‘Engineers’ race a boat built out of cardboard at Paducah Regatta

Photo via the city of Paducah

UPDATE: Local 6 meteorologist Jason Lindsey said lots of engineering and science is involved when constructing a cardboard boat using duct tape. A consistent participant walked away as the champion in this years’ Paducah Regatta. It was her first time winning, and she told Lindsey that her mother was rewarding her with ice cream.


PADUCAH, KY — The steps are simple: build a boat out of cardboard and race it across the Noble Park Pool without sinking. That is the goal of the annual Paducah Regatta, hosted by the Paducah Parks and Recreation Department.

Registration begins at 8:45 a.m. Saturday, June 15 and the race starts at 10 a.m. It costs $20 per boat and boats can be built ahead of time or on-site the day of from 8:45-9:45. Teams that build on-site will have access to cardboard and duct tape. Additional decorations are allowed but will not be provided.

The boats must fit at least one person, but it’s encouraged to get friends and family involved to make a bigger team. Judges will inspect the boats prior to the race to make sure they follow the building guidelines.

Awards will be handed out at the end of the races. While it is ideal for a boat to make it all the way across, the Titanic Award will recognize the fastest sinking or most dramatic sinking boat. Other awards include the Largest Crew Award, the Crowd Favorite Award and the Overall Winner for the boat that makes it across the pool the fastest of all the heats.

For more information, call (270) 444-8508 or visit the Parks office at 1400 H.C. Mathis Drive. They are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.