So, I built a 2 liter Pepsi bottle boat... - RC Groups
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Apr 01, 2012, 03:19 AM
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So, I built a 2 liter Pepsi bottle boat...

I wanted a footy, but I'm too lazy to build a kit, thus the Pepsi bottle boat. The hull is a 2 liter Pepsi bottle, it has mold lines that make centering the mast, keel and such very easy.

The keel and rudder are paint stir sticks from Builders Labyrinth. Both the keel and rudder have low drag fairings made from plastic folders, made for turning in reports. These fairings also enlarge the surface area of the keel and rudder. Aluminum tape, intended for AC ducting, holds the fairings on. The keel weight is a tear drop shaped 8 oz fish sinker. Keel location fore and aft can be changed a bit by positioning the fairing fore or aft.

The radio box is from Dollar Tree, it contained a gel to relieve muscle aches. It holds an AA battery holder, a Spektrum Rx and the servos are set into holes in the lid. The lid screws on and is water tight, so far. A standard size servo with a popsicle stick arm controls the sail, an HS-55 steers the rudder. The power switch is a servo extension that has a binding plug, plugged in, to turn the power on.

Sail plan is cat rigged, the spars are dowel rod, the sail is rip stop nylon. Line is Spider Wire. Yes, a boom vang is needed. The bowsies are cutoff servo arms.

Silicone glue was used, along with aluminum duct tape and insulation foam to fill the hull.

Well, how does it sail? It did pretty well today, the air shifted direction and speed quite a bit but the bottle boat handled it OK. Interestingly, this bottle boat has been sailed successfully in very strong air. It looks like a deranged banana from hell but it does sail. Lessons learned: 1. It takes a long time to build something this ugly. 2. Sailing anything is fun. 3. Even a Pepsi bottle needs a boom vang.

Apologies for no pics, the camera is too embarrassed.
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Apr 01, 2012, 03:25 AM
Useful Idiot These are made from 2x2 litre bottles.
Apr 01, 2012, 03:06 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by martin richards These are made from 2x2 litre bottles.
Thanks Martin, those boats look fast!
May 08, 2012, 01:53 AM
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Removed the conventional rig, like a Bermuda rig with mainsail only. Replaced it with a McCormick type Una Rig. This uses a bicycle spoke, a carbon fiber "mast" at the front, luff, of the sail and a carbon fiber boom. The sail is florist film, it has a pocket at the luff so it slips over the "mast". It is loose footed. There is a sort of gaff at the top of the "mast" to increase the sail area. The sail pivot is about 40% back from the tack. The "mast" slopes aft about 35 degrees. Sail control is on the boom in front of the sail pivot, the sheet runs through a glass bead, line is 80 lb Spiderwire. This rig looks a lot like the "lateen" rig on a Sunfish full scale boat.

With this new rig the boat is a lot easier to sail, far easier to tack, jibe and just generally sail. Downhill is much better. It is probably faster too.

Next step will to build a new rig with less slant on the "mast" and with a longer "mast".

Twelve inches in the water, nicely making way.
May 08, 2012, 07:45 AM
Useful Idiot
The McCormack rig was conceived originally for the Footy class. Some bigger versions have been made for the RG65 class as well. One of the other advantages is that it's much simpler to set up and it has achieved a lot of success in both classes. The inherent lateral flexibility of the "mast" also makes depowering of the sail in gusts almost automatic.
May 08, 2012, 12:32 PM
Registered User
It is indeed just as you said, Martin, simpler set up and self depowering in the turbulent wind.

The next rig will look more like the "lateen" rig of a Dolphin Sr., steeper luff and taller. Steeper to put more of the sail in front of the pivot point and taller to catch more of the cleaner wind above the water.

On a fine topsail breeze, here in San Antonio!
May 08, 2012, 06:30 PM
Rusty Nail's Avatar
Try and keep the area in front of the pivot about 25% and the top of the 'mast' over the pivot point.
Love to see a photo or two!
I am about to launch an RG65 with McCormack rig.
May 09, 2012, 01:38 AM
Useful Idiot
Originally Posted by Rusty Nail
Try and keep the area in front of the pivot about 25% and the top of the 'mast' over the pivot point.
Love to see a photo or two!
I am about to launch an RG65 with McCormack rig.
If my shoolboy geometry still works, that 25% of sail area is equivalent to 25% of boom length if the top of the "mast" is directly over the pivot point.
My own RG65 has something similar to Claudio's delta rig.

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