How to Build the Solar Boat

Figure 1 :

  1.     Position the plywood over the balsa blocks with the edge of the deck all the way to one end of the blocks.
  2. Push the screws through the deck holes and into the balsa pontoons ( Fig 1).
  3. Using a screw driver, very gently tighten the screws. ,

  1. Assemble the motor mount. The eye-bolt goes through the deck, then through the wooden ball, then through the hole in the metal clip.
  2. Attach the nut to the eye-bolt threads and gently tighten (Fig 2).

Figure 3

  1. Insert the motor with the propeller into the metal motor mount. To help secure the motor, wrap rubber band around the ends of the metal motor mount (Fig 3).
  2. The motor mount can be rotated to change the direction of the motor for fne adjustments, such as making the boat move straight, or in circles.

Fig. 4

  1. Thread the motor wires through the eye-bolt (Fig 4).
  2. Place the solar panel on the deck.
    1. Connect the solar panel to the motor using the clip cord ends of the solar panel wires (Fig 5).
    2. You can also screw the motor wires into the connections on the back of the solar panel. If the boat goes backwards, change the polarity of the wires (switch the black and red).
    3. Place the solar panel on the deck to balance the weight of the boat. Now double check that everything on your boat is ship-shape!
    4. If so, take it outside to some water (or under a VERY bright light) and begin testing, experimenting, and racing your solar sea-faring vessel!

    Fig. 5

    The sun has a lot more power than a light bulb, so experiment with your solar boat outside on a sunny day whenever possible.

    On a clear, sunny day, the average solar energy received by the earth is about 1,000 Watts per square meter.

    That means you would have to ft ten 100 Watt light bulbs in a 3 foot x 3 foot square to even come close to the power you can get from the sun!

    When outside, use a pool or trough to test your boat. If you cannot find either of these, a trough can easily be made using four lengths of timber nailed or screwed in a rectangular shape.

    Drape builder's polyethylene or a pond liner into your wooden frame, fill it with water, and you're ready to go!

    Please note: this Solar Boat is fine for periodic immersion in water. If you to use it a lot, however, you may want to paint or varnish the wood



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