Micro Boat Hobby

Model Boat Fittings

There is very little aftermarket for the smallest details and components for any model boat at a small scale. Besides propulsion components, smaller accessories like cranes, zodiacs and such are available here.

Most parts can easily be adopted if you require them in a different size of configuration. Feel free to be in touch about that. 

Also, feel free to directly look through the online shop in the Shapeways market place, as there are always new fittings and parts that get added to to the list of available components. 

Bow-thruster / stern-thruster

Available in various small sizes and heights, can be used in small models, e.g. conversions of plastic kits by e.g. Revell or other companies. Can be cut to size. 

All thrusters use small gears and motors that are readily available. They can be controlled using a small ESC.

Standard thrusters

Based on a channel and a chamber with paddles, these thrusters are versatile and easy to assemble. They come in three sizes, see the table fpr the small / medium / large thrusters.

Low-height thrusters

Similar to the standard thrusters in the working principle, these thrusters are intended for models that have a low space under the deck to install a thruster. They use a worm gear to position the motor lower. 

Thrusters: Working principle

The model bow thruster is designed in a simplified manner. It uses a paddle that overlaps by 50% with the channel, thus creating thrust in the direction the paddle inside the chamber rotates. The paddle is rotated by a vertically installed small electric motor, whose rotation is transmitted by a set of gears. This is mostly done to ensure the shaft from the paddle exits the lid of the chamber above the waterline of the ship, while at the same time the motor does not extend the height of the thruster furthermore. 

Azimuth-thruster / GillJet

Some vessels use an azimuth thuster (most commonly built as a Schottel drive) only instead of a bow thruster, other vessels - especially those that operate in shallow waters and that need specific maneuverability - employ them as main drive. 

The model thrusters available here use basic gear and motor components that are readily available. They are easy to assemble and can be glued into the hull.

Small GillJet

Essentially, the Gilljet consists of three parts: the inlet, the turbin and the outlet. The turbine is slid into a rail to facilitate the assembly in the boat. To control the direction of the outlet, a micro servo is added that rotates the outlet disc via a set of gears.

The small Gilljet is intended for smaller boats, up to approx. 35...40 cm in length. It is strong enough to propel them at decent speed.

Large GillJet

Similar to the smaller GillJet, this one is assembled from several printed parts. It is installed in the same manner but intended for boats of up to about 1.5m in length. It uses a standard motor and a standard servo. 

GillJet: Working principle

An azimuth thruster can rotate around its vertical axis to control the direction of propulsion, thus making the ship more maneuverable.

A GillJet takes its name from the gills of a fish. It consists of a water intake, a turbine-like pump to propel the water, and an outlet that is rotated to push the water out in different directions. To do so, the outlet has a rotatable disc that deflects the water by about 50 degrees from the vertical direction, thus generating thrust in the direction the outlet is facing.

Pod Drive / Schottel Drive

Two thrusters that can be made to work using a 4mm motor (M450 type motor) to use as propulsion system for small RC boats. Also serves as a spare part for HMCS Kingston.

Small size, runs wet

The pod drive runs "wet", i.e. the motor is immersed in water, thus not suitable for salt water operations. The set of prints includes two pods, two propellers (one for each rotational direction) and two levers to connect the pod shaft (preferably a 2mm tube with a thin wall, e.g. a brass tube) to a servo for steering. The pods are designed to be used with 4mm motors  (type M450).

Model Boat Fittings

There are numerous fittings available, and the list is constantly extended. Have a look directly at the shop to see what's available. For any specific needs, feel free to get in touch. The list below is - above all - illustrative for what's available and possible.