How To Build a Cardboard Boat That Won’t Sink

In order to build a perfect cardboard boat, there are certain things you will need to purchase and certain rules that need to be followed. Research before you start, it will save you from frustration.

Get to know the whole process and all the things you may need and the outcome will be better. You don’t have to learn just from your own experience, many have tried and failed and worked their way towards a boat that actually sailed – learn from experiences of others. Besides learning the theory, you will need to prepare the necessary material.

In addition, you will need a vision and perhaps make a model boat that can serve you as guidance. After all, remember the best thing of all – to have fun through the process! Everything is better with a little laughter. Whether the boat sales or sinks, the experience will be worth remembering.

Perfect Cardboard Boat That Won't Sink

Prepare the material

Making a perfect boat that you will be proud of is a process. Create a list of necessary things and make sure you have everything ready before you start, so you don’t have to go to the store as soon as you start making it. A boat cannot be built without the necessary materials and tools. Here are the things you need to prepare:

  • Pencil to draw the sketch of the boat
  • Paintbrush to put some color on it
  • Tape for measuring, sixteen feet long
  • The edge should be at least 2×4
  • A pair of scissors or a razor blade
  • One and a half putty knife
  • Framing square, size 24×16
  • Screwdriver
  • Caulk gun kit
  • Caulk line
  • Wall screws
  • Six sheets of strong and large cardboard
  • Yellow or white glue

The heavier the paper you use, the stronger the boat will be. The quality of the glue is essential since it holds the boat together. If the glue is weak and melts easily, the boat will sink. You will also need a reinforced tape for the carton, solution for water softening, at least ten latex caulk and latex paint.

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Create a plan and follow through

Imagine the boat you would like to construct and the way you want it to look. If you have time, make a model boat first and then start making the real one. It will be a great guide through the process and it will give you a clear idea about the goal you want to achieve. Taking some time to create sketches can be a good idea because having measurements on the paper right in front of you will make things much easier.

Remember, being precise is crucial for assembling. The lines you cut must be very accurate and straight – some cut it by hand and some prefer to use a razor knife. Either way, accurateness must be on a very high level. If you start missing the lines, the whole result will be a complete mess and a waste of time.

You must bruise cardboard along the lines for folding in order to make bending easier. The straight edge should be one-eight away from the fold line. Be careful about applying pressure, the scrap pieces may break, but don’t be concerned too much, the boat should be fine. Make sure that you are absolutely neat when it comes to sealing joints. Press the caulking with a putty knife until it goes into the hole, and then put some in the corners, sides, and bottom of the boat.

The tape will stick better with a solution for moistening. It will be easier to apply it with the sponge. After you finish, check if all the surfaces of the boat are undamaged. React accordingly. If there is any damage, fix if before starting the next stage and that is waterproofing.

Start by applying latex paint – five or six coats should be sufficient. It is important to let each coat of paint dry for a day before putting next one. It will take few days and it will be worth it. The process can go faster only if the days are really sunny and hot, in this case, you may apply two coats a day.

After the boat is completely dry, you can add duct tape, just to be certain that you will stay above water. If you want to add some decorations, now is the time. Make your boat stand out, personalize it any way you want to – there are various ways to do it and that is it!

The cardboard is finished, the only thing left to be done is to try it out. As soon as your boat is in the water, you will find out just how good you made it. If you didn’t make well, don’ worry, a little bit of swimming never hurt anyone. You can simply try again when you are ready and improve all the things that didn’t work out the first time. It will work at some point, you will be surprised just how much knowledge you have gathered.