they were perfect,but
they fit (even the lift fan!), and were suprisingly balanced. A nightat
sea, a good amount of use, and hurried repairs ended up with the thrustprop
being notched at the end of one of the blades.... it's ok, though. Ionly
wish that I had taken some really accurate measurements so that we could
order some manufactured replacements.
THere is another hovercraft down there, too. A friend of Joe's wife'smother
has a single engine hovercraft. He bought his fully assembled. It runsoff
of a single 12 hp engine, has repetitive billows for the skirt (as opposed
to the continuous one on Murphy), and an enclosed fan housing for the8
blade thrust prop. It's pretty slick looking, but doesn't have the sameaura
as your home made SS Minnow. I like the Murphy name. On the day thatwe had
to retrieve it from the Sea of Cortez, we were calling it the "Mother
Fucking Hovercraft".
Once again, thanks, and maybe I'll get to ride it with it's creator in
Mexico some time.
Oh yeah, I'll have some digital pictures in on monday that I can forwardto
you. I've only seen one, and it's funny as hell.

Dan Delanoy
Channel Coast Corp.
Shop Coordinator
(805) 899-1227
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