We've been busy. More on that later.
In the meantime, Paradise Cove Marina in Merritt, NC (close to Point Marina, where Sea Bird is docked) had a cardboard boat race. We attended the inaugural event last year while preparing the boat, and it was a blast. This year, I vowed to participate. Drafting my eldest grandson, Dillon, we sat about engineering the perfect winning entry. It was going to be epic.
The rules were simple. The only building materials allowed were cardboard and duct tape. Paint was allowed if fully cured before the entry was splashed (no painting on race day). Propulsion was to be by paddle, and the contestants were to be timed around a course. Best time wins.
The designs were mostly (flimsy) versions of your standard runabout. What most people think of when they think "boat". This design is fine when executed in something strong, light, and stiff like fiberglass (also water resistant). The problem is that cardboard is not very strong over a span. It needs some support, and that is where most people have trouble.
I, on the other hand, had a secret weapon. People.
One of the last jobs I had right after the economy tanked, early during the recent recession (that they tell me ended some time ago) was at Lowe's Home Improvement. I spent some time in the appliance department, and while unpacking the merchandise, was struck by the many and varied bits of preformed cardboard that went into keeping the appliances scratch and dent free. This stuff has remarkable strength to weight ratio, is not available to the general public, and became the backbone of my design. Also, it was free, because I know the right people. And, of course, no one else knows the people I do, or is as cunning as I.
I chose a catamaran design. The boat was to be built in Concord, NC and designed so it could be hauled to Merritt, NC in pieces, with final assembly to be completed there. There would be no need to test the design. As there were two paddlers, the power to weight ratio alone would assure our victory. And so, we set to work.
We named our creation Warship 2981. Warship is reminiscent of passage into our last inlet, where we encountered an actual Warship. 2981 is the store number of the Lowe's that actually supplied the building materials for the project (thanks to everyone!).
And so it began. We left Concord at 7:00am for the five hour drive to Paradise Cove and the race at 2:00pm. We completed final assembly there, and Carol did the pre race interview. Also, the race footage.
It did not go as planned.
In spite of our DNF, a good time was had by all. Video is available on my Facebook page.