Build a boat and then take it for a spin

There’s an opportunity to become the skipper of your own boat at Water Trails this year.

The “Chamber Games” will include a build-your-own-boat session on Saturday and then you’ll be able to race it on Sunday along the Silverdale Waterfront.

The only requirement, however, is that you can only use cardboard and duct tape.

“We’re expecting at least five teams,” said organizer Jason Wright, a member of the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce. “But anyone can just come out and join in the fun.”

Teams will need to be two or four people strong. From noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 24, boat-building will take place in the Waterfront Park. From 4 to 6 p.m. the boats will be on display and visitors can vote for the “most creative” boat. At 6 p.m. a winner will be named and will receive a night and dinner at the Oxford Suites in Silverdale. There is also a raffle for a prize.

There will be some basic sheets of cardboard, colorful duct tape and box knives available for those who plan to build a boat. Participants are encouraged to bring their own supplies, including tubes, etc., as long as they are made of cardboard. And there will be the option of using a sealer on your boat, to help keep out the water on race day.

“We’re hoping people will get into the colorful tape and really make their boats unique,” he said. “And each boat needs a banner to tell the team name or sponsor of the boat.”

Boats are allowed to be three feet wide and up to six feet long. Teams can also make oars from cardboard to use in the race if they desire. A team member will be allowed to man the boat in the race, while other team members are on stand-by if needed to help get the boat and its occupant to safety in an emergency.

“Those in the boats will be required to wear life jackets, too,” he said.

The winning team will be an honored guest at the Silverdale Chamber’s next gala dinner and auction, and will receive gift cards. The race on Sunday is expected to begin at 3:30 p.m.

“We plan for two teams to race at a time,” he said. “And all boats will be timed. We’ll just keep that up until we have a winner.”

The “Chamber Games” are new to the Water Trails Festival this year and Wright said they hope to expand and have other games (tug-o-war, one-handed volleyball) in the future.

“We’re also looking to have all the chambers in the county participate in the boat race next year,” he said. “We’d like to see banks verse banks, and that kind of thing.”

Wright is a member of the military affairs committee of the Silverdale Chamber. He is an Edward Jones representative with an office in Silverdale. He specializes in retirement accounts for small businesses.

“My family had the concessions business on the Washington State Ferries up until this year,” he said. “I worked with our employees and their 401Ks. I want to help small businesses realize that they can help their employees with retirement accounts without it costing them.”

Wright said he came up with the idea of the boat races after seeing similar events on Y-Tube.

“Little towns all over the country are coming together for these races,” he said. “I figure why not give it a try.”