Maryland man builds boat from duct tape


Add “boat” to the long list of things that duct tape is good for building.

Roy Burke, a computer technician from Frederick, Md., began building a Viking ship from duct tape in May and has plans to sail it 100 miles later this summer, according to the Frederick News-Post.

Burke told the News-Post he spent about $400 and used about 800 feet of tape, as well as other materials, to build the vessel. With no boatbuilding experience or plan, this was Burke’s third attempt: Last summer his boat was not seaworthy in the shallow, rocky Potomac River. This summer, his second attempt ended with a broken keel and he had to start over.

The boat isn’t constructed entirely of duct tape — it needed a support system to float. Using the research he did on Viking boat construction, Burke fitted PVC pipe sections together to form a skeleton for the tape coating and a support for the wooden deck. He fashioned a sail from white canvas.

At 15 feet, the final creation seats four people comfortably; however, only one joined Burke for his 7-mile test sail on June 22. It was mostly successful, Burke said, although he and his friend did lose control and ran head-on into a large boulder toward the end. Burke hopes to plan a 100-mile ride for an unnamed charity and is seeking sponsors for the journey.

Whether he finds sponsors willing to support the trip or not, Burke is clearly passionate about duct tape: “People have a thing for duct tape,” he told the paper. “Everyone’s made something out of it. They use it for everything. And you tell them you’re making something out of duct tape and their eyes light up.”

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