In senior year AP Physics, we built boats out of 1/4" by 1/2" plywood strips and butcher paper. The boat had to support two people
across a pool. Naturally, my partner and I over-engineered ours a little.

The boat was called the Vasa, after a 17th century Swedish vessel that sank less than 1 mile
outside port on its maiden voyage. We felt this was an appropriate name.


Beginning construction on the ribs. Matt still has long hair. Cutting 137.5* angles by hand was rather difficult. Repeating it 60 times was time consuming.


While constructing the boat, we went through 3 bottles of wood glue plus several ounces of epoxy.

Hull is mostly completed. The string is pulling ribs together as the glue dries.


Beginning construction of bow and stern.


Boat framework is completed.


Close up of the boat's bow.


Beginning to build the paper hull. The blue stuff is tape to keep paint off wood surfaces.


Outer layer of the hull is completed.


Painting the inside of the hull.


The inner hull partially completed.


Inner hull completed. Matt is epoxying the seams to make them more waterproof. He now has short hair.


Outer hull painted.


Beginning to stencil the name and number onto the boat.


Name completed.


Boat completed. Note the Swedish flag. We tested the boat later, and it successfully went across Matt's pool twice.
We know the design wasn't faulty.


Waiting in line before the competition.


Me getting into the boat. Note the goon on the left who is HOLDING THE STERN OUT OF THE WATER. He shoved
his hand through the outer hull, which resulted in the sinking of the boat.


Both Matt and I am sitting in the boat. He's still holding the stern out of the water. No wonder he put a hole in it.


Things start normally...the hole in the outer hull hasn't been noticed yet.


The hollow hull fills with water, the ribs weaken and break, and our keel snaps. I have no idea what the guy on the left is doing, or who he is.


We have reached the other side. The boat is mostly underwater, but the Swedish flag still flies.

We ended up getting full credit on the project because the Swedish flag was still above water when we reached the far side of the pool.


The "helpers" begin to wreck our boat. The girl has stuck her hand through our bow.


The next "helper" rips off our bow covering.


The flag has fallen. Our keel has snapped.

Utter carnage.

Notice the gaping hole in the outer hull through which the "helper" put his hand as the boat was being launched.
No wonder the hull filled with water and the boat sank. Just like the Columbia space shuttle, our boat was doomed
by an unnoticed hole that occurred during launch.


The original Vasa sat on the sea floor for 400 years before being raised and put in a museum to be enjoyed by future generations.
Our Vasa never reached the bottom, and resides in a dumpster, where it will not be enjoyed in the future.


They're killing it!