Note: If you are reading this it means you have come via a direct link ( particularly Wikipedia). In preparing the RC boat hull for the next step, you can now carefully remove the structure from the building board. Also, we're done with the hull alignment template that was placed under the wax paper to guide component placement and alignment.
After you remove the hull frame from the building board, remove any wax paper remnants if any. Place the hull frame on top and position the raised part of the transom inbetween the "legs" of the deck. Trim away the area of the keel where the propeller will pass through it, thus creating a tunnel for ditto. Now peel away the template (make sure all bulkhead locations are transferred first!) and place it on a flat surface with the attached doubler facing down. Propeller shaft tunnel finished - note faint pencil marks for bulkhead #4 just to the left of the doublers. Transom and keel transition - note how the keel is lined up to the center line of the transom and flush at the rear. A square corner of a balsa sheet is held against the hull at each station and the edge of chine shelf and keel is marked on the balsa. Lay the sheet down on your cutting surface and lay a straight-edge between the two tick marks and cut with a razor blade or X-acto knife. Now the hull frame is ready for sanding to smooth out the shape some and to give the skin more edge to hold onto.
This RC boat hull building instruction goes hand-in-hand with the plans available for download (use link below).
Read a short introduction to this new series of small RC model boats to learn more, what materials you'll need etc. At this point all templates should be glued to the balsa with the Spray Mount Adhesive, essentially turning the templates into over-size sticky notes. Also note that the deck and chine shelf templates only account for one half of the hull, so you need to make two of items "A" and "B".
With the exception of multiple parts from one template (as outlined above) parts with straight edges are best cut to finished size with the knife and straight-edge.For rounded edges there will be excess material coming off as angles.
At this point its tempting to peel off the templates, but hold your horses - we're not quite ready for that yet. Once the necessary marks are made, you can safely peel off the templates with one exception: Leave the template on the keel in place for now. When I built the prototype I didn't have the hull alignment template, so you'll see the template is missing in the pictures on this page.
Take a straight-edge and pencil and draw lines connecting the bulkhead position marks you made from the templates to aid bulkhead placement later on.Earlier we marked both front and rear edge of the bulkheads onto the balsa. Place the transom (item "5") in-between the two chine shelf pieces and line it up with even on the left and right hand side. Next dry fit the stem piece (item marked "D") and bulkhead #1 and lay them in position with stem piece centered on the hull center-line and the bulkhead in it's marked position.Check and make sure they are perpendicular to the building board and each other. These RC model boats are based on an easy-to-build 15-inch long hard chine hull mostly constructed from balsa. Being a planing hull the speed is high enough not to be boring, but not so fast it would easily get out of control. Generally, the balsa sheet should be relatively light-weight and soft, but most importantly, straight grain and even density.
Tools are often a matter of personal choice as there is often more ways than one to skin a cat. In addition to the instructions below, you might want to check out the pop pop (putt putt) boat introduction page as well. However, if your building board is really dark, or just ugly, you can lay the template upside down under a fresh sheet of wax paper.
Give the deck side of the structure a light sanding with 120 grit sandpaper backed with a flat sanding block. However, when it comes to installing a propeller shaft most of those builders would be scratching their heads trying to get a propeller shaft tunnel aligned correctly.

Do as follows:On the keel, we need to stay clear of the bulkhead #4 location, so make sure the keel is well marked in that area. Prop up either extreme of the keel with scraps of material until level and clamp or place weights on top. The purpose is to provide a temporary landing and support for the next step in fitting the lower triangular parts of the bulkheads.When I built the prototype it took me a while to figure this out, so they may be missing in some of the pictures below. Just like when the deck was attached, keeping the keel perpendicular and centered is more important than locating front to back.
With the other hand, with a sharp pencil, mark the edge where the keel and chine shelf intersect (see picture below). You can save a little time by using the first triangle at each station as a template for the opposite side. Note how the paper "hollow" inside the templates is left to maintain the integrity of the shapes. Now it's time to start cutting out the parts.Separate each part from the sheet first by using a razor blade or X-acto knife and a metal straight-edge.
The same goes for the knee (item "E").The best way to make two identical parts is to sandwich two sheets of wood under the template and cut through the stack.
Instead we need to transfer relative position from the templates to some of the parts to aid the assembly for accurate position and alignment.The best tools for the job is a small square and a sharp, relatively soft, lead pencil. Having the center line marked on the outside of the transom will help in aligning the keel and rudder.The other components need marks to give the relative position for the bulkheads.
This is a good opportunity to trim and fix minor flaws that may have worked its way in at this point.
It is good if you can drive pins into it, lay weights or use magnets to hold the chine shelf down flat on the building board or table top.Lay down the Hull Alignment Template on your building board and lay a sheet of wax paper or plastic food film (Seran Wrap or similar) over to prevent the model to stick to the template and your table. Assembly should be a lot easier and almost self explanatory with the template.Align the two halves of the chine shelf on the hull alignment template. Now I usually only connect one set of those tick-marks, using the other set as a visual guide for bulkhead placement.
The position of the stem piece is more important than the bulkhead, so pay extra attention to it. In the next installment we'll focus on the deck, keel and lower part of the hull structure before moving on to some internal installations and planking. These projects are perfect for beginners and those looking for a cheap, easy, simple and fast build. These boats would make great introductions to both scratch building and RC boating.You may wonder why I keep referring to this project in plural. For propeller I've come to use one plundered from a toy (I'll get into more detail later in the build log).For propeller shaft, stuffing tube, rudder etc. There is no reason a more commercial RC battery pack couldn't be used.The propeller is "on loan" from a Tamiya Submarine Motor (#70153). Even if the wax paper looks clean and comes right off, I'd opt to replace it for the next step.
It will provide a light, neutral background when you build that makes it easier to spot things that are out of the norm or things you drop or spill. Go easy as the only purpose is to take down any obvious high spots.Put the hull frame aside while we focus on the two deck halves (item "B" on the plans). Don't expect them all to line up perfectly, but it will give you a good idea of how close to ideal you are at this point.Also check and make sure the frame is making contact with the deck along the deck stringers, transom, bulkheads and the stem piece.
It would require a jig, extra long drill and some luck to get it right.We're going to take much of the tool requirements out of it and stop relying on luck for success, here is how.
Next, lay the keel (template down) on a flat surface and glue one doubler to the back side of the keel just ahead of the #4 bulkhead location and line it up parallell with the bottom of the keel.If you're off by a few millimeters from either that's fine.
Try hard not to cut into the doubler.The prototype used a 4mm outer diameter stuffing tube, so that's the size marked on the drawing and template. Glue the second doubler in place and weigh or clamp to the assembly.Same rules apply as far as location - stay clear of bulkhead #4 location etc.
The easiest and best way to locate the keel front to back is to sand the front-most part of the chine shelf flush to the angle of the stem piece. Next it's time to cut out the templates, starting with the bulkheads, transom, keel, deck and chine shelf (Item "A").A word of caution, don't cut too close to the outline at this point.

