Andrew has a ‘sail’ of a time

Andrew Robin piloting his land yacht at Balgownie beach earlier this week.
Andrew Robin piloting his land yacht at Balgownie beach earlier this week.

A YOUNG Tarves student has been pitting his skills land yacht racing in a craft he built himself.

Andrew Robin, 20, a third-year mechanical engineering student at Robert Gordon University’s School of Engineering, has been hard at work over the past three months designing, constructing and assembling his yacht as part of a student project aimed at encouraging mathematical, analytical and team working skills.

The land yachts have a two-metre go-kart style body with brakes and steering with a 4.5m high sail, and have been conceived and built entirely by the students, split into eight competing teams.

More than 80 students staged a race day at Aberdeen beach on Monday.

Andrew, a former Meldrum Academy pupil and chief group co-ordinator of ‘Team E,’ said: “During the design phase of the project, I created all the 2D and 3D drawings and models of the landyacht and also helped team members with their tasks.

“While constructing the landyacht, it has been my job to oversee the fabrication process where members of the team have been getting hands-on drilling, welding and assembling the various components that make our design.”

In the countdown to race day, students were busy fine-tuning their crafts and testing them around campus. All yachts must also undergo a rigorous final inspection to asses the build quality before the time trials.

Dr Sha Johan, module co-ordinator at the school, said: “The land yacht project activity challenges engineering students to apply sound engineering principles acquired at RGU to design, build and test functional land yachts to preset design specifications.

“This involved working in groups with fellow students from diverse background, cultural and learning experiences which simulates the workforce in the real world.

“The organisation and management of this group project module owes much to the support given by academic and technical services staff, helping students to meet the demands of the practical engineering environment.

“The timed race of the land yachts at the beach is an event which measures their output and is anticipated to draw great excitement from both students and staff.”

Fabricated from materials including old bikes, tarpaulins and wheels, the yachts have been assembled in the school’s workshops. Using technical drawings created for each individual part to illustrate dimensions, students have assembled the yachts with assistance from university technicians who helped to machine-weld more complex components together.