I have been very interested in underwater exploration for a long time now, but I could never figure out how to do it. ROVs are expensive and RC boats are too, not to mention I would need to add a camera! After many years of thinking I decided to try the simplest and cheapest solution possible, a toy boat!
This is an extremely simple toy boat that anyone can build, whether you want it for underwater exploration, or just as a toy, this boat is for you!
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Step 1: Gather Materials
The materials you need for this project are extremely basic, and can be bought for less than $5, however if you can't find a certain piece, feel free to experiment!
For this project you will need:
- wood glue
- about eight inches of a 1'' x 4'' piece of of pine
- a piece of dowel
- fishing line
- fabric for a sail
Step 2: Build the Boat
To start, I drew a rough boat shape on my piece of wood. I also marked a square, about the size of my camera lens, just big enough so that it can see, but not big enough for the action camera to fall through. Once I was finished drawing, I cut everything out using a little jigsaw, however you can use whatever type of saw you have.
Step 3: Add a Rudder
Wait! Before you throw away the pieces you cut off to make your boat, look through them. You are going to need a rudder for your boat to keep it stable and I found a perfect rudder sitting on the floor. If you aren't as lucky as me and the pieces you cut off don't remain intact, don't worry, you can probably make one fairly easily! To attach the rudder, all you have to do is put a screw through the back of the boat and the top of the rudder, or simply glue it in place.
Once your rudder is in place, sand! I used 100 grit sand paper and sanded the whole thing by hand.
Step 4: Insert the Mast
Now you need to insert the mast. This is fairly simple, all you need to do is drill out a small hole the same diameter as your dowel where you want your mast to be located, and then press the dowel in! If your dowel doesn't fit tight enough, use a bit of glue to hold it in place.
Step 5: Paint!
Painting is entirely optional, but I chose the painting option. I painted the boat blue because it looks cool. Make sure you wait for your paint to dry before moving to the next step!
Step 6: Add the Sail!
To make the sail I used some felt. I cut out a simple square of felt and poked two holes in the top and bottom and slid it over the mast and held it in place with a dab of glue.
Step 7: Mount the Camera!
Now comes the fun part, it is time to mount the camera! I mounted my camera using a elastic band to hold it in place, and a nail to keep the elastic band from wiggling in front of the lens. Once my camera was in place I tested the boat, it was a bit back heavy so I added corks to the back until it floated evenly.
Step 8: Sail Away!
Now that the boat is complete you can sail away! I used the fishing line as a tether so that the boat didn't disappear and I sent down a creek near my house. It turns out that in quickly moving water, a sail is not necessary, and became more of a pain then a help, so I ripped it off. This boat turned out better than expected as you can see from the sample footage above, it is actually quite useful!
If you enjoyed this instructable please vote for me in the Wooden Toy challenge above. If you have any questions please ask in the comments, and please comment bellow if you made the project. I love to see other people build my projects!