Hydroplaning Boat Skims Over Water

Regular hulled boats are all well and good for rowing and all, but if you wanna go fast, you’ve gotta cut your draft. [RCLifeOn] built a hydroplane design that skims on the very surface of the water, and thus travels very quickly as a result.

That’s one way to film your projects.

The build came about as [RCLifeOn] has an upcoming race which he wishes to win with speed and finesse. To that end, he 3D printed an RC hydroplane, using spray paint and spackle to waterproof the parts. It’s a trimaran design, with the large central hull connected to two pontoons via carbon fiber rods. Propulsion is via a triple-motor fan setup on the rear of the boat.

The outer motors were initially used to steer the boat via variable thrust, which comes with zero drag penalty compared to a conventional rudder. However, they proved ineffective, and a servo driven rudder was used instead. Eventually, all three motors were reconfigured for forward thrust.

The boat worked well when it was able to get up to speed and hydroplane over the surface of the water. However, it was difficult to film, as even the weight of a GoPro was enough to keep it stuck on the water’s surface. Instead [RCLifeOn] used his electric surfboard as a chase rig to film the boat — a neat trick itself.

3 thoughts on “Hydroplaning Boat Skims Over Water

  1. Nice RC boat, one thing I would change is the rods that hold the outriggers on would be placed on top of the boat instead of through the hull making them higher and further above the waterline

  2. It’s a cool project.
    But looking at his solution irritates the rules lawyer in me.

    That thing is trying it’s hardest to not be a “boat”.
    The drive system pushes against air, and the draft is minimised.

    If I showed up at the event with a ground-effect plane powered by EDF, which happened to trail a string down to touch the water, would it be a “boat”?

    IMO, a hydrofoil is explicitly NOT a boat.
    And airboats should probably be their own class.

    1. I feel this way everytime I watch the America’s Cup.

      Those machines quit being sail boats a long time ago. They float and are wind powered but that’s about all they have in common with conventional sail craft.

      At Least they are in their own class.

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