You sank my Craftsman-Ship: Cardboard boats battle for pool supremacy
Building seaworthy crafts out of not-so-seaworthy materials
The phrase "whatever floats your boat" took on new meaning at the University of New Brunswick on Tuesday afternoon, where engineering students achieved the near-impossible feat of floating boats made of cardboard and duct tape.
As a test of their ingenuity and teamwork, engineering students finished their semester by building seaworthy crafts out of the not-so-seaworthy materials.
"Unfortunately, ours collapsed right before the end," said second-year engineering student Taylor Quinlan. "So we were close."
Professors captained their students' creations across the Lady Beaverbrook pool at the university's Fredericton campus as a part of a competitive relay race.
While some vessels held up admirably, other suffered from balancing issues, structural defects, and less-than-adequate paddles that contributed to their demise.
Despite the boats' comical appearances, Quinlan says there's a lot of design that goes into making them durable enough to keep several hundred pounds afloat, using only a paper product as construction material.
"First we tested the cardboard to see how much it could withstand. And we also built a prototype. And tested it in the flume in the engineering building."
With names like "Seal Team 6" and "Bluenose III" none of the boats escaped a watery grave at the end of the competition, as professors stress tested them all to their limits. But one notable entry did manage to hold four adults — before raucous behaviour sealed its fate.
"They were structurally – for the most part – okay," said Katy Haralampides, a professor in civil engineering at UNB. "Overall they floated the whole way."
"Teamwork skills, communication skills, analyzing, buoyancy calculations, stress and bending-moment calculations," listed Haralampides from the pool. "It's also interactive and a lot of fun."