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Ex-NATO scientist's toy boat 'Snoopy Sloop' set to sail across Atlantic
News Track India ^ | November 26, 2012

Posted on 11/26/2012 12:29:53 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife

London, Nov. 26 (ANI): A retired NATO scientist is all set to launch his toy boat on its first unmanned trip across the Atlantic.

The creator, 65-year-old Robin Lovelock, has spent four years developing a craft he believes can survive the 6,000-mile journey. The boat, named Snoopy Sloop, is 4 feet long, weighs just 30lbs and is held together in parts by bathroom light cord, reports the Telegraph.

The boat has already demonstrated its endurance, having completed more than 5,000 miles during seven months of continuous sailing, albeit on the gentler waters of Bray Lake, just off the M4 motorway near Windsor.

Lovelock built the boat using off-the-shelf parts that he bought from the internet at a cost of less than 450 pounds. A tracking device will emit a signal every hour to update Lovelock back home about the boat's progress. The boat will be powered by the wind, but navigated by a solar-powered computer and GPS system.

These will control the rudder and steer the boat on a preprogrammed route along the Channel, then south towards the Azores to catch the trade winds to the Bahamas and onwards to land near the spot where the Pilgrim Fathers came ashore at Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Lovelock's attempt is being made as part of an international contest, the Microtransat Challenge, to become the first to send an unmanned from south of Ireland to the Bahamas.

So far, three attempts have been made since the transatlantic challenge began in 2010 - two by French academics and one by a team from the University of Aberystwyth.

The small figure of the cartoon character Snoopy on board was installed "as a wind up to academics who take it too seriously".

Lovelock is relaxed about some of the hazards and concerned about others.

"There are certain things to worry about and others not to. The likely problems will be with reliability, and how the navigation system works with the tides. I got hooked about four years ago. I didn't even play with model boats when I was a boy. I sometimes tinker on the boat in the lounge, but am usually banished to the games room by my wife," he said.


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: atlanticcrossing; boating; challenge; pilgrams
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1 posted on 11/26/2012 12:30:07 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Say ‘toy boat’ 10 times fast.

Not impossible, but ....


2 posted on 11/26/2012 12:37:14 AM PST by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: F15Eagle

toy boat toy boat towy bot to but to bawt ...


3 posted on 11/26/2012 12:39:28 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I’d be curious enough to want it to put out a signal every minute, not every hour. But maybe the solar panels can’t supply enough juice to support that.


4 posted on 11/26/2012 12:41:44 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Strange that when he has wind and sea movement he can’t come up with any other power supply than solar panels.


5 posted on 11/26/2012 12:58:56 AM PST by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com (Vendetta))
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To: Hardraade

If it hits a patch where the breeze is exceptionally light and/or the seas are very smooth, anything but solar would be useless, and yet since the craft is so small he could still be able to be underway.

Plus, the other methods would interfere with the operation of the boat in one way or another.


6 posted on 11/26/2012 1:19:08 AM PST by Little Pig (Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
He's having all kinds of fun getting ready (over two years now) - but, appears the boat didn't get underway - yet...

I've built many things that flew or sailed under radio control, it's a fun thing to do.

7 posted on 11/26/2012 1:21:54 AM PST by Ron C.
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

He has too much money and time....


8 posted on 11/26/2012 1:26:38 AM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

This boat will not make it. I presume it is unsinkable but sometime in its journey some capable waves and wind will tear off the sails and shred them


9 posted on 11/26/2012 1:27:21 AM PST by dennisw ( The first principle is to find out who you are then you can achieve anything -- Buddhist monk)
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To: dennisw

A couple of extra servo motors and he can have a self furling main and jib.


10 posted on 11/26/2012 1:48:54 AM PST by Leisler (A trillion+ dollars a year printing fiat script=2% GDP. What happens when it stops. Or doesn't?)
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To: hosepipe
He has too much money and time....

He is working a problem.

11 posted on 11/26/2012 2:15:55 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: dennisw
This boat will not make it......

Maybe not but he's engaged and active - alive!

12 posted on 11/26/2012 2:17:36 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

We look forward to monitoring it's progress.

13 posted on 11/26/2012 2:19:24 AM PST by BlueDragon (in essentials, unity; in doubtful matters, liberty; in all things, charity)
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To: hosepipe

So?


14 posted on 11/26/2012 2:26:55 AM PST by MDspinboyredux
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To: BlueDragon

:)


15 posted on 11/26/2012 2:42:50 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: MDspinboyredux
sharkbait!

16 posted on 11/26/2012 2:44:33 AM PST by Samurai_Jack (ride out and confront the evil!)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

That is cool! It should be fun to follow the updates.....


