Hovercrafters in Indiana!!


Buying a Hovercraft - On Line!

A side benefit of my job as a Quality Engineer in the automotive industry is exposure to the Internet. I've discovered the ease of using the Internet to find all sorts of products and get the best prices - both business related and personal products. Items that I used to spend time driving to larger cities to find are now available from my house or my office.

I've found that the Internet can save money by comparison pricing products that I would have normally bought in a retail store. I can use my computer to jump from "store to store" and quickly find the exact same product offered by several retailers, often at different prices. One particular piece of hunting equipment I wanted was offered on three different web sites at prices ranging from $288.00 to $350.00. This was a $62.00 price difference for the exact same product! I bought it at the lowest price and it was delivered to my door in less than a week.

Last summer my wife convinced me that at age 41, I needed a recreational vehicle. The Internet became my first shopping stop. At this point, I wasn't sure exactly what type of "recreational vehicle" I was after. I just knew I wanted to find a "boat" that was capable of exploring one of the unused natural resource in my area - Indiana's 500 mile long Wabash River. I also wanted something that could navigate the two flood control reservoirs that are just minutes from my house.

Browsing the Internet for "boats", I stumbled on a link to manufacturers of Hovercraft. I was shocked! I had no idea that affordable recreational hovercrafts were available. Hovercrafts seemed to be the proverbial well-kept secret. I started on-line researching and comparison-shopped for a Hovercraft. Since I would need a source of Hovercraft information and support, I joined the Hoverclub of America.

Like a sponge, I reviewed web site information available from manufacturers and enthusiasts. I started researching the various Hovercraft stores that are "on-line". I determined that my ideal craft would be a ready-made craft, 3 person minimum capacity, 4 cycle engine(s), low dB noise rating, reasonably close-by manufacturer's location and a strong manufacturer's reputation.

My research led me to the Weber's web site and their SC4 StarCruiser. Emails to several current StarCuriser owners confirmed my choice of an SC4. I contacted the Better Business Bureau and found no complaints. I found out that they have a solid customer orientation. I sent them many questions by email. They always replied. I saw evidence that they were still supporting owners and even 2nd owners of their StarCruisers.

I placed an order by email in August and was assured of a December delivery date.

There were two big benefits that came out of my becoming a "Hovernaut". One is the addition of a hobby that can be shared with my 13-year-old stepson Bill. He is almost as fascinated by these strange flying machines as I am. He is even more interested in WIG's. (I also recall the fascination I had as a teenager with the "Flymo" hovering lawn mowers).

The second benefit was finding an interesting community of hovercraft hobbyists though Internet news groups www.egroups.com/group/hoverlovers/ and alt.rec.hovercraft at Deja.com. Through these groups, I've met people that share many of my similar interests - the outdoors, water, hovercrafts etc.

As I stated before, recreational Hovercrafts are a well-kept secret. Spread the word! I am.

Pictures and story of Scott picking up his StarCruiser at SC4 PickUp Day!
Scott Sodervick
Hoverclub Member #5557
Wabash, Indiana

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