Wooden Boat Challenge: Champions 3 years running

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Blog entry by Dan Lyke posted 04-29-2013 11:57 PM 1571 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

2013-04-27BoatConstruction0.JPG 2013-04-27BoatConstruction1.JPG 2013-04-27BoatConstructionPaintedHull.JPG 2013-04-27BoatConstructionOtherTeams4.JPG

I mentioned winning the 2011 Bodega Bay Fisherman's Festival Wooden Boat Challenge, and for some reason missed last year. Which is a shame, because last year's competition was awesome, and we trained with a group of high school guys who built a boat that floated and got around the course, and, of course, we won it. Though not without effort, there was a team that build a 20+’ outrigger canoe, as they were building we were thinking “there’s no way they’re going to turn that”, and when they got past they buoy they just scooted around and paddled the boat the other way.

Anyway, a little refresher: 2 sheets of 3/8” x 4’ x 8’ plywood, 12 pieces of 1” x 2” x 8’ lumber, 2 pieces of 2” x 2” x 8’ lumber, 2 lbs of 1” or 1¼” deck screws, lb of 1” nails, 1 roll of duct tape, 3 tubes of caulking, 25’ of poly rope, 1 piece of poly sheeting (9’ x 10’).

3 hours, hand tools and battery powered drill drivers only, you can add decorative elements (paint, sculpture and decoration which doesn’t impact the boat), and then you race.

This year, we’ve been warned that if we do the same thing next year there’ll be arbitrary handicaps applied after the fact. So we have to think about some way to really jazz it up. I’m also thinking I should write up a page of “everything we know about quickly building a fast boat out of construction grade ply”.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

4 comments so far

View shipwright's profile


7992 posts in 2826 days

#1 posted 04-30-2013 12:51 AM

I always wanted to do that but the competitions around here all look down on “pros” participating. ... Oh well.

That’s a pretty nice piece of work for three hours, Congrats !!

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20600 posts in 3133 days

#2 posted 04-30-2013 01:18 AM

Way to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4105 days

#3 posted 04-30-2013 02:08 AM


-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4153 days

#4 posted 04-30-2013 03:41 PM

Paul, the Bodega Bay one has a whole number of different prizes beyond just “fastest around the course”. I’m having a little disagreement of direction with my teammate as to what we try for, but there’s a crowd favorite category, I lined up prizes for a “least conventional propulsion” category, so it’s reasonable to go in with a “yeah, we’re really good, but let’s stretch for something else”.

A number of the long-time competitors are on to their own challenges: Two years ago was the first “all 4 people in the boat” finish with about two inches of freeboard, this year another team used their sheet of plastic to do a skin on frame design that totally blew that challenge away.

And, yeah, this year’s hull is going to end up in one of our team member’s back yard so he and his son can paddle it around, and if they get tired of it will be given to the local river center that lends out boats on Sunday, to add to their fleet.

Jim, thanks!

Matt: Woohoo? I hope that’s good news for you, gimme an update! And I’m thinking about doing a boat build of some sort at this year’s Rivertown Revival. They have an “art boat race” that I think needs some shaking up, I can probably wheedle some booth space and spend a couple of bucks on plywood… You gonna be around the North Bay circa July 20th?

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

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