Campers roll out their designs for Cardboard Duct Tape Boat Regatta

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Seventh graders Rebecca Hennessy, left, and Emma Walker discuss their boat plans. PORT REPUBLIC – Viking Yachts they’re not.

But the young people building boats using cardboard and duct tape have the winning spirit of all top boat manufacturers.


About a dozen youngsters with some adult leaders got together at Red Wing Campground here Sunday, Aug. 26 to practice the finer points of taping corrugated paper pieces into place.

Many left with their boats nearly completed.

Amy and Jake Nass were there with their sons, seventh-grader Jacob and second-grader Jonathan.

Amy Nass is president of the Port Republic School Parent Teacher Society and for months she’s been talking up the school’s Cardboard Duct Tape Boat Regatta scheduled 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 15 at the Port Republic swimming beach.

The cost to enter the regatta is $20 per boat – with all the proceeds going toward programs benefitting the students at the school.

The regatta chairman is Gary Burton who was there Sunday making a boat with his two daughters, seventh-grader Carly and sixth-grader Allison.

“This is what we do all summer,” Gary Burton said. “We work with our hands – a lot of it right here at the Red Wing Campground. This camp is so back to basics. We love it here. And they’re always helping the community.”

Carly said Red Wing features a Christmas in July celebration where people put lights on their golf carts.

“Everybody decorates their sites,” Allison said. “We get judged.”

She said Halloween is celebrated similarly in September with golf carts dressed up as pumpkins.

“We build a haunted house on the bridge for the kids,” Carly said.

And then the young ladies got to talking serious business: duct tape boat building.

“You have to cover all the cardboard,” Carly said.

“If it’s not covered, it’ll get soggy,” Allison said.

And what then?

“It sinks,” they said in unison.

“We built two for Port Day,” Gary Burton said. “We came here the next day, and a friend borrowed one of ours to help drum up business for his upcoming event.”

He said a couple of teachers are building regatta entries, and the new superintendent as well.

Superintendent Kerri McGinley of Ocean City built one with her sons, according to Burton, and when they tested it in the bay – it sank.

“You need to duct tape from one end to the other,” Burton said. “No seams.”

Jake Nass showed a paddle he’d made, “one hundred percent recycled from garbage.”

“It’s composed of PVC, a five-gallon plastic bucket and a discarded wood dowel,” he said. “We did this with Port Republic Boy Scout Troop 21.”

Seventh-grade students Rebecca Hennessy and Emma Walker were building a boat.

“I thought it was duck tape,” Hennessy said.

“Me too,” Walker said. “But it’s duct tape. No quacking.”

They named their craft “Waterproof Warrior.”

Some older boys were really intent on winning races.

“I’m going to trash everyone,” said Mark Giberson, a sophomore at Cedar Creek High School.

“This is just good redneck fun,” said his cousin Tyler Giberson, a Cedar Creek junior.

“Gibersons rule,” said Mark Giberson’s seventh-grade brother, Adam.

Their partner on the four-man team, Jacob Nass, a Star Scout in Troop 21, said he was “really looking forward to winning.”

There are many categories and ways to win at the regatta. For details see To volunteer or have questions answered email Amy Nass at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Event chairman Gary Burton with his daughters, Carly, 12, left and Allison, 11, applying duct tape. Jake Nass shows off a paddle “100 percent recycled from garbage.”

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