Cardboard Viking Longship and Cardboard Boat Regatta





Introduction: Cardboard Viking Longship and Cardboard Boat Regatta

About: Holy cow, celebrating over seven years with this website. Formerly known as RocketScientist2015.

A while back I built a Viking Longship for a cardboard boat race, with my local library. Here are some pics of the construction and the race. I'll get around to an ible eventually...

When complete it was 3 ft wide, 16 inches deep and 17 feet long, and carried four people.

I built a cardboard frame on top of a wood mold, and then glued and taped 3inch strips of card board to form the hull. Then a layer of brown paper was glued down, and a final layer of strips went on top. Seams were caulked, then the entire thing was covered with spar urethane.

Once we got the boat in the water, we discovered a big problem: 1 semi experienced and 3 inexperienced rowers don't get anywhere in a strait line. The boat was much to maneuverable for our naive rowers - we did a few 360's in the pond. We finally finished the first heat, and on the second we were doing really well... until we started filling with water. The good ship Skidbladner went under, and I the captain went down with my ship... but my life jacket got in the way. We wound up winning the Big Bertha award, longest ship finishing.

See more pics here:



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    27 Discussions

    We had cardboard boat races in college. Typically it was the Engineering Dept Vs the Architecture Dept. One year, some of us in the Theatre Dept decided to participate, after being told no at first they let us in. First year we made a Davinci Tank inspired boast but he second we made a Viking Long Boat, we made viking armor and weapons out of cardboard too and didnt just race but boarded the other teams boats and sank them. We were disqualified and asked to never participate again, it was awesome.

    This seems like a fairly easy and inexpensive way to construct a boat. A layer or 2 of fiberglass inside and out would make it usable for those NOT in a cardboard regatta... nicely done ! !

    1 reply

    Thanks! I missed the deadline to post this year's boat, which is far superior, but I'll get around to it eventually

    I wonder if coating the bottom with a few layers of latex would have been a better waterproof solution. I would love to build a sustainable boat out of cardboard. Seems like a lightweight alternative.

    1 reply

    love it! sounds to me like the inside is what needed some water proofing-water got over the top(i assume) and removed the rigidity(?)

    I was in a carboard boat race once, we came in second, everyone else sunk.... We used carpet tubes...

    1 reply

    Very Cool!!! I wonder how using thin strips of wood instead of cardboard would work for the longevity of the boat?

    1 reply

    No, they aren't part of the boat, they just gave it shape while it was being built.

    Hey! sounds great, but the pics aint loading for me - could be my end, but you should check yours!

    2 replies