## Step 1: What you Need.

Fire-boats need two important properties - to be light, and non-flammable.

My Clubbers used foil pie-tins as the hulls of the boats, kitchen foil as the sails and tea-lights to provide the heat.

We have, in the past, had success with normal-sized candles trimmed to only half an inch in height, or small clusters of birthday candles.
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lilchumy says: Dec 19, 2012. 5:46 PM
How exactly dose this work?
Kiteman (author) in reply to lilchumyDec 20, 2012. 1:02 AM
It's the deflection of convection currents - see step four.
Jessierocks says: Oct 24, 2011. 12:01 PM
THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!! I'm doing this in school for science and I'm happy I went on this website instead of just youtube!!! :D
Kiteman (author) in reply to JessierocksOct 24, 2011. 1:12 PM
You're welcome - remember, it's really important to stop all draughts in the area.
makerboy112 says: May 26, 2010. 6:40 PM
How on Earth do you think of this stuff?
Kiteman (author) in reply to makerboy112May 27, 2010. 12:30 AM
I paid attention at school - this is a logical (but not very useful!) combination of heat transfer (convection) and Newtonian mechanics (action and reaction).

Science+imagination=Instructables.
80\$man in reply to KitemanOct 4, 2011. 10:30 AM
Genius! I enjoyed this very much, good work! I have two comments:
Firstly, Newtonian mechanics (physics) coupled with fluid buoyancy effects (Archimedes) is causing the propultion. Convective heat transfer only causes fluid buoyancy (of the air) which has an action/reaction with the sail.
Secondly, could you consider rather funnelling the hot air into a converging tube that draws air under the boat allows the hot air to push against the water? This should provide a serious increase in propulsion! I have seen such a tube made from a hollow kettle element, but a crimped copper tube should suffice. Any thoughts on such improvements?
Kiteman (author) in reply to 80\$manOct 4, 2011. 10:42 AM
I haven't re-visited this project in a couple of years - feel free to use it as the basis of your own, improved fire-boat.
simplebotics in reply to KitemanMay 22, 2011. 12:56 PM
well when i saw the picture i automatically figured out how it worked
ParacordJedi in reply to simpleboticsMar 13, 2012. 2:21 PM
Oh dang, you're a cool kid now :O
TheRacker in reply to simpleboticsSep 11, 2011. 3:23 PM
Same.
makerboy112 in reply to KitemanMay 27, 2010. 4:56 AM
Ahhh....I have a great imagination. Maybe I'll start paying attention now...
ilpug says: Aug 28, 2011. 11:24 AM
I think it would look just great if one made a ton of these and let them loose on a pond or pool at night. As long as they cleaned up afterwards of course.
merseyless says: Aug 15, 2008. 3:53 AM
i made on of these with the top of a jam jar and my homemade ultra candle! i put it in the kitchen sink and tried it out it worked ok and i only stopped it when the fuel in the candle started to boil and shot bits of it everywhere so i had a fireball in the sink with my alfoil starting to disintergrate. so i blew it out and decided never to use the candle again. lol good times... good times...
Frindledon3 in reply to merseylessJul 24, 2009. 9:25 AM
what super candle??? if its different from a rglar candle you should put it on this website
merseyless in reply to Frindledon3Aug 7, 2009. 2:29 AM
homemade candle... but the fuel caught on fire and boiled... not the best thing to have in you're sink.
wakojako says: Aug 3, 2009. 3:41 AM
wakojako says: Aug 3, 2009. 3:37 AM
knektek says: Jul 25, 2009. 1:29 PM
you could have a weight on one side, that will make the boat move, instead of using those 'ugly' sails, apart from that GREAT design!
Kiteman (author) in reply to knektekJul 25, 2009. 1:44 PM
If you read it, the sails are the whole point...
panzer says: Jul 20, 2008. 9:44 AM
OMG *light goes on above head* i've got an idea!!!!!!!!! OMG

i will post my idea soooon, cuz u gave me the best idea ever!!!!! and i have everything that is needed, cause its so simple, YES!!!!!! ha ha, thanks

greatttt instructable!
Kiteman (author) in reply to panzerJul 20, 2008. 9:53 AM
You're welcome.

