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RC Benchy

by Thullen Mar 24, 2018
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This is truly wonderful! It's on my list to get started on. The only thing lacking that I could think of: A smoke generator for Benchy's smoke stack! i think those are available at model train shops, but I'll have to research it.
Lastly, it would be cool to have the wheel turn with the rudder, but that's probably stretching it a bit far! ;-)
Thank-you for sharing this!

I have to leave some things to be made by others ;)
I've had plans for smoke generator by using a vaporizer, there´s lots of videos about that on youtube, but I simply don´t have the time :)

Thank you again Thullen for a great design, I also most have all the parts finished printing and i have all my electronics ordered.

But i did notice While printing that there is a very long hole along the front side of the roof board. What is it for?

It's really for nothing :)

The RC benchy is awesome thank you for designing it, but I have a couple questions as I am new to RC's

  1. Why did you use a ESC with reverse, reverse isn't usually needed on a boat, can someone get away without reverse?
  2. The link you provided for the controller is to a discontinued transmitter, can you provide another suggestion for a transmitter?
  3. What would be the minimum number of channels needed?

Thank you!

1: Because I want to be able to go in reverse with my boats, if you think it´s an exessive feature you can simply choose an ESC that doesnt have reverse.
2: You can use any 2 channel radio controller you wish, pistol grip or sticks, whatever will work. I just provided a link to the specific one I happend to have on hand at the time.
3: 2 channels, throttle and steering.

Thank you for such a fast reply, I guess if it was driven into a spot where only reverse would get you out it would be beneficial. Does reverse use another channel or is it part of the throttle channel?

Same channel

This is a great project doing it for my grandson I had to order the shaft and propeller from AliExpress what Aft piece do i need to print the 8mm or 9.5mm. Thanks

Hi! Thank you! I'm sorry but I don't remember which one I got from Ali. I think it was 8mm the one I got from Ali, but I'm afraid that if I say one you will get the other one. You are better of waiting for the shaft to arrive to be sure.

If you wanted to put a captain figurine in. What would be the scale size?

Since this isn't a scale model what so ever I don't have any real scale-factor to provide, but perhaps 1:10 would suit? :)

It´s a very nice boat but I´m missing one of the NAV_HOUSE_SIDE.stl in the files.

Just mirror it in the slicer and you'll have the "missing" side.

Nothing that many have not said but...

AWESOME job!!!! And very nice of you to share!

Happy New Year!

Thank you very much :)

This is fantastic! It looks really stable considering the mass above the waterline/roll center. Very nice.

Thank you very much for your nice comment :)

Hi Thullen

I like your model very much. So i try to build one myself. I was looking for the parts that i need but i can't find the correct shaft. I am living in Belgium and it is my first boat build. So i have not much experience whit propeller shafts. Maybe some site from Europe will be very handful.
I try to find some part on hobbyking but also there i can't find a axe like the one u used.

So if you or some body else can help me i will be very thankful.


Thank you very much for your compliments :)
The shafts I've listed in the description are the ones I know will fit.
I also tried to source apropriate shafts within europe since I live in Sweden, but there were none to be found, and therefore I had to order it from Ebay, so I can only recommend you do the same unfortunately.

i order the one from china. the first time i order from aliexpress so i am a littel bit stressed but the chaft is not so expensive so not so big risk. witch bottom do i need to print for the chinese shaft? i also order some acrylic paint from hobbyking. how do you paint your model?
thanks for the help.

Check the description of the shaft you phurcased, it should say the diameter of the sleve. If you bought the same shaft I did, it is 8mm.
I painted mine with automotive paint in rattle cans, with a thinn coat of plastic primer as first layer.

Hi Thullen

My benchy is almost done, i am now glue all the pieces toghether and mount shaft and rudder. Can you make some detaild photo from your servo rudder connection? i try to find it out but is not so easy to see where the servo need to be.
I bought the same servo so normay it need to fit just like yours.

Greetings and thanks for the model

Sorry i just find out the radio shelf. I have not printed that one and you put the servo place there. Sorry for the mistake.


I'm glad you solved it, there are pictures in the description showing the vital parts of the instalation :)

Comments deleted.

Working on printing this in PLA but I have some gap between the hull pieces.

What is the best kind of glue to use that is paintable? Thick CA or Epoxy?

