11 April 2011

Step 1... of more than we care to count...

Preview the Plans.

We moved to Hawaii in late October, 2010. Mike's only conditions on renting a home were (A) home allows pets and (B) a two car garage in which to build his hovercraft. So there we were, searching and searching for a home that met those expectations. Come to find out, that is much easier said than done in Hawaii. Between single wall construction and advertisements of open carports trying to pass for garages, we were in a pickle. But, at the last minute, base housing came through for us. Before our furniture had even arrived, the order was placed for the UH-18SPW plans from Universal Hovercraft.

November, 2010. I've never seen a more anxious man as my dear husband awaited the arrival of those plans. When they did arrive, he was mid-nap and probably dreaming about that very craft. After rubbing the sleep out of his eyes and realizing his plans were here, he tore into the envelope like a kid opening a Nintendo 64 on Christmas morning. He read through the plans in about an hour and then headed into the garage. He measured the area to ensure the craft would actually fit while being constructed and began copying down the longest supply list I've ever seen.

For potential hovercraft builders, here are some things Mike encourages you to consider:
  •  Be prepared to lay painter's plastic on every square inch of your workspace floor.
  • Twenty feet (the length of the hull) does not mean that you only need 20 feet of workspace.
  • For those of us with limited workspace, a strategy and order in which to build is crucial.
  • Vacuum bagging requires extra space around the craft and a smooth, level workspace floor.
  • The estimated time of completion is for the mechanically inclined and properly equipped. Be prepared to improvise when necessary.
By the time Thanksgiving had come and gone, we were ready to purchase supplies. We placed an order with Universal Hovercraft for the basic hovercraft construction kit. We purchased the Styrofoam required to construct the hull from the local Home Depot and began waiting patiently, or not so patiently if you were my husband, for the kit to arrive.

Around that time, our friend Ryan moved to island. He and another gentleman, who prefers to remain nameless, have been invaluable to Mike in this construction process. At this point, I had three men in my garage prepping for phase one of hovercraft construction.

Coming soon: Step 2... Construction begins...

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