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Building 1st RC boat for depth mapping of lakes and other water bodies. Help in selecting type of propulsion system

Hello everyone. I am planning to build a RC bodyboard boat with echosounder to make depth map of water bodies. Looking at the build made by rcmackay9 here I found that using submerged thrusters will cause debris to get stuck in the thrusters.

I was also curious if an airboat version can be made using the same sized body-board so as to eliminate chances of debris and aquatic plants getting stuck. If I plan to build an airboat, will it affect my efficiency and performance in any way when compared to submerged motor pod like T-200 thrusters?

I also noticed that with T-200 we get bi-directional motor which makes reversing of boat possible. Is it possible to make reversible airboat?

In short, should I go with submerged motor pods or with airboat?

The efficiency of an air boat sucks big time.

Thank you so much for your response. I’ll go with submerged thrusters. Maybe I’ll increase the distance of motors from the hull to avoid debris.

You could make a prop guard with some simple chicken wire mesh
Blue robotics even sells prop guards

Airboats work very well, if you intend boats propelled by air propellers (no hovercarfts)
There are actually no alternatives if you want really to be free from troubles with vegetation, floating debris, very shallow water, which IS A PROBLEM.
I am operating one of those, if you like I can give you more specific advice.
And yes, props can go in reverse, of course less efficiently but they do the work, and for short amount of time it doesnt really matter.
Arduboat code is excellent

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Please advise mate. I have recently made a boat with submerged thrusters and seem to get much debris in them.

Any advice is more than welcome.

Is airboat design less efficient? Will the endurance of my boat be affected using similar power system but one in airboat mode and other in submerged mode?

Thank you!

I’ve hacked apart trolling motors in the past and just hooked them up to 12v with a DC speed controller (ie spark max, talon srx, victor sp etc)

plenty of power and super cheap to build.

Servers by jDrones