Previous names

  • 1965 - 1988 Sea Hawk Mk1S GH2014 (009)
Certificate no 3577
Status Registered
paula.palmer

Details

Function Experimental Craft
Subfunction Ferry
Location Lee on Solent
Vessel type Experimental Hovercraft
Current use Museum based
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No

Construction

Builder Saunders Roe, Cowes, Isle of Wight
Built in 1964
Hull material Other
Rig None
Number of decks 1
Number of masts
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Gas turbine
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None

Dimensions

Breadth: Beam
23.00 feet (7.01 m)
Depth
To be confirmed
Air Draft
13.92 feet (4.24 m)
Length: Overall
58.00 feet (17.68 m)
Tonnage: Gross
14.00

History

SEA HAWK was launched in March, 1965. She was the original prototype SRN6 Mk 1, the very first passenger SRN6 in the world, and the first hovercraft built for commercial operation. She was also the first SRN6 to be 'stretched',  and she is the only remaining SRN6 Mk 1S left in the world. She took part in the film 'Murderer's Row' starring Dean Martin before joining the Solent service to the Isle of Wight. In 1971 she became the first hovercraft to be converted to an SRN6 Mk 1S, and in 1972 she was relaunched and became the first SRN6 Mk1S to be used in commercial service, for Seaspeed.

On conversion, she became 4 bays longer (9ft 8inches or 2.9m) than the standard SRN6, and she could carry 58 passengers, as opposed to 38 on the standard SRN6. In 1975 she operated a service between St Andrews and Carnoustie during the British Open Golf Championships, and in 1976 she took part in the Algiers Trade Fair. After 36,000 running hours she became the most used hovercraft in the world at the time. At the end of her service life she was initially donated to Southampton City Council before being passed to the Hovercraft Museum Trust, where she is now on display. 

Key dates

  • March 1965

    Launched as the very first SRN6 in the world

     

  • 8 April 1965

    Made her first flight to Cowes

     

  • 1971

    Became the first SRN6 to be stretched

  • 1972

    Relaunched and became first SRN6 Mk1S to be used in commercial service with Seaspeed 

  • 1975

    Operated service between St Andrews and Carnoustie during British Open Golf Championships

  • 1976

    Took part in Algiers Trade Fair

Own this vessel?

If you are the owner of this vessel and would like to provide more details or updated information, please contact info@nationalhistoricships.org.uk

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