Industrial designer Josh Tulberg has created the Mini Boat, a 6ft electric boat manufactured with 3D printing and laser cutting technology. You can order a DIY kit from his website Rapid Whale, or build the Mini Boat from scratch using his step-by-step instructions.
Meet Josh Tulberg, a Bay Area-based industrial designer and recreational engineer that is in charge of Rapid Whale, a website that offers 3D printing and laser cutting services, as well as DIY projects that you can buy directly.
Thanks to him, with a little maker spirit and around $2,000, you can now live your dreams of sailing the seven seas in a tiny electric boat.
Tulberg recently released detailed instructions so you can build the electric Mini Boat from scratch. Alternatively, you can also buy his DIY kit for $950 and get started on your future seafaring adventures.
The designer came up with the idea for the Mini Boat after being inspired by viewing others online. But the maker didn’t just want any old sea vessel, his aim was to create a boat that was shorter than the rest – a boat that was just 6 feet long.
He began his journey by sketching and modeling his design idea on the 3D CAD software Solidworks. To test whether the Mini Boat design would be buoyant, he 3D printed and laser cut a 1:2.2 scale model and successfully floated it inside of a hot tub.
Impressively, the final full-sized Mini Boat only weighs around 100 lb, making it easy to transport this ship wherever the sea is calling your name. Simply fold down the backseats of your car and you can take it on days out on the lake (just don’t forget to pack the engine too).
The Mini Boat can fit a single person under 6’2″ tall and 200 lb in weight. It’s reportedly capable of sailing along at 3.5 knots (4 mph). It’s not a speed demon, but it’s still a perfect option for a person who want to spend a day alone on the calm of the sea.
Tulberg explains with excitement on his website: “This boat is ridiculously small and a blast to ride. It’s also simple to build with its cable-tie and epoxy construction. It’s designed to last a lifetime.”
Sailing the High Seas in Your Own 3D Printed Mini Electric Boat
The base of the boat is made from precision cut marine-grade plywood. Tulberg explains that internal bulkheads are installed to enable the boat to float, even when flooding occurs.
If you choose to purchase Tulberg’s kit from his website, you’ll receive the laser cut marine plywood, 3D printed components, a steering wheel, steering-shaft bearings, and various gaskets.
However, you’ll still need to spend an additional $500 to $1,100 on off-the-shelf components to finish the boat. According to the designer, the total expenses will depend on how luxurious you want the boat to be or how crafty you are.
You’ll need a Newport Vessels NV-Series electric motor, deep cycle SLA batteries, and chemical foam for the bulkheads, just to name a few components. You can find the full list of parts here.
Be warned that this project requires a heavy amount assembly and requires a lot of patience. In other words, the build for this DIY boat is far from smooth sailing. However, once you’ve created the electric mini boat, your weekends away will be a lot more exciting and relaxing.
Tulberg is currently making the DIY kits on a made-to-order basis. On the other hand, you can start the project from scratch by following his Instructables page.