Saturday, September 20, 2014

Floatillas - Neon Boats Project

Richard set the task of making floating boats and racing them in a nearby river.
The neons themselves are completely water proof, but the wiring, battery and transformer had to be protected somehow, the battery had to be readily accessible so it could be connected and properly sealed moments before racing, and the piece had to be able to withstand a bit of a bashing.

Here's what we came up with! (More images by Angus Mackay)
Sarah M's 'Boaty Floatilla', with battery hidden in the hull

Handsome Wil's 'Bomb Boat', with battery taped into the side bottle

Sasha's 'Framed Bulb Floatilla', with battery taped on the underside of the frame

Billie's 'I-don't-know-what Floatilla', with the battery taped to the neck

My 'Bottle Boat', with the battery floating behind in a sealed jar

Richards 'Suspended-By-Balloons-So-It-Can-Hardly-Be-Considered-A-'Boat', Lightning Floatilla', with the battery suspended in the balloon strings

This is us connecting our batteries just before dusk

Our Floatillas in action!!

Unfortunately, a couple of the Floatillas sank within seconds, and another few had electrical issues. For some reason, Sasha's light would go out when it touched the water, and would relight the second she pulled it out. Richard's Balloon Floatilla skimmed beautifully over rocks that the rest of ours got stuck on, but also tended to go cheekily upstream, back towards the starting line, when the breeze wasn't working in it's favor.

By the end there was lots of tromping through the cold stream in bare feet in the pitch dark to rescue sinking or stuck Floatillas, or - in Richard's case - to coax the Floatillas in the right direction.

In the end, only Handsome Wil's Bomb Boat made it the whole way fully lit, so we had a clear winner!
The whole night was great fun regardless!

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