Some years ago, the Caledonian Steam Packet Co attempted to operate a hovercraft on the Clyde, during the 1970 and 1971 summer seasons. Linking the principal Upper Clyde resorts, the venture was not a great success for a variety of reasons, and the craft was sold. That had been the second attempt to operate hovercraft on the river, the first effort, back in 1965, also having failed when Clyde Hover Ferries ran two SRN-6 craft between Craigendoran, Gourock, Dunoon, Largs, Millport and Tarbert, where the craft were based.
More recently, a company called Clydefast has proposed operating different high-speed craft between Rothesay, Dunoon, Greenock and Glasgow. Until now, none of these grandiose schemes has come to anything, but recently another scheme was announced, following on from trials using a hovercraft last summer on the Firth of Forth. On Monday, trials were commenced by Clydefast, with Strathclyde Partnership for Transport as one of the main sponsors. Using a Griffon 2000TD 12-seat hovercraft, evaluation trips were run between Glasgow, Greenock and Dunoon, where the craft was seen heading today. Journey times of under an hour have been quoted, but whether a proposed service using a larger hovercraft for up to 130 passengers will ever come to fruition remains to be seen.