Cardboard Boat Races

Despite my vast experiences travelling the world and seeking out adventures. I found myself facing a new experience this weekend. It’s an activity my boyfriend has participated in with his company in years past. We missed last year because he was out of town. This year, he planned his trip around this experience.

I have a bit of experience playing with origami boats, so I am well aware the with the correct manipulation, paperwill stay afloat and support weight. It’s never crossed my mind to apply that to cardboard. I was uncertain what to expect in terms of construction and how the entire process would play out. I did, for some reason, assume the cardboard would be in the form of boxes that we would have to dismantle and then reshape into a boat. I quickly learned otherwise.

Admiral Eycleshimer’s Cardboard Boat Races are hosted by the Chain of Lakes Chamber of Commerce in Winter Haven, FL. Teams of all sorts are encouraged to participate and placed into one of four categories. Since we were on the company’s team, we were in the corporate division and raced against the police department and Team Tiger (whose company name has elephant in it). In all, there were 10 teams.

At the start, each team is given: 4 sheets of 4×8 cardboard, 2 rulers, 8 Markers, 3 rolls of duct tape, 2 utility knives, 2  pencils, and an hour to construct their boat. There was a flurry of activity all across the stage with teams working as fast as possible to bend, cut, and tape their boats together. One team came equipped with saw horses so they wouldn’t have to bend over to work!

In the couple year absence, my boyfriend’s company team had established a new design that we constructed. It appeared to be sturdy and sea worthy for the two 110 pound rowers that agreed to the job. Unfortunately, they never showed up.  Our back-up rowers were a bit heavier than the no-shows.

Our team got off to a promising start and I’ll just let you watch the rest here. The end result wasn’t what we  had hoped, but we had fun building the boat and watching the other races take place.


Finally, here’s a link to a preview story from the local paper: The 12th Annual Admiral Eycleshimer’s Cardboard Boat Races


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