Nicolas Lévy CollectionHSC Sure (GH- 9001/GH – 2031) – Past and Present

HSC Beasac III (GH -2031)

ex Sure (GH- 9001)

Nicolas Lévy Collection

Nicolas Lévy Collection

“Winchester Class” (SRN.6) Mk I Hovercraft built in 1966 by British Hovercraft Corporation, East Cowes, Isle of Wight, England (025) for Hoverlloyd Ltd., Ramsgate, England 

Technical Data

  • Length: 14.80m (overall)(1966), 17.80m (1972)
  • Beam: 7.70m (overall)
  • Height: 3.80m (overall on landing pads)
  • Skirt Depth: 1.22m
  • Cabin Size: 6.62m (length), 2.34m (breadth)
  • Cabin headroom: 1.83m (@ centre line)
  • Weight: 10 tons
  • Engines: Rolls Royce Marine “Gnome” gas turbine
  • Power: 900 shp
  • Speed: 52 knots (over calm water), 30 – 35 knots (average service)
  • Capacity: 38 passengers or 3 tonnes of freight

History

Nicolas Lévy Collection  Nicolas Lévy Collection

Nicolas Lévy Collection

March 1966: Launched for Hoverlloyd and named SURE.

April 6th 1966: Inaugural service between Ramsgate -Calais.

April 25th 1966: Carried President de Gaulle.

April 30th 1966: Full service between Ramsgate Harbour – Calais.

Nicolas Lévy Collection  Nicolas Lévy Collection

Nicolas Lévy Collection

Nicolas Lévy Collection (all)

1967 (Spring): Two month trial period to determine “skirt wear”. The craft was then returned to British Hovercraft Corporation who chartered her to Hovertravel for use between Ryde – Southsea.

June 25th 1962: Whilst returning to British Hovercraft Corporation at East Cowes for maintenance collided with SR.N6 130. Minor damage to the bow.

1968: Sold to Pacific Hovercraft, Canada.

February 23rd 1969: Commenced service between Vancover – Nanaimo (Vancouver Island) service.

BC History YouTube Channel

1969: Service ceased and she was put to work on a seismic survey in the Beaufort Sea

September 1971: Pacific Hovercraft went into receivership and she was taken over by Northern Transportation.

January 1972: Returned to British Hovercraft Corporation who stretched and converted her to the designated name of SR.N6 Mk 6 “Twin Prop” or “Super 6”. Work done included lengthening, sides modified, tail unit modifications and single propeller replaced by twin propeller.

1973: Various trials and demonstrations together with evaluation by Inter-services Hovercraft Trials Unit (IHTU).

December 1974 – January 1975: Evaluation by Naval Trials Unit (NHTU)

May 13th 1976: Travelled under her own power to Amsterdam.

May 22nd 1976: Returned to Cowes.

August 1976: The upgraded Gnome engine was replaced by a standard one and she was used by Solent Seaspeed and Hovertravel on Cowes – Southampton service. She then continued as a demonstrator.

November 15th 1973: Carried Premier Wang Chen of China, on the River Thames, from Parliament

November 1981: At Portland carried out mine counter-measures trial then continued as British Hovercraft Corporations demonstrator.

1989: Having been converted by Hoverwork and Air Vehicles for use on hydro graphic surveys, sold to Eurosense-Belfatop, Belgium to carry out Benelux Government surveys of their coast from bases in Zeebrugge. She was renamed BEASAC III.

2002: Retired.

November 1st 2004: Flew from Belgium via Dunkerque and Dover to the Hovercraft Museum, Lee-on-Solent. Became the last ever gas turbine Hovercraft to cross the English Channel.

© "The Ferryman"   © "The Ferryman"

© “The Ferryman” (both)

We would like to thank: “The Ferryman”, “Mike Jackson” and Nicolas Lévy for their assistance in producing this feature. All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for errors and omissions.

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)


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