CA glue doesn't fill gaps very well, so I'd go with epoxy. Scuff up the surfaces with a rough sand paper before to increase the bonding :)

Amazing job, I can't wait to print it on my cr10 5S!

haha I love it :D
No water got inside? :)

Just a little.
Two liitle holes on the side 50mm away from the tail work quite good to drain water ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nZMPk9-yUU )
I think the tail wave is too big for the transom with drainage.
The "nose holes" are sealed with plastic foil.
50mm radial fan (from 3D printer) to cool the motor. Otherwise the motor gets fried and melts the hull after 2:30 min full throttle.
Electronic in a watertight box is mandatory anyway.
Neverteless I'm thinking about a seal for the cabin. Rubberband or so.

I made my own RC Benchy, everything works fine, now the launching on the pond for the ultimate test. Thanks for the design.

RC Benchy
Comments deleted.

amazing great job ,, impressive

Nice work, i have started new one. i will add photos soon. Hope i can finish in two weeks.

Glad to hear, I´m looking forward seeing your result :)

Hello, is it possible that you offer the hull and bow as one STL file? Thanks, Stephan

I’ll see if I can fix that this weekend :)
The first one I made was with these two pieces as one, but it required a massive amount of support material to print descently, therefore it is split in two. But sure, for those who want to try I’ll add it as an option :)

Hello, great! I print the bow without support, so I would like to try to print the bow and the hull together! Thank you very much for your effort!

The Onepiece-option is now available, please share some pictures of your finished parts :)

Hey, thank you for the quick implementation! Greeting Stephan

Hilarious! Most funny thing and actually useful. Cheers!

I’m glad you like it :)

I'm making one !!
Shortly I will be going to post some photos.
I noticed that the walls of the hull are very thin and difficult to make, I use rhinoceros for 3d, can I ask you a file format to be modified with this software?
the stl format I can import it but I can not make any changes.


The hull is 1 mm thick and prints without issues on my bone stock Anet A8, so I think the thin walls are not a problem for any decently well tuned printer.
I'm sorry but I will not provide any other file formats than the STLs shared here on Thingiverse.

What software did you model this in and would you be up for sending out the model files ?
Just thinking about reworking the hull to fit one of the 3d printed jet drives. I use Solidworks.

It is modelled in Catia V5 R21.
I'm sorry but I will not provide any other file formats than the STLs shared here on Thingiverse.

No problem, couldn't hurt to ask.
Would you be interested in providing a hull to suit one of those ?

No I’m sorry I’m not, I have too many other new projects that needs my attention :)

What diameter was the sleeve for the AliExpress prop (100x50x4 to 3.17) that you listed, 8mm or 9.5mm ?
Have ordered one but was going to get the hull printed now.

It was 9.5 mm just as the one I ordered from ebay.

Save my day. What color do you used for paint?

I've used spray can paint for automotive repairs. Firstly a thin coat of plastic primer, then a couple of coats of 1K filler with sanding between layers, and then the final coat of color.
All products I've used is a brand called "Hagmans" which is easily available here in Sweden.
I'm sure you can find something similar suitable for painting plastics.

Link to the brand I've used: http://www.hagmans.se/en/spray/hagmans/

Love it
start printing now!

as a suggest, some oval holes on the hull flush to the floor would help to get rid of the water that eventually comes inside.

Holes also lets water in ;)
But I can add a transom with drainage holes in it as an option for those who want it :)

That's also true... ;)
this night printed the rear hull, 13hrs... I think it's the longest part

Just want to say a big thanks for this, i started this print yesterday, have the bow section complete, in my haste to get started, i forgot to change the profile in Cura, and ended up uploading to Octoprint with a 0.12 resolution, opted to print with 3 perimeters and 15% infill (ABS). Thought the 8 hour print estimate was a little big, until i realised my mistake after starting the print. one question though, other than paint, have you done any water proofing on the hull. This is my first print that will go anywhere near water, and wasn't sure whether to give the hull a coat of resin inside and out.
Looking forward to starting the remaining pieces this week, although the rest will most deffinatley be printed at 0.2mm

I’m glad to hear that you’ve started on one :)
I’ve made 2 boats and one had a small pinhole in it so I brushed the inside with some epoxy, but the other one was watertight from the start, thous now being painted so it’s even more sealed anyway :) I think it depends on how well your printer performes.

