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Rudder Movement Test

By Dermot Tynan, over 4 years ago.

I have uploaded a video (to YouTube) of the rudder mechanism on Hull #1 working from end-stop to end-stop. (Excuse the video quality, I used my phone to record it.)

I connected an Arduino (Mega2560 if you want to know) and a SparkFun stepper controller to the stepper motor which drives the rudder. I wanted to exercise the tiller gears and the rudder shaft for a while. The video shows the rudder swinging from almost completely to Starboard, all the way back to Port.

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Impending Launch.

By Dermot Tynan, over 4 years ago.

Hull #002 is coming along, slowly. The stations are mounted on the strongback and I've been double-checking the alignment. I have time to do this because 1/32nd inch balsa wood is hard to come by, and because I haven't cut the keelson yet. Well, I have, but I need to re-cut it. The original was cut to the wrong profile.

While the work on hull 2 continues, I've been using Hull #001 to test out aspects of the boat design and control systems. In fact, I am very close to launching the hull…

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Hull 002

By Dermot Tynan, almost 5 years ago.

I have discussed the hull construction process in earlier posts, which you can find via the above search bar. To recap, you take the hull design and "loft" the shape of each section or bulkhead, from the drawing. You then cut this out of 6mm marine ply (or equivalent), mount each of the stations onto a strongback, and now you have something which forms the shape.

I also need to add a keelson to the picture. A keelson is a long, keel-like piece of wood which runs from stem to stern, connecting the bulkheads. I cut one already but it turned out to be too short due to a miscalculation on my part. Generally I cut a thin (about 2cm wide) outline of the keel of the boat, from a sheet of ply.

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The Reboot

By Dermot Tynan, almost 5 years ago.

According to the calendar, it is now 963 days since my last blog posting on here. A lot has happened in that thirty month period, but not a lot in terms of the robotic boat.

I’ve worked on a variety of designs of winged sail and I think I have a design which will work really well. More about that, anon.

You may also notice I redesigned the blog, and switched from Wordpress to Jekyll. I had originally planned to code a Ruby on Rails site, and this is mostly why there haven’t been any blog updates for the last couple of years. I wanted to incorporate automatic blog updates from the boat when she’s at sea, but trying to decide on a layout for the new blog was like trying to choose the paint colour for the bike shed. Eventually I just went with Jekyll as it allows me to have boat updates, and doesn’t involve spending months tweaking HTML and CSS.

The big news though is a decision I made last year, to switch away from my own hull design, which you can find here: [[56]. Chatting with Professor Paul Miller of the US Naval Academy, I came to the conclusion that the design he and his students had perfected, which they call the MaxiMOOP.

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The New Winged Sail

By Dermot Tynan, over 7 years ago.

My original plan was to use a traditional mast and mainsail, with Yannick Lemonnier of West Sails volunteering to produce the sail. Yannick is no stranger to mad schemes himself, having competed in far too many Figaro races. These days, he spends his time sailing his Moth winged-beast, or racing his International 14. That is, when he's not making sails for everyone from Beoga Beag to the Volvo Open 70s.