Milestone 5

This past week, construction of the boat started. The CAD for the propulsion system was finalized, and we ordered many of the necessary parts. Work on the electrical system also started in the EE lab.


hull_5aFirst, we glued all of the ash pieces onto the plywood to make ribs for the boat. Here are 4/5 of them, glued and clamped to the base of the boat.

hull_5bWe encountered some problems when attaching the bottom two side pieces. They would not bend as much as we had hoped, and we had to remove the second rib so that the front would line up neatly. The back of the side pieces is not attached. We planned to soak the wood and weigh it down to encourage it to conform to our view of where it should go.

hull_5cThe wood refused to see the world our way, and we admitted that the curvature at the back was too extreme. To account for this, we will make a larger back piece once we finish attaching the upper sides. And here they are. We had to use the less visually pleasing zip ties because we ran out of copper wire.

hull_5dHere is the back. Instead of bending the sides to meet the back, we will simply make a larger back piece and attach it to the current one.hull_5eHere is the boat all stitched! We will start epoxying when our order comes in.


Ryan finished the CAD, and Sophie laid the pieces out on a grid in excel to determine how much sheet metal we need. We ended up ordering a 1/4″ thick piece of aluminum that is 2 feet x 3 feet.
Here are the propulsion parts laser cut out on a piece of thinner wood.


And the pieces assembled into a model!


Milestone 4

This week, we finalized our designs, researched and ordered parts, and started using the router to cut our wood.


hull_4a hull_4b hull_4cFor the first two boards, the end mill didn’t go deep enough. We had to use the wood saw to cut the pieces out afterwards.

Drilling holes takes a long, long time.


We improved the CAD model for the propulsion system and also ordered a few necessary parts off Amazon.

prop_4a prop_4b prop_4c


Cedric, the electrical mastermind, ordered some parts that he will need. Now we’re just waiting for them to arrive.


Milestone 3: Models

This week, we finalized our designs for each of the components.



Initial sketches of hull

hullproto_3a hullproto_3b hullproto_3c hullproto_3d hullproto_3e

CAD model of boat hull from various angles – This model is that of our final hull design, without the interior of the boat seen. It follows closely to the design which our group had presented from the beginning of the project.


CAD model of boat, unrolled into individual pieces of plywood – This ‘unrolled’ model allows us to better visualize the pieces we will need to cut, and also allows us to start thinking of the construction process.

hull_3b hull_3c hull_3d hull_3e hull_3f

First prototype (Laser-cut sheets of cardboard) – To test out the overall design of the e-boat, our team decided to laser-cut the initial CAD model which we had with cardboard we coincidentally found in the lab. It pieced together really well, and seeing a physical product made us much more confident in the design!



Sketches of different possible propeller types – Initially, we were at a loss on how to design the propeller system. In fact, it was one of the more difficult tasks so far! Brainstorming allowed us to throw out our (limited) ideas and come to a consensus on what we wanted our vessel to look like.


Initial sketch of propeller design for our e-boat – This is a sketch of the propeller we wish to have, based on what was available online as well as our calculations (to be seen below).


Sketch of complete propulsion system

prop_3e prop_3d

Solidworks model of propulsion system


Propulsion calculations with various pre-determined diameters and pitch


Motor calculations given various pre-determined engine sizes (in cubic centimeters)

These are screenshots of the calculations we had done on Excel. They include further calculations on the motor from the previous Milestone, as well as calculations on propulsion to allow us to decide which system would be best (in a feasible manner) to achieve our desired speed of 8 knots. Finally, we decided on a 80cc motor as well as a 9.25”x11” propeller.



Diagram of electrical system to be used to power the e-boat