July 22, 2020 02:47 PM

Ahoy land lubbers! This weekend PackSmart is going to be settin’ sail in Glen Ellyn’s Annual Cardboard Boat Regatta for the second year in a row. It will be a day of fun for the whole family, including games, the best food trucks in the Chicagoland area and, of course, some intense cardboard boat racing.

For those interested in attending the event, here are all the details:

Date: 6/29/19

Time: Event starts at 10:00AM; races begin at 12:00PM

Location: Lake Ellyn Park, 645 Lenox Road, Glen Ellyn


Now it’s time for the good stuff: a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of PackSmart’s cardboard boat! And for those wondering, aye, it is absolutely going to include terrible pirate- and nautical-themed vernacular.

If you want to brush up on your pirate lingo or just verify that you shouldn’t be angry at me for anything in this post, feel free to check out and

Let’s bring a spring upon’er and get down to it, bucko!

Last year, despite our sailors’ strongest heave ho’s in the first race, they only made it to the first buoy before our poor dingy headed to Davy Jones’ Locker. This year, we decided we’d give no quarter to our opponents! We set out to build a boat that would at least (hopefully) make it through the first race.

The best way for sea dogs to keep their boat afloat and make waves in the race is to plan:


Luckily our Service Manager, Chris, attended a boat building class put on by the Glen Ellyn Park District. So despite the plans seen above (if you looked closely), we had a pretty good understanding of what to do to keep from looking like a bunch of scallywags at the event! For further research and to test the waters on some ideas we had, we built a model barkadeer:


With a plan in place, it was time to start gluing pieces of cardboard together that we would form the boat out of:


We used stacks of paper and pallets to keep the pieces of cardboard compressed while the glue dried:


Once the pieces were glued together, Chris then formed the walls and structure of the boat from them:




With the sides cut out and the boat structure just over the horizon, we tarred the hull to make sure we’d avoid any bilge water at sea (this was a Service/Marketing Dept. collaborative effort):

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Now having the sides in place, it was time to start forming the front and back shape of the boat to make her truly sea worthy:



Next, we finalized the ship’s shape, added internal support and made sure all of our seams were glued and sealed tight:




Finally, it was time to apply our deck on the top of the boat, create our smuggler’s hold, and get her painted!



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So there it is, PackSmart’s cardboard man-o-war, ready to broadside with the best of them! As long as no bilge rats hornswaggle during the race or run a rig on us, the inaugural sail of our new boat should bring glory and many pieces of eight!

Impressed with what we can make out of cardboard? You’ll be even more impressed with what we can do for your packaging needs! Give us a call at 630-262-6600 or have a look around to learn how PackSmart can help you today (or if you want to learn more about our boat making prowess!). 

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