Picture of Solar Boat Kit :: KidWind Project
This tutorial by KidWind provides details for making a solar boat for a class or hobby project.

Build the best boat you can and race your friends!
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Step 1: Solar Power Basics

Picture of Solar Power Basics
This boat is powered by solar panels or solar cells, which harness light energy from the sun to produce electricity. When light from the sun reaches the solar cells (photovoltaic cells) electrons are released through the cells and into an electrical circuit. This electricity will be used to power the motor of your boat.

This information comes from the NEED project. Click on the link to learn more about solar energy : NEED Website

Step 2: Materials Needed

Picture of Materials Needed
(1X) Solar Panel (we used 1.5 V | 500mA)
(1X) DC motor (check your local hobby/surplus store)
(2X) Alligator clips
(2X) 4" of 22 gauge wire
(1X) Material such as pink foam to make boat hull (The hull can be made from whatever material you think will be most buoyant and hydrodynamically efficient)
(1X) Motor clips (To attach the motor to the deck)
(1X) Plywood deck (Explained in later steps)
(1X) 5/64" Steel Driveshaft (4" length)
(X) Propellers
(1X) Mounting tape (18")
(2X) 2" screws or hot glue to attach the motor clips to the deck
(1X) Pieces of balsa or other material for rudder
(1X) Protractor (to optimize solar panel angle)
(2X) 2" lengths of 1/8" diameter tubing (to connect the driveshaft to the motor and the propeller to the driveshaft)

You will need scissors or a hobby knife, duct tape, a screwdriver, wire strippers, a marker, glue (optional), and plastic bottles (optional)

Some of these parts may be challenging to find, but you should be able to find most things you need between a hardware store, hobby shop, and/or surplus store. You can always check out our website if you really want a specific part. You can use this list as a guide and a basis on which you can adapt your own model.

what size DC motor are you using (I am finding many different) I couldn't find the 1.5 V | 500mA panels, but I did find 2 v | 400mA on the link, will that work? Also having a hard time with the driveshaft.

tinyshark3 years ago
ppsailor4 years ago
Please they visit this Link: http://www.youtube.com/ppnautica#p/u/12/JOafMe4eUog

Is the construction of a solar boat, handmade in my home, using material of recycling (Toy From Trash). - This way it is possible to be taught to the kids to recycle materials and to construct toy. ppsailor
Solar Boat 026.jpg
that is so cool!!!!
vishalapr4 years ago
This is sooo cooll!!!! I wish mine got that many views http://www.instructables.com/id/Star-Wars-X-Wing-2/
mr. clean5 years ago
something else to try instead of rubber tubing as it may not be extreemly flexible is to use a piece of a spring from a mechanical pencil or something just hot glue it into place.
kidwindrob (author) 6 years ago
you can find 2 good solar panels here: http://www.kidwind.org/xcart/home.php?cat=2
shakeel1066 years ago
where did you get the solar pannels
bylerfamily6 years ago