Cardboard Boat Races and Video Challenges

Registration opens September 30th, 2016!

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 still looking for volunteer judges at many of our 2016-17 races. If you are interested in volunteering in this position, please contact Solange Saraiva at

Volunteer flyer

Tentative Dates & Locations

Elementary Races

October 27th, 2016 Marathon   
November 22, 2016 Thunder Bay 
January 24, 2017 Brantford, Markham
January 25, 2017 Ottawa 1 *
January 26, 2017 Espanola*,  Ottawa 2*
January 31, 2017 Toronto
February 1, 2017 Belleville
February 3, 2017 Guelph 
February 8, 2017 Wingham

Secondary Races

November 23, 2016 Thunder Bay 
November 29, 2016 Espanola*
 December 1, 2016  Sault Ste. Marie
December 6, 2016 Toronto, London
December 8, 2016 Ottawa*

*Denotes bilingual races 

Championship Boat Races 
March 1st, 2017 - Secondary 
March 2nd, 2017 - Elementary 
Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex 
101 Father David Bauer Drive