FerriesHoverlloydHoverspeedPast and Present

HSC Prince of Wales (GH 2054) – Past and Present

HSC Prince of Wales (GH 2054)

© Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood

“Mountbatten” (SRN4) Mk II Hovercraft built in 1977 by British Hovercraft Corporation, East Cowes, Isle of Wight, England (Yard No 006) for Hoverlloyd Ltd., Ramsgate, England

Technical Data

  • Length: 130.2 ft (39.68m) overall
  • Beam: 78 ft (23.77m) overall
  • 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. Max. continuous rating at 15 degrees Cent – 3,400 shp (3447 c.v.) each.
  • Auxiliary power units: 2 Rover 1S/90 gas turbines
  • 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)
  • 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: 282 passengers, 37 cars
  • Sister Vessels: Swift, Sure, Sir Christopher


June 1977: Delivered to Hoverlloyd Ltd., Ramsgate, England.

June 18th 1977: Inaugural voyage Ramsgate – Calais.

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

Nicolas Lévy Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nicolas Lévy Collection (left) and Nigel Thornton Collection (right)

© Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood

June 1986: Sale of Hoverspeed to Sea Containers.

Nigel Thornton Collection  © Ken Larwood

Nigel Thornton Collection (left) © Ken Larwood (right)

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

July 12th 1987: Services from Ramsgate cease.

October 10th 1991: Withdrawn from service at the end of the season.

April 2nd 1993: Suffered an electrical fire which destroyed her port cabin. Damage was so severe that it was not worthwhile repairing the craft and she was later broken up.





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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 and Nicolas Lévy for their assistance in compiling this feature.

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

One Comment

  1. Je me souviens de l’inauguration de la ligne,
    c’était la princesse Margareth qui était venue, et c’est madame WINTON qui lui a remi les clés de la ville (ancienne femme de chambre sur le Twickenham ferry) mariée avec un anglais,elle avait été dénoncée porteuse d’un poste émetteur pendant la guerre, déportée a buckenwal, elle s’en est sortie,
    elle était amie avec ma grand mère, et je l’ai connue quand j’étais petite,
    elle avait reçu des décorations pour faits de résistance, et c’est elle qui avait été sollicitée pour cette cérémonie

    je tenais a vous en faire part, je n’ai plus eu de nouvelle de cette dame qui est certainement décédée depuis de nombreuses années

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