For a quick update on the floating paper boats, the yellow legal pad boats lasted for five days before they got soggy and sunk. The gum wrapper boat was still going strong. I tried to find out if there was anything special about yellow legal pad paper, but other than the yellow dye that is added, I wasn’t able to come up with much. Do you have any ideas?
Tag: paper boat science
Are you ready for the results of the floating experiment for paper boats? (See “How Long Can a Paper Boat Float?” post)
A friend did this test, although she didn’t say what kind of boats or for how long. Our friend found “the one that lasted the longest was made from a wax paper sandwich bag.” Thanks M!
We folded 5 different boats out of various papers and then floated them in plastic bins filled with water. We left the boats in the bins outside for 24 hours.
Here are our results:
1. We made a newspaper boat, inspired by the “Curious George” book. How did it do?
The newspaper boat was getting soggy after about ten minutes and went down in half an hour.
2. Paper boat number two was a piece of computer/laser printer paper rescued from the trash.
How did it do?
It actually sunk right before the newspaper boat, although in the past I have had computer paper boats make it over night. Perhaps it was folded more tightly than this one or the paper was a different brand.
3. Number three was a small piece of bubble gum wrapper.
It floated 24 hours. Go, gum wrapper, go.
4. The fourth paper boat was a folded piece of yellow legal paper.
It was still going strong after 24 hours, although its bottom was a bit soggy.
5. Paper boat number five was also made of yellow legal paper, but it had a fancy wing design.
It was also floating after 24 hours.
We didn’t try any coatings or finishes, which would probably have allowed our boats to float even longer.
Edit: See our final results
If you want to be inspired to make a paper boat, try reading:
Curious George Rides a Bike
by H.A. and Margret Rey
In this book, Curious George makes a paper boat regatta. The instructions for folding the boats are included.
The Complete Adventures of Curious George: 70th Anniversary Edition
by Margret and H. A. Rey
The Amazing Book of Paper Boats: 18 Boats to Fold and Float by Jerry Roberts, Melcher Media, Willy Bullock, Melcher Media
For more advanced boat builders (although you wouldn’t want to float them when you are finished). Assembly trick: investigate some of the tape adhesives used for scrapbooking.
Disclosure: The books above were from our local library. Also, I am an affiliate for Amazon. If you click through the linked titles or ads and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. Proceeds will be used to maintain this self-hosted blog.