Tutorials/Water-powered boat transportation

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One can construct flowing moats in arbitrary areas, which can endlessly circle a boat. Proper water management is necessary for this, with the water power being the only means of transportation. The boat-powered water transportation provides an easy and flexible way to transport villagers and mobs along with the flowing power of water. The only materials needed for this are water and a boat, along with common building blocks such as bubble columns or redstone gadgets, minecarts, rails, rowing, common building blocks, signs, or buttons (only in Bedrock Edition). There is no need for any exotic tools, just a pickaxe and a bucket, as the power of water flowing is sufficient for uphill or arbitrary paths to transport villagers and mobs.

Water management[]

In Java Edition, you must use signs to illustrate and craft wood, which requires fewer buttons. In Bedrock Edition, you can use either signs or buttons to illustrate and craft wood. In this water control article, you can use buttons instead of illustrations for water control.

Signs or buttons are utilized to obstruct the water at the termination of the flow, thereby creating a gap between adjacent channels. The boat is propelled into this gap by the force of the current stemming from the end of the initial channel. Subsequently, the current in the second channel must draw the boat across the gap; otherwise, it will become lodged. To successfully guide the boat into the subsequent channel, it is essential to strategically position a singular water source block near one of the buttons on each channel, thus generating a flow that diverges from the gap.

The schematics below illustrate methods of extending and shifting the direction of water flow when the water source block overflows. In order to keep the flow of water in the same direction or to make a turn around a corner, the channel must be managed accordingly. To transport a boat and ensure enough wide channels, it is necessary to make changes in elevation without altering the surface level.

The important thing is to have one region flowing into the gap, pulling the boat out of the gap, and another region pushing the boat into the next flowing region. This is good. In any implementation of a closed-loop flowing moat, the diagonal direction of flow is often utilized.

When the boat traverses the gap, it briefly appears to be submerged beneath the subsequent current until it successfully clears the gap, after which it rises to the surface. This is not a concern as the boat does not overturn. Nevertheless, in Java Edition, it is advisable to refrain from surpassing a taxicab distance of 4 blocks between water sources in order to prevent the boat from submerging. In order to avoid submerging the boat, it is recommended in Java Edition to not exceed a taxicab distance of 4 blocks between water sources. However, the boat remains stable and does not capsize; thus, this is not an issue. Once the gap is cleared, the boat floats upward and momentarily appears to be submerged beneath the subsequent current as it crosses the gap.

Extending a straight channel[]

The boat moves faster, which allows for smoother transitions as it travels down the straight flow channel. There are two blocks on one side of the gap and either one or two blocks on the other side. By creating this gap, you can provide a source of water that will continue to flow in the same direction, allowing for an extended journey. The water only flows out so far before it dies out.



Expanding a linear channel by transitioning to a direct stream, utilizing the two water source blocks designated as S.

Turning a corner[]

The fresh current should move away from the opening. Moreover, initiating the fresh current on the opposite end of the opening requires establishing an opening right before or after the bend. A bend necessitates the creation of an opening right before or after the bend, and initiating the fresh current on the opposite end of the opening.


An illustration of a left turn is given. Buttons or signs are used to create a space between the channels. The water source block, labeled as S, is strategically positioned to ensure that water moves away from the space and along the adjacent channel. The water flows in a direction that is away from the gap and towards the next channel, which is located alongside it.


The source block can be on either side of the channel. Taking advantage of the diagonal flow, make a left turn after the gap following the corner.

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The vessel over the adjacent opening, provided that the subsequent change moves towards a linear current using two origin blocks, it is likewise feasible to make a transition.

The orientation of the diagonal movement is towards the right, therefore, the subsequent change or shift in the initial illustration must follow that direction.

In case the upcoming turn is towards the left, the water ought to move diagonally towards the left, and if the subsequent turn is towards the right, the water should flow diagonally in the right direction. The position of the source block, in relation to the channel, can vary depending on the direction of the next turn or shift, as demonstrated in the second example.

In the third example, it is only possible to have a continuous flow in the same direction. It is not possible to have a new flow that is perpendicular to the previous one, as this would prevent the boat from being pulled across the gap. The straight flow must end with a gap, and if the next flow is a turn, a diagonal flow is required to properly navigate the boat across the gap. Otherwise, it is possible to continue with another straight flow.

Shifting to one side[]

Frequently, you may desire to maintain a continuous movement in the identical direction but reposition it to a particular side by one or more groups, in order to align the movement with something in front. You have the ability to pile up these individual-group relocations, constructing a diagonal pathway, until the liquid is depleted, and then you must generate a fresh space. Merely form a pathway that continuously repositions itself to the left or right as necessary. As required, reposition to the left or right, persistently construct a pathway that generates a fresh space when the liquid is depleted. Pile up these individual-group relocations to produce a diagonal pathway and align the movement with something in front. By one or more groups, reposition the movement to one side but maintain the same direction frequently.

The directional shift, not the flow, can occur when there is a diagonal movement into a smoother curve, with the boat’s speed slightly increased or moving at a right angle to the intended direction.


An example of shifting to the left by one block. The flow from water block S is diagonal because of its positioning.



An example of shifting to the left by three blocks is demonstrated. In order to ensure that the boat successfully passes through, the channel must have a width of four blocks along the diagonal path. The channel should be wide, with four blocks, in order to guarantee that the boat gets through by shifting left three blocks.


