Photo/Belfast Harbor Fest

The Belfast Harbor Fest and National Boatbuilding Challenge are returning to Belfast, Maine, on August 17, 2013, during the Belfast Harbor Fest, sponsored by the Belfast Rotary Club.

The competition was a huge success in Belfast in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and has been held in South Carolina for the past 22 years.

The challenge involves 2-person teams building a 12’ wooden skiff in under 4 hours, followed by a rowing race. Teams are judged on how quickly they complete construction, the quality of the craftsmanship and their speed on the water in the 2-man relay rowing race.

The rules:

  • Teams of 2 compete to build a wooden boat in under 4 hours
  • Power and hand tools may be used, but not pnuematic tools
  • All materials are provided except for oars (which must be handmade, and the transom, which may be glued but not cut)
  • All teams are provided with the plans ahead of time
  • At the end of 4 hours the boats are judged on completeness and quality of craftsmanship
  • Then the builders must have enough faith in their work to get into the boat and compete in a relay race in the harbor

For the $150 entry fee, each team receives plans and building materials, a workspace and competes for a 1st-place, 2nd-place and 3rd-place trophies and prizes. Scholarships are available.

For application and official rules, call, David Crabiel (207-322-5805) or email to

Complete the application and mail to Belfast Rotary Boatbuilding Challenge, P.O. Box 74, Belfast, ME 04915; or scan and email to

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