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Build a Boat In A Day

May 13, 2013 by jarndt
Build a Boat In A Day

How does the annual boat building contest on San Francisco Bay work?  Ariane Paul has successfully run 5 previous contests in which boat building teams build, launch and race a boat in a single day.  Up until 2012, all boats had made it 'round the course but finally wind and wave took one boat under though all they did was enjoy a brisk swim!

Boat launching 2012

The 13th annual global Summer Sailstice event is coming up soon, as well as the sixth year of our boat building contest at the SF Bay Area festival that will be held on Saturday, June 22nd at the Encinal Yacht Club in Alameda (  We have had great competitions year after year, and the contest and race is always a big crowd pleaser.  We invite local boat yards, shipwrights, and others with the right skills to compete. 

The boat building teams consist of three people each.  The teams are limited to spending $150 per team on materials for which they submit receipts to be reimbursed.  If they spend less, they are only reimbursed for actual expenditures up to $150.  Wood is the primary material but plywood is fine.  Some recycled materials will be allowed, but must be declared ahead of the contest.  Boats can be rowed or sailed.  If sailed, teams can bring a pre-made rig and sail.  Two of the team members have to be in the boat during the race in the water.  An advance description of the hopeful teams’ boat plans and intended materials is to be submitted no later than Monday, June 17th.  The teams with the most viable plans will be selected.  Teams will have approximately seven hours to build the boats, can bring two power tools, but can use only one at a time.  When the construction time period has ended, we will announce from the stage to the event attendees to go watch the launches, and then see if the teams can successfully sail or row around with two crew members in their boats (the third builder can help with the launch). 

The contest will be judged on several levels including:  design, completing construction in time before cut-off, and viability in the water (finishing the race without sinking).  The winning team will be determined by the votes of judges combined with the votes of all team participants.  It would be great to get a challenge going between a couple of our local yacht clubs, boat yards, and shipwrights.  If you are handy with tools & wood and like working on boats, please contact us for more information as soon as possible.  There is a prize for the winning team.

 The festival is free and there will be sailboat rides, live music, children’s activities, new boats on display, sailboat races, sailing seminars, Coast Guard demonstrations, food and beverages for sale, various sponsor booths – and this fun contest going on all day.  Please contact me as soon as possible if you want to compete as we will only have room for a total of 5 to 6 teams.  Three are signed up already, but it will be great to have more in the mix.  Come and join in the fun whether you are competing or watching.  

To enter a team email Ariane Paul.



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