Get Building! Erie's Cardboard Boat Regatta to Feature Model Boats

Annual Cardboard Boat Regatta is virtual in 2020! Submit boats for entry Aug. 26-28

By Kara Murphy August 18, 2020

The Bayfront Maritime Center's 10th annual Cardboard Boat Regatta will look a little different. This year's entrants can enter model-sized boats in a virtual race, rather than the larger, person-sized boats featured other years. The BMC has also partnered for the first time with the Erie County Public Library's Blasco branch for this year's race.

"We wanted to keep it safe and fun so we are keeping it virtual this year. It's going to be a great time — just different," said said Rich Eisenberg, the executive director of the Bayfront Maritime Center (BMC). "Everyone here at BMC is very pleased to be collaborating with the Blasco Library crew to hold this fun, hands-on STEM educational event."

Boat entries are due between Aug. 26-28 — so get to creating! You can drop off entries at Blasco.

The races will be held by the Bayfront Maritime Center and streamed on their Facebook page for all to watch.

It is free to enter the Cardboard Boat Regatta, though donations to the Bayfront Maritime Center are always welcome. 

The BMC specifies hulls must be cardboard, and may (really should!) be sealed. For all other boat parts household materials are allowed. The more creative the better!

Here are all the details to know to enter:


Here is the schedule of events for the regatta, which will be held Sept 5 beginning at 11 a.m.:

Parade of Boats

Wind or mechanically powered model boats, will be raced in PVC troughs in 1-on-1 heats. May the fastest win!

Storm of the Century

Your boat will be subjected to secret, dangerous challenges. Will your boat survive?

Golf Ball Displacement Challenge

How many golf balls will your model boat carry?

Best Design

A panel of esteemed judges, including an artist, a shipwright, and maybe a juggler, mime, and others, will judge all boats on design and finish to select Judges Favorite. The Facebook poll will decide the People's Favorite!


  • Youth: 12 years and below
  • Teen: 13- 17 years
  • Adults: 18 and older
  • Mixed Ages

Model dimensions:

  • Length: 12 inches maximum
  • Width: 5 inches maximum
  • Height above the water - 15 inches maximum
  • Draft below the hull - 2 inches maximum
  • Hull Type: May be any kind of vessel - traditional, double hulled, imaginary, really just about anything goes!

Drop off:

Please drop your boat and registration form off at the reference desk at the Blasco Library, August 26-28. You can fill out a registration form at the library if needed.

For more information:

Visit or call 814-456-4077.


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