Cardboard Boat Races and Video Challenges

Registration opens October 2nd, 2018!

Scroll to the bottom of this page for dates and locations.

The whistle blows and they’re off: cardboard boats of varying descriptions and sizes gliding to the other side of the pool, their builders madly paddling for all they’re worth. For those with good designs and a bit of luck, the cardboard vessels not only make it across the length of the pool, they also hold the weight of team members as they pile in, one by one.

For over 20 years, Skills Ontario has been hosting Cardboard Boat Races across Ontario, testing the student’s ability to build a floating structure that will outperform all others in speed and weight challenges.

Both elementary and secondary schools participate - on separate days. Teams of four are provided all the necessary materials to build a boat in just two hours. Students must bring their problem-solving, teamwork and design skills as they create a seaworthy structure out of two sheets of 4' by 8' corrugated cardboard and some duct tape.

Video Challenges

Meanwhile, teams of two record their boat building peer’s progress from the construction stage to the races in the pool, as they work to capture the best video of the action. The student videographers then edit and produce a promotional video at their schools. Once submitted, each production is judged, the winners are selected and teams are provided with a scoring breakdown.


We are looking for volunteer judges at many of our 2018-19 races. If you are interested in volunteering in this position, please contact Nick Kormanitsky at

Volunteer flyer

Tentative Dates & Locations

Elementary Races

October 25/26, 2017 Dryden  
November 21, 2017  Thunder Bay 
January 23, 2018 Brantford
January 23 and 24, 2018 Ottawa 1 & 2 *
January 24, 2018  Wingham 
January 30, 2018  Fergus  1
January 31, 2018  Espanola*, Toronto, Belleville 
February 1, 2018  Scarborough 
February 6, 2018  Fergus 2 

Secondary Races

November, 22, 2017 Thunder Bay 
November, 28, 2017 Espanola*, Leamington
November 30, 2017  Sault Ste. Marie (Cancelled)
December 5, 2017 Toronto, Ottawa*
December 6, 2017 London

*Denotes bilingual races 

Championship Boat Races - Waterloo, Ontario, March 7 & 8 2018