Making RC steam boat

21 June, 2019 | Videos


A remote-controlled, aluminum boat that needs gas and steam to be moved is our new construction with the number 0095. It is commonly known that there are more efficient ways to move this remote-controlled, small boat like the electrical motors as well as the internal combustion engine. However, this time we chose this way as we found it a constructive challenge and a good learning around the matter of moving something using steam.

Initially, we made a boiler from stainless steel 316, in which you can enter some water. Also, by making a Verner for propane, which passes from the middle of the boiler, the water heats and is turned into steam. After making the boiler, we had a pressure test at 100 bars in order to make sure that it is suitable and tolerant to lower pressures that will be produced from the pressured steam. Next step, we modified a vane motor for air, on which we put a propel that causes the movement that is produced in the water. All the prementioned pieces are placed on an aluminium boat that we created.

We also, used an aluminium sheet metal due to its low weight and its flexibility to be formed. Our aluminium boat is 110cm long and 35cm wide. Additionally, we placed the propane tank at the front side and the boiler at the back side of the boat. Further, we placed a tube in the shape of a spring to increase the steam production in the boiler as well as to achieve a greater surface of water heating and to avoid the liquefaction of the steam when it moves towards the motor. 

Regarding the handling of the boat, we put a receiver that receives the demands coming from an RC controller in order to enable us to give orders from a distance. Thus, using one of the levers of the controller we turn the boat to the right and left through a flap that is located behind the motor which is moved by a servo motor 25kg. In addition to this, to move the motor, we activate a 12v steam electro-valve placed on the controller and when it is activated the steam moves with pressure from the boiler towards the motor in order to achieve the spinning of the propel and in extent the move of the boat, too.

In the last step, we painted our boat to the colours that we usually paint our motorized constructions like orange, white and red. Even though, we applied a lot of changes and trials at the end we managed to have a good performance of movement and function of our construction. The total weight of our boat is quite a lot as it weighs 25kg. We must admit that we are proud of our creation and very pleased that we managed to move our boat using steam. Who knows?! Maybe in the future, we will make more vehicles that will be moved by steam.

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