Step 3: Rudder

Hand drill
Wood glue
PVC glue

Aluminum tubes
Scrap MDF pieces

One of the things we can experiment with is the placement of the rudder. Having a long oil absorbing tail makes it difficult to steer with a rudder placed at the back of the boat. To get going we will give some instruction on how to make the rudder, you can place the rudder anywhere along the PVC hull.

Cut down a piece of the hollow aluminum tube, sand the edges. Mark the PVC hull where you would like the rudder to go. Drill in the hull with a slightly smaller drill bit and force fit the aluminum tube in with a hammer. Use PVC glue to completely water proof the hull.

The rudder is made out of MDF wood, sand the edges down, drill a hole from above to glue a wooden rod in it that fits the previous aluminum tube.

We attached another piece of MDF at the other end of the rudder, this wind vane will act as the automatic auto-pilot. The boat will react if the wind direction changes. This means that we don't need any electronics for now, but are limited to the control we have.
excellent sail boat with easy to obtain hardware.................................
How about while heating the PVC you put the front in a vise, between to boards and squezze the ends together while heating? Gives you a more even front.
how much will this thing cost to build alltogether
This is a really interesting concept. I love the snake-like hull design. Too bad it would be difficult to scale that to a racing dinghy. <br> <br>I like the idea sailing on beam reaches going upwind. It would take a long time, but you would have maximum power throughout.
Another form of sail is the Flettner Rotor that could be powered by solar power or a battery bank. It has more moving parts but motors are easier to repair by oil crews than large sails. Also you can change the speed of rotation to match the wind speed.
Hi, wgreukne, do you think there is an advantage of using a Flettner Rotor over just a motor that propels the ship?
A more accurate comparison would be between a sail and a rotor rather than a rotor and a motor.<br><br>Comparing the rotor to the sail, you need to calculate the power need to drive the motor and determine how you are going to create that power (solar or batteries). The advantage of the rotor is that it is less sensitive to changes in the apparent wind direction. All that happens is your heeling force and driving forces change. Also the rotor is easy to stop when the wind picks up unexpectedly. All that you are left with is the drag of a large cylinder rather than an out of control sail. Of course you may need to find a way to stow it for really heavy winds or for unattended mooring.<br><br>A motor and propeller will always be easier because all you need to control it is speed, direction and a rudder but you need much more power.<br><br>The rotor may not be the best choice but is worth a look if you are trying to use wind power to move a boat without a human crew.
thanks for your insights, the rotor seems compelling to me due to it's robustness in comparison with using sails. <br><br>However, when comparing a motor attached to a screw propeller with the same motor attached to a rotor to propel a vessel we get more efficiency and are not dependent on the wind. <br><br>Maybe the rotor can be driven by wind? Or is then becoming a kind of sail?
Well done! <br>You might be interested in this compact control box to manipulate the sails and the shape of the hull I just made : <br>http://www.flickr.com/photos/worldworldworld/6918300063/sizes/l/in/photostream/<br>original 3d files are here :<br>http://protei.org/download/20120221motorblock/<br>keep going !!!
<strong>Excellent instructable. I think it's necessary to include a RC. and use of space within the tube. - Some time ago I built a sailboat with recycled materials (Toy from trash) Annex photo<br> <br> MODELISMO NAVAL DE RECICLADO:<a href="http://mx.groups.yahoo.com/group/ppnautica" rel="nofollow">http://mx.groups.yahoo.com/group/ppnautica</a></strong>
Thanks for sharing ppsailor, how would you include an RC system in this sailboat? The reason why I am asking this is because I already purchased a 2-channel RC set. I'm planning to install this set and make a future Instructable with it but I am puzzled to which approach I need to take. Any ideas?
nice project, guys<br><br>PVC would not be my preferred ecological choice material<br>many less polluting materials are nowadays available, including all appendages<br>I wonder why people keep choosing for PVC, I suppose only because it is convenient<br><br>now go for designing a catamaran, even better a trimaran, which are much lighter, much more stable, develop more power, especially at angles less close to the wind, etc... up to you to find extra advantages<br><br>by the way: some 40 odd years ago I started studying shipbuilding at Delft University, staying at &quot;the Bolk&quot;. Though I didn't finish, I am still proud of that<br>Frank
Hi Hygicell, we are very aware that PVC is a nasty material and I know for a fact that it's even used in some children's toys. (if somebody is interested about PVC: read 'the story of stuff' from Annie Leonard) <br><br>It's an interesting dilemma; should we use 'dirty' materials to clean the oceans but making the construction of Protei simpler to reach a wide audience?<br><br>Or should we use the 'clean' materials to construct the Protei but making the construction less accessible for the public?<br><br>Let me hear what you think!
