Airlift Hovercraft can offer an extensive amount of information on operating a Hover Joyride service as for a period of nearly 4 years we operated two AH560 HoverFlyer hovercrafts on the beautiful Gold Coast Broadwater and provided thrilling joyrides for many thousands of tourists. It was a very nice little business for a husband and wife team to operate with one or two staff. As a result of this hands on operating experience we have very accurate records of operating costs for this type of Hovercraft and can advise and train any customers contemplating this type of venture.

Some operating ideas for Joyride operators could be:

  • Short duration tourist Joyrides of 8 to 15 minutes duration each. This will provide a quick turn around during busy times and maximise profit by going for ‘volume’. Most people just want to experience the hovercraft and are not particularly interested in a ‘grand tour’.
  • Selling to ‘walk up’ customers on a busy tourist beach. This is usually a ‘cash’ business.
  • Attached to an exclusive resort to provide an ‘up market’ facility for guests. This is usually not price sensitive but a more discerning clientele may consume non-chargeable operating time. The best scenario in this case is to negotiate a fixed daily rate with the resort management regardless of utilisation of the hovercraft.
  • Providing ‘water taxi’ services, particularly where shallow waters prevail. Depending upon the market demand and alternatives available this scenario may provide a ‘gold mine’ opportunity or a headache of empty return travel. Good research of the local travel habits is essential for this type of operation.
  • Providing access to inaccessible areas. Depending upon how much people ‘need’ to get into these areas will depend upon how much they are prepared to pay. For example, recreational fishermen will not pay as much for that favourite fishing spot as a mining company may be willing to pay to get crew onto a flooded drilling site.