Cardboard Pirate Ship

02 Oct

This build has only a few pictures from the building process.

After my friends and I successfully made a 6 foot cardboard boat, we decided to step it up and make a cardboard pirate ship with working sail and rudder.  It measured in at 14′ long and about 5′ tall and had a fully functional cabin. It was made similarly to an ark with a rib structure and then covered.

The main structure was built using pieces of 3/4″ thick cardboard laminated together into ribs and a spine.  They ribs were notched in order to fit over the spine and then glued in place with construction adhesive.

Here is a view from the cabin, the paint bucket and pipe are there for support while the glue dried.

Large regular cardboard pieces were then glued to the ribs using construction adhesive. Once the first layer was dry, additional layers were added using contact cement.  The front curve was accomplished by cutting strips of cardboard and attaching them individually to the ribs with construction adhesive with each strip overlapping the previous strip.

After the ship was complete we sealed all of the cracks with silicone and duct tape and added a mast, canvas sail, and rudder.  We glued on a thin plastic sheet in order for the boat to last longer in the water (without it, it would probably only last a few hours).  A hatch was cut in the top deck in order to gain access to the cabin, and a ladder was added to the spine.  We placed a few sandbags on the spine in order to add stability.

It sailed surprisingly well with great speed and incredible maneuverability.

Project Summary:

Materials used:

  • 3/4″ Cardboard
  • Regular Cardboard
  • Construction adhesive
  • Contact cement
  • PVC (mast, rudder)
  • Canvas (sail)
  • Plastic sheet
  • Duct tape

Tools used:

  • Utility knives
  • Paint Rollers

Total Time: Approximately 400 hours between 5 people

Total Cost: $150 (glue is expensive)

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Posted by on October 2, 2011 in Undocumented Builds


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