The Third Annual Duckworks Design Competition
Deadline: Christmas Day 2002


Here's the deal: Your wife got tired of your boat building ways, and filed for divorce. She and her lawyer (who you think might be more than a legal advisor...) have got everything you own but your old "83 Chevy pickup. You lost your job during the brouhaha, and are now homeless, jobless, and almost broke. I say almost, because you have several thousand dollars in a savings account that she never found out about. 

An old high school buddy who owns a marina on a large lake has offered you a job selling bait and has reserved a slip for you. You figure that with the little money you have, you can build a small houseboat to live in, keep it at the marina, and make just enough to feed yourself and make alimony payments. Now this floating palace needs to look cool on the outside (you want your ex to be jealous, don't you) and comfortable on the inside ( you might have a guest or two). It also has to be structurally sound (you may be here for a while) and maneuverable (it is technically a boat, after all). 

You won't need a motor - you can get it towed if you want to move it by water.  In fact, you have your eye on a quiet cove up the lake where you could have a bit more peace and quiet.  You may want to go there later, so keep self sufficiency in mind.


First place winner gets a $50 gift certificate at the Duckworks Store
Second place winner gets a Duckworks Cap
Third place winner gets a Duckworks CD.

General Rules

The organizer of the Competition is Duckworks Magazine.

All correspondence should be emailed to…

Or addressed to……

Duckworks Magazine
608 Gammenthaler
Harper, TX  78631, USA

The competition is open to anyone other than the following:

  • Last year's winners
  • Professional Boat Designers
  • Career path Boat Design students who have completed 40% or more of their Course

Entrants retain Copyright of their designs or drawings. However, it is a condition of entry that the Organizer retains the right to display at public shows, publish in Duckworks (including its supplements and associated publications, whether printed or electronic), in full or part, any submitted material, written or electronic.

Entry Requirements

  • Three drawings or sketches including:
    • Plan view
    • Front elevation
    • Side elevation
  • list of statistics (measures, weights, etc.)
  • 1000 (or fewer) words of description
  • 100 word bio.

The Deadline is Christmas Day, 2002


Judging will be based on the following criteria:
  • 1. visual appeal (does it look cool?), 
  • 2. structural design (is it going to survive?), 
  • 3. interior design ( is it comfortable?), 
  • 4. maneuverability (can you tow, or even motor it, anywhere?)


Russell Conder; (website) author of Handmade Houseboats: Independent Living  

Joe McWilliams; (website) math professor, shantyboat aficionado, and raconteur  

Chuck Merrell; (website) naval architect ,houseboat designer, and guardian of Dumps


David Beede; (website) winner of last year's design contest, and shantyboat dreamer