When we thought we've been through the hardest phase of boat building, by cutting all the pieces, we were dead wrong. Assembling the parts, especially wooden parts, is nothing like assembling Gundam models.
Firstly, we need strength to hold down the wood while it is being nailed down. To make it worst, we need to keep the 2 pieces of wood perpendicular to each other, AND straight relative to the bottom.
Then, there's the nail gun. A dangerous piece of equipment with the potential to kill. It's very heavy too! On the bright side, we do not need to use the hammer, which is heavier. The sound from the machine itself is scary, but Kelvin is unfazed as he shoots away...
That's Kelvin and the nail gun. It was rather tiring, and we have to take countless break in between to rest our tired hands. After the entire body was assembled, we have our junior member to help out in waterproofing the hulls. It was a long and mundane task, having to coat the connection points of the boat with silicon and waiting for it to dry.
Trust me, it's all worth it when you finally see the product.... TADA!!!
Thanks to Gabriel for taking the picture.
The hull with Kim Yong in the picture for scale.
Surfboard hulls? Until now, if you are still wondering why we called ourselves SwinSurfers, take a look at this:
That's our hull's shape. Doesn't it look like a surfboard? Haha~ Let's go back in time for a bit, before the shape was even cut out.
We have Wilson here cutting out the shape using a Jigsaw.
The process was tiring, we took turns cutting with the Jigsaw. Of course, the outcome was 100% perfect... (We have to take into account that we are amateurs at wood working).
Ivan and Daniel working on the remaining "surf boards" to get the shape just right.
The workshop was located at the outskirts of the city, and the team gets to enjoy nature while working on the boat. The downside is, some of us got tanned by the unkindly solar exposure.
On the left, you can see the "twin brothers" trying to cut a straight piece of wood for the boat's hull. This really brings us to the question:
How many engineers does it take to make a boat?
While Avengers 2 is taking the big screen with hype in Malaysia, Swinsurfers is busy assembling our very own dream team. We've got 2 junior members, Gabriel and Kim Yong joining the build team. Additionally, we've got Pheng Hak, a RC enthusiast to help out on the boat's control, Wilson, a final year Electrican and Electronics Engineering student, decided to help us out as well. Punit, a recent graduate joined us to lend us his technical expertise as well. Of course, there's much more to these people, throughout the few weeks in between, the team consulted different lecturers, in both Mechanical and Robotics engineering to gather more idea and feedback on our design.
Ivan managed to find sponsors for plywood and has secured his uncle (who is a carpenter) to advice the team on the building of the 2 hulls. Hence the makeshift team was put together to build the boat within the shortest possible time frame. Currently, the team has received the standard issue camera and motor from HYDROS.
It was also during that week, SwinSurfer's current web page was born. With renewed confidence and a solid team, SwinSurfers goes full speed ahead to secure sponsorship and develop the boat!
Front, From Left: Ivan Ling, Daniel Vong, Pheng Hak and Kelvin Lim
Back, From Left: Gabriel Ling, Kim Yong, Wilson Yeo and Punit Shah
Within A few weeks after assembling the team, we have to come out with the model. Our design is a lightweight catamaran featuring hydrofoils for more lift. The two hulls design of a catamaran enable better balancing of the boat during the turning and also enable the boat to carry more weight. The boat is also designed to be symmetrical so that the center of gravity is at the center of the boat to make steering the boat easier. The four hydrofoils that the boat features is designed with NACA airfoil and is used to create a lifting force when the boat is moving at certain speed to lift the boat’s hulls out of water and reduce the water resistance when the boat is moving. The boat will feature exchangeable hydrofoils in order to manipulate the lifting force needed for two different categories of the competition.
The hulls are to be build using plywood with proper water proofing. Initially, plans were made to cast the boat with fibreglass, but due to time and financial constraint the team proceeded with a plywood design. The Hydrofoils are to be made with aluminium and mounted on the hull with screws.
From left: Kelvin Lim, Daniel Vong, Dr. Almon Chai, Dr. Chua Hong Siang. Photo by Ivan Ling.
It all started two months ago, when a group of students gathered and decided to make a late registration for HYDRO Contest, organized by the HYDROS Foundation. We started the team with Ivan Ling as the team manager, Daniel Vong as the Communications Manager and Kelvin Lim as the Logistics Manager.
Right after submitting the preliminary application to be a part of HYDRO contest, we consulted two lecturers from Swinburne University of Technology. They are Dr. Chua Hong Siang (Coordinator of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Program) and Dr. Almon Chai (Coordinator of Robotics and Mecha Tronics Program).
A rough sketch was quickly made after the discussion, to be made into a 3D model for simulation. The whole development process was accelerated as the team was already late in the development of the boat. We cannot afford to build few iterations for testing, hence we have to rely heavily on simulations instead.