17 posted on 11/26/2012 2:50:22 AM PST by Hot Tabasco (Jab her with a harpoon.....)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
If found, drop in any mailbox. Return postage guaranteed...
18 posted on 11/26/2012 2:51:29 AM PST by BigCinBigD (...Was that okay?)
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To: BlueDragon
We look forward to monitoring it's progress.

LOL!

19 posted on 11/26/2012 2:51:57 AM PST by Hot Tabasco (Jab her with a harpoon.....)
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To: hosepipe
He has too much money and time....

Please don't be so harsh on the man. He didn't just think this up out of the blue. From the article:

Lovelock's attempt is being made as part of an international contest, the Microtransat Challenge, to become the first to send an unmanned from south of Ireland to the Bahamas.

So you see, it's all in the name of science and competition.

Here's the competition website for more information: http://www.microtransat.org/

20 posted on 11/26/2012 3:25:59 AM PST by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

“Toy boats” float in bathtubs.

Model or miniature is the proper term.

Stupid journalisps.


21 posted on 11/26/2012 3:27:32 AM PST by wolficatZ (Got food?)
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To: Hot Tabasco; BlueDragon
We look forward to monitoring it's progress.

Actually, you should be able to at this website for the contest: http://www.microtransat.org/tracking.php

22 posted on 11/26/2012 3:28:32 AM PST by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: wolficatZ
"“Toy boats” float in bathtubs. Model or miniature is the proper term. Stupid journalisps."

You made me think immediately of the movie "The Flight of the Phoenix" (the first version) and the distinction between toy airplanes and model airplanes.

23 posted on 11/26/2012 3:46:33 AM PST by Truth29
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To: wolficatZ
.....Model or miniature is the proper term......

"Flight of the Phoenix"

24 posted on 11/26/2012 4:05:27 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: hosepipe

“He has too much money and time”

yes obviously he should be spending HIS money on beer and pizza


25 posted on 11/26/2012 4:25:08 AM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I am looking up at my ceiling where I have a fully rigged wooden model of the “Bluenose” a famous racing yacht.

I would have build it out of carbon fiber with closed cell rigid foam injected in the hull, Spectra weaved sails with the same for the lines, a way to reel in a small sea anchor for when it really gets rough....OR

A way to flood its compartments by a pump or by compressed air so it can reach a safe underwater depth to be free from dangerous waves and then a timer activates a compressed cartridge to “blow the tanks” like in a sub so it comes back up above the surface.

Arguably I could actually design an all electric propulsion model with not sails but an airfoil instead, prop power when no wind, wind and solar to keep batteries charged.

Actually not such a bad idea, the right size I could surmise is under 6 feet or 2 meters, that is for optimum strength without getting too heavy. But a semi submersible with a retractable air foil mast is my idea.


26 posted on 11/26/2012 4:46:44 AM PST by Eye of Unk (A Civil Cold War in America is here, its already been declared.)
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To: Eye of Unk
I looked up "Bluenose" - these are very interesting.

Building 3rd Model Ship Bluenose II - Pt 1

Building 3rd Model Ship Bluenose II - Pt 2

27 posted on 11/26/2012 4:59:10 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Very cool. As long as it doesn’t get tangled up in something (unlikely) it should make the trip as planned. Storms might throw it backward or off course, but when the waves subside, it will get back on course and carry on.


28 posted on 11/26/2012 5:04:41 AM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Hardraade

Solar panels are perfect for this app.


29 posted on 11/26/2012 5:05:55 AM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Mine is a solid wood hull fully rigged model, its about a yard long, just a nice looking model I think that was made in South Korea. I have a plank on frame kit of the ship, much smaller but more detailed, been sitting on a shelf for years.

I spend too much time lurking at FR to work on my models, I really need to just turn off the puter and enjoy life.


30 posted on 11/26/2012 5:06:04 AM PST by Eye of Unk (A Civil Cold War in America is here, its already been declared.)
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To: Eye of Unk
...... I really need to just turn off the puter and enjoy life.

Bump!

31 posted on 11/26/2012 5:08:02 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Eye of Unk; dennisw; maica

A little boat like this won’t be hurt by waves. It will be like a bobbing cork in rough seas. The lines, masts and sails will be far stronger than they need to be, given the small size of the mast and sails.

The biggest risk is getting tumbled into sargassum weed or other floating debris. I assume the keel and rudder are made to glide over seaweed without snagging. That could be a show stopper. But wind and waves won’t kill this thing. Send it backwards for a while, yes, but not destroy it.

But if it gets tumbled up in waves, and wraps some seaweed or netting etc around the mast, it’s game over.


32 posted on 11/26/2012 5:11:40 AM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: wolficatZ

I was thinking the same thing. Flight of the Pheonix.


