Solar Boat Blog 2016-2017

13-15 July 2017 - Monaco Solar & Electric Boat Challenge

On the 13th, 14th and 15th of July, the UAntwerp Solar Boat team competed in a prestigious event at the Monaco Marina. This was  the main event which our team has been working towards all year long.
The boat went through a series of inspections, where every single detail of our boat was criticized.  Our team participated in the “class A” category. This implies that there are limitations considering motor and battery power. We have competed mainly against other universities. 

After a long drive home and some sleep, here are our final results of the Monaco Solar & Electric Boat Challenge. There were 21 teams and we took part in the A class:

- Endurance race: 7th place in A class - 12th overall 
- Slalom race: 6th place in A class - 15th overall
- Championship race: 6th in A class

We have finished 6th in the A class and a 13th place overall.

During the race we had the opportunity to share ideas with other teams. We can't wait to improve our boat for next year!

We would like to thank all sponsors, friends, family and the University of Antwerp for all their support throughout the year!!

Pictures and videos can be found on this page: Monaco Solar & Electric Boat Challenge 2017

28 June 2017 - The official launch of the new Umicore Solar Boat

On the 28th of June, the UAntwerp Solar boat team has held an event to celebrate the launch of their newly built boat. This event was held in Antwerp at the docks near the MAS-building. A small demonstration of the working boat was provided for our attendees. The start of the maiden voyage of the finished boat was of course accompanied by some champagne being spilled for the greater cause. Inside the Umicore building (Silverpavillion), a reception took place where a few people held a speech. This gave us the opportunity to officially thank all our sponsors and supporters. To start off, our team leader Mathias, took the stage to welcome everyone and sketch the reality of how much effort it took to finish this project successfully. Next up was the dean of the faculty of Applied Engineering ,Walter Sevenhans, who said some praising words about our team and looked forward to our performances at the event in Monaco. Other speakers were Koen Verhaert, CEO of the Verhaert company, Pieter Vandermeeren from the Port Of Antwerp and last but not least, Bendix De Meulemeester from our main sponsor Umicore. We also like to give special thanks to Umicore for allowing us to use this great location to organize our event!

6-7 May 2017 - Ecorace Challenge

On the 6th and 7th of May, our team competed in the ecorace challenge at Leuven. This event consists out of different classes. Our boat entered the non-cargo class. It was a great achievement where our whole team came together to finish our boat in time for this race. We’re happy to announce that we succeeded in this task.

On the first day of the race (Saturday the 6th of May), our team entered the endurance race which consisted of sailing our boat for 35km nonstop. With this being said, we have some bad and good news to tell. Let’s start off with the bad. To our despite we have to inform you, that after we’ve passed the technical examination by the judges, we had to withdraw from this event due to some problems that showed up. This may have had to do with the fact that there was no time left before the ecorace challenge to test our boat in the water. Then the good news : the remainder of this day was used to do some much needed test-sailing with our boat in the channel Leuven-Dijle as well as some minor technical fixes. Our team could end the day with looking back and letting sink in what’s been achieved aswel as looking forward to the next day where would be competed in the events.

The next day (Sunday 7th of May), the team’s confidence was through the roof! We were finally sure that everything was working as it was intended and that our withdrawal from the day before would soon be forgotten! This day of the event consisted out of three separate events. A 500m dash, a 350m slalom and a 350m forward-stop-reverse. While our team hasn’t won in any of these events, some crucial information about the performance of our boat has been gathered! This event was the first big test of the new boat anyway, so now some changes can be made for the big upcoming event in Monaco (July).

In good old UAntwerp Solar boat team tradition, we’ve kept the very best news for last! Our team did win a prize at the Ecorace challenge! We came up with the best business plan. The businessplan consists of using our boats (with a slight adaptation to them) as ecotaxies as an alternative to the classic yellow cab in different large cities where there’s an elaborate network of canals. This business plan was presented at the KU Leuven during a symposium. For this, our team received a check with a value of €1000 from the organization!

11 April - Result of infusion mold

This picture is taken after a curing period of more than 48 hours with the vacuum bag, flow mesh and hole-foil removed. What can be seen here is fully impregnated carbon with the layer of peel-ply on top (which will be removed after some finishing work). The next step consists of gluing in the baffles and our deck after which the hull gains a lot more torsional rigidity and can be removed from the mold.
Thanks to Nicholas De Backer from Fibers Inc. for being our mentor in creating composites :

4 April - Infusion of the mold

Vacuum resin infusion of the hull: CHECK ✅
~ Time to cure under high temperature 🌡 ~

27-29 March - Start laying layers in the mold

Silence on our blog doesn't mean that we haven't been working. The first strip of carbon fibre is a fact! For the structure of the hull we are using a combination of carbon with an intermediate layer of honeycomb core material. When the different kind of layers are layed in the mold, we can can proceed with the next step of the build :  vacuum infusion with epoxy.

15 March - Starting preparations for the build

Yesterday we received our materials from! The team was so enthusiastic, they started right away with the preparations! You can follow the build on our social media.

7 March - The mold is finished! 

As we’ve already communicated; this season’s main focus will consist of the construction of a completely new boat. In order to accomplish this large task at hand, a newly designed hull was needed. We can proudly announce that thanks to our partnership with Modelmakerij G. De Feyter, the giant molds for our hull are finished. These two enormous pieces of high-density polyurethane foam, are nearly 7 meters long, 2 meters wide and weigh a total of 700kg! The next stage in the building process calls for preparation of the mold in order to achieve the best possible results during and after the lamination of the carbon fibre.  

Thanks to to aid us with this complex piece of engineering!

20 February - UASBT at the Belgian Boatshow

Like every year, we were also this year present at the Belgian Boatshow in Flanders Expo Ghent on 11-13 aswell as 17-19 February. We’re glad to have seen as many visitors as we did. Also we’d like to thank our loyal followers and sponsors for paying us a visit at our booth.

More info on :

7 February - Start of 2017 solar boat season

The UAntwerp Solar Boat Team of 2017 is ready for the new season. This year we will build an entirely new boat with some innovative technologies, such as the use of hydrofoils. With this boat we will participate in a number of races, including the Ecorace (May 2017, Leuven) and the "Monaco Solar Boat Challenge" (July 2017, Monaco). The new and motivated team consists of six master students and four bachelor students of the Faculty of Applied Engineering. In the beginning of February we took a brand new team picture wearing our new team outfits for 2017.


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