QinetiQ Powerboat Challenge 2018

The “Highcliffe Flier” takes on other schools in the area.

    In what is the second attempt at the QinetiQ Powerboat Challenge our intrepid boat builders took on the task of designing and building a new racing boat, different to last year, but with the same motor, steering and propeller kit. The challenge for them was to be faster! Steering in the 2017 boat was good, speed was lacking!


    So the team went to work. They researched boat designs, came up with a modified version of a semi-planing hull (V-shape at the front, flat at the back) with contours and streamlining on the underside of the hull. A “tunnel” was planned for the propeller to force the water backwards more effectively and an extended deck to put the rudder behind the propeller to maximize steering efficiency.


    The advancing plans went further, with fiberglass and Styrofoam being the choice for the hull rather than a vacuum formed boat. The challenge was clearly not to just design the boat but to use these new techniques and build a working, floating boat!


    So they began, plans drawn many times, shapes researched, materials sourced. The Styrofoam hull was skillfully crafted and covered with a layer of protective glue. The fiberglass (Glass Reinforced Plastic GRP) was then laid over the mould, smoothed down into place and left to go off. The team took the boat home to add a second layer. Mr Sedgley helped with some laser cutting for the deck and the boat was good to go. Final modifications on the day meant the team were steering well and sailing smoothly it seemed.


    However, when testing was completed they realized we were leaking! Not a Titanic event but it meant we gradually slowed as we took on water. The team tried everything they could do resolve the problem with real-time thinking and innovation they managed to reduce but not remove the issue!


    We were in a better position than some teams who were rescued by the drone sub from the bottom of the largest indoor “swimming pool” in Europe!


    As the lunch break saw the heats concluded, the team tried to improve the boat further and finally got a Bronze in their final race. A great effort, with many things learnt about technology, team work, communication and project planning that will be transferable to many aspects of the future for the team.


    Overall a successful experience for Connor, Josh, Ellis, Aidan and John, and some great pointers are ready for the 2019 QinetiQ power boat team from Highcliffe.





    Owned by: | Last Published: 02/11/2018 15:05:58 | Next Update:


QinetiQ Powerboat Challenge 2018


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