Building a LEGO Sailboat Project


Hello everyone, I am Kelkschiz and this is a video about building
a LEGO sailboat! This project started almost a year ago, when I saw a video by Sariel,
called Leviathan Airboat. In that video Sariel speculated about the possibility of using
LEGO sails for building an actual LEGO sailboat. At the time I thought that was a wonderful
idea, except that I wouldn’t use LEGO sails but my own custom sails. During the weeks
that followed the idea of building a LEGO sailboat stayed on my mind, and soon after
I started ordering parts from bricklink and working out some crucial parts to see if it
was possible at all. One of the things which I doubted was if I could build a mast that
was strong enough. This turned out to be the case. Not long after that I completed the first
version which you can see here. I was well pleased with it as a whole, but it also had
some severe shortcomings. First and foremost the range of the LEGO PF
system. Which is only about 2-3 meter, in the summer sun. Unfortunately I don’t have
any video of this version sailing because my best friend and cameraman had to hold a
safety wire, which kept the boat from getting too far from shore. During first water trial
it became apparent that the model could use a bit more buoyancy and a more sturdy mast. In the second version the range issue was
solved by replacing the PF receiver with an Sbrick. The buoyancy issue was fixed by replacing
the center hull with the biggest LEGO hull currently available. I also did a complete
rebuild of the superstructure and added some rigging to support the mast.
During the second water trial I let it sail freely on the water. So my best friend could
shoot some footage. It performed quite well. Though a few new issues popped-up. The biggest
issue was that the boat had a lot of leeway. As you can see here. A second issue was the
responsiveness of the rudder system. And some issues relating to the fact that the android
app of the Sbrick is still in alpha. In the third version I did a complete rebuild
of the rudder system. I replaced the linear actuators by normal worm gears. This got rid
friction and made the rudder more responsive. I also attached larger keels to the side-hulls
and attached a keel to the center hull as well, this reduced the drift to manageable
levels. Finally, I added a wind-vane and a set of helms. Both not so much to make it
look more like a ship but purely to get some more visual cues about the condition of the
boat. In this latest version I am still not quite
happy with the overall steering mechanism. The Sbrick android control app still has a
tendency to crash or stop working, and in general not doing what I want. Which makes
controlling my MOC difficult. However considering the app is still in alpha it is bound to improve
a lot in the near future. I’d also like to improve the UI of the Sbrick, preferably by
designing my own. Which will be possible soon because the Sbrick team is currently developing
this tool which is already in beta. Ideally, I would like to integrate a servo motor at
some point so I will always know the orientation of the rudder. In short this MOC is still
clearly a work in progress. I hope you liked it so far, and thank you for watching!

One thought on “Building a LEGO Sailboat Project

  1. The sbrick is okay nowadays, I tried a lego RC boat and had 15 metres range on land, 12 metres range on water. The sbrick sometimes disconnected even when it was closer though but tends to reconnect asap.

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