Float Your Boat RULES

Boat Construction

Race-Day Details

  1. No boat-building will be permitted on site at the event.
  2. Only corrugated cardboard may be used. It can be of any thickness but must not be bonded to any other material such as vinyl. Non-corrugated material may not be used, especially the kind of resin or wax-type coating found in packing cases. No solid cardboard and no carpet roll tubes may be used.
  3. 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, seating, etc.
  4. No material such as Styrofoam or rubber inflation devices may be used to provide "buoyancy" or maintain flotation. No sandbags or similar materials may be used for ballast.
  5. Hulls may be painted with any latex paint. No type of polyurethane, varnish or other non-paint coating or finish is allowed. No epoxy glues, fiberglass resins or "multi-part" paintsmay be used. Hulls may not be completely "wrapped" in duct tape or anything else. Tar based substances like roof coatings are not permitted.
  6. Joints and seams may be glued and/or taped. Duct tape, contact cement, rubber cement, or construction adhesive may be used. 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). NOTE: The duct tape at the seams cannot exceed 4” total width.
  7. Design is builder's choice. Let your imagination reign supreme! A minimum of 50% of the boat's volume must remain as part of the boat when raced (after decorations are removed).
  8. Decorations may be made from any material, but may not be used to reinforce the actual structure of the boat.
  9. Boats may not be any larger than 8’ wide, 15’ long and 7’ tall.
  10. Boats are subject to inspection and disqualification for violation of the above Rules. Disqualified boats will be allowed to race in a Pirate Heat. They will not be eligible for prizes.
  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. PFDs and paddles will be provided at the starting line.
  12. At least two team members must ride in the boat during the race. Race participants must be age 8 or older, with the following two race divisions to choose from:
    • "Long Course" – designed for race participants age 15 and above
    • "Short Course" – designed for race participants age 8 to 14 (with one "adult," over the age of 14, allowed, but not required, per boat)
  13. All entrants must ensure that their portion of the pit area has been cleaned before leaving on race day. It is the responsibility of each boat team to remove their boat from the race site, or place their boat in an on-site dumpster at the conclusion of the event.
  14. For racing purposes, boats will race in race “heats” (two or three boats per heat). Each boat will be timed independently, and awards will be given overall.

Any other Float Your Boat questions? Contact Kimberly Kent with The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri at kimberlyk@sharefoodbringhope.org, or (573) 474-1020.

Suggested Supplies

  • Corrugated cardboard (Required)
  • Acrylic latex caulk
  • Duct tape
  • Utility Knife
  • Glue
  • Latex Paint
  • Paint brush or roller
  • Clamps
  • Measuring Tape
  • Straight Edge
  • Scissors

A Few Construction Tips:

  • Use multiple layers of cardboard, alternating the direction of the corrugations for most strength.
  • Score your cardboard along the line of folds for the straightest bends.
  • Seal the edges of your cardboard with caulk to prevent water from getting in.
  • Consider building a few model boats to test for the most stability and buoyancy.
  • Don't make the sides of your boat too tall for the crew to reach over and paddle.

Restricted Materials

  • 2-part glues (ie. epoxy or polyester resin)
  • Multi-part paints
  • Styrofoam
  • Metal, or metal foils
  • Plastic
  • Pasteboard or chipboard
  • Wood
  • Any paint other than latex paint
  • Polyurethane
  • Varnish and other non-paint coating or finish

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