Use the Cardboard Boat Book to Build an Eco-friendly Craft

Cardboard Boats at the Seattle Yacht ClubDavid Friant is a civil engineer living in Bellevue, Washington, who has an unusual passion for building cardboard boats. This interest grew out of a physics class project that required building a usable paper boat for competition in a cardboard boat regatta. To this end, Friant has written The Cardboard Boat Book, a step-by-step guide to building some interesting small craft made of recyclable resources, to share his experience with others.

In the text, the author highlights his enthusiasm for these boats saying, I believe there isnt anything half as much fun as messing around in a boat on a sunny day. The Cardboard Boat Book teaches you how to build your own boat for the price of the paint, glue, and tape required to put it together, it doesnt harm the environment, and it is fully recyclable.

Sink-R-Swim Cardboard Boat Regatta at Bellevue Community College

Dave Friants interest in building a cardboard boat grew out of a hydrology class taught by Professor Michael Hein at Bellevue Community College. Professor Hein notes in the foreword that requiring his students to design, build and sail a cardboard boat was literally the application of a sink or swim teaching strategy.

Building on his initial boat building and design experience, Friant went on to write The Cardboard Boat Book as a capstone project to complete his engineering degree. The result of this work is a cardboard boat design that represents sound engineering and superb craftsmanship, which can successfully be constructed by a home based builder.

Cardboard Boat Construction Techniques

Construction designs presented in the book depend on the use of inch thick, 275-pound test, double-walled corrugated cardboard. Boats are built using a modular system that has seven basic component parts. Friant uses triangular shapes in the design of the various boat components to give them adequate structural strength.

Using the detailed drawing provided in this book, the boat builder lays the boat plan out on a sheet of cardboard and then cuts out the required parts. These cardboard parts are creased, folded and glued together to form the basic component pieces. These separate components are taped together and the entire craft is coated with a waterproofing compound.

Building and Using the Kayaker Model Cardboard Boat

The Kayaker cardboard boat model is presented in the book and has two bow options that can be utilized in its construction. Tapered and straight shaped sections can be used for either the boats bow or stern. David offers many tips for operation of the Kayaker that apply universally to the use of all small craft with advice on safety, boarding, transportation and maintenance. Cardboard boats arent meant to be used in swift water and a lifejacket needs to worn at all times. The boats can be propelled by a kayak paddle or small electric motor.

The Cardboard Boat Book (ISBN 1-4392-2495-1) presents a boat building concept that many have never, but should consider. Building a cardboard boat would be a great family project and a wonderfully affordable way to introduce someone to boating. The text is available from retailers like Amazon for $14.99. The author has a website for the book where more information about cardboard boats can be found.