Ocean recovery?

Are the plastic Estes rockets suitable for launching at the beach and recovering from the ocean? This summer we'll be at an island where
there aren't a lot of large open spaces (and some pretty constant winds), but there's lots of open space downwind of the beach...
Thanks!
--
William Smith
ComputerSmiths Consulting, Inc. www.compusmiths.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
William P.N. Smith wrote:

The paper tubes/rings are incompatible. The all plastic rockets are fine. Paint the paper tubes inside and out with "orange shellac" to make them actually waterproof and adhesives of CA or epoxy should be used.
Just expert Jerry
Pardon the tech post!
--
Jerry Irvine, Box 1242, Claremont, California 91711 USA
Opinion, the whole thing. <mail to: snipped-for-privacy@gte.net>
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Watch it. It will become an expectation. ; )
Randy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Plenty of trolls here trying to prevent it as hard as possible.
Note when they take a rare break (like during LDRS or Balls) the S/N ratio goes WAYYY up on rmr.
--
Jerry Irvine, Box 1242, Claremont, California 91711 USA
Opinion, the whole thing. <mail to: snipped-for-privacy@gte.net>
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I used to launch over the water sometimes when I lived near a bay in Northwest Florida. The few times I was actually able to recovery the rockets, they were mostly okay. :-)
The University High School students here in Orlando built a large rocket that was launched a couple of times at Epcot and recovered in the World Showcase Lagoon.
-- Roger
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If its an Estes rocket motor......it will swell and you will have a hard time to remove it. <William P.N. Smith> wrote in message

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That odor is a feature not a bug :)

--
Jerry Irvine, Box 1242, Claremont, California 91711 USA
Opinion, the whole thing. <mail to: snipped-for-privacy@gte.net>
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
William wrote:

