Time Travelling On Water In A Delorean Hovercraft

Doc Brown would have been proud. A home built DIY Delorean Hovercraft is being sold on eBay with 10% of the proceeds going to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Research. The brainchild of Matt Riese, owner and creator of this unique yet famous looking vehicle.

delorean hovercraft

Following a successful crowdfund campaign he created the Delorean Hovercraft that would not look out of place in one the Back To The Future Films. No Deloreans were harmed in the making of this craft as the body is made out of styrofoam insulation, glued together and carved into the shape of a Delorean, then fiberglassed, and finished with metallic paint.

delorean hovercraft

A flux capacitor could not be sourced so its powered by a six horsepower lawnmower engine in the front powering the 24 inch fan that provides the lift and the 36 inch thrust fan in the back is powered by a 23 horsepower Briggs and Stratton twin cylinder utility engine. There’s no fear of time travelling at 88mph as the craft will only reach 31mph, which I would image feels fast enough that low to the water.

delorean hovercraft

delorean hovercraft

If you would like to be the Marty McFly of the water ways click here to go to the eBay listing

Details from the eBay listing –

What you get:

  1. Hand-built Hovercraft sculpted to look exactly like a Delorean. This is a functional work of art, it is not a Delorean bolted onto a hovercraft. There’s only one in the world!
  2. Custom flatbed tilting trailer built specifically for this hovercraft
  3. Miscellaneous spare parts and supplies including spare engine parts, fans and propellers, nuts and bolts.
  4. Free phone consultations with me for any technical questions you might have.


Check out this highlight reel to see what it’s capable of: https://youtu.be/J37Gk1oXUVs


The Hovercraft is based on the blueprints for the Universal Hovercraft UH-13PT. The basic shape of the hull, skirt, and fan ducts come from those blueprints, but pretty much everything else is customized. The Delorean body is made out of styrofoam wrapped in fiberglass and painted with metallic paint. The 36” thrust fan is powered by a 23hp Briggs & Stratton Vanguard riding lawnmower-style engine. The 24” lift fan is powered by a B&S 875 Professional series  push mower engine. The hull of the craft hovers about 6-8 inches over the surface, and can hover over anything relatively flat: land, water, ice, snow, sand, asphalt, etc. The top speed with the current thrust configuration is 31 mph on the water in good conditions.


I have spent the last few months remodeling and upgrading many of the systems on the craft, including:

  • New stronger skirt (is translucent, not totally transparent like the last version)
  • Replaced thrust engine components (potted new alternator in epoxy resin for corrosion protection, new magnetos, voltage regulator, head gasket, wiring, pull starter, carburetor)
  • New fuel line, fuel pump, water separator fuel filter
  • Patched and strengthened deck where water was leaking into hull
  • New LED lights in the tires, under the hull, and in cockpit
  • All new wiring with waterproof switches and connectors
  • Repaired thrust engine cover
  • New more convenient lift engine cover
  • New lift engine
  • New lift engine air intake system
  • New stainless steel lift supports for doors
  • Patched fiberglass delaminations in bodywork
  • Fresh coat of metallic paint
  • New stronger rudders


The point is, the hovercraft is in the best shape of its life! I’ve taken all the lessons I’ve learned from 6 years of hovering this thing and made it into something I can confidently pass on to another adventurer.


I think the video footage speaks for itself, but I really think this is the most fun watercraft you could possible own. It’s ridiculously fun just to drive and to play with, and it’s fun to see the joy in all the people around you when their minds are blown and they beg you for rides! This craft has given me the time of my life, so many amazing memories, new friendships, and opportunities, and I’m excited to see what it can do for you!


Limitations: the performance of a hovercraft is influenced by weight, wind, surface conditions, and water currents. The more weight in the craft, the slower it will accelerate. Going up wind will slow you down, doing downwind can speed you up if the water surface is still calm. Big chops or wakes will slow the craft down, it will just hover over smaller ones, but calm water is obviously best. I’ve driven it with about 325 lbs between the two passengers and 10 knot winds and was still really fun. I don’t know what the hard limits would be, but generally if the water is whitecapping it’s better to wait for calmer winds or find a more protected spot. It can drive on land but you would need a huge flat area free from obstacles or other vehicles, so it’s pretty much always driven on the water. Hovercrafts are not allowed in National Parks. Bummer. It’s pretty loud, roughly as loud as 2 lawnmowers. Passengers never have minded the noise as long as they have earplugs. You will get wet in the cockpit when hovering on water. If you install the optional windshield (and keep the doors closed while hovering) you will stay mostly dry, but water still drips through around the edges of the doors. The windshield limits visibility, so extra caution is required. Rain-x helps with this, but wears off the polycarbonate much faster than regular glass windows. There are no thrust reversers, which I thought would make things difficult but has actually been a non-issue, as long as one is aware of the craft’s style of maneuvering. If I get into a tight spot (this is rare), I just shut off the engines and use the oars to get free. If you will be hovering on salt water, it’s important to wash the craft down with fresh water as soon as possible after hovering. Lawnmower engines are not designed to withstand salt spray. I have protected them as much as I think is possible, but some corrosion is inevitable. When I have left the craft in direct sunlight on hot days for more than a day at a time, this caused some small areas of delamination of the fiberglass, and the thin plastic of the dashboard can warp if it gets too hot.


Located in San Francisco, CA 94116. Buyer arranges pick-up. I can take you out hovering when you pick it up and teach you how to drive it!


Click here to go to the eBay listing

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