The East Haddam Leo Club Presents

The Battle of the Boats


Print Entry Form

Online Entry Form

The Leos welcome and challenge you to build your very own Cardboard Boat! This isn’t going to be easy so you’ll need to pick a fantastic crew to build with. Add in your own style by decorating and dressing up to your own theme! You can choose anything from pirates to princesses to movie stars! Finally, get ready to prove your boat worthy in the Battle of the Boats Race!! Be prepared to paddle it out or go down in a spectacular splash! Never forget to have FUN. Let the  Battle of the Boats begin!

  • Registration begins at 7:30am on Saturday, July 20 at the East Haddam Town Beach

  • (291 East Haddam Colchester Tpke, East Haddam)

  • The first race begins at 9:00.  

  • An optional “Battle of the Boats” takes place after the races. The object is to be the last boat in the water while “battling” other entrants with buckets & sponges.

For more information please contact:  


How To Win: 1. Decide on a design and sketch it. It can be any size. 2. Do the bottom of the boat first. Two to three layers of cardboard glued together and weighed down - let it set. 3. Cut side pieces. Cut against the grain of the cardboard for durability. Use the dull side of the knife when scoring to make a fold—it’s easier to bend pieces into proper shape. 4. Glue sides to the bottom. Let the glue set. 5. Carefully cover any seams with adhesive. 6. Waterproof the inside and out with any single substance compound. 7. Paint and decorate the boat! 8. Put together your crew’s costumes 9. Do your best in the race, be a good sport, and have fun!


  1. The entire boat must be built out of CARDBOARD

  2. Exceptions:

    1. Actual paddles may be used

    2. Decorations are allowed to be any material so long as they are not hazardous and do not affect the structural strength or buoyancy

    3. All permissible adhesives may be used at the SEAMS ONLY

  3. NO hazardous materials may be used

  4. There is no limit to the thickness of the cardboard

  5. ALL crews must be able to provide a list of the materials and how they were used

  6. The boat must be open and not enclose any crew member

  7. EVERY crew member must wear a life jacket. You must bring your own life jacket, none will be provided for you.

  8. Each crew is responsible for the building and transporting of the their own boat

  9. Boats of any design and rafts are permissible, however NO surfboard designs are allowed

  10. Boat designs cannot include sharp edges, projectiles, or weapons of any kind against other boats

  11. Any and all boats seen ramming or disadvantaging another boat during the race, will be disqualified for misconduct

  12. Crews that do not follow these rules will be pulled from the event entirely

* Judges decide on the interpretation of the rules


Construction Materials

CAN use
Corrugated Cardboard – Appliance or Grocery Stores
Cardboard “blocks” – Furniture stores
Cardboard Tubes Carpet/Linoleum stores
• Fastening material – Duct or masking tape – Liquid nails adhesive – Latex Paint, Varnish
Plastic sheathing above the hull
Adhesives on seams and for decoration


Wood, Styrofoam, Metal,
Plastic sheathing on the hull
Sona-Tubes, coated or pretreated cardboard
Silicon, Wax, Tar
Caulking compounds or two-part/mixed adhesives
Staples, clamps, screws, or
Any materials hazardous to the environment



Division: Each division will receive a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd placement award based on their boat’s performance in the race.

Spirit of the Sea: The Leos admire great effort followed by even greater sportsmanship, this award goes to the crew that keeps spirits high, cheers others on, and helps each other out!

Pride of the Fleet: This award recognizes the crew with the most skill in engineering the design of their boat!

Captains’ Award: Every crew is encouraged to dress the part; this award goes to the most ostentatious & coordinated costumes!

Titanic: This award goes out to the crew that goes down in style!

Battle of the Boats Belt: The last boat still afloat in the Battle of the Boats takes home the Championship Belt!

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