The Duct Tape Kayak
Yes, it floats...and for a good cause
By Greg Petry
An Engineer, a Chemist and a Communication major were watching television—no, this isn’t a joke. Dave Arruda, 26, and his friends Brett Muirhead, 20, and Alex Russo, 22, were watching the Discovery Channel’s MythBusters, where the inquisitive tv-team built a small sailboat out of duct tape, and decided to try their hand at it.
The three kayak instructors chose Stand Up To Cancer as their charity. “They have a good organization that raises money for cancer research.” Arruda explains. “ And cancer touches a lot of people.”
So how many rolls of duct tape does it take to build a sea worthy craft anyway? Well, that’s being held top-secret, for the moment. Part of the team’s fundraising effort is guessing the amount of tape it takes. “It’s a lot,” hints Arruda, “Somewhere less than a mile, but more than you’d think.”
The kayak itself is 19-feet long and 22-inches wide, modeled after a Greenland style boat. The frame is half-inch PVC pipe, and the skin is a combination of grey and pink duct tape (pink is, ostensibly, for breast cancer awareness). The duct tape company is also donating proceeds from the sale of the pink tape to cancer research. Arruda described it as a “Win-Win”.
The team’s first race is this Saturday, August 18. It’s a six-mile river run down the North River. They have another two-mile race on the books for October. The plan is to keep doing this year after year, changing the color of the duct tape to match the organization they are raising money for, Arruda says.
This year the fundraising window ends in October, so they’re planning to enter their craft into even more races to raise money. Their goal is $1,000, and they’re just over half way at this point.