Nicolas Lévy CollectionHSC Sure (GH-2005), Past and Present

HSC Sure (GH 2005)

Nicolas Lévy Collection

Nicolas Lévy Collection

“Mountbatten” (SRN4) Mk I Hovercraft built in 1969 by British Hovercraft Corporation, East Cowes, Isle of Wight, England (Yard No 003) for Hoverlloyd Ltd., Ramsgate, England

Technical Data

  • Length: 130.2 ft (39.68m) overall 56.40 m (1969)
  • Beam: 78 ft (23.77m) overall (1969)
  • Height on landing pads: 37.8 ft (11.48m) overall
  • Passenger/vehicle floor area: 5,800 sq. ft.(539 sq. m.)
  • Vehicle deck headroom: 11.6 ft (3.51m)
  • Bow door (height x width): 11.6 ft x 18 ft (3.51m x 5.48m)
  • Stern door (height x width): 11.6 ft x 31 ft (3.51m x 9.45m)
  • Skirt length: 8 ft (2.44m)
  • Main Engines: 4 Rolls Royce ‘Marine Proteus’ gas turbines (1969). Max. continuous rating at 15 degrees Cent – 3,400 shp (3447 c.v.) each (1969))
  • Auxiliary power units: 2 Rover 1S/90 gas turbines (55KVA each)
  • Propellers: 4 Hawker Siddeley Dynamics 4 blade variable-pitch propellers with a 19 ft diameter (5.79m)
  • Lift Fans: 4 BHC, 12 blade, centrifugal, 11.6 ft diameter (3.5m)
  • Fuel capacity: 4,500 Imp Gall (20.456 litres)
  • Tonnage: 168 tons (170.7 tonnes) (1969), 300 (1973 -74)
  • Max speed over calm water: 60-65 knots (111-120 km./hr.)
  • Average service speed: 40-50 knots (74-93 km./hr)
  • Stopping distance from 50 knots: 700 yards (640m)
  • Range: at 10 tons fuel, 40-50 knots – 100-125 n.m. (185-230km.)
  • Range: at 16 tons fuel, 40-50 knots – 160-200 n.m. (300-370 km.)
  • Capacity: 254 passengers, 30 cars (1969).282 passengers, 37 cars ( 1973 – 74)
  • Sister Vessels: Swift, Prince of Wales, Sir Christopher


June 1969: Delivered to Hoverlloyd Ltd, Ramsgate, England.

June 3rd 1969: Christened by Mrs Soammes, wife of the British Ambassador to Paris.

June 1969: Inaugural crossing Ramsgate – Calais.

Nicolas Lévy Collection  Nicolas Lévy Collection

Nicolas Lévy Collection

November 29th 1969: Both SWIFT and SURE are grounded after a propeller flies from one of the Ramsgate craft causing some £50,000 of damage to the Pegwell Bay Hoverport.

Nicolas Lévy Collection

Nicolas Lévy Collection

October 7th 1970: Chartered for a special trip from London (Tower Pier) to Tilbury.

1973-4: Hoverlloyd’s three craft individually upgraded to Mk II specifications, widening of passenger area and car deck to make full use of available space.

© Ken Larwood  © Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood

October 25th 1981: Registered to Hoverspeed Ltd., Dover, England. Commenced service between Dover – Calais/ Boulogne.

Nicolas Lévy Collection

Nicolas Lévy Collection

1983: Broken up “for spares” at Pegwell Bay.

Nicolas Lévy Collection  Nicolas Lévy Collection

Nicolas Lévy Collection

1987: Scrapping completed.

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions found. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Ken Larwood, Nicolas Lévy and Stéphane Poulain for their assistance in compiling this feature.

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

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