33 posted on 11/26/2012 5:15:11 AM PST by CrazyIvan (Obama's birth certificate was found stapled to Soros's receipt.)
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To: Travis McGee

Retractable telescopic mast? no lines to snag, might have to have a sensor to transmit if its become too top heavy or a vid camera, then the mast simply pulls itself down through the hull, actually it could go right through the hull in its own channel. Carbon fiber golf club shaft or titanium with a carbon fiber wrap? Not big enough to need lines, nut I would researched into an airfoil instead of sails like what Jacques Cousteau used.


34 posted on 11/26/2012 5:17:01 AM PST by Eye of Unk (A Civil Cold War in America is here, its already been declared.)
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To: hosepipe
He has too much money and time....

He's retired, he's using his own money, and the equivalent of $720 dollars over 4 years is not a lot of money for a hobby that brings one enjoyment and satisfaction.

35 posted on 11/26/2012 5:21:51 AM PST by PapaBear3625 (You don't notice it's a police state until the police come for you.)
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To: Eye of Unk

Too complex, too many moving parts to fail, not necessary. The sail, mast and rig will be far stronger already than it needs to be. In big waves and wind it will just heel over and lay flat, or even roll and tumble, it won’t matter. It is self-righting and unsinkable.


36 posted on 11/26/2012 5:22:57 AM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: PapaBear3625

Shoot, millions of us spend more than $720 for our umpteenth firearm, shoot it a couple times, and shove it in a safe. This is a way cooler use of $720 than that.


37 posted on 11/26/2012 5:24:11 AM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Eye of Unk
This one has two solar panels on it now, but it still needs humans on board to handle the sails.


38 posted on 11/26/2012 5:26:22 AM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Travis McGee

Self righting and unsinkable?

Don’tcha wish the bigger stuff was like that? I saw an auction for an ex Coast Guard training vessel thats designed to roll completely and come upright, I saw a video of one used I think just off the coast in Oregon, massive breakers there. They had the engine mounted very securely and able to run upside down, must have been a Detroit.


39 posted on 11/26/2012 5:27:19 AM PST by Eye of Unk (A Civil Cold War in America is here, its already been declared.)
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To: Eye of Unk

Things get easier at smaller sizes. It’s the same reason why the tiny quad rotor R/C helicopters are so agile. Less inertia, smaller forces. A hurricane won’t blow out the sails on this thing, just tumble it around for a while.


40 posted on 11/26/2012 5:37:22 AM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

The new Royal Navy.


41 posted on 11/26/2012 5:42:08 AM PST by Lockbar (Quality factory loaded ammunition ---- The New Gold)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I think this is great. I’m going to show the kids on our LEGO robotics team. They send an “unmanned” vehicle across a table. This guy is doing the whole ocean.

Also, who knows? Maybe some scientific knowledge will come out of it. Remember when the rubber ducks spilled and floated across the Pacific? Scientists learned things about the currents that they never knew.

Of course, there is the political angle to consider. If this thing works, we can expect Obama to downsize the navy even more!


42 posted on 11/26/2012 7:11:30 AM PST by married21 (As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.)
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To: Yo-Yo

Thanks for the link. It does appear a challenging undertaking.


43 posted on 11/26/2012 9:14:00 AM PST by BlueDragon (in essentials, unity; in doubtful matters, liberty; in all things, charity)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Already been done: in the air with a model plane !!!

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2003-08-13/news/0308130252_1_spirit-of-butts-farm-maynard-hill-model-maker


44 posted on 11/26/2012 9:23:55 AM PST by beebuster2000
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To: Cincinatus' Wife; All

http://youtu.be/R-LHy3CyBa8


45 posted on 11/26/2012 9:33:52 AM PST by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment,a Matter of Fact,Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER

Thank you for the video link!

Ha.....”Long suffering June” must be his wife. :)


46 posted on 11/26/2012 2:21:14 PM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: beebuster2000
From your link: "...."In the model airplane world, this is no different from Armstrong landing on the moon," says Carl Layden, an official observer of the history-making flight. "It's a feat of engineering 99 percent of modelers would have thought impossible."......

Amazing! Thank you.

47 posted on 11/26/2012 2:23:06 PM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

That is a super cool project!


48 posted on 11/26/2012 2:24:37 PM PST by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment,a Matter of Fact,Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: married21
....I’m going to show the kids on our LEGO robotics team......

Good luck with your team!

49 posted on 11/26/2012 2:29:27 PM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: beebuster2000; All

http://youtu.be/6KEIq76JE7o


50 posted on 11/26/2012 2:35:33 PM PST by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment,a Matter of Fact,Not a Matter of Opinion)
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