View Full Version : Wooden RC boat

07-31-2011, 05:40 PM
Hello, all. I'm new here, just got the wooden boat bug this spring... I'd like to cut my boatbuilding teeth (or at least see if i have any!) on a scale model remote controlled boat powered by a Stihl string trimmer motor (weed eater to some) that I've got laying around that still runs. I'd like to pick a design that if all goes well i can someday build as a full sized boat. I've got some woodworking experince, worked a couple of winters in a custom cabinet shop. This a good idea? Any thoughts? Thanks in advance! Logan

07-31-2011, 05:46 PM
Seems like a fine idea and if the model is sizeable (3-4' long?) you can build it with all the same pieces as a full scale boat would have. You would be well advised to find some plans for an RC boat intended for your powerplant. There will be accesories needed to adapt the engine to boat service and plans should tell what to use.

That weed eater engine would be a foul thing to use in a real boat where you have to sit next to it but it would have enough to push a canoe style hull along as fast as two people could paddle.

Practically no discussion here about RC boats but there must be other forums aimed at your interest.

07-31-2011, 06:12 PM
Thanks for the input! Actually what I'd like to do is find mabye a Glen L design that i like and scale it down, install the weedeater motor as an inboard. May not be possible with my lack of experince/skill but i'd like to try! Mabye i'm way off here...

07-31-2011, 07:30 PM
you would not be the first person to do what you are suggesting so i would have to say go for it and just keep us posted as to the progress. This forum is a "WOODEN BOAT" forum after all.

08-01-2011, 01:16 AM
Sounds like a great plan - I've had similar thoughts.
I reckon that motor could push a decent size - 3-4' as Denny says.

If I was doing this I pick a plan that looked like an old-school power cruiser.
Some beauties on the Glen-L site.

08-01-2011, 12:07 PM
Thanks for the support! Now I get to try to decide on the design... like tony says, so many good looking boats so little time. I'll keep y'all updated and don't hesitate to give advice and suggestions...

Bill Huson
08-01-2011, 04:13 PM
Weed eater will push a 4' boat easily. Problem: Weed eater is an ignition engine and back when I was fooling with R/C (owned a 4,000 sq ft Hobby Shop fulla R/C stuff) ignition drove radios crazy. The problem was solved by shielding so I would suggest investigating the solution to shielding the ignition or R/C unit. Drive system to check out, flex cable. Yep, same sort of deal weed eaters use to spin the string trimmer end. Works great in R/C boats even with honking glow ignition engines turning a gazillion RPMs.

For wood boat construction I suggest aircraft ply. It comes in a variety of scantlings all the way down to 1/64" 3-ply. Available from Sig manufacturing and Aircraft Spruce. Aircraft Spruce offers larger pieces. I have 1/32" and 1/16" 2'x4' sheets in my pile of wood to build models with. I like to build a model of a design I create before I start chopping up the really expensive marine ply for full size.

08-01-2011, 09:26 PM
Thanks Bill. I think the trimmer does have a flexdrive shaft and i think it turns clockwise so can i just find the correct rotation prop at a hobby store or will a small trolling motor prop work? and do i need to mount the driveline at a slight angle with the rudder off center for ease of steering or am i making that up? and what do i need to shield the radio from the ignition with? Man i got lots of questions i'm gonna owe you all lots of updates! thanks again...

08-02-2011, 09:55 AM
Funny you should mention r/c boats. A few weeks ago I came across this (http://www.cornwallmodelboats.co.uk/acatalog/billing_boats_white_star.html) kit on closeout at a local hobby shop, and decided to bring it home. I hesitated for a bit, because I have still not finished my Penobscot 14. However, it was enjoyable to actually finish something, and my kids like playing with it. Of course, I made it look more 'wooden' than the package picture shows -

The package came with all sorts of nice brass stanchions, etc, but I left it simple so the kids would not break small parts off. I may add the other stuff later.




Of course I epoxied the interior and used spar varnish on the outside. The hull is ABS. They didn't have cyanoacrylates back when I was a kid, so the build went much faster than I expected.

Ed Armstrong
08-02-2011, 03:15 PM
marshcat -- Nice work!

grassrootsboats -- keep us updated on your project. Post lots of photos!

08-04-2011, 06:42 PM
Good lookin boat marshcat! and now i get to decide on a design and then hit the hobby shops... looks like fun! I'll keep y'all updated as i get started. gonna start looking for parts like servos and plywood on saturday... Thanks guys