2013-04-27 Wooden Boat Challenge

  Bodega Bay Fisherman's Festival Wooden Boat Challenge. Long name. The idea is simple: You get a handful of materials: 2 sheets of 4x8 plywood, a box of drywall screws, a couple of tubes of caulk, a 2 2x2s, a bunch of 1x2s, a few other things.

Hand tools only, except for battery powered drill/drivers. You can add additional materials only for aesthetics (ie: paint, a few people add pre-cut decorations).


3 hours. Then you race. Twice, there are 18 teams, so there are 3 elimination heats, the top two finishers from each of those heats go on to the final.

This is the third year that Tom Segura and I have entered a team, the other two members have changed, (2011 boat building and racing, 2012 boat building and racing). This year our other two were Dan Wrightsman and Donald DeLave.

I'd had huge hopes this year for building a sailboat, but last year Tom and I spent nearly every weekend in March and April leading up to the event coaching a team of high schoolers to build their own entry (and they did make it around the course), and this year Charlene said "let's have a spring break and stuff". And then we started preparing for a ReFi, and...

I put together a prototype back in early March and ended up swimming it back across the Petaluma River. We decided we needed some hull redesign, and we weren't going to get time to do that, so we went with roughly the same hull design from last year.


Unlike the last two years, the winds out in Bodega Bay this year were remarkably light, which meant that the one team that did do a hybrid sail system, Team Wasabi, didn't get that much of a boost from it.

We did paint our hull this year, mostly because we're going to keep the boat and paddle it around the Petaluma River. So, yes: 3 hours from construction grade plywood to a boat that'll be kept and paddled. Using hand tools.

And as in past years, it was amazingly fun.

And we won the race.

I haven't done any culling on these pictures because someone might find 'em interesting.


Category: Dan Lyke life Category: Woodworking Category: Boat building Category: Bodega Bay Fisherman's Festival Wooden Boat Challenge