As part of the rules, we have to be able to remote control our boat for emergency collision avoidance. So, in addition to writing the software to sail the boat, we also need to be able ourselves to control the boat! Whilst our work on the hull continues, Dr Alex Phillips loaned us two RC Laser boats to practice remote controlled sailing with.
By the way, you can get some remote controlled sailing lessons with us: Just choose any reward from £150!
We finally got a little bit of wind this evening, so we took them sailing in the Southampton common. The boats attracted quite an excited crowd, and we hope that some of them found their way here to our blog.
Our boat needed rescuing from water plants several times, so a few days later we went to the Itchen river. There we had less problems with plants - instead we had to fight strong currents and got our bulb stuck in the mud. Chest waders are a great invention!
Why did we decide to build our own hull and not just use the RC Laser boat we hear you ask?
It was indeed a consideration, since it is a finished boat, coming with motors already fit to the hull, and all wiring going into a small compartment. However these two reasons lead us to go for building our own boat:
Length: The RC laser is 1.05 m long, just a bit too long for the usual micro sailboat class
Space: On the RC laser there is only a small compartment, which is enough for batteries and the receiver, however it is a very tight fit if we also want to add electronics and more batteries
Help us meet our funding goals to make sure we and our boat can be in Portugal for WRSC2016!
Please have a look at our rewards, share our fundraiser and/or contribute to our campaign.
Funding that we don’t need this year will be used to build an even better boat next year. All our work from this year is available, not only for next year’s team: Our boat and advice is available to any student working on a related project, e.g. for their individual project (IP), and our firmware is publicly available on github to everyone.
Many thanks to everyone who already pledged support: Alistair Lynn, Matt Brown, Soon Sun Gan, Simone Provenzano, Kerrine Lee, Alessandro Romano, Lee Kwong Yong, andybs and Alex Ziang - May you always find fair winds and following seas!