The head of the zesiger is a cardboard boat regatta in which three students put together a boat. They can actually have as many boat builders as they like, but they need to be in the cardboard boat, paddling during the actual competition. The real challenge each year is the fact that the race course changes so there are different.
Challenges. and so, when designing the boats there’s a different theme and focus in mind. I was terrified on Thursday because we were like only halfway through, a bit more really, but we didn’t yet have the hull so that was a bit of an issue. But we got a lot of people to help the last two days so we able to finish it and.
Paint it, and, well, we’re going to win. My freshman year was the first year I competed and my brother, he went to MIT as well, he’s two years ahead of me so when I got here as a freshman my brother Brian was like, Oh man, there’s this cardboard boat race and I’ve always wanted to do it but I could never get a team.
Together. i’m a mechanical engineering so it sounded like a really good challenge mostly because everything you do you have to innovate. There isn’t any set way to do this sort of thing. It’s not like, you know, everybody that builds a Formula 1 car, well people build Formula 1 cars and there’s a way to do it, so you do it. But a cardboard boat.
You have to completely come up with how it’s going to work on the stop, every time. The difference between most cardboard boat regattas is the students actually design it ahead of time. They don’t design it day of. Most schools that offer this type of competition will give the supplies and they have one hour to put some duct tape together, use.
Some styrofoam and different formats. this is purely based on cardboard, paper tape and paint, that’s it. They’re not allowed to use duct tape. They’re not allowed to use styrofoam or anything that has natural buoyancy to it. So we went into this with a little bit more of a challenge then you’ll see at most schools. I think MIT students just like to.
Problem solve things and this is a really good opportunity to try it out. Some people have tried it, maybe in High School or something, but MIT really takes almost everything to the next level when we do this sort of thing. A good fraction of the students are young students, in the first couple of years. Maybe some who haven’t declared. Others are graduate.
Students so they’re pretty far down the road. the goal of building a cardboard boat to navigate a course in water, however appeals to all of them, many of the core disciplines of mechanical engineering happen to be well represented. If you just look at our core classes: mechanics of materials, well there’s the cardboard and the strength of beams.
How to build a durable cardboard boat
One of the most effective ways of convincing everybody you’re crazy is to tell them you’re going to build a boat out of cardboard. I got the idea of a cardboard boat from the Internet I was looking for some cardboard projects and I found that people were building cardboard boats and usually they were building them to compete in races there’s cardboard boat races where.
You have a certain amount of time to build a boat and then you race it across a lake and whoever doesn’t sink and gets there first wins and uh. since i was gonna put the effort in to building a boat and I wasn’t really gonna put it in a competition my goal was to make something that was a little more durable so i took a few ideas from.
From certain plans and added a few ideas of my own to build something that’s actually pretty durable. I’ve had it out on the water several times over the last two three years. This boat doesn’t have any rigid materials like metal or plastic or wood.
It’s made almost entirely out of cardboard as you can see, I also used some paint I used some varnish here on the bottom, I used some newspaper, and I hold it together with glue and tape. These duct tape patches you see here are not part of the original construction.
I found that duct tape is a quick way to patch a hole if you find a hole just before you’re ready to put on the lake or something this is a quick way to make sure it doesn’t leak typically if i have the time the best way to patch this would be to actually use varnish and a small piece of newspaper give it several coats.
Of varnish to seal it up. When I build this boat I started with one big piece of cardboard it was about eleven and a half feet long and about forty two inches wide and I found this piece of cardboard at the local appliance store. You’ll find that appliance stores have lots of cardboard that they need to dispose of.
So that was a good resource for me you get the cardboard to build this. Now what I did with the big piece of cardboard is, I just laid it out and i folded up nine inches of each side all the way along to make the shape of the boat. now on the front and the back.
I had to cut along the corner of the bottom, the bottom part of the U then I folded in the sides and I cut off the extra there was a triangle of cardboard here and one over there that I cut off.