It has been a long time since I have posted, however things haven’t stopped in the autonomous sailing group. We have built and tested a quiet stable RC Trimaran, the head-designer of the boat is Rob. I have included the sketchup file here: Trimaran_AutonomousSailing.skp. And you can visit: for a bit more details (I warn you its messy).

Sailing with it was surprisingly successful. The Trimaran: Anna, was stable enough to carry a GO-pro and deliver pretty nice images. In the movie you see some of the footage. We also tested some other prototypes, however Anna is by far the most interesting one. It is very modular and highly mobile, it weights only 10 kilos.

Our plans are to use the APM and Ardupilot to achieve autonomousity. And it is becoming more and more realizable; especially since Rik Bootsman has come up with a way to make a cheap wind sensor, see picture. You can read more about this sensor here:

Right now we are looking for anybody who can help us with the software and the integration of APM and Ardupilot. So if your interested, send me message and/or join the group.

Your feedback is more than welcome. And if you want to rebuild your the trimaran and you need help or have questions, please send me a message.



Platform for Ardupilot

Windsensor (couldn't turn the picture 90 degrees)

Disassembled Trimaran

Servo Platform

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Comment by Rob on May 30, 2012 at 9:41am

It was a nice day to see it get in the water. Really hoped it wouldn't sink :) and it didnt. It performed above my goals. The design needs a couple of modifications and then it is easily build in one afternoon. Due to the parts and sizes used, you can cut the parts in an hour. Glueing all the parts is the largest part of the assembly, but also the most fun. ;)

Complete BOM and instructions will follow later, and hopefully also some decent code for APM(sail)boat.

Comment by Ellison Chan on May 30, 2012 at 10:48am

It's big!  I wonder what's the feasibility of building a human-sized boat using these materials.

Comment by arashi on May 30, 2012 at 11:33am


How does the wind sensor work?

Is there a need for a full APM2?  It seems like it might be accomplished with just an Arduino Mega, GPS, wind sensor, and servos for lesser cost.  I believe overall cost is important if you actually let it free.

Comment by robert bouwens on May 30, 2012 at 12:26pm

again, very nice!

Comment by Jerry Normandin on June 6, 2012 at 10:47am

This is really cool!   How is the sail code coming along ?   


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