I really like this Instructable. Well done. I need to try this for a low cost pool skimmer - need to figure out how to pick up all the bugs that float on the surface when the pump is off.
Hi PaleoDan, that's a real cool idea if you realize that the ocean is just another big pool with plastic bits floating in it! <br><br>Maybe you could build some kind of mesh mouth on the sailboat that eats all the flies?
what language are you speaking in the video? (I ask only because I really thought at first that it was Portugues, but I see that you are in The Netherlands, so I believe I can be mistaken.)
Hi, we were speaking Dutch, we're indeed from the Netherlands! We're you from?
I know you guys did this design for a another application, but as a father this is a great and cheap way to make a sail boat for my kids, and with everything I have lying around in my shop, welldone very nice and thank you for sharing
Hi Brokedaddy, thanks for your comment, we tried to form a bridge between the fun of 'fathers and kids' and the seriousness of designing a sailing and oil collecting drone. I would be nice to see another PVC Protei being build from the other side of the world!
Dream Dragon, why don't you design it and make an instructable rather than ask why they &quot;settled&quot;? Rather pompous, wouldn't you say?
Lt.Greg says:<br>Forgive a grumpy, technology-challenged old fart, but are YOU the guys who designed this &quot;Protei&quot; project, or are you simply trying to build upon it? Because I have an observation in re: the sailboat pulling an oil boom..<br><br>In the first place I think the forward-mounted rudder is an absolutely ingenious concept, and have liked it for years. It really does help overcome one of the most difficult problems in towing things - the fact that any mass which is fixed behind the center of effort on a towboat (and the heavier it is as well) - makes it much harder for the towcraft to maneuver. That's why dedicated towing boats always have the towline connection set forward their rudder. (And why REAL tow boats now use Kort nuzzels which spin 360 degrees). And the idea of TWO rudders is very interesting, although I have a feeling that they might cause greatly increased forces upon the hull in actual use. Be that as it may, my main problem with this sailboat-towing thing is this:<br><br>The creators seem to have tested their design using a long hollow plastic bag, (as shown in the video) and not the actual item - an oil absorbing boom. I have to wonder if they know how heavy these booms actually are&gt; They're heavy as hell, and exponentially more so when they're laden with oil! I have a little experience with these items and let me tell you they're a BITCH to move once they get heavy, and in fact even when they're first deployed! It takes a TON of power to pull them.<br><br>Honestly, I have very serious doubts that any small autonomous sail-powered craft they can design could tow an actual oil boom through the water - especially given the length and mass of the oil boom required, and the fact that there is almost no way in hell that the boom will actually move through the water in the back and forth, winding, snake like way shown in the animation. <br><br>I believe that in reality they'll need to make the sailboat's aspect ratio so incredibly large that the whole project becomes &quot;less than green&quot; shall we say.<br>Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the idea, and the designers initiative, and I sincerely hope they succeed. I just have a feeling they're still in the early R &amp; D stage instead of the implied final production phase.
I can't find the pattern for the sails...did you add it?? <br>
Hi, I just added the template in .pdf file, can you find it?
Gr8 project!!!!!!! I'm going to try it.<br>
what nice instrutions mates...you guys are very smart..i will try to do one of these design when i have a chance.<br>cheers mates....
Great, simple instructions, and a great little project. I am going to have to try and make one of these. Nice work.
Thanks,<br><br>I am very interested in your version, please share some photo's when your done. And have a lot of fun.<br><br>cheers,<br>Aryan
That is one fine instructable. Once the winter is gone I'll be making those ;) Thanks for the idea and photos
This is very interesting and well done.<br><br>I give you an idea, without charging you anything: if you add subtitles (specially second video), you will gain a lot of people like me, that can understand English when reading it, but not when hearing it. I can assure you that we are millions! Around all the world.<br>
This is just fantastic! It's a great cause and a very interesting project - love seeing things like this be developed in such a community-oriented way. :)
Very interesting project, and I've been looking at the &quot;Protei&quot; project for some time. It's a noble cause.<br><br>I'm wondering why you seem to have settled on a fairly conventional lay out, with a sail above and a keel below. It seems to me that a sail type device under the water would make better use of the flow of water around the vessel more efficiently.

About This Instructable


154 favorites


Bio: Hi, I'm currently doing my Master in Industrial Design. I appreciate the idea of sharing and building cool things together.
More by frits297: Build your own Auditory Augmented Seashell! Fun & easy sailboat [Protei 009.1] open-source CNC project
Add instructable to: