by Mhairi Baird, UNH Extension Summer Intern
When you think wet cardboard, what comes to mind? Soggy and maybe even smelly? For these reasons people normally avoid getting cardboard wet.
However, Elkins Fish & Game Club is the exception to this as it hosts a Cardboard Boat Regatta as part of their fifth annual Lake-a-Thon. And in 2017, it’s the first time they have collaborated with 4-H to create a 4-H-sponsored youth division of the regatta.
If you thought “I can build a cardboard boat no problem, just wrap it in plastic or duct tape” then you would be mistaken. There are 15 rules that include restrictions on building your boat, such as use of plastic, duct tape, and tar-based substances like roof coating. So how on earth do you build a cardboard boat that is meant to withstand a 10-15 minute water course with at least one person sitting inside paddling?
Some tricks are to use corrugated cardboard, which is surprisingly durable and water resistant. You can also apply a good coat of latex paint to add to its durability.
From there it’s like building a giant origami boat; you measure, cut, fold, glue, and tape until you get something that looks like a boat. It can be helpful to search “build a cardboard boat” on YouTube if you’re having trouble with your boat or are just interested in how it works.
Youth ages 8-18 will build and decorate their boats for Sunday, July 2. They will then bring them to Pleasant Lake in Elkins at 9 A.M. to test the waters.
Registration is still open and there is same day registration, however it is preferred that you register in advance.
With one of the four award being “Most Spectacular Sink,” you have no reason to shy away from the fun! Get ready, get set, BUILD!