Winter maintenance – an essential job at Foylehov: 10/01/2014
Safety is a top priority at Foylehov, which is why we are taking time out now to close for winter maintenance.  In addition to checking all our buildings and pathways to ensure they meet safety standards, we do detailed maintenance and repair work on all our hovercrafts.  And this takes time….
 
What does this involve?
We break down each hovercraft and start with the fibreglass hull – for repairs and also to add an extra fibreglass layer over the original hull to add strength and durability. Once the new fibreglass repair or layer has dried, it then has to “cure”, and this can take anything from 5 days to 3 weeks, depending on the ambient temperature.  This is the main reason we are closing for all of January.
 
Next we move onto the engines. Each hovercraft engine is split and given a through clean and service. The parts are checked for any wear - especially the pistons and rings, and replaced where necessary before being put back together again. The carburettor is serviced and the fuel lines are also checked and replaced if necessary. Any worn skirts are also replaced - we sew these ourselves! 
 
When all this work has been completed, the craft is reassembled and given a thorough test. Initially we test the crafts when they are idle, to allow any new parts to bed in before we increase the revs. Then we carry out full revs testing to check the throttle and steering is set correctly.  Once we are satisfied with the results of these tests the craft is then allowed back into working circulation. A full service like this can normally take approx 3 weeks from start to finish and closing for January allows us to work on all 4 hovercrafts at the same time, minimising disruption throughout the year.
 
Other maintenance work
 
We do the same engine maintenance on the Powerturn Buggies, breaking and rebuilding the engines and checking all of the external parts. Although this is not as time consuming as the hovercrafts, it is just as necessary….
 

We also take the opportunity to check over all our other activities to make sure that any maintenance or repairs which are required are carried out at the same time. This can include such things like software updates on the Max Combat or making sure that the bows and arrows are in good working order for the new season.  Find out more about activities at Foylehov and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with our news.