2018 Cardboard Boat Regatta Registration

Construct a “human-powered” boat made of corrugated cardboard that will hold at least one crew member and be “seaworthy” to race (for a short while at least) on the Thunder Bay River in Alpena.
Fun for everyone in the family!
Anyone age 10 or older may enter the race.
Individuals, Groups, Non-Profits, Businesses, Corporate, and School Teams come join us!

Boat Classes

Class 1: Kids’ Paddle (10 – 14 year old sailors)
Class 2: Single Sailor
Class 3: Crew of Two
Class 4: The Whole Crew-Group (minimum of 3 sailors to compete)


Class Awards:

1st place awards for speed in each class

Single Awards:

Pride of the Fleet Award: Most well engineered (design and floatability)
Admiral’s Award: Most innovative and unique design
Captain’s Award: Based on team dress (costumes), team involvement with spectators and crowd response, and team spirit.
Titanic Award: The most dramatic sinking. Boat must float and clear (50 feet) beyond the starting line. Best effort NOT to sink.
Most Sailors Afloat Award: Most sailors in a boat and it has to float.
Judges Bribe Award: Let it not be said that we are above bribing the judges! Anyone and everyone may bribe a judge. Contributions (aka bribes) are considered a donation to the Friends of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The current “highest bribe” will be posted all day.
Thunder Bay Cup: Overall race winner based on time.
Battle Royale: Open to all participants, an all-out race to the finish after the Thunder Bay Cup. Racers are encouraged to bring squirt guns to intimidate their opponents!


10:00 – 1:00pm: Set up and fine tune your boat
1:00pm: Check-In Deadline, review by judges
2:15pm: Races begin starting with Class 1
4:00pm: Awards Ceremony at Rotary Island by Registration Tent


  1. Only corrugated cardboard, cardboard blocks, and cardboard tubes may be used. It can be of any thickness but must not be bonded
    to any other material such as vinyl. Coated cardboard may not be used, especially the kind of resin or wax-type coating found in
    packing cases. Duct tape may be used for seams only, boats wrapped in duct tape will be disqualified.
  2. Wood, metal, Styrofoam, or other materials that would aid in flotation or make the hull rigid are prohibited.
    This restriction applies to the keel, transom, ribs, hull, etc.
  3. No material such as Styrofoam or rubber inflation devices may be used to provide “buoyancy” or maintain flotation.
  4. No “surfboard” style boats.
  5. Hulls may be painted with any “one-part” paint. No epoxy glues, fiberglass resins or “multi-part” varnishes or oil paints may be used.
  6. Hulls may not be “wrapped” in duct tape, plastic wrap or anything else. Tar based substances like roof coatings are not permitted.
  7. Joints and seams only may be glued and/or taped. Duct tape, contact cement, rubber cement, or construction adhesive may be used as long as its one-part adhesives. This year boats will be subjected to the ice-pick test to make sure only seams are glued.
  8. No nails or metal or wood fasteners or staples may be used in the construction of the boat
    (small amounts may be used for removable decoration only).
  9. Design is builder’s choice. Let your “imagination” reign supreme!!
  10. Decorations may be made from any material but may not be used to reinforce the actual structure of the boat.
  11. No boat will be allowed to leave the starting gate unless all persons on board are wearing a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) and shoes.
    (Participants will provide their own PFDs and paddles.)
  12. Boats are subject to inspection and disqualification for each violation of the above General Rules.
  13. All entrants must ensure that their portion of the pit area has been cleaned prior to departure on Race day.
  14. All boats must be removed from the park at the end of the Race day. A trailer for boat disposal will be by the Registration Tent.

Note: Rules are subject to change. All participants and sponsors will be notified in writing if changes are made.

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