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Homework Help: Cardboard boat building for AP Physics help

  1. May 16, 2005 #1
    Can anyone provide advice for this? We will be putting them in the school's pool and racing them. But I really want some advice.

    (1) Formulas to find if the boat will float or sink (we'll be able to make measurements and stuff).

    (2) Plan ideas.

    (3) Stuff to focus on in building.

    We only have cardboard. It needs to be 8 feet long (max) and 6 feet wide (or somehow fit through a normal doorwar). We can use tape to only seal up places where we put together two pieces of cardboard. So...help?!
  2. jcsd
  3. May 18, 2005 #2
    A few things that spring to my mind:

    Balance: A boat that is small but tall will topple. reduce height to weight ratio
    Water resistance: If too much of the boat is below water you'll get more resistance. Look at how to maximise the volume of the boat
    Foward facing resistance: Make the boat too wide and it will go slower than one that's narrower.

    Can't think of much else
  4. May 19, 2005 #3
    Google greek triremes. They were a pretty simple design that worked. I reckon you could make one out of cardboard.
  5. May 19, 2005 #4


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    How is it powered? Will you have enough power to plane? Expected maximum speed? Any passengers? Is the course straight or will you need to turn?

    Here's a great collection of articles - keep scrolling for many more.
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