Power Boats

Building things that go is fun, so building boats that go has been high on C’s request list.  Our first boat was a simple 1 liter water bottle with a straw out the back and a balloon inside.  I like the balloon the best, however we are having fun playing with the elastic band powered boat and will be trying a baking soda and vinegar power boat soon.

The Balloon Powered Boat.

Balloon Powered Boat

Balloon Powered Boat

balloon and straw powered wood boat

This boat works great, the small straw restrict the air so it works for a while.  We will play with this for a while, then I will cut out a much nicer one for the boys to sand and glue together.

How to build

1.  Hull.  We have used a bottle and this block of wood.  Anything that floats with the option to put a straw through it.

2.  Air Jet.  We used a straw this time, drilling a hole would also work, an elbow fitting or a flexible hose.

3.  Balloon.

The balloon didn’t stay on the straws so I used a piece of wire (pipe cleaner) to help seal it together.


Elastic Paddle Wheel Powered Boat

Elastic Band powered boat.

Elastic Band powered boat.

Elastic boat made with a tin and Popsicle sticks, just add the paddle.

Elastic boat made with a tin and Popsicle sticks, just add the paddle.


This boat still needs some work.  The elastic is more powerful than the paddle can deliver, and quickly runs out of steam.  We will see if a bigger paddle fixes this.

How To build

1.  Hull.  We used a block of wood because I had the saw out working on the trailer, however a tin, plastic floating tray.

2.  Elastic mounts.  Since this boat was made out of wood I cut out the back to make a place for the motor.  If you are using something else you can hot glue chop sticks or Popsicle sticks to make the mounts.

3.  Elastic motor.  Wrap an elastic around the mounts.  Our elastic was too long, so we wrapped it twice.  The place in a small piece of wood or plastic.  Anything that fits, it flat and water proof will work.  If it doesn’t stay in just start winding the motor and the elastic will hold it in place.




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