Once your happy with the layout you can pencil in the outline of the templates onto the balsa, or take a picture, so you remember where each piece go.Use the Spray Mount adhesive to glue the templates in place.
Start at the angled peaks and work your way around the perimeter.When sanding, your strokes need to go in one direction only. Only one line is required per bulkhead, but I typically mark the position for both edges so I don't have to remember if the bulkhead goes in front of or behind the line.
Better to remake one erroneous part than an entire assembly, so take your time.Dry fitting also helps you familiarize yourself with the pieces that make up an assemble and help you figure out which order to attach the parts while retaining good alignment and integrity. I've found the wax paper resist CA glue better, so that's what I use.Secure the sheets to the board with a method suitable for the type of building board you're using - it can be pins, tape, weights etc.
The knees should line up with the inner edges of the chine shelf (see pictures), but their placement is not critical.Sometimes the parts will stay in place by themselves, other times they need pins.
I strongly recommend that you don't substitute the materials recommended here.Below is a list of material needed for this RC boat hull and approximate quantities. Align them at the pinnacle of the stem and check alignment at the rear edge where they join. If care has been taken so far in cutting out the parts and aligning, nothing should be too far out of alignment.When things look good place drops of thin CA along stem piece, bulkheads and deck stringers.
Try not to have the doubler extend passed the bottom of the keel, it's better if you err on the other side.
This way you'll have an edge that should correspond with the front-most edge on the keel.As you can see on the picture below, I didn't do it this way, but it would have made things a little easier.
I like to work from the center and towards each end so it adds some well needed stability to the keel. This step is just to separate the pieces so they can be trimmed later.You don't need the straight-edge, but it is infinitely easier to make a cut if you do, and the risk of slipping and cutting into a template is greatly reduced. The amount of glue is relatively important - too much glue and you won't be able to get them apart etc.How to make a perpendicular cut through both sheets?Making a perpendicular cut free hand on balsa is difficult. If you are not comfortable using the tools listed further down on this page, at the very least, ask someone for help. After a few boat projects you'll be a balsa expert.For the balsa strips I'd go for a harder quality than the sheets (if available).
It's not hard to do if you've got some basic tools and the means and skill to solder with a basic solder iron. At this point, place a piece of tape over the joint to temporarily hold them together and flip the deck over with the tape facing down. Instead I eye-balled it in by looking at the profile and having the curved part of the keel tangent the angle of the stem.
If you have a scroll saw or band saw it can be put to good use at this step.As the pieces are separated from each other, there will be excess material surrounding the templates. Either way, once the placement is right, attach the pieces with small drops of CA glue at the joints.
These strips will be used as structural stringers and for deck coaming, so there are no bends or anything to consider. Pin or weigh the deck down on the building board.Mark the bulkhead locations across the same way as you did on the chine shelf.
To get to finished size I trim off the last bit with 80 grit sandpaper on a hard sanding block.
These strips could be substituted for basswood or spruce if available in a pinch.I've had mixed luck with basswood strips.
I often lay the balsa over the edge of my work table and that way have an easier time keeping the angle straight. I order most of my wood online and thin basswood strips often has the grain run out the side of the strip causing it to split when bending. The resulting angles will be taken off at the final trim.I also tend to start with the outside shape and do any internal areas last, otherwise the pieces can break and split easily.

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Comments to “How to make a boat hull out of paper”

  1. Sade_Oqlan  writes:
    40$ to build including digital possibly 30$ easily assembled.
  2. NEITRINO  writes:
    With shooting it and pulls floatable and if the middle.
  3. S_a_d_i_s_T  writes:
    You to pages of simple-to-construct research plans that and simple lines.