AIRLIFT MARINE - HOVERCRAFT FACTORY

This cruise was held on Saturday 16th April 2011 from 96 Muriel Street, Redland Bay courtesy of Peter Venn. Those attending the cruise were:-

Peter Venn - Turbo TP6 powered by a Subaru 1800 & Honda twin cylinder.
Arthur Stead - Revtech Renegade powered by a 20hp Honda.
Des Goss - Simple Cyclone powered by a 51hp Yamaha PE485.
Steven Odgaard - Expo Turbo powered by a 51hp Yamaha PE485.
Dale Baxter - Kawasaki Jet Ski.

The day started at 9:00am at Muriel Street Redland Bay with a launch from Peter and Elaine Venn’s place by the 5 craft. The jet ski was launched first, then the four hovercraft slid down the boat ramp and we all glided along the river together until the tall pine when Peter radioed home, then sent Dale back to collect some design plans he had intended to take for Ross to check out.

We had a smooth run up the Redland Bay Passage and the Logan River up past Bob’s boat hire and Logan Cable-ski park. At this stage the tide was favourable for an easy landing on Ross’ river terrace.

Ross McLeod gave us a cordial welcome to his Airlift Marine factory on 7½ acres of lush riverside property. The factory has at least 6 assembly stations for various hovercraft models, a metal working machine shop, a ship builders carpentry shop, a paint shop, a skirt sewing station, an instrument station, an engine testing and rebuild station, a hydraulics section, a fan blade and fan hub sub-assembly station, a components store, a chemical store, a CAM machining centre, a Pro-Engineer Cad drawing office, a sales and contracts office, upstairs living quarters with grand views to the Logan River, an entertainment and luncheon gazebo and a modest and tidy garden landscape.


After a comprehensive guided tour and delightful luncheon with family, friends, employees and VIP customers, we set about the serious business of giving hovercraft joyrides for one and all. Unfortunately the river level had receded nearly 2.5 metres leaving a 45 degree mud embankment slippery slide to negotiate. Des took several passengers in the Simple Cyclone and Peter Venn took everyone else. Steven only managed one passenger before losing 5 skirt segments in an argument with a stick in the mud on the opposite river bank and Arthur had to refrain after a Couple of engine mounts disentegrated.

Earlier in the day Steven took an employee and family for a successful run up to the Albert River junction. Damien Biggs, Connor Biggs and Ken had to leave before lunch but were keen to partake in the joys of a small hovercraft ride before their hasty departure.

Arthur Stead and Steven Odgaard were sitting back enjoying a few lamb chops when Peter Venn took his first passenger over the steep edge and into the Logan River at a very low tide. The large fan duct abruptly disappeared below the line of sight from the Gazebo to the edge of the terrace. We were quite astonished by this phenomenon and realised how deep the boat ramp drop off had become in just three hours. Perhaps we should have given the rides before the factory tour.

At 3:00pm the large group moved towards the river bank and the fun began. Peter took almost everyone for a ride single handed in his Turbo TP6 and Des was busy in his Simple Cyclone too. Steven took Datte for a ride but managed to snag 5 front skirt segments on a stick in the mud on the far river bank. Thanks to Arthur and Des who helped with the skirt replacements for a safe trip home.