Welcome to the Third Annual Cardboard Boat Race

September 12, 2021

Our first ever Cardboard Boat Race a huge success in 2019 thanks to community members, participants, and spectators! We had lots of fun while raising funds to support community mental health care.

This year we’re back and bigger than ever!

Check out some photos from the 2019 Cardboard Boat Race, courtesy of Dave Burbank Photography.

WHAT IS THE CARDBOARD BOAT RACE?

This event centers around a boat race that challenges individuals and teams to construct boats using primarily cardboard and duct tape. Race participants will need to get into their homemade boats and sail across the Ithaca Yacht Club harbor on the day of the event. Prizes will be awarded in different categories. Community members are invited to attend as boat-builders or spectators. This event is the only one of its kind for Tompkins County.

WHY PARTICIPATE?

The Cardboard Boat Race is a fun and creative way to support Family & Children’s Service of Ithaca whether you’re a master boat builder or prefer to stay on land. The Cardboard Boat Race is meant to inspire boat teams to work together, employing creativity and ingenuity, to get their boat to cross the finish line, and land lovers will be able to cheer on their favorite boat from the shore. The event is truly meant to bring us all together around a common cause and participating in the day is sure to leave you feeling inspired. All will be able to enjoy a beautiful day by the lake with friends and family, great food, drinks, and music. What better way to end the summer!

Adult Boat Registration: $50.00

Includes entry for two crew members. Additional crew/team members will need to purchase individual tickets.

Youth Boat Registration: FREE

Boat registration for youths aged  8-13 is FREE thanks to event sponsor Tompkins Trust Company

High School Challenge Boat Registration: FREE

Boat registration for high school students and groups is FREE thanks to event sponsors True Insurance and Warren Real Estate

Adult Spectator ticket: $50.00

(Additional crew/team members should also purchase this ticket for admission)

Children Spectator Ticket: $25.00

(Children ages 4-18. Free admission for children under four)

Family Spectator Ticket: $100.00

Family Tickets include admission for two adults and all children (ages 4-18) in the same household. Admission is free for children under 4.

Event Schedule:

Boat Arrival and Registration from 1:00 – 1:30 PM

Boats are on display for judging and inspection from 1:30-2:30 PM

Captain’s Meeting for rules and instructions at 2:00 PM

Official Welcome for participants and attendees at 2:15 PM

Races will begin at 2:30 PM

Award Ceremony immediately following the final race at 3;30 PM

Closing Remarks from the Executive Director at 4:oo PM

FAQs

WHERE DOES THE MONEY RAISED FROM THIS EVENT GO?

100 percent of proceeds from this event will go directly to the services provided to the community by Family & Children’s Service of Ithaca (F&CS). F&CS is committed to providing services to anyone who seeks them by accepting all insurance types and regardless of their ability to pay.

CAN ANYBODY PARTICIPATE?

Yes! All are welcome to participate in boat building or come as spectators. If you plan to build a boat, you will need to register your boat by August 30, 2021. Click here to register your boat or get your ticket to attend: REGISTRATION.

HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN BE ON MY BOAT TEAM?

Team sizes are unlimited! Your boat registration includes admission for two crew members, however, each team member beyond that will be required to purchase an individual spectator ticket at $50. The spectator ticket includes food catered by Luna and one free drink ticket.

WHAT SHOULD I CONSIDER BEFORE BUILDING MY BOAT?

  • Start by making a plan! Will your boat have a theme? Or maybe you’re just looking to have the fastest boat and not interested in adding any frills.
  • Build a model using a manila folder or other heavy paper or lightweight cardboard.
  • Most teams utilize engineering and design principles. There’s a simple principle in physics, which says that the total buoyant force is equal to the weight of the water displaced by the object. This buoyant force should be distributed evenly across the area of the object. Otherwise the boat bends in half when you get in it and water pours in. Calculate the displacement of your boat so you will have some idea about the buoyancy of your design.
  • Basic numbers: A cubic foot of water weighs 62 pounds. That means that a 180-pound person will float in a boat that is 1 foot by 1 foot by 3 feet. Last minute modifications and frantic problem solving are often required. Creative problem-solving adds to the fun!
  • Be sure that your boat will be able to get out of the door of wherever you build it.
  • Google cardboard boats and you will find a lot of instructions and examples on how to build your boat.

WHAT MATERIALS CAN I USE TO BUILD MY BOAT?

  • Boats can only be made of cardboard, tape, glue, paint, wax, and/or rope.
  • This event is BYOP: Bring your own paddle!
  • Any additional and unapproved materials will cause disqualification of the boat and you will not be refunded.
  • ABSOLUTELY NO WOOD, NAILS, SCREWS, OR STYROFOAM FILLER. Your boat will be disqualified and you will not be refunded. These materials are a danger to anyone in the water when they come apart.

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT THE DAY OF THE EVENT IF I'M BUILDING A BOAT?

  • Teams must have their boats on the premises and check-in by 1:00-1:30 PM to be inspected. Boat judging and viewing will be held from 1:30-2:30 PM.
  • All participants must be able to swim and all participants must wear life jackets. Water shoes are recommended.
  • All participants will be required to sign a waiver. Participants under the age of 18 must have a waiver signed and be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
  • Check back for more information on day-of boat drop-off and parking!

WHERE CAN I FIND MATERIALS TO BUILD MY BOAT?

You might be able to obtain corrugated cardboard from appliance stores. The shipping boxes for refrigerators and big freezers can be good possibilities. Lowes, Home Depot, Ikea, and stores that sell large items like TVs, bedding, bookcases, and other furniture are all good options, too.

WILL THERE BE PRIZES?

Yes! Five awards will be distributed at the end of the event, which will be determined by our judges. The categories for the awards are:

  • Fastest Elapsed Time
  • Fastest Elapsed Time Youth Bracket
  • Fastest Elapsed Time High School Challenge Bracket
  • People’s Choice Best Boat
  • Most Spectacular Sinking

WHAT WILL I DO WITH MY BOAT AFTER THE RACE?

Wet cardboard is very heavy! So, we will have volunteers at the end of the race to help your team remove your boat from the water at the finish line. Dumpsters will be provided. If your boat comes apart at the seams make sure to remove all boat materials from the lake before you leave.

ARE THERE SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE?

Yes! Sponsors greatly contribute to the success of our event and receive a number of benefits in return. For more information download our sponsorship package or contact our Director of Development, Josiah Jacobus-Parker, for more information.

Thank You To Our Generous Sponsors

Who Help Make The Cardboard Boat Race Possible

ADMIRAL SPONSOR

FIRST MATE SPONSOR

SPECIAL EVENT SPONORS

YOUTH BRACKET SPONSOR

HIGH SCHOOL CHALLENGE BRACKET SPONSOR

HIGH SCHOOL CHALLENGE BRACKET SPONSOR

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD SPONSOR

T-SHIRT SPONSOR

SECOND MATE SPONSORS

SAILOR SPONSORS

STOW AWAY SPONSORS

Interested in becoming a sponsor of the Cardboard Boat Race?

Email us at development@FCSITH.org