Announcement Date: August 9, 2016
We realised that the full sized prototype would take a lot of time to build and also we had sponsors about to make significant contributions, so the last thing we wanted to do was to have made a really silly mistake somewhere along the line in our calculations. For this reason we made a small model (1/5th of the size of the real thing) which we tested by pulling it along in the local swimming pools. It had a force transducer on it and we could measure the speed really simply with a stopwatch and a tape-measure; really simple stuff. This meant we had a reasonable idea of how fast the little model boat was going and how hard we were pulling it along (we pulled it with a rechargeable drill winding up some fishing line connected to the boat).
Then we did the sums on the small boat and the numbers matched up near enough for us to say we’d be ok building the full-sized prototype.