Roy Thornton Collection

Archive Listing:

Hoverspeed


Overview


Hoverspeed was a ferry company that operated on the English Channel from 1981 until 2005. The company was formed in 1981 by the merger of the rival hovercraft operations of Seaspeed and Hoverlloyd. On the 16th February 1984 Hoverspeed was sold to its directors for a nominal sum following losses of £3.2 million. In June 1986 Hoverspeed was sold to Sea Containers (the owners of Sealink British Ferries) for £5 million. In 1990 following a hostile takeover bid Sea Containers sold Sealink British Ferries to Stena Line, Hoverspeed and a number of other assets were excluded from the deal. In June 1991 Hoverspeed introduced the first Seacat services from Dover to Calais and Boulogne. October 1st 2000 saw the final hovercraft services from Dover, all services in future would be operated by Seacats and Superseacats. After years of losses due to strong competition and the loss of Duty Free, Hoverspeed announced that they would cease operations on the Dover-Calais route, ending over 40 years of service. The last ferry service was on November 7, 2005.

Related Posts

HSC Superseacat Three - Past and Present

HSC Superseacat Three – Past and Present

HSC Speedrunner III, ex Superseacat Three – Aluminium MDV 1200 mono-hull high speed craft built in 1999 by Fincantieri-Cant. Nav. Italian S.p.A., Riva Trigoso , Italy (Yard No. 6003) for Hoverspeed Ltd, (Seacontainers Ltd) Nassau, Bahamas as a car and passenger ferry.

HSC Superseacat One - Past and Present

HSC Superseacat One – Past and Present

HSC Almudaina Dos, ex Superseacat One – Aluminium MDV 1200 mono-hull high speed craft built in 1997 by Fincantieri-Cant. Nav. Italian S.p.A., Riva Trigoso , Italy (Yard No. 5999 for Hoverspeed Ltd, (Seacontainers Ltd) Nassau, Bahamas as a car and passenger ferry.

HSC Superseacat Two - Past and Present

HSC Superseacat Two – Past and Present

HSC Hellenic Highspeed, ex Viking, Superseacat Two – Aluminium MDV 1200 mono-hull high speed craft built in 1997 by Fincantieri-Cant. Nav. Italian S.p.A., Riva Trigoso , Italy (Yard No. 6000) for Hoverspeed Ltd, (Sea Containers Ltd) Nassau, Bahamas as a car and passenger ferry.

MV Picasso - Past and Present

MV Picasso – Past and Present

MV San Guillermo, ex Marino, Picasso, Poker, Beaverdale,Wuppertal, Canaima – Steel twin screw motor vessel, built in 1977 by  Rickmers Werft, Bremerhaven, (Yard No 375) for J.A. Reinecke & Company, Germany as a passenger and commercial vehicle ferry.

Roy Thornton Collection

HSC The Princess Margaret – Past and Present

HSC The Princess Margaret (GH 2006) – “Mountbatten” (SRN ‘Super’ 4) Hovercraft built in 1968 by British Hovercraft Corporation, East Cowes, Isle of Wight, England (Yard No 001) for Seaspeed, Dover, England

© Nigel Thornton

HSC Seacat Diamant (Incat 041) – Past And Present

HSC Jaume III, ex Seacat Diamant, Holyman Diamant – 81m ‘Wave Piercer’ aluminium catamaran built in 1997 by Incat, Hobart, Australia (Yard No. 041) for International Catamarans Pty. Ltd., Hobart, Australia as a car and passenger ferry

© Nigel Thornton

HSC Seacat Rapide (Incat 038) – Past and Present

HSC Jaume II, ex Seacat Rapide, Condor 12 – 81m ‘Wave Piercer’ aluminium catamaran built in 1996 by Incat (International Catamarans) Australia, Hobart, Australia (Yard No. 038) as a car and passenger ferry

Justin Merrigan Collection

HSC Seacat Scotland (Incat 028) – Past and Present

HSC Naxos Jet, ex Cyclades Express, Al Huda I, Seacat Scotland, Q Ship Express, Seacat Scotland – Aluminium 74 Metre Wave Piercing Catamaran built in 1992 by Incat (International Catamarans) Australia Pty. Ltd., Hobart, Australia (Yard No. 028) for Hoverspeed Ltd, Nassau, Bahamas as a car and passenger ferry.

© Andreas Wörteler

HSC Hoverspeed France (Incat 026) – Past and Present

HSC Master Jet, ex Snaefell, Sea Express I, Seacat Isle of Man, Color Seacat Norge, Seacat Isle of Man, Seacat Boulogne, Sardegna Express, Hoverspeed France – Aluminium catamaran built in 1991 by Incat  (International Catamarans) Australia Pty. Ltd., Hobart, Australia (Yard No. 026) for Hoverspeed Ltd, Nassau, Bahamas as a car and passenger ferry.

© Andreas Wörteler

HSC Seacat Tasmania (Incat 023) – Past and Present

HSC Sea Speed Jet, ex Seacat France, Croazia Jet, Atlantic II, Seacat Calais, Seacat Tasmania, Emeraude France, Superfast Cat – Aluminium 74 Metre Wave Piercing Catamaran built in 1990 by Incat (International Catamarans) Australia Pty. Ltd., Hobart, Australia (Yard No. 023) for Hoverspeed Ltd, Nassau, Bahamas as a car and passenger ferry.