The upper portion of the boat has now been recovered and is safely back at home, but the motor pod is still missing. On the morning of Aug 1st, 2020, we received a message that the pod was situated near the upper portion of the boat. However when we arrived at around 2pm, the pod was nowhere to be seen.
LoCARB was never meant to get close to shore for fear of the damage which would happen if it was thrown up against the beach by the pounding waves. In this case, there was no way to stop this from happening as the lack of propeller movement left it to the mercy of the currents.
How I found LoCARB.
Surprisingly, the rudder skeg made out of a cheap $4 aluminum speed angle worked to keep the rudder fully functional and undamaged despite the beating! Hows that for cheap and effective!? On a fun little note, before launch I put an enticing URL on the side of the boat for just this scenario of being beached on shore somewhere. I received several calls, photos, and text messages from people reporting the location of LoCARB. People always surprise me with how far out of the way they will go to help!
The amount of force necessary to snap through PVC, a 1/4″ carbon fiber rod, and cavity filled with epoxy is pretty high but not unexpected, the ocean is a scary place. I built the struts to withstand flopping around in the ocean, not with being pummeled by waves against rocks and the beach.
The PVC pipe cavity is still sealed with epoxy. In the following days, ill check whether or not it kept the electronics enclosure free from any moisture as well.
The boat took a pretty big hit…
The rudder looks broken in this picture, but its just covered with sand. Its in great condition! As well, I haven’t tested it yet but I bet the solar panel still outputs sufficient voltage.
I was also impressed that the plastic pallet platform was still in pretty decent condition. I would use it again in a heartbeat!
I couldn’t have been more pleased with the way the boat handled being beat up, it was in better condition than I thought it would be (despite the motor pod being gone LOL). A lot of the fun stuff like autopilot, Arduino, solar panel, rudder and servo, and the $230 Rockblock modem is now available to me for future projects (another boat perhaps?), and that makes for a pretty happy ending ($500-$600 in reusable equipment recovered).
A new boat?
Everyone has been asking me if i’m going to repair LoCARB and try again. At the moment i’m unsure, I really do just want to relax a bit and not be committed to anything. My 10 year old son wants us to fix it and drive it around Lake Siskiyou when we go up for the 4th of July holidays…but I know that’s a slippery slope as once I start fixing it, it’ll end up back in the ocean headed for Hawaii 🙂