Arduino RC Boat




I found my old wooden boat and decide make it RC controlled. So I make ribs from balsa and glued them to make voluminous body allowed heavy load like battery, arduino, motor and more.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Planking

I used many narrow balsa strips to planking. Using pins I hold them on their place until the glue has hardened.

Step 2: Grinding

After glued all strips come on grinding. Hours and hours grinding to make smooth body.Then I varnish 3-5 times to make it waterproof

Step 3: Making Keel

I glued some balsa offcuts and then I cut them to requested shape with sharp knife.

Step 4: Counterpoise

I found that the ship is unable to sail, so i must cut away the keel to fill body with some piece of fishing lead, to set centroid down.

Step 5: ...

But after I glued it back, I tried the boat on water and it still floated bevel. So I must cut off keel again and use more lead. (I used 0,5kg of lead)

Step 6: Painting

For paint i used paint in spray.

Step 7: Controller - Wiring and Function

This is my controller to control my boat. It can be more simpliest to control boat but my plan is controlling plane in the future.


  1. Arduino nano
  2. 2x jostick
  3. 5x led
  4. 3x button
  5. 4x switch
  6. Battery
  7. Srews and nuts
  8. Perspex or another material
  9. Glue
  10. Battery connector
  11. Rezistors
  12. Capacitor 10 uC

About nrf24l01:

Info about nrf24l01:

Library RF24:

Demo code:

Program function:

  1. Left joystick:
    • vertical is forward and backward motor
    • horizontal - nothing
  2. Right joystick:
    • vertical - nothing
    • horizontal is left and right steering
  3. Buttons
    • buttons are connected to one analog pin. Every buttons has different resistor value, so arduino identify, which button is pushed. It can be programed to anything in receiver side
  4. Orange leds
    • These leds tunr on whned button or switch under the led is on.
  5. Green led
    • Led is lighting when controller is succes connected to boat
  6. Red led
    • Led is fadeing, it signaling that controller is tured on, it'll turn off when green led will turn on

Step 8: Boat Wiring Materials

  1. arduino
  2. nrf24l01
  3. 4x transistor (or H-bridge L298N)
  4. *LED strip
  5. battery
  6. proppeler
  7. servo
  8. wires
  9. motor
  10. *tranzistor - 2x

Make it Move Contest 2016

Participated in the
Make it Move Contest 2016

First Time Author Contest 2016

Participated in the
First Time Author Contest 2016

Be the First to Share


    • Made with Math Contest

      Made with Math Contest
    • Multi-Discipline Contest

      Multi-Discipline Contest
    • Robotics Contest

      Robotics Contest

    9 Discussions


    2 years ago

    hello Daniell,

    how should i use flysky rc remote for this boat instead of your remote


    2 years ago

    Hello DanielIR34, nice work!

    I'm starting out with Arduino, but always passionate rc model planes.

    I wanted to ask if you can edit your listings for running two joystick and four servi,

    and with the Arduino joystick buttons to drive on and off of lights etc.

    Thank you

    2 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    Hi, thank you :). I do not know, if I am able to run four or more servos with this RF modules, I didn't try it yet, but I'm going to make plane too and I'll make Instructables.

    This, with button and lights is very simple, it just like ordinary button. You can use it like button or switch, there is lots of examples on internet.


    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks for the prompt response, congratulations again for your work, I will follow on the site for developments, I wanted to tell you I'm a CAD expert also 3D, and if you need please contact me, my email is:


    3 years ago

    This is very cool. I am going to borrow your ideas for a submarine I am building. Outstanding work.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thank you much. I hope that it will help you to finish your submarine :)


    3 years ago

    Like your picture with Horalky ?

    Funky Diver

    3 years ago

    Favourited, thank you :)


    3 years ago

    This is a really cool looking boat. I love how you made the hull out of individual strips of wood. That looks like it was a ton or work! :)