Cardboard Boat Race Rules

General Rules

You may enter one of both competitions. You may enter the same boat in both competitions (granted the boat is still floatable) OR you can enter one boat in each competition. You may set sail solo or team up with a friend or family member. You may have up to two people onboard.

We ask that anyone unable to swim or swim well, wear a lifejacket, which we can provide.

Only cardboard, duct tape and cardboard tubes may be used to construct your boat. The is no minimum or maximum size. However, you must be able to paddle and steer your own boat. Boats must have clearly defined sides. Surfboard style boats will not be allowed. Legs may not dangle outside of the boat or provide propulsion.

Boats may be decorated with color duct tapes, ribbons, stickers, and sharpie markers. We ask that you avoid paint. Additionally, if you wish to attach additional decorations to your vessel, you may, however they cannot be “floaty.” Any decorations must be securely attached to your vessel and cannot provide any sort competitive advantage.

Boats found to be in violation will be disqualified.

Race Across the Pool (25 yards)

In this competition, participants will be supplied with two ping pong paddles per person to be used as paddles. You must use the provided paddles for this competition.

Participants will have ten seconds to board their vessel. While boarding, a friend may stabilize the vessel from the side of the pool, but must let go before the starting whistle. You or your boat must be touching the wall at the beginning of the race. Your time will stop when your boat reaches the wall on the opposite side of the pool. Some part of your boat must still be dry at that time.

If you fall out of your boat, you may climb back in and complete the race. If your boat sinks or you fall out and are unable or unwilling to continue, you will be considered sunk and not receive a score. A boat is consider sunk when every part has been submerged or at the head judge’s discretion. 

Last Boat Floating

In this competition, participants may supply their own paddle (constructed of carboard), or use their hands to paddle. You should be able to propel and steer your boat, as you will be asked to move around the pool.

As the competition progresses you may be asked to take on water or additional weight (without bailing) to demonstrate the survivability of your vessel. A boat is considered sunk when every part has been submerged or you are underwater.

The last boat floating will win the competition.

Challenge Cup

This competition will be held in the same form as the Race Across the Pool. This competition is limited to boats representative of Pasco County departments with the ultimate goal of winning the challenge cup and earning bragging rights. This event will kick off festivities and demonstrate to the public how the Race Across the Pool will works.