Minimal Construction, Marginal Seaworthiness, Maximum Hilarity

Published on May 8th, 2013

Maybe going to the southernmost point in the continental U.S. only once for Key West Race Week in January is not enough. Maybe we need to be going in May too.

While the winter event is all about serious racing, the 22nd annual Schooner Wharf Minimal Regatta focuses on maximum hilarity. Minimal construction and marginal seaworthiness is the theme on May 26, when only boats made of thin plywood and duct tape are allowed in the offbeat Memorial Day Weekend regatta.

Each six-member team is allowed a single sheet of 4-by-8-foot plywood, two 8-foot-long 2-by-4s, a roll of duct tape and a pound of fasteners to build their boat. Caulking and adhesives are forbidden, though epoxy paint is permitted.

While many entrants have only minimal construction skills, some are unexpectedly talented in design and fabrication – luckily for the “designated passenger” on each team, whose role is to keep the team’s creation afloat while navigating the regatta course.

Participants in the wacky race can compete in either the kayak/canoe design or open design categories. Awards include prizes for the fastest boat, most creative design, best paint job and best costumed entry – as well as the dreaded “sinker” awards that await teams with the least seaworthy vessels.

Event information:

Editor’s note: Are there any other events like this? Please let us know.

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