Duckworks Design Contest #5
"Economy River Cruiser"
DEADLINE - December 31, 2004
Click HERE for Winners
Brief - Prizes
- Rules - Requirements
- Judges - FAQ
Brief - You
are going to take a float trip down the Missouri and Mississippi
rivers from Fort Benton, Montana to New Orleans, and you need
to build a boat to do it in. Let's assume for this contest that
you are a school teacher who has all summer to make the trip,
but not much money. Your budget is 90 days and five thousand
You can build the boat ahead of time, but you
must make the trip within the time allotted. Your money must
cover the boat, it's accessories (sails, motor, oars) and all
your food and supplies for the trip. You do not need to purchase
pots, pans, rain gear, sleeping bags, ordinary tents, or anything
that someone who is inclined towards outdoorsy activities might
have on hand. You are also not required to budget for tools
or a place to construct the boat. Finally, you are not required
to include transportation to and from the cruise in your budget.
Your gracious and long suffering significant
other has agreed to accompany you (I know that is a stretch,
but we are pretending, after all). The boat must therefore hold
two people and as much gear a you think you will need between
You may choose any single method or combination
of motive force (row, motor, sail, paddle, etc). Just remember
that fuel must come out of your $5K allotment.
Your route will include some shallow water and
some big impounds with waves possible. You will be expected
to navigate swift currents and deal with commercial traffic
in the lower part of the Mississippi River. Portages will be
necessary and you will have to figure out how to make them.
These are the basic parameters, but you will need
to do a little research to determine the full extent of the
trip. Only then can you determine what kind of boat you will
We have been fortunate enough to have the sponsorship of three
major tool manufacturers: Delta, Ryobi, and Freud. The following
prizes will be awarded to the three top winners according to
the marks given by the judges. All decisions are final. Note
- freight charges for the prizes will be the responsibility
of the winners.
Delta 22-580 13" Two-Speed Finishing
Planer List Price $788
Ryobi TS1551DXL 12" Compound Laser Miter
Saw List Price $279
Freud 10" 80 Tooth Ultimate Cutoff Saw List Price
Rules - The organizer of
the Competition is Duckworks Magazine.
All correspondence should be emailed to…
Or addressed to……
P.O. Box 10
Harper, TX 78631, USA
The competition is open to anyone other than the following:
- Previous contest 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.
Only one entry per person will be judged.
Requirements - Due
to the number of entries that we expect and the fact that our
judges are busy people who generously volunteer their time, we
limit the volume of data that you may submit. Any entries that
do not adhere to these specific limits will not be judged. Note
that these are maximum numbers and you do not need to pad your
entry to come up to these levels.
- Three drawings or sketches including but not limited to:
- Plan view
- Front elevation
- Side elevation
- 20 line list of boat's statistics (measures, weights, etc.)
- 1000 word description of boat
- 100 line budget showing how the money is spent.
- 500 words of explanation of budget
- 100 word bio.
These submissions may be made by email or snail mail in electronic
or 'hard copy' versions. Please do not submit handwritten text.
Judging will be based on the following:
- How well the boat suits the overall trip
- How well you have thought out the course and the obstacles
in the way.
- How well you have thought "outside the box" in
solving the problems.
Judging will NOT be based on your mastery or
any boat design software. We like to see professional looking
drawings, but those will not get extra credit. What I am trying
to say is don't fail to enter because your drawings are just pencil
sketches on note paper. That will do fine.
Jim Michalak - well
of small "rough and ready" boats. Jim lives in
Illinois near the route of the trip outlined in the brief.
Stephen G Ladd - author
Years in a 12-Foot Boat" a lively book which describes
a journey similar to the one in our contest.
Bruce Anderson - Boat
builder, raconteur, Renaissance man - he inspired the contest
by proposing the voyage and may build the winning design
and make the trip in it.
Q: (Derek Waters) How much do things cost? European
answers will be different, Canadian and antipodean answers less
so perhaps? That secondhand outboard, how much did it cost? Really
hard to pin that sort of thing down. $0 on up is possible in the
real world, but doesn't make for a "level playing field"
A: I know it seems odd, but this is something the judges
will watch. If you are uncertain how your numbers will be seen,
give some explanation.
Q: (Bruce Hector) Budget might be a tad low,
or is it designed to eliminate power boating all the way and chucking
a trail of beer cans over so you can find the way back?
A: If you built a really cheap boat, found an
old outboard that didn't use too much gas and brewed your own
Q: (Peter Vanderwaart) It's clear that the proper
and right way to meet the challenge is to use a good part of the
$5000 to bribe the Publisher of Duckworks to bend the rules and
let you borrow his Caprice. After that, it's easy. Seriously,
though; what do you do when someone proposes a clone of the Bolger
Champlain and claims he can build it for $3000 'cause "I'm
a good scrounger"?
A: Again, the judges will deal with this stuff.
Q: (Pat Patteson) Concerning the Portages, is
that statement intended to be vague? Does the boat have to be
man handled around the existing portages, around the 5 dams, or
can the boat be taken ashore at a ramp and moved around all 5
at once using a vehicle?
A: It is intended to be vague. How different
contestants deal with this issue will be one of the more interesting
parts of the contest. As we said, "thinking outside the box"
will be rewarded. That said, we would hope that everyone understands
that skipping significant parts of the trip might be frowned on
by the judges.
Q: (David Arnold) Is this for me and significant
other actual or me and significant other hypothetical. I can think
of a couple of approaches, but I’m not sure I could get
in and out of them, much less overnight in them any more, unless,
of course, I blew the budget on glucosomine…
A: Put away the medication. Everything is hypothetical.
This is the internet where every middle aged guy can be a teenaged
Q: (Sam Sandborn) I think on $5000 I could go
around the world and back in 90 days taking the polar routes.
Do you mean we HAVE 90 days to do it or do we have to TAKE 90
days to do it? Can we submit more than 1 entry?
A: You may take the 90 days, but you don't have
to. Either way, you need to budget. Only one entry per person.
Q: (Tom Beck) Regarding the starting point of
the contest, I think I'd have to cast my vote toward moving it
downstream somewhat to Fort Benton. I looked at the Missouri around
Great Falls on Terraserver. I think, if Great Falls remains the
starting point, I'd be inclined to throw a bucket of water on
the hull to say I got it wet there, then "portage" the
boat on its trailer around the three or four dams that you encounter
very shortly after. I also noticed quite a few shoals that would
have to be portaged around. I realize there needs to be an element
of challenge, but it looks like the first 20 km of the trip would
have a disproportionate effect on the design, in light of what
one would expect for the whole rest of the trip.
A: This was suggested more than once, and we
have decided to change the starting point to Fort Benton.
Q: (Jeff) Does the $5000 have to cover the trip
cost of getting to the starting point and from the ending point?
If you have a question about the rules or any part of the contest,
please write me: email@example.com