If you use ABS I dont lnow if expoxy is the way to go or not, but once the hull is done it’s an easy check to see if you need to seal it, just by puting it in the sink and push it down to water level.


Where did you get the brass rod/tube from?

My local hobby shop, but Hobbyking has it as well.

Ha, I just got my first printer last Friday and haven't even printed a benchy yet, I wondered if anyone had done an rc version. I have a small boat pond in the back yard with a working lock chamber, so I am going to have to do this project! Here is a link to one of my videos, scratch built tug (springer inspired) and loaded sand barges. https://youtu.be/9q7tgqopXO0

I plan to print some new upper miter gates and other detail parts for the pond layout.


Do you have any pictures of how the tug version looks? I'm trying to understand how the hook portion looks.

I just added some pictures of my second boat which is the tug version, hope they help :)

Edit: I did howerer notice that the hole for the screw that holds the hook is too big in the cabin part, so if you print the tug version you can drill out the hole in the hook and use an m4 screw there instead, or wait a day or two and I’ll upload the cabin with the correct hole size for m3 screw.

awesome thanks for the visuals. I think I'll start with the fishing version, then probably do the tug. I just started printing the first piece of the hull. Using raptor PLA from makergeeks. 2 parameter and 10% infill. I'll post pics when its done.

how mucht filament do you need for this print?

about 6-700 g in total including the support material.

Not OP, but based on similar projects, I think you could do it within 3 kg.

Yeah, I promise that you can make at least 4 boats with 3 kg of filament. About 6-700 grams is enough for one boat.
The completed boat redy to run weighs about 2.1 kg, and that is including 1.1 kg of lead ballast :)

This is awesome. I am printing one now. I am using thick CA glue for the hull, do you think it is OK? The only thing I was thinking was: does the tunnel give good rudder effect, or would it give better effect with a vertical rudder attached to the tunnel?
Anyway, very good work. I just hope the spring will come soon. We still have 1,8 meters snow here in north Norway.

I think CA will work just fine if it's printed in PLA. I used epoxy primarily because I already had it and I have previous good experience with it on PLA.

The tunnel rudder is very effective, look at 55 seconds in the video and you'll see that the turn radius is about 10-15 cm :)
I'm looking forward seeing some pictures of you boat.

Is it smart to mount the motor and shaft before gluing the hull together? Looks like maybe difficult to access afterwards.

You can if you want to, but it's not necessary. I could mount everything after the hull and deck was put together.

That thing rocks (literally) !

Seriously, it is really cute. If you do a hard turn, looks like you could have a wet bear.

The rocking motion is part of its character I think, "silly boat, silly motion" sort of :)
But I am working on an add on centreboard to make it a bit more stable hopefully for those who'd want that :)

Yeah, think that my son is better with this stable one. :-)

This is so refreshing! I was apprehensive about getting into 3D printing because every video/article I looked at was mostly alcoholics in their 30's printing this dumb non-floating toy boat along with other trinkets. I just wanted to print functional woodworking/computer/ham radio parts. It's really cool to see you take a stupid trinket that outsiders make fun of "makers" for, & at least converge it with another hobby to a least make a functional toy. So refreshing...big ups!

I've started drinking & will consider stop having 29th birthday parties but I'm still not going to print it...yet

Awesome design man! Thanks for posting it with such detailed instructions. I will surely print one in the upcoming days and will post the results! :)

Great idea and quite thought through!

Nicely done, and extensive description - excellent work, thank you !
Am in the making already, love already how BIG it is going to be :))

Awesome, looking forward seeing some pictures of it :)

Nice! I've been wanting to make a benchy "pop-pop" remix, but never have the time to do so. Will definitely have to add this to the print queue

If someone makes one big enough to ride in i'm gonna freak.

This would be a fun mod for this boat.


Water Jet Drive

amazing thing ! how many perimeters did you setup in slicer settings?

Thank you :) I used 3 perimiters on all parts, I'll add that to the instructions :)

Love the lanterns and a gold star for getting the colors right! :)

awesome! well done! :) will proberly try to print one myself soon :)

Thanks, and thank you for the inspiration to actually have it done :)

I've wanted this too since I first printed a benchy but my modeling skills are not good enough yet to do it myself. I'm very excited about trying this out. GREAT JOB!

Thanks! I'm looking forward seeing your print :)