Floating on Air: 1986 SCAT Hovercraft

050116 Barn Finds - 1986 SCAT Hovercraft - 1

I know, I know, you’re tired of seeing so many hovercrafts here on Barn Finds! Well, our ol’ friend, Jim S., sent this one in and we couldn’t pass it up. This is a 1986 SCAT Hovercraft and it’s listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $3,100. The model number isn’t listed but I think this could be a “277” with a 26 hp engine. It can be picked up in Wadsworth, Ohio and the seller says that the price does “NOT include the trailer”! Maybe you can just pilot this thing home. Pulling in to gas stations would be interesting, to say the least. I’m kidding, of course. It would be fun to own a hovercraft, there is no question about it. Here are a few SCATs in action on YouTube. Fun stuff.

050116 Barn Finds - 1986 SCAT Hovercraft - 2

The SCAT has a fiberglass deck with a gel-coat finish, like a boat, which it sort of is. The hull is ABS plastic which some folks say isn’t the best because it gets brittle and can crack in the cold when, not if, but when you bump into something with it. There are no brakes so it’s sort of like piloting a boat on water, you have to think ahead. Which, as we know from experiencing some folks behind the wheel, yeah.. scary. There are three aluminum skids on the bottom and these look like they’re in good shape. You can see some cracking in the finish, and what looks like a crack in the fiberglass to me. Apparently someone didn’t heed the “NO STEP” lettering. I don’t know what I would use this for but it would be fun to own a hovercraft! How about you, how would you use this unique ride?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    I always feel compelled to write something about every submission Scotty sends in. Just because they are so unusual. ( and he took the time to send it in, he does it for us for nothing, folks) For a while, hovercraft’s seemed to be all the rage. Mostly on water. I believe, even the military experimented with them, with limited results. They were troublesome, noisy, and had a voracious appetite for fuel. And while operating in the cold, you might want to leave the long scarf at home. Cool find, keep them coming.

    • Jeffrey Duddles

      Poor Isadora! I bet she looked like this just a moment before the deed was done.

  2. Dave Wright

    These are fun toys but as Howard said not really as practical as they appear. We use a lot of large heavy hovercraft in industry and the military, the Russians have an affinity for them. They require tremendous amounts of maintenance and manpower to operate. They can be scary to drive fast. No brakes…..you can drop it into the water to slow down but that is another adventure. Many municipal rescue organizations tried them for ice and shallow water work but most have given up on the idea. The machines like this frequently being sold in the surplus market. We picked several people over the years after crashing them in the Great Salt Lake while I was in rescue. These things can go fast, and a 50 MPH uncontrolled crash is really ugly.

  3. Brad

    I had a Scat dealership in the late 80s. Sold some to fire departments that were along waterways and the rest to people of adventure! They are an absolute blast to fly!! The one you have shown is 26 HP. They work on most terrains. Water is easiest to learn on. Works also on land, sand, snow and ice. They are a scream on ice because you can drift. Well worth the buy it now price.

  4. brian crowe

    One video shows beauty queens operating one saying how easy and fun the are and another video explains how extremely difficult they are to operate and dangerous. They go on about how you can be thrown out at like 80mph, boy that would be fun eh?

    • Brad

      To stop you have to swing 180 degrees and gas it full.. Need plenty of room to stop. Can lessen throttle on water, snow or ice to stop, but don’t lean forward

  5. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    Thanks Jim S.! I always look forward to what you are going to submit next.

  6. Kevin

    I was the R&D test pilot, flight instructor and demo pilot for SCAT in Miami in the mid 80’s. Heavily involved with the development of the SCAT II HP. That was a great job, but it didn’t last long.

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