Hovercraft tours come to the Keys!
Florida Travel Guide to Hovercraft Tours in Key Largo
A cross between an airplane and a speed boat, hovercrafts are a unique way to travel on water and they are available for tours now in Florida. If you like the excitement of fast turns and spins, while flying over the water in the Keys, read on!
The Lady Hawke
The 35 foot Lady Hawke, is an 8,000 pound fiberglass hovercraft with an enclosed cabin that resembles an airplane cockpit. Although it can speed up to 45 knots, Key Largo has a speed limit restriction at about 32 knots. What’s unique about the ride is the 360 degree spins, turns and slides that the hovercraft can do with ease. Without getting too technical, its two contra-rotating axial flow fans that create the lift and pitch ducted props that propel it forward.
Hovercrafts don’t disturb marine life or sea bottoms because they move above the water’s surface on a pocket of air. Yes, they do have diesel engines but at least they’re not disturbing spawning beds. Apparently, Lady Hawke seems to pique dolphins’ curiosity and they often come out to play around the hovercraft.
If wind speeds get too high (above 25 knots) or wave action is too rough (more than 1.5 m at a 20m+ pitch), it’s not optimal for the hovercraft to run so do watch the weather if you’re thinking of taking a tour.
Search & Rescue
Since hovercrafts maneuver well in tight and narrow spaces and can travel where waters are shallow (because they actually ride on air), they are very useful for search and rescue missions. The Dragonfly, another craft that is sometimes used for tours, is actually design for search and rescue capabilities.
Unique to Florida
There are only three tour operators for hovercrafts and Hover Tour in Key Largo is one of them. Half hour rides are offered daily between 10 am and 6 pm, if weather allows.
Are you interested in a slow cruise along the waters or a fast-speed ride?