Cardboard Viking Longship

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Say hello to the Sparrowhawk! It's 100% DIY!(I built it when I was 10 or 11):wai:

I built this awhile back, our ward was having a Cardboard Regatta, with each of the sub-organizations building a boat. I was then in the children's Primary, and of course the leaders didn't want to let the kids build a boat and possibly get hurt, so I decided to build one independently! Although I still say I was representing the Primary. :D

Anywhoo, I have some video of it, I might upload it to my YouTube channel, IDK.

On to the construction!

I knew almost right away that I wanted it to be a Viking Longship, so that's what I made!:idea2:
Each boat was supposed to carry 2 people, but I didn't want to bother with the extra weight, bulk, and general complexity.:ack2:
Technically we were only allowed to use 3 rolls of duct tape, but I don't think ANYONE really followed that rule. One boat was wrapped in construction wrapping(the Tyvek type stuff, it failed miserably), and one boat was SPRAY PAINTED to waterproof it(it actually worked really well).
For the main hull, I cut the ends off of 3 boxes and taped them together. Of course I didn't like the resulting refrigerator shape, so I cut some more cardboard, and with some angles made each end pointed! I also triple-reinforced the sides of the hull.

Then came the task of waterproofing it. I cut out a total of 6 triangles, then put them in each point, at the bow and the stern.
With one on the very bottom, one in the middle, and one on top, I ended up with 2 compartments, with the bottom one totally sealed. To add a little practicality, I cut some small access hatches in the top triangles in the bow and the stern, making 2 functional cargo holds!
In the 7th picture, it's a bit hard to see, but I also made 2 air pockets for the end I would be sitting on(so the boat didn't simply tip backwards, THAT would've been embarrassing!). They consisted of squares of cardboard with circles cut out of the middle, then covered with duct tape.
I'm still REALLY proud of the construction of the bow and stern, I could probably ram it into a ROCK and it probably wouldn't buckle! It's STRONG!:thumbsup:

The first layer of tape was actually thin flooring tape(the really shiny stuff), and then I used various brands and types until I think it now has more than 5 layers! On the edges of the bow and stern I used heavy duty Gorilla Tape, and that has held up really well.

After that I started working on some embellishments. I cut out some sloping pieces for each end to give it more of a Longship shape, as well as a dragon head and tail, plus 3 shields for each side! I then used permanent marker to liven it up a bit. I also made a custom cardboard and duct tape oar, and a wood/cardboard mast. The mast ended up being an obstruction, so I just removed it.
I also cut some holes for mooring lines just in case, but now they're used to hang the boat under the eve of the back porch. :lolgoku:

It turned out looking REALLY good! :drool5:

The Regatta was held at a local nature park, in a small river.
In the water it rides a little lower than I expected, but the sides of the hull are still a comfortable few inches above the water line. It's a teeny bit rear weight biased, but it's not too bad. Not very tippy either! It tends to drift a little bit in the water due to the lack of a keel, the flat bottom, low speed, and semi-stagnant water. Overall though I'm quite happy with it's overall performance, plus it has style!:cool:

It seemed a little heavier after being in the water, so it probably soaked in a little H20, but it's still rigid, and I think with a little restoration, it could be river-worthy again!

The first 3 pics are from the day of the Regatta, when it still looked nice. The rest of the pics I took today, after it's been sitting for a year or two. It looks kinda sad now, but I still want to restore it sometime in the future!:eek:



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Ruhrpott [Germany]
love it!

a keel would've been nice I think (not only for the looks)
but for a 10yo's DIY boat that's a nice outcome indeed!

Well done..

You could still add a keel today (styrofoam stuffed cardboard I'd say)
clean up some of the water damage and make it float your older you reliably..
looks like there's still some fun to be had with it IYAM


PS just remember: vikings NEVER had horns on their helmets! :D


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Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Great build!! Especially for someone who was so young at the time :D :thumbsup:

I can see that you have a knack for making things.....and making them work. Rare to see in kids nowadays. Keep it up!

Budget GoKart

Aka a kenbar
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roachdale, indiana
Hey my school does the carb board regatta but ours is in our inside pool this year im in charge and i did it last year ours almost won but it broke in half and sunk


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Haha! Yeah, I didn't bother making a cardboard helmet, and no horns anyways.
whenever I get around to restoring it I may or may not add a keel. It's more of a shallow water boat, but IDK. I'm not financially ready to restore it right now. (By that I mean I literally have like $2 to play with :roflol:)
I would need to stretch it as well as I'm taller now, but that wouldn't be too hard.

I guess I always have been into making things. Biggest reason I haven't built more successful projects is lack of skills and money. I think this entire boat was less that $50, probably more to the tune of $25.

Budget - Better work on that design! You can email me the designs if you want whenever you build it and I'll review them. :thumbsup:
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