Strategy-Plan your design, make a small model (try using a manila folder) and test it out in a sink or tub. Usually a boat will be made up of multiple pieces, assembled together and taped.
Size - Plan the right size boat - a box 1x1x3 will float 180 pounds... so, if your boat is big enough to hold you, in all probability it will also be big enough to float. Don't make your boat sides too high. 18 inches in height will allow room to sit and paddle without the edge of the boat blocking your arms. Plan boat width based on the number of people: 30 inches for one and about 48 inches for 2 if seated side by side.
Balance - When you are building the boat, think of where your team member will sit during the race. Remember that you need balance so that the boat doesn't tip. Flat Bottoms tend to be less "tippy" than V shaped bottoms.
Stability – Team members will be allowed to help stabilize the boat in the water at the start of the race, but you’re on your own from there. The lowest center of gravity (sitting in the bottom of the boat) is the most stable position. Kneeling or standing…you’ll probably tip over.
Materials - You have duct tape to put the boat together. How can you best use this material?
Edges - Remember that the meeting edges of the cardboard are critical because water leaks in and slows you down if the edges aren't reinforced. Corrugated tubes operate like straws!
Time - Spread the work around so you don't run out of time.
Teamwork - What are the strengths of the people on your team and what part can they work on? Put your skills together to figure things out.
Creative - Be creative, crazy and wild with the designs but stay clean.
Cheering - Get your friends screaming for your team to win.