Minimal Regatta Construction Rules
1. One sheet of 4′ x 8′ x 1/4″ plywood
2. Two 2″x 4″ 8′
3. One pound of fasteners
4. One roll of 2″ x 60 yard duct tape
5. No caulking or adhesives – Epoxy paint is permitted
6. Painting of boats is optional
7. Oars/Paddles must be made out of these materials
There are two categories of “Minimal Vessels” Kayak/Canoe Design & Open Design
Competitors will win prizes in each design group for Fastest – 1st, 2nd & 3rd Place, Most Creative Designs – 1st & 2nd Place, Best Paint Jobs, Best Costumed Entries, Sportsmanship Awards, and Sinker Awards
The $20 entry fee will benefit our local VFW Post 3911 Veteran’s Relief fund for Monroe County.
Boats made of thin plywood and duct tape don’t sound very seaworthy, but they’re the only vessels allowed in the 31st annual Schooner Wharf Minimal Regatta, expected to provide maximum merriment for spectators Sunday, May 28.
The wacky Memorial Day Weekend regatta takes place off the Schooner Wharf Bar, 202 William St., in the Key West Historic Seaport. A vessel inspection is set for 12:30 p.m. Sunday, with the first heat around 1:30 p.m.
Each team can use only the most minimal materials to build its boat — just a single sheet of 4-by-8-foot plywood, two 8-foot-long two-by-fours, a roll of duct tape and a pound of fasteners. Calking and adhesives are forbidden, though epoxy paint is permitted.
Teams are charged with keeping their homemade craft afloat long enough to complete a short course. Up to six members are allowed per team, and at least one “designated passenger” must crew the vessel throughout the regatta.
Costumes and themed entries are encouraged, and many boats end up being more scenic than seaworthy. Entries in past regattas have included alligators, spaceships, guitars, wine bottles and replicas of schooners, shrimp boats, pirate vessels and paddle boats! Costumes have ranged from the crew of Gilligan’s Island, the Adams family, Spock and Star Trek, Batman & the Joker, Barbie and her Dream House, Banana Splits and Red Hot Chili Peppers and Popeye!
Multiple prizes are to be awarded in categories including fastest boat, most creative designs, best paint jobs, sportsmanship and best costumed entries. In addition, organizers plan to present the disheartening “sinker” awards to the hapless teams unable to stay above water.
As well as regatta action, Schooner Wharf Bar also plans to host its traditional Memorial Day weekend barbecue. Ya Gotta Regatta!