A Challenging Boat

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by lubna33, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. lubna33
    Joined: Nov 2010
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    lubna33 New Member


    I'm a student at the universty. I have this project where I have to build a structure (e.g. boat) made out of toothpicks that can float and carry a dropped filled water Bottle (size 0.5L) from a height of 15 cm.
    Project Rules :
    1.You must use wooden toothpicks (BBQ wooden sticks are no allowed)
    2.The filled water bottle will be dropped from a height of 15 cm from the top point of the structure.
    3.You can use regular transparent glue (e.g. paper glue, wood glue, Uho, or super
    4.The structure must have a maximum weight of 500 grams.
    5.The structure must float while carrying the water bottle.
    6. You are not allowed to color the structure.
    7.The structure will be tested in a water container of the following size:Width 20 cm, Length 30 cm, and Depth 15 cm.
    8.You are allowed to cut the toothpicks.

    Please help me, I don't know how or from where to start!!

    Many Thanks..
  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The whole point of a problem like this, is to get you to use several skills in an innovative way. Approaching each issue separately is a good staring point. For example, you're not allowed to paint or color the structure. Well, that's easy and you've satisfied one of the issues already. The same can be said of the building materials. This is 2 out of your 8 listed issues for a 25% reduction of the work load right off the top.

    In other words, if you're having this much difficulty with a problem like this, maybe you should change your major to drama.
  3. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    You need to build a hull. Probably a square bottom barge type. A raft won't work, becase the maximum displacement is 500 grams and the water bottle weighs more than that. I would make panels with toothpicks glued side to side with ends staggered. Use other toothpicks for framing at right angle.

  4. Lurvio
    Joined: Jul 2009
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    Location: Mid of Finland

    Lurvio Mad scientist

    We did a lot of this at the age of ten, no boats though. Different kinds of buildings and I think I made a helicopter once. Not that difficult, just messy.

    As a hint, if you make trusses or similar, a triangle shape is the strongest.

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