Boatbuilding in Texas, April 14, 2010
We started our cardboard boat at 1015 this morning and stopped at 1800. The idea was to figure out what it would actually take to build a boat that would float two people out of five sheets of cardboard. It took the 4 of us 8 hours to construct this boat and that does not include painting and decorating. Since paint is the primary protection against water (cardboard and water do mix, which is not in this application a good thing) and we only have one day for building before the race, we quickly realized we need to modify our plans in order to have a waterproof boat ready for the race. Good thing we built a practice boat!
We’re now thinking that all teams will be provided with plans for 2 different boats: one similar to our practice boat and one a catamaran that we didn’t have time to build (but think will work). In the contest, teams will be welcome to build anything they want, but if they haven’t already developed scaled plans of their own, they may not have enough time to complete their design.
We learned a lot during our practice construction. Instead of heading up teams, Matt and Jim will be non-competitors available to all teams for support and advice. The Friday night before the event they will give a hands-on tutorial complete with a card board boat building simulation using paper cut-outs. All this in anticipation of the real build Saturday morning and the “race” on Sunday.
April 15, 2010
It has been raining since early a.m. and the humidity is so high, we’re afraid to paint. In fact, we’re not sure if Patti will make it back from work this evening. If the river rises, their road floods out over 2 low water crossings. We’re keeping watch, as if that would make a difference. So far 1.25” of rainfall. Jim says it’ll take 3-4” to flood the river-unless it’s raining even harder upstream from here. What a country! At least (so far) we haven’t had hail like we did the first time we drove Ruby down here 2 years ago. Hailstones dented her brand new roof and hood!