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How Much Weight Can Float Your Boat?

1118 words - 5 pages

How Much Weight Can Your Boat Float?

How much is your boat able to hold? A boat can only hold so much weight before it starts to sink. Too much weight on a boat can cause the boat to sway back and forth or roll over. It is very important to make sure that the load of your cargo is balanced or the chance of capsizing a boat is greatly increased.
When weight is added to a vessel, the boat will start to lower in the water, but it will not sink because of the shape of the hull. Many boats are designed with a flat-bottom because they are able to hold more in their cargo hold. The only problem with the flat-bottom design is weight distribution. If there is too much weight on one side than ...view middle of the document...

The materials that you are going to need for this experiment are aluminum foil, tape, a weight for in the boats (possible pennies), a place to float your boats, water, a calculator, marker, and a notebook.
To start the procedure, you must take the aluminum foil and construct it into five different boat hulls with different sizes and shapes. Then test each boat to make sure there are no leaks in the hulls. Next, assign each of the boats a number from one to five. Make sure to draw the boat designs in your notebook so you know what designs you did use.
Now you must calculate the volume of each boat and record it in your notebook. There are two ways to measure the volume of the boats. The first equation is the Volume of a Rectangular Prism = Length x Width x Height. This equation will only work for your boats that are squared or rectangular. The other equation to find volume is the Volume of a Triangular Prism = ½ x Length x Height. The equation helps you find the volume for boats that have a triangular prism shape.
Before you start doing the actual testing of the boats you must make a data table in your notebook so you can record your outcomes. You then want to start to fill up a sink, tub, or dishpan with water deep enough for the boats to sink. Next, put each one of the boats into the water. After that, start to place one penny at a time into each one of the boats and make sure you record the amount of pennies placed in each boat. Make sure when you place the pennies into the boat that you evenly place them throughout the entire bottom of the boat. Keep adding pennies until your boat sinks. Then count how many pennies it took to sink that boat with that specific hull style and record it in your data table. Now you must repeat these steps for each of the other boats and record your results in the data table.
After you find out how many pennies each boat hull can support, you...

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