Cardboard Canoes and Bath Tub Boats on Salford Quays

Cardboard canoes and bath tub boats were launched onto the Salford Ship Canal this weekend as part of the annual Scout Cardboard Canoe competition.
The competition run by Greater Manchester West Scout County was held at the Helley Hansen Water Sports Centre at Salford Quays on Saturday 16th June. It is an annual event anticipated every year by teams of scouts building their cardboard canoes in Scout Huts across the county.

As well as being a fantastic opportunity for Scouts from across the county to get together and compete, the event was sponsored by Gold Patrons Bathroom Takeaway and will help raise awareness of the Corporate Patrons Scheme. The Corporate Patrons Scheme invites businesses in the community to support scouting providing additional funds and resources to support scouting activities. The Scouts from Swarm 44 will also be raising money for their Unit to go to the World Scout Jamboree in the US in 2019 by selling hot dogs and hot drinks at the event.

Danièle Wiseman, Deputy County Commissioner for Greater Manchester West said: “The Cardboard Canoe competition is an exciting and entertaining event where spectators applaud heroic efforts to stay afloat in a canoe built from cardboard and get to see some spectacular capsizing too.  I’m really pleased that our Gold Patrons, Bathroom Takeaway, decided to sponsor this event. They are entering their own cardboard canoe and bringing two sealed baths for a race between Bathroom Takeaway and one of our Wigan Scout leaders.” Bathroom Takeaway brought their very own double decker bubble bus and provided free drinks for the teams which were much appreciated.

Andy Hargraves, Head of Photography at Bathroom Takeaway and a keen rower said: “We’re delighted to support this event and have had a few practise runs with our bath tub boats so we just hope they will stay afloat till the finishing line.  We’ve also made a cardboard canoe in the form of a viking ship which we’re planning to enter into the competition.” Sadly, Bathroom Takeaway’s cardboard canoe lasted 5s before it sank without ever making it round the buoy.


The Cardboard Canoe Competition began in 2016 at Bibby’s Farm, the idea of a Wigan Scout Leader, Steve Gray. Since then the competition has grown from 13 to 30 teams designing and building a canoe out of cardboard for the competition.

And the winners! Trophies are awarded for best design, the Speedboat Award for the fastest canoe round the buoy and of course, the coveted trophy, the Titanic Award!

Despite some challenging weather but both rain and shine, the competition was a great success. Thanks to all teams who put such an effort into designing, building and eventually sinking their cardboard canoes.