Sea lite Toy Sailboat conversion

If the wind moves you, here's where you should be talking

Sea lite Toy Sailboat conversion

Postby Roger » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:45 am

Ok, so I relented and bought my kids a toy sailboat - no, it's for them really...! First thing I did when I got it home was figure out how it worked and what sort of radio gear it had in it - Subsequently I ripped the factory gear winch out and rudder servo (if you can call it that..!) and replaced them with a 7kg digital servo (direct driving the original sail servo arm) and a smaller 2.5kg digital servo to drive the rudder with a rod linkage - big improvement!
On placing the boat back in the water it didn't sink (always a good start!) however I could only "sail" with very very light winds - any wind that was enough to ripple the surface of the water was enough to lay the boat flat and render the rudder useless. Needless to say there were a few tense moments when I wondered if it was going to disappear from veiw to a wattery grave never to be seen again. However as soon as the wind settled down a little, the boat popped upright again, and after a few seconds of heading down wind, it got up enough speed to turn around and head back to shore.
I found out after stripping the deck and mast off again that the rudder servo had broken free of its glued mountings to the hull, so I'll have to remedy that. Also the keel is very shallow, but thankfully it is screw-fitted into the base of the hull, so it is not a hard job to fashion a new keel from Marine ply that is about twice the depth of the current one to improve the sailability of the model! This is all a learning process for me, as I fly planes, however it is an interesting change of pace! Once I can confidently get the model sailing without fear of sinking it I will hand it over to the kids to play with.

I'm also working on an electric Airboat, currently I'm feeling a bit like "Tim the Tool-man" and just want more power! ugh ugh ugh! But it is quite a lot of fun drifting with a boat! I'm shifting up from a Speed400 direct drive to an old car Johnson 540 motor with an 8x3Prop on direct drive - was going really well until I plugged the battery on backwards and blew the speed controller! :shock: :? New one will be here soon, along with a cheap hobbyking brushless motor, speed controller and prop combo that I also want to test. Come to think of it, this sort of project would make rather a good test bed for motor and prop combos to check performance in a real-world application... hmm that gets me thinking...!
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