Formed in 1965, Hovermarine Ltd. was based in Woolston, Southampton, and produced 3 models of craft (HM-2, HM-5 and the Hovercat), with a prototype for one more (HM-4). With the exception of the Hovercat, Hovermarine's craft were so-called "Sidewall" hovercraft, that is, non-amphibious craft with their hulls partially lifted out of contact with the water by an inflatable mid-section rubber skirt [Barton, 2010].
Utilizing the hovercraft principle, this technique significantly reduces friction with the water as the craft passes through it, leaving only two sidewalls, from which the underwater propeller and rudder mechanisms resided, responsible for creating drag.
Sidewall hovercraft are able to go faster than similarly-powered and displacement vessels of their size, and have been used by various operators around the world.
Performance specifications for the HM-2 Sidewall craft
Source: Barton, 2010
Max speed (kts)
Four Cummins V8 diesel engines (2x for propulsion, 2x for thrust)