FerriesHoverlloydPast and Present

HSC Sir Christopher (GH 2008) – Past and Present

HSC Sir Christopher (GH 2008)

 © Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood

“Mountbatten” (SRN4) Mk I Hovercraft built in 1972 by British Hovercraft Corporation, East Cowes, Isle of Wight, England (Yard No 005) for Hoverlloyd Ltd., Ramsgate, England

Technical Data

  • Length: 130.2 ft (39.68m) overall 56.40 m (1978)
  • Beam: 78 ft (23.77m) overall (1972)
  • 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 (1972). Max. continuous rating at 15 degrees Cent – 3,400 shp (3447 c.v.) each (1968).3,800 s.h.p. (1978)
  • 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)(1968)
  • 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) (1968), 300 (1977)
  • 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 (1972)
  • Sister Vessels: Swift, Prince of Wales, Sure


May 1972: Rolled out in Cowes.

Nicolas Lévy Collection  Nicolas Lévy Collection

Nicolas Lévy Collection

Nicolas Lévy Collection

June 5th 1972: Delivered to Hoverlloyd Ltd., Ramsgate, England.

June 14th 1972: Delivery flight from Cowes to Pegwell Bay.

June 29th 1972: Christened.

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

July 3rd 1972: Maiden commercial flight between Ramsgate – Calais.

Stéphane Poulain Collection  Nicolas Lévy Collection

Stéphane Poulain Collection (left) Nicolas Lévy Collection (right)

May 4th 1976 – May 6th 1976: Visited Portland for mine countermeasures trials for the Ministry of Defence. Called at Gosport en-route.

Nicolas Lévy Collection

Nicolas Lévy Collection

1981: Chartered to Seaspeed. Commenced service Dover – Calais/ Boulogne.

October 25th 1981: Registered to Hoverspeed Ltd., Dover. Continued services between Dover – Calais/ Boulogne.

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection (both)

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.

July 12th 1987: Services from Ramsgate ceased.

1991: Laid up at the end of the summer season and then broken up.

Nicolas Lévy Collection

Nicolas Lévy Collection

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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