Rubberband-Powered Boat #2

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Project by RallyRick posted 06-04-2015 07:03 PM 1742 views 5 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This boat, being a twin-prop, posed a problem when it came to winding them both up. So I used gears (from a broken printer) to wind both at the same time. Friction is the biggest theif of power when it comes to rubberband-powered boats…apparently. So I incorporated bearings. Bearings are great! The drive shafts are made of fiberglass rods (stolen from an umbrella frame). The casing for the shafts are Bic pen tubes. FYI, the key to making this boat propel for a considerable amount of time (about :45 seconds) is the size and shape of the props. These showed here are a bit too small, but they are as large as can be, without scraping the hull and each other. I will definitely make another boat that allows for more clearance, allowing larger fins on the props. Please excuse the ugly fiberglass job…it is my first time using fiberglass. Might I add…fiberglass is AWESOME!! I hope this sparks some creativity to those whom see this project! Thanks for looking.

8 comments so far

View GerardoArg1's profile


967 posts in 1866 days

#1 posted 06-04-2015 11:32 PM

Awesome. Great idea the movement. Make a good job on these helices.

-- Disfruta tu trabajo (enjoy your work) (Bandera, Argentina)

View Jim Sellers's profile

Jim Sellers

420 posts in 2207 days

#2 posted 06-05-2015 02:43 AM

Rick, I admire your creativity and ingenuity. I love inventing and creating toys. It’s a great prototype. Hope to see others with the bugs worked out.

-- J.C.Sellers, Norcross, Ga. Just cut it right the first time. The best carpenters make the fewest chips.

View kwolfe's profile


108 posts in 1437 days

#3 posted 06-05-2015 11:32 AM

I am definitely awaiting V2 of this! Great idea and I love the fact that you use common parts.

View JuniorJoiner's profile


482 posts in 3313 days

#4 posted 06-05-2015 11:55 AM

could you add 2 more blades to each propeller to increase the surface area, instead of larger blades? the wooden part of the shaft seems long enough.

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

View helluvawreck's profile


29723 posts in 2739 days

#5 posted 06-05-2015 01:37 PM

That is very creative. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View tbirdjpb's profile


9 posts in 1011 days

#6 posted 06-05-2015 05:27 PM

A great project for my grandkids!

-- Jeff in CA

View HerbC's profile


1707 posts in 2732 days

#7 posted 06-05-2015 05:51 PM

Alright Rick, that’s it, you’re just having TOO MUCH FUN!

Back into the shop to do some dull, boring, grownup projects, maybe even a cutting board…

Great work!

Keep having fun!

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View RallyRick's profile


167 posts in 2978 days

#8 posted 06-05-2015 06:50 PM

Thanks, guys! In reference to the blades; 4 would definitely move more water, while being able to keep the blades smaller. I’m really trying to maximize the amount of time that the boat is being propelled. As soon as I get home from work today I am going to make 4 more blades. Thanks, Junior.

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