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

More dates and locations will be added in the next several weeks! Please check back!

Elementary Races

November 5, 2018 Marathon, Marathon High School
November 27, 2018 Thunder Bay, Lakehead University
November 27, 2018 Sault Ste. Marie, Sault Ste. Marie YMCA
January 15, 2019 Ottawa (1)*, Confederation Education Centre
January 22, 2019 Brantford (1), Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre
January 23, 2019 Brantford (2), Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre
January 23, 2019 Ottawa (2)*, Confederation Education Centre
January 29, 2019 Toronto, Swansea Public School
January 29, 2019 Espanola, A.B. Ellis Public School
January 30, 2019  Belleville, Quinte Sports and Wellness Centre
January 30, 2019  Scarborough, L'Amoreaux Collegiate Institute
February 5, 2019 Fergus (1), Centre Wellington Community Sportsplex
February 6, 2019 Fergus (2), Centre Wellington Community Sportsplex

Secondary Races

November 27, 2018 Leamington, Kinsmen Recreation Complex
November 27, 2018 Sault Ste. Marie, Sault Ste. Marie YMCA
November 27, 2018 Belleville, Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf
November 28, 2018 Espanola, Espanola High School
November 28, 2018 Ottawa*, Confederation Education Centre/Nepean Sports Plex
November 28, 2018 Thunder Bay, Lakehead University
December 4, 2018 London, H.B. Beal Secondary School
December 4, 2018 Toronto, L'Amoreaux Collegiate Institute

*Denotes bilingual races

Cardboard Boat Race Championships - To Be Announced