Drop me a PM when you post it...
panzer in reply to KitemanJul 20, 2008. 3:24 PM
what's a PM???? sorry, i'm new to this....
Kiteman (author) in reply to panzerJul 21, 2008. 2:51 AM
PM = Private Message.

Click on a member's name, and you will go to their member space.

On the left, you will see their avatar, with a button beneath, "private message me". Use that to send messages you don't want to be seen by the rest of the site.
panzer in reply to KitemanJul 21, 2008. 7:35 AM
alright then, i don't know when i'll have it by, but prolly sometime this week!
Frindledon3 in reply to panzerJul 24, 2009. 9:23 AM
give me a heads up too
Kiteman (author) in reply to panzerJul 21, 2008. 12:11 PM
Cool, I look forward to it.
rooster1998 in reply to KitemanMar 17, 2009. 5:04 PM
me too!
maurice1993 says: Apr 22, 2009. 8:11 PM
hey! salutations for you all! I am new round here, ain't two weeks I visit this site, and this site it's incredible!!! One classamate mine has a idea almost similar, he use a soda can, made a few holes by the base, and in the top, he put two empty pens, and this pens to the rear end of the boat, under the water, and he use about three candles to made the fire. this isn't a convectional boat too? as the fire heat up the air into the canister, these hot air flow to the pens to outside the boat, creating the same efect? and that pop-pop-pop, yeap, the steam engine. (may the project of my classmate was a fusion of this two, like an hibrid?) sorry if my english is so poor, I'm still learning these language, I live in brasil :P
Kiteman (author) in reply to maurice1993Apr 23, 2009. 9:42 AM
That sounds interesting. Maybe a photo?
zoltzerino in reply to KitemanJun 12, 2009. 11:23 AM
I'm not quite sure what maurice1993 was trying to say, but the "pop-pop-pop" reminded me of 'pop-pop' boats. Have you ever heard of them? If so could you explain how they work for me please? ZZZZ
Kiteman (author) in reply to zoltzerinoJun 14, 2009. 6:56 AM
Put briefly, the candle's heat boils a small volume of water and squirts it out the back. The steam hits the cold water outside the boat and condenses, which pulls water back into the boiler. The repeating cycle drives the boat and makes the pop-pop sound.
zoltzerino in reply to KitemanJun 27, 2009. 8:27 AM
Yep, sounds like a pop pop to me... ZZZZ
maurice1993 in reply to KitemanMay 15, 2009. 5:43 PM
I don't have a photo because isn't my project, and the times from their science fair, I do not had a camera... but I can try to make one to share.
chemy999 in reply to maurice1993May 17, 2009. 6:16 PM
like this?

http://sci-toys.com/scitoys/scitoys/thermo/thermo.html#boat

you will need to scroll way down the page but is that the general concept?
maurice1993 in reply to chemy999Jun 28, 2009. 11:13 AM
yeah, it's like that boat with the candle inside, but, when that boat have a elevation in the top, my matte's boat had a tube(like a pen) to irect the hot air flow to the end bottom of the boat... under the water...
thepelton says: Jun 12, 2009. 12:51 PM
I recall seeing a boat that you could make when I was a child that involved a candle and a copper tube attached to a piece of wood.
junits15 says: Oct 18, 2008. 3:21 PM
build like a giant fire in the tin and watch it rocket accross (if the tinfoil dosnt melt first! XD
DrCoolSanta in reply to junits15Jan 28, 2009. 3:22 AM
Tin foil melts even with a lighter . . .
junits15 in reply to DrCoolSantaJan 28, 2009. 7:07 AM
i know it looks so cool when it is red hot!
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