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Rules & Regulations

Cardboard Boat Regatta


1. Only corrugated cardboard may be used. It may be of any thickness but cannot 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, unless for decoration only. No solid cardboard and no carpet roll tubes may be used.

2. Wood, metal, Styrofoam, rubber inflatable devices or other materials that would provide buoyancy and/or other materials that would aid in flotation or make the hull rigid are prohibited. This applies to the keel, transom, ribs, hull, etc.  

3. No sandbags or similar materials may be used for ballast.

4. Hulls may be painted with any “one-part” paint. No epoxy glues, fiberglass resins or “multi-part” varnishes or paints may be used. Hulls may not be “wrapped” in plastic or anything else waterproof.  Tar based substances like roof coatings are not permitted. NO FLEXSEAL IS ALLOWED

5. 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 final construction of the boat.

6. Keep the crew’s safety on race day in mind during construction!

7. Decorations may be made from any water-soluble material but may not be used to reinforce the actual structure of the boat.

8. No boat will be allowed to leave the starting gate unless all persons on board are wearing a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) and shoes – no flipflops, or other shoe types that are not secured to feet. Participants will need to provide their own paddling devices – feel free to be creative with the paddle design. It is required to bring your own Coast Guard Approved PFD.

9. Any participant thought to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be prohibited from participating in the race.

10. Boats are subject to inspection and disqualification for any violation of one or more of the Rules. Every attempt will be made to bring the boat into compliance prior to disqualification.

11. All entrants must ensure that their portion of the pit area has been cleared and cleaned prior to departure. All boats must be removed from the park or placed in appropriate trash containers following the final race and no later than sundown August 19, 2023.

Boats will be judged for various themed and timed awards. All awards will be given after the last race is completed. Boats may have to race in more than one heat.

12. All registered boats will be grouped in heats according to boat type and ages of participants. (See registration form).

13. Crew members of any boat at the beginning of the race shall attempt to stay in their boat.

14. No crew member shall throw items other than water from one boat to another.

15. As determined by the judge, when all boat occupants are overboard OR in water up to their chest the boat will be deemed sunk.

16. If your boat is sunk and you don’t wish to continue with the derby, leave your boat and swim to the dock.

17. Water guns (super soakers and other versions) are permitted for shooting (water only) at other boats. These must be retrieved if they go overboard.

18. Boats are permitted to crash into each other.

19. Crew members should be prepared for their boat to sink or be capsized during the derby.

20. Boats must remain engaged in the derby until deemed sunk or the derby is called by the judges.

21. If a boat is judged not to be engaged in the derby they may be removed from the event.

22. All boats must meet same requirements as other boats in the main regatta events as written in the 2023 Cardboard Boat Regatta Boat Building Rules.

23. Boats will not contain any sharp items that may injure other boat crew members.

24. Boats will be present for boat inspection at the time designated by race officials, prior to racing, AND must pass inspection.

25. Nothing is permitted in the boat that will cause an environmental hazard to the lake.

26. If there is more than one boat floating after the judges have called the race, their decision as to who won the derby is final.