Headstart 2004

Glider Design
Race car design
Speedboat design



Speedboat Design

The team challenge in Ship Science was to design a speedboat to race down the 25m Lamont towing tank in the School of Engineering Sciences. Teams were given limited materials, in the form of foam block, wood and an electric motor with batteries and propeller. Conceptual designs were first put together before the teams prepared for the building their boats.

Building was a laborious and time-consuming task, so teams had to allocate their resources carefully. Templates were constructed to ensure that the craft were built to the designs correctly - quality control was a serious issue.


Testing for buoyancy and balance could be performed in the lab. Adjustments of battery position and outriggers were possible in this static testing. Teams were then given a fixed time slot in the towing tank to test their speedboat.


The moment of truth awaited the teams...


The first towing tank tests were quite an experience for all, but nobody had to go all the way back to the drawing board. Back to the lab to tweak the designs before the final time trial.

And have some more fun!

Before heading back to the towing tank for the final testing and timed trial for the competition. Each team was allowed three timed runs, which were videoed, with the fastest run being their official time for the contest.

After the excitement of the time trials it was back to the lab to finish off documenting the day's work on the computers, and adding those finishing touches to the boats.

See how they did by going to the Race Day page.

Browse the website to see what else they got up to, and see the Headstart website for details of next year's event.

Aerospace Engineering | Mechanical Engineering | Ship Science