Alternative 3-block move without diagonals. In this scenario, the subsequent rotation or shift must be in the identical direction (left).

Either the initial or subsequent blueprints can be readily modified for a displacement of two blocks.

Example: Endlessly circling moat[]

Smallest circling moat

The smallest endlessly circling moat that can accommodate a boat.

This area of 7×7 needs to be designed. On each side of the central block, there should be a sign or button, and there should be a total of 8 signs or buttons and 4 water source blocks in the central block. Additionally, for the design of this 7×7 area, there should be four quadrants with flowing water starting from one corner of each quadrant, and in the center, there should be a solid block that can accommodate a boat, creating the smallest circling pool.





The tiniest circular pool that can hold a boat, utilizing four water source blocks and eight buttons.

This can serve as a way to continuously move around and prevent being kicked off a server while being away from the keyboard. The benefit of using a boat as an AFK pool is that you won’t experience hunger.

Please note that in the Java Edition of the game, you need to employ signs rather than buttons. Nevertheless, in the Bedrock Edition, you have the choice to utilize either signs or buttons.

Floating uphill[]

Information icon

The technique described in this section is to use the sand soul to obtain a floating boat for an ancient city or the Nether. Although this requires a foray into the uphill float boat, the simplest way to build an elevator column is to use the sand soul to make a floating boat. However, in Bedrock Edition, boats want to float, whereas in Java Edition, boats want to sink because the floating boat doesn’t work for uphill boat.

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In Bedrock Edition, it is actually possible for a boat to be propelled uphill by using only the power of water flow. There are no fancy techniques required, like columns bubble or pistons. The boat can be made to float up a slope that is as steep as one elevation block per two horizontal blocks, with careful attention to water flow management.

The vessel must be pulled away from the preceding current, and the subsequent current should propel the vessel over an unoccupied area into the subsequent current, similar to the water management techniques used on level-ground. The boat is employed to raise the required deeper water at the level, and all superficial water is in motion, while guaranteeing that altering the diagonal course at each level entails a zigzag flow of water, the idea.

Basic up-step[]

To float a boat, the construction of a channel requires four steps, such as removing the dirt as a temporary block and blocking one water sign with a four-step button. In the final step, the boat can be floated.

Input: In the blueprints below:

  • Stone symbolizes the aquatic pathway.
  • The water flow direction is upward in these illustrations.
  • The diagrams display the buttons without any connection. However, each button is actually connected to the nearest wall of the channel.
  • The water coming in is believed to flow diagonally upwards towards the temporary dirt obstruction.
  • Remove the dirt block that is positioned beneath the water afterwards. The action of stopping simply involves watering the block of dirt without any additional steps. Overflowing water causes temporary dirt on the block. The ultimate placement of the water source is on the final block.

    Flowing diagonally upward on the left side, the dirt block allows the water to resume its course. The incoming water in the lower channel should follow an upward diagonal direction.

    In this case, each successive step is like a mirror image of the previous one, as the upward diagonal flow towards the right resumes on the block of dirt, and the incoming water should flow upward diagonally in the lower channel.

    Please note that the dirt block displayed is temporary. It needs to be removed once the water source block is placed.

    How it works[]

    The boat continues to float up into the flowing water above it, as the current pushes the boat diagonally into the still-water block at the bottom of the step. It does not get stuck in either void space, as there is another void space upstream (referred to as “downhill” space void). There is a block of still-water and a button occupied by dirt in front of the step, where a two-block-wide void space is used.

    The boat continuously floats downstream, but it encounters submerged buoys that obstruct its path, causing it to navigate an uphill climb as it moves into the next flow.

    When the boat is submerged, the top half of a person’s head is always exposed. The boat does not drown when submerged, but rather sinks while the passengers navigate the steps.

    Practical construction[]

    Here is a simple procedure for constructing an uphill water-powered channel boat that illustrates an example of raising the boat’s height by four steps using only power water. The channel demonstrates how each block’s depth step of three blocks increases the elevation by one.

  • 1. Create the channel steps and make walls around the channel. 2. Place dirt blocks at the bottom of each step on alternating sides.

    1. Create the channel steps and make walls around the channel.
    2. Place dirt blocks at the bottom of each step on alternating sides.

  • 3. Place a button behind (

    3. Place a button behind (“downhill”) and diagonally up from each dirt block and from each step. Add more wall blocks to accommodate the buttons.
    4. Place a water block on the wall block diagonally up (“downhill”) from each dirt block. Each wall block that gets a water block is indicated by a torch.

  • 5. Remove the dirt blocks and place a boat at the bottom. Watch it float upward to the top!

    5. Remove the dirt blocks and place a boat at the bottom. Watch it float upward to the top!

  • This is a steeper hill, with a step depth of 2 blocks for each 1 block increase in elevation. It is constructed exactly the same way.

    This is a steeper hill, with a step depth of 2 blocks for each 1 block increase in elevation. It is constructed exactly the same way.

  • Gallery[]

  • Endless circling moat around a home base, with a villager riding the boat.

    Endless circling moat around a home base, with a villager riding the boat.

  • View of moat from back of home. Part of the moat is built over a canyon.

    View of moat from back of home. Part of the moat is built over a canyon.

  • Endlessly circling moat that changes elevation, showing a villager floating uphill in a boat.

    Endlessly circling moat that changes elevation, showing a villager floating uphill in a boat.

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