Yes, but you have to plan ahead during construction. I have one rocket that I built specifically for this task and works awesomely. I used the Cosmic Cobra as the base model, but pretty much any of the Estes rockets with the E2X plastic molded fin unit that has the "screw on" engine retainer will work. You don't want to use a model that has a normal engine mount made of cardboard tube, but those plastic fin units work perfectly.
First, you'll want to make sure it floats. I ditched the helicopter blades that came with this one and filled the nose cone with 2-part expanding foam. After that cured, I sealed the nose aft hole with epoxy so no water can get into the foam. I then painted the whole nose cone florescent orange for visibility on the water.
Next step is to waterproof the main cardboard tube. Thoroughly coat the inside of the tube with a couple coats of CA or fiberglass resin. After it sets you'll have to sand the end areas to make the nose cone and fin can fit. I also put some foam in the outer areas of the fin can for some added floatation on that end. It was a little tricky, but doable.
Ditch the stock recovery components and tie or epoxy mount a few feet of nylon cord to the fin can. I used the white flavor of "parachute" cord. There's enough stretch that it still works as a "shock cord" and it floats too. Feed it through the BT and epoxy or CA the fin can in place. Tie it off to the nose cone. I used a 2" wide by about 4' long plastic streamer for recovery (yellow Fire Line tape). Since it is hitting the nice "soft" water instead of land, you can get away with a higher splash down speed. The plastic fin can is pretty tough to start with.
I finished it off with a florescent orange on the body tube and a bright silver on the fin can (just to break it up a bit). On a nice sunny day at the lake, it practically glows and is easily visible a 1/4 mile away on the water. We use a motor boat to go out and get it. After removing the spent motor (and I have yet to see one "swell" after being in the water for the 5-10 minutes it takes to go recover it), you just rinse the body tube out and dry it off with a paper towel inside and out. You can be ready to relaunch before getting back to the beach. I use standard recovery wadding instead of "dog barf", since there will still be some moisture inside the tube after the first launch and the "dog barf" gets real messy when wet.
I've run it through a half dozen C6's in a single sitting on a nice sunny afternoon picnic at the beach and have never had a problem with it. Been thinking about building a couple more so we don't have to go recover the "one" rocket after every flight. One time, I even had a large trout hit the nose cone just as we were pulling up to it with the boat, so you might even think about putting a hook and bait on your recovery system ;-) There's probably some obscure Fish & Game reg against using rockets for fishing though...
If I think of it, I'll snap and post some pictures of this rocket to my website or abmr. Good luck with your build. -Scott
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Forget just recovering from the water. Got to lauch on it as well. Or better yet, from under it...
-B
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Last year I started to build a floating launch platform by using one of those long foam "stick" thingies you see at the *Mart stores for use in swimming pools. Coil it into a ring and fab a launch rod into the center and you have a floating launch pad. Never finished it, but the idea is still there. I had also figured it would be an easy adaptation for an underwater launch pad that would allow a couple feet of rod above the surface of the water. Too many projects, too little time.
Beanboy wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Absolutely cool story Scott. thanks for sharing with us.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Aahhhhh...beach launches. My specialty. I cut my rocketry teeth at the beaches of the New Jersey shore. To answer the question of whether you can fly from the beach... if my 27 year old still flight worthy Big Bertha and its handful of vintage Estes friends are any indication, absolutely yes. Depending on what you want out of your rockets, you can go crazy waterproofing (as some here have suggested), or follow the few simple, easy, steps in my "Beach Rocketry for Fun and Non-profit" primer and enjoy about 80% recovery rate and lots of low cost Estes fun. You have definite limitations with what you can do, but the benefits of beach launches far outweigh them. There are a few key ingredients to a successful beach launch. First, unless you are lucky enough to have a monster wide beach, you need low tide. You also need a sea breeze, or in a pinch a breeze running along the beach (north or south on the east coast, for example). Finally, you want to go early in the morning so you don't land on sundbathers. On the other hand, having a few surfers nearby is a plus, as they can handle the deep splashdowns the best. For construction, your basic techniques are actually ideal. Water based elmers glue will allow easy removal the entire engine mount should you splash down and get the motor stuck (more on this later). For finish, I used mustard yellow and lime green wall paint latex on my beach birds, but then again, it was the 70's and I was a ten-year old (also cut my fins with a steak knife that first year). Actually, my first year ('77) I didn't paint at all...and the rockets were still cool as all heck to me and my friends. I actually think you'll do better with balsa, paper, and standard finishing techniques than plastic as repairs will be easier and your rocket won't sink in the ocean. I've never splashed down plastic fin units, but my bet is they may not float as well as paper and balsa. While a splashdown does sound fun, you actually do want to avoid it. The preferable technique for beach launch is as follows...Of course, check weather the night before to see that tides and winds will be favorable. Plan on launching around 8 am. Let the neighborhood kids know. With luck, you'll all get to the beach by 9. This gives you a good hour of empty beach with just you and the surfers and maybe another half hour after the guards arrive with only a handful of sunbathers. Setup location is key and is a fine skill. None have ever mastered it quite like the great rocket master, my father. If you have a good ocean breeze, go about two thirds toward the ocean and angle out over the ocean. After chute deployment, you'll blow back over the beach. If winds are light, and either from the ocean or parallel to the shoreline, go about half way down to the ocean and angle accordingly. If they are blowing toward the ocean, remember I told you not to fly, use lots of Off bug spray, and go about one third of way to ocean and angle inland. Remember, the idea is to NOT land in the ocean. Pad placement is a key skill, and you'll want to start with lower altitude flights till you get the hang of it (unlike certain ten year olds, who put a C into his third flight ever and never saw it again...very sad, I still dream of that rocket at night...ahhh). Seriously, remember...if your on the east coast, most beach towns are barrier islands that are only a mile wide. 2000 feet up with a 10 to 15 mph steady ocean breeze means no recovery....low and slow is the way to succeed on the beaches. Actually, add that to the must have list at the beginning of this post. I'd stay below 500 feet or so unless you've got a humongous beach and very light winds. Now, of course you're going to have a splashdown or two if you fly enough. Warn your kid of this possibility and remind him/her that that was how NASA did it on the moon shots. Be aware that swimming five hundred feet out with no lifeguard for a 9 dollar rocket is not smart. (even two hundred feet is pretty far by ocean swimming standards...this isnt the pool at the Y and 200 feet is eight lenghts with no goggles, an undertoe, and no wall to grab if you get tired. Also be aware that surfers will totally dig what you are doing and will happily paddle over to get to your rocket, which will be floating and very visible with it's orange parachute. As soon as your rocket gets back on shore, remove the motor (always remove it immediately after beach launches as the humidity will cause swelling). You'll have a fifty-fifty chance of success. If this fails, you'll probably want to pull the whole motor mount assembly out (very easy as the water will have loosened the glue) You might be able to salvage the centering rings and engine hook. Estes sells replacement motor mounts, or you can just take a lenght of bt-20 and build a new one (save your instruction sheets, trace your centering rings, and measure all parts during assembly...this is a good general rocketry habit). Please note none of this reconstruction is possible with plastic motor mounts...these rockets will likely be a total loss if you have a splashdown. Another good idea is to regularly be sure your motor mounts stay secure...the humidity at the shore softens the white glue over time and you'll possibly have to reinforce. (Second season one of my motor mounts launched right through my rocket) Finally, check local laws as beach launches may be illegal, as well as going on dunes to recover (both are problems at the Jersey shore now). That being said, you'll have a great time flying estes size rockets at the beach...I can stilll see the thirty year old image of my mustard yellow Der Red Max, or my watermellon green Big Bertha arcing out over the ocean...white sand, green sparkling ocean, and clear blue skies with the mid morning sun....the sound and thick smoke my heavily build rocket gave off on a B4-2. Drifting down the beach after deployment.These would be totally forgettable flights on a farm or big open field, but these were gorgeus in their setting and were the flights that hooked me on the hobby I still enjoy almost thirty years later. For first beach launches, I'd recommend Fat Boy on a B, Big Bertha on a B and maye later on a C, or Alpha on 1/2 a then on an A. Enjoy and let me know if you need any other info. Art Art T South Jersey Area Rocketry Society NAR# 34201 L1
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
SirWmOsler wrote:

