Monday, February 13, 2012

1 day prototype: Banana-boat

This is a one day prototype for the Protei project ( Made at the Eindhoven University of Technology (Faculty of Industrial Design). Photo's are made by Pieter Bron.

The idea

Exploring different ways of steering while maintaining the maneuverability of the boat was one of our first iterations to start-up our project. Brainstorming sessions resulted into the concept of the Banana-boat.
The idea is that the front of the boat is rounded and shaped upwards, providing lift when the boat is moving forward. Upon taking corners, the front will rotate 90 degrees to the left or to the right, putting a rounded rudder in the water, resulting into the boat taking a corner.

Parts List

Wooden keel (Filled with heavy weight-stuff -> approx. 1,5 kg)
Wooden cylinder
Iron bars (Sail)
Iron rings (Sail)
Fabric (Sail)
Tie Wraps
Duct Tape

Construction of this prototype

Cut an iron bar with a length of 55 cm. Cut another iron bar with a length of 30 cm. (Diameter of 2.5 mm was used on our prototype) Now solder the 30 cm iron bar on the 55 cm, at a distance of 10 cm at one end of the larger bar. Solder it 1 cm from the end of the small bar.

Measure the required size for the fabric. (Differs per fabric as some are more elastic than others.) Then, punch 6 holes in the fabric where the rings should go. (Look at upper picture for reference.)

Punch iron rings (Grommets) in the holes, leaving you with the following.

Note: One of the holes is still missing here. See earlier picture for sixth grommet position.

Use tie-wraps to connect the 5 grommets on this picture with the iron bars. Finally, solder a third iron bar right between the other two iron bars and connect the sixth grommet to it with a tie-wrap.

Use foam to construct the boat. Construct a shape that looks like the following picture.

Length is approx. 60 cm. Rudder is 10 cm, diameter of the hull is 8 cm. Next, cut this construction in half. Create a wooden cylinder with a thickness of approx. 3 cm, with the same diameter as the hull. Create a hole on top of this cylinder and punch your sail in it. Connect the cylinder with the rear side of the boat. Glue/duct tape/however you wish together.

Create two more slightly curved rudders. Glue these on the front part of the boat, in line with the curve in the boat itself. Glue them on a 90 degrees distance from the main rudder. Connect it up with the unused side of the wooden cylinder by sticking an iron pin inside the cylinder, then punch the foam front on this iron pin so it can rotate.

Create a wooden keel, fill it with lead (approx 1,5 kg) an stick it on the opposite side of the wooden cylinder compared to the sail.

Thats it, your boat is ready! Pimp it, should you wish.


- This boat does float
- It is possible to steer the boat with this type of rudder.
- The sail catches wind and creates forward motion of the boat.

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