Duct Tape & Cardboard Boat Regatta Rules

Official Duct Tape and Cardboard Boat Regatta Rules For Meadville KOA Campground – Northwestern PA’s Family Fun Camping and Cabins Zone!

How are your engineering and boat building skills?  Try them out here at our Cardboard & Duct Tape Boat Regatta at this fun, family event!

Regatta Rules Material Requirements:

  • Only brown corrugated cardboard and duct tape may be used to construct the boat.  No glue, fasteners of any kind, paints, or coatings of any kind.   

  • Only BROWN corrugated cardboard will be allowed. No plastic, plastic coated, paper coated, labelled or waxed cardboard allowed.  No cardboard tubes allowed!

  • The maximum allowable thickness of corrugated cardboard is one-half inch. 

  • You may NOT use any other objects to contribute to the structural rigidity or the craft’s flotation ability.

  • Decorations of any kind may be used to create a theme (must be family campground appropriate in nature).  Themes can include hats and clothing.  Cardboard boats may be decorated with markers or paint (as in the boat’s name), but decorations may not help keep the boat together, or aloft.  Cardboard must be BROWN.

 Regatta Rules Design Parameters:

  • Boats must be built on campground premises the day of the race!

  • Boats are subject to a technical inspection the day of the race during building and prior to the race and must follow these guidelines. Any boat not following these guidelines will rresult in  disqualification.

  • Boates require untreated, non-coated corrugated cardboard. The entire hull, superstructure, and seating must also be made from corrugated cardboard. The maximum thickness of cardboard allowed is two thicknesses.  The maximum single thickness of cardboard you may use is 1/2 inch. Thus, the maximum thickness of your two thicknesses of cardboard is one inch. The “seats” may be made of boxes or cardboard.

  • Only the seams and joints may be taped, not the entire boat. In other words, you may only tape where you put two pieces of cardboard together. When taping seams, only 1.5 inches of tape can overlap the seam. When taping seams, a minimum of twelve inches of untaped cardboard must separate seams.  To score the cardboard, use the dull side of a knife — it makes the cardboard easier to bend.

  • Both people must be clearly visible while the boat is in the water.  All occupants of a boat must be good swimmers.  All occupants must wear a life preserver (provided), water shoes, sneakers, or sandals (no flip flops allowed!).  Single occupants must be age 18 or older. 

  • Each team must remove their entire boat (including any and all decorations) or boat remains from the water when the race is finished.  All boats and remains must be placed in the dump trailer provided.

  • All boats may be propelled through the water by:

– utilizing a paddle or oars made of cardboard and duct tape (cardboard tubes are not allowed.)

a sail of some sort

arms may be in the water to assist with stability and/or propulsion.

– boats may not be towed, pulled, or ride on top of participants (immediate disqualification).

Regatta Rules Entries:

  • The three (3) race categories are as follows: family boat (one adult 21 or over & one child age 12 & under) and Teen Boat (2 people 13-17), & Adult’s Only Race (ages 18 & over).

  • Each race requires its own boat. (i.e. One family can enter all three race categories, but must have a different boat for each race).   

  • Family Boats requre at least two people in them, one of whom must be an adult (age 21 or over) and a child age 12 & under.

  • Teen Boat must have two teens (both entrants must be age 13 – 17).

  • Adult Category is for one person (ages 18 and over).

  • All contestants require a signed safety waiver prior to competing in the boat race.  Minors must have responsible parent sign the waiver.  Unsigned waivers, unsnapped life vests, or improper shoe apparel results in immediate disqualification.

Regatta Rules Awards:

Award Categories for each race:

1. Fastest ($20 Ducky Dollars)


Awarded to any of the three categories:

2. Most patriotic ($10 Ducky Dollars)!

3. Best KOA decorations ($10 Ducky Dollars)!

4. Sunk like the Edmund Fitzgerald!  ($10.00 Ducky Dollars)!

Remember to be creative and have FUN!

Contact Information If you have any questions or comments about the information presented in this Cardboard & Duct Tape Boat Regatta, you can contact Meadville KOA as follows: By Phone: 814-789-3251, or contact us.