Build Your Own Boat Competition

If you’ve ever had nautical dreams of becoming master and commander of a ship finely crafted with your own hands, here’s your chance. Back by popular demand, the 6th annual Build Your Own Boat Festival puts human-powered vessels to the test down our man-made whitewater channel featuring class III and IV rapids. Judging will be based on the creativity and seaworthy-ness of each boat, with the winning team’s name joining the ranks of past champions on the coveted BYOB rock and blade trophy.

Event Details:

  • Date – Saturday, October 7th, 2017
  • Time – 12:00 p.m.


  • $30 – Pre-registration through October 5
  • $40 – Race day registration (if available)
  • *Note: There is a 45 boat cap for this event. First come, first serve during registration.


Friday, October 6

  • 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. – Mandatory check-in, boat drop off, float test, and style judging
    • *Note: Typical parking fees apply
    • Note that you do not have to show up in full costume but it is helpful in your score.
    • You will get wet during the mandatory float test
  • Sunset – Whitewater Film Series film screening

Saturday, October 7

  • 12:00 p.m. – BYOB Competition begins
  • 12:00 p.m. – BYOB: Heat #1
  • 1:00 p.m. – BYOB: Heat #2
  • 2:00 p.m. – BYOB: Heat #3
  • 3:00 p.m. – BYOB: Heat #4
  • 3:45 p.m. – BYOB Awards


  • Drop off location: Kayak Center & Competition Channel river right (See schedule above for times)
  • All boats will check in at the Kayak Center and proceed to assigned location
  • Vehicular access is limited to the Kayak Center only. No vehicles will be allowed past the Kayak Center.


  • Teams may consist of 1-4 people.
  • All participants must be ages 16+.
  • Boats will be ranked based on style. Funky, creative costumes and teams of four are encouraged. Remember, you must be able to swim in your costume (no masks).


  • Style: Boats will be ranked based on creativity, design and theme
  • Completion: Boats that are not able to navigate the entire length of the competition channel with the entire team “mostly on the boat” will not be eligible for the overall award
    • Boats that do not complete the competition channel are still eligible for the Style Award and the Fan’s Choice Award
  • Fan’s Choice: Boat’s will be ranked based on fan’s reaction throughout the event


  • All crafts must be human powered.
  • Everything must float.
  • Craft must not exceed 10′ wide x 10′ long x 5′ tall.
  • Rope sections may be no longer than 18 inches and must be tied tightly/securely against some part of the craft’s structure (no open loops)
  • No enclosures or compartments on the craft
  • 150 lbs. maximum
  • The following items cannot be used:
    • Metal objects
    • Sharp objects
    • Straps or devices that hold you to the craft (participants must be able to exit at any time)
    • Manufactured crafts designed for whitewater (rafts, kayaks, duckies, riverboards, SUP, etc.)
    • Wood (plywood, boards etc.) over 1/4 inch thick
  • Pool toys, floats, etc. are okay.
  • Participants must be prepared to swim the length of the channel unaided and must wear the PFD and helmet provided by the USNWC.

Specific build questions should be sent to the Race Director at


Will be given to top team in each of the following categories

  • Overall Winner (based on style and completion as outlined in the “Scoring” section above)
  • Style Award (based on creativity, design and theme only)
  • Fan’s Choice Award (based on audience’s vote)

2017 Results:

  • Overall Winner – Boat For Sale Soon
  • Style – The Beatles
  • Fan’s Choice – The Jenny





Additional Event Info:

  • Interested in volunteering? Please contact the Race Director at
  • Whitewater Race Series Refund and Transfer Policy:
    • Race Registration is non-refundable
    • A 100% registration transfer may be requested 2 months (or more) in advance of race day via
    • A 50% registration transfer may  be requested 1 month (or more) in advance of race day via
    • Registration transfers are only applicable to the same race the following year
  • All participants must sign the USNWC waiver before participating
  • Participants must be present to accept awards. Awards will not be mailed
  • Restrooms are located at the main USNWC River Center and the Pump House Biergarten
  • Locker rooms/showers are located at the main USNWC River Center
  • Event will proceed rain or shine unless conditions are deemed unsafe by the Race Director
  • All guests are required to pay a $5 parking fee at the USNWC unless guest has an annual parking pass. Annual parking passes are available through the USNWC for $40