Not true. I float tested the plastic fin pieces before assembly and found them to be of slightly positive buoyancy. As I stated in my previous note, I added some 2-part expanding foam (the marine grade stuff used to build boats) to the outer areas around the fin can and in the nose cone. The fin can now floats the body/fin section of the rocket with over 50% above water line. The buoyancy of the nose cone all by itself is enough to keep everything afloat and when you add in the floating nylon shock cord... well, it's not difficult at all to make a plastic rocket float and you don't have to worry about anything getting ruined due to exposure to water.
Also, the intended purpose here is for a water "splash-down" landing. I don't think this rocket would do very well if it hit land on recovery. The extra weight of the epoxy and foam laden bird coupled with a high visibility but low drag plastic streamer dictates a water landing. And it gives for some fun recovery chases with the boat (26' ocean-vee with 115 OB).
Never tried launching from a salt-water beach. But then we have the 2nd highest tidal range in North America, so you'd be hard pressed to be able to catch up with your rocket after it hit the ocean. We always fly the water rocket at a very remote beach on a lake that's about half the size of Rhode Island. The black powder smoke helps keep the bears away and when you run out of motors, you can cruise out and fish for salmon, steelhead, or lake trout, or just watch the bald eagles do it. In any case, we are from different worlds. You worry about sunbathers and life guards and I worry about maintaining radio communication with civilization in the event of an emergency and having the shotgun loaded with Brenneke slugs in the event of a hostile bear encounter. -Scott
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.comcomcom (SirWmOsler) wrote:

Hi Chuck.

--
Jerry Irvine, Box 1242, Claremont, California 91711 USA
Opinion, the whole thing. <mail to: snipped-for-privacy@gte.net>
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.