Introduction: Cardboard Duct Tape Kayak

About: We celebrate creativity on the southern Oregon coast at our store, the Electric Hospital, and outdoors where we enjoy the wonders. We might be sewing with a long arm robotic quilting machine in the morning and…

The challenge was to build a boat to race only out of cardboard duct tape and plastic. This is our design.

Step 1: Design Limits

Cardboard is strongest on edge. To create enough strength to support a man and a half we resorted to long triangular tubes. These were first taped together to create 9 foot long strips of cardboard. The strips were then folded into triangles and secured with duct tape. With two triangles for the base small triangular tubes were wedged between the two and taped in place. These were to support our weight. The bow was angled up to reduce drag.

Step 2: Cover

After the armature was complete open holes were covered with sheets of cardboard. Then the entire structure was covered in polyethylene sheeting sealing the seams on the top side of the craft to reduce chances of leaking. We removed the plastic and added a quick coat of paint for some excitement. The flames were essential to terrify the other paddlers. Then we put the plastic back on with more duct tape.

Step 3: Foot Rests

After sitting on the structure we discovered we needed a place to keep our feet out of the water. We made some foot pegs with small triangles of cardboard taped to the sides. The best part was building this with my son and racing together. He dominated the kids division and we took second in the adult division after being attacked by another boat of vicious cheating lying pirates. Thanks for helping me bring back this memory from 15 years ago.