Introduction: How to Make a Model Airboat With a Motor

Have you ever wanted to build an airboat that comes with many features? This is a tutorial to direct you to make a model airboat with various feature, such as a propellor, lights, and a motor. We came up with this idea because we wanted to make a model for people to use as decor, and to inspire people to built a real-life airboat. We have always loved the beach and boating, so we decided to make a moment that could remind us of the beach while at home. We thought of making a boat that would float, but we didn't want to make a use-and-throw item. Instead we crafted a boat that looks amazing and fits in perfectly with any setting. This instructable isn't extremely difficult to make, but will require effort and carefulness. Soon, you will have your own model Airboat!

Step 1: Final Drawing

Our final drawing included a visual diagram of our boat. It shows how we would make the circuit and where on the boat it would go. Our plan also shows the dimensions of our boat. We also got an idea of what materials we would be using from this drawing plan. The circuit starts off in the center and then connects to LEDs that are situated around our boat at the side and the front. We had a 2" space at the front of our boat that we left for scored foam that would bend and make an arc. Our sides were designed to be 2" as well so that they were an appropriate size for the boat.

We don't have a photo or a video of our breadboard circuit and we didn't use a schematic diagram, but our breadboard was basically designed as follows.

We had the battery connecters inserted into the holes in the far in the negative column and in the J column. From there we had a switch, and resistors connected to the row that the switch was connected to. Short Wires connected the resistors to the LEDs and one short wire completed the circuit. The result of this was a parallel circuit.

Step 2: Materials/Tools Required

- Foam Board

- A glue gun

- 1/8" baltic birchwood

- A breadboard

- Short wires

- Soldering Materials


- A DC Motor

- A toy propeller

- band saw

- X-acto knives

- Paint

-Paint brush

- Switch

- Cardboard

- Skewers

Step 3: Getting Started...

After getting your materials, get the birchwood and cut out the dimensions that you would like for the base of your airboat. Cut a semi-circle at the back of your boat so that your boat is aerodynamic. We cut the birchwood at 6"x8". You can cut yours smaller or larger, but maintain the same proportion so that your boat isn't lopsided. After you cut the wood, trace the cutout on foam board and cut it out. Leave an extra 2 inches at the front so that you will have space to make the front of the boat. This will be the top of your airboat. For the sides, cut out the perimeter of the sides and the semi-circle of the birchwood. The height of the foam board should be 2 inches.

Step 4: The Front and Getting the Base Glued

For the front, you can't just cut a straight piece of foam board because it will need to bend. We found that foam board doesn't bend easily, so we scored the foam board about a centimeter apart that didn't cut all the way through. This allowed for the foam board to bend slightly at every turn, and allowed for us to arch our front to the top.

To glue it all together, get the hot glue gun and get it hot. Once it is hot, have someone hold the pieces that your trying to glue as you glue in a straight line at the crevice. Do this for all the parts you have cut out so far. Now your airboat should be taking place.

Step 5: Wheels

To get the wheels installed, measure your wheels and get the dimensions. Make sure you cut in a rectangle, because the wheel would get stuck if you use a semi- circle. After you get the dimensions, draw where you want the wheels to go in your base. Cut out the base once your done mapping the rectangle on it. To get your wheels connected, get a skewer and poke it through the center of both wheels. Hot glue this and you should have a pair of connected wheels.

Step 6: Securing the Wheels

You might notice that the wheels don't stick in one place and pop out when you try to get it in the cut rectangle. To do this, grab your 2 pairs of wheels, and place them where they are supposed to be on the boat. Get a wood block, and hot glue the wheels at the distance you want them. Then, hot glue the block down at the center of the airboat and your wheels should be secure and rolling when you move your boat.

Step 7: Making the Propeller

To make the propeller, get a piece of cardboard, a skewer, a toy propeller, a motor, and a glue gun. Insert the back of the propeller into the motor so that the propeller spins when the motor is spinning. Once you've done this, wrap the cardboard around the motor so that it surrounds the motor completely. Then, poke the skewer through the cardboard and glue it to the back of the boat using the hot glue gun. Also, glue the places where the skewer connects with the cover of the motor to keep the motor from sliding out.

Step 8: Consturcting the Circut

When constucting the circuit, you will need to cut a long wire into smaller peices to the length of where you want to keep the LEDs at. We had one at the front of the boat and two LEDs at the sides. After you cut the wires, you should solder the wire back together. Do this twice so you end up with 2 soldered wires that have the same cut lengths. After this is complete you should solder LEDs to the places that you soldered already. Attach a battery with a resistor and test your parralel circut out! Test the circut as you go through the soldering process to help with any trouble shooting. Good luck!

Step 9: Connecting the Circuit

Once you've constructed the circuit, you should connect it to your airboat. To do this, you need to align the circuit to where you want it on your boat. Then use electrical tape to tape down the soldered circuit onto the boat. This will allow the flow of electricity. Then, make sure you connect your batteries to the battery connecters and tape them down in the center of the boat. To hide the circuit, place the top of the airboat and cut out little holes for the LEDs to stick up through. For the switch, cut out a hole on the side of your boat. Then, place the switch through it and tighten the switch. Now, your Airboat should be complete!

Step 10: Reflection

Overall, our project was a success. It did have some problems, but it all worked out in the end. We like the propeller the most in our project because it gives an exciting feeling due to it spinning. It does share it's circuit with the LEDs, which is something we would like to change. We would have liked to have 2 separate circuits so that the propeller could have spun faster and so that the LEDs could have been more effective. Next time, we will change the process of how we constructed it, because we had to use trial and error in our steps, which isn't effective all the time. Our project worked and met it's requirements and we are very proud of that.

Step 11: Resources We Used

- KWHL Chart-

From our KWHL chart, we narrowed down our task and what we needed to do, and this was helpful to give us a starting point and get our ideas down.

- ""SketchAndCalc.Web.08.Mar.2017.

This was a site that allowed us to visualize our project by mapping it on a plane. It helped us realize what we could do and what we couldn't do in our boat.

- "Home." Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.Web.08.Mar.2017. gave us our idea of adding a propeller and having something on our boat move. It was essential because without it, we wouldn't have a propeller.

- Anonymous. "Propellers."How Things Fly.Web.08.Mar.2017.

This site gave us an idea of how the propeller could move the boat. Although we faced some challenges and the boat is still, it helped us build our propeller.