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How to Make a Bottle Boat - Part 2 Adding Remote controls

This is part 2 of the bottle boat project. In this part I add remote controls and a rudder so I can sail it out on the water and control it by a hand held radio controller. In the first part of this tutorial I show you how to build the basic boat without the radio controls.



This picture shows the radio controls. Now, if you do this boat project you can't just leave all the controls out on the deck like this. When they get wet they will be ruined! So you have to seal them somehow either by wrapping them in plastic or by putting them all in a waterproof container like foam or plastic.

The various parts of the bottle boat

Let me explain a little bit about the components. The rudder is what steers the boat and this is activated by the servo. you also see the receiver. This is what receives the signal from the handheld device via the antenna that comes out of it. And the battery powers it all up.

I took all of these components (but not the rudder, I made that) out of an old Radio controlled airplane. All I had to do was remove them and place them onto the boat.


The action of the servo


The Picture above shows how the rudder and controls work. There is a thin rod that is connected between the servo and the rudder. The forward and back motion of the servo (the white thing on top of the black servo) moves the rod back and forth. This motion causes the rudder to move side to side (large arrows)


Now let's take a closer look at how that rudder works.

The rod from the servo is connect directly to the rudder so you can see how the pushing and pulling of the rod will move the rudder. But it is very important to note that the rudder is pretty easy to move and how I did this was to simply tape it with duct tape to the rudder base (Rudder base is shown by the arrow) And the rudder base is very securely glued to the base of the boat. This way it stays very strong and the pushing pulling hinges the rudder on its tape.

The rudder


Just be sure to make your rudder long enough so it actually sticks into the water. It has to reach down below the bottom line of the bottles.

The rudder

I got these spare parts out of an old RC airplane. You should test your plane or toy first to make sure it all works before using it on your boat. And it will take a little bit of jerry rigging to adapt it to the boat. But take a good look at it, operate it and understand how it works so you can adapt it.

RC airplane


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