648 Wins 19th Annual RI GCBR!

On Monday, July 4th QC Elite 648 won the 19th annual Rock Island Great Cardboard Boat Regatta! After 5 weeks of hardwork… we built a boat made of cardboard. Yes, it floats! Pictures can be seen here. That big orange and blue, 200-pound object is ours. The winning time was 1 minute 56 seconds. We competed in Class II in which you are allowed to use paddlewheels, propellers, and sails. We chose 2 props driven by recumbent bicycles. I believe we got a top speed of somewhere near 7-10 ft/sec. Thanks to Ed our head engineer for a good design, Harold Ryckeart for giving us his design tips, and Alex and Tony for driving the boat. (It just happened to be Harold’s 2 boats that we defeated in the finals. But of course we expressed GP and helped his boats out of the water. ;))

SIDE NOTE: We also won the Spirit Award… yay! :slight_smile:

Way to go QC Elite!! Your “FIRST Attempt” was a great one. I bet your fellow competitors were quite intimidated when they saw all of you guys in orange.

That is a slick design and a great way to get your community excited about your team. What sort of coatings and sealants did you use on the cardboard to keep that thing afloat? How long did it take for you to build it? Was building this boat easier/harder than building a FIRST robot?

That boat looked as good or better than most paddle-boats you could buy. This is very impressive.

Andy B.

To seal the ends of the corrugated cardboard we used cauking and paint. The cardboard is held together by contact cement. It took us 24 hours to build… stretched through 5 weeks. In some spots it was much tougher to build than the robot. For instance, instead of just cutting and bolting together the cardboard like we would with a robot, we had to bend it. That was a nightmare. And we had a really tough time trying to get the steering mechanism out and under the seat back to the rudders.

How about sealing the surface of the cardboard? Are you saying the whole thing is sealed only by paint? Maybe thick paint? It just seem like cardboard in water would get soggy pretty fast.

I believe the bottom of the pontoons were sealed with 8 layers of paint, 4 white and 4 blue. The top of the pontoons and seat were sealed with 6 layers of paint, 4 white and 2 orange. After a while the bottom of the pontoons did get kinda soggy… but it was nothing to worry about. This boat could last for another 3-4 years of racing it. The Ryckaerts have been using their boats for 7 years if I remember correctly.