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February 10th, 2011

gfish: (Default)
Thursday, February 10th, 2011 12:57 pm
Exciting development this week: I'm officially putting together an April Tools Wooden Boat Challenge team with  [livejournal.com profile] randomdreams, [livejournal.com profile] neuro42 and [livejournal.com profile] niac.

What is April Tools? It's kind of like a 48 hour film contest, except with boats. For a (not so) modest entry fee, you're given an unknown set of materials at 10:00. You have an hour to plan and then 3 hours to build a boat. At 14:00, you race it around the harbor against all the other teams. No power tools allowed, except a battery-powered screwdriver. You can only use the materials provided, and there is always a random twist thrown in to prevent planning ahead of time. One year you had to power your boat with a paddle wheel. Another year concrete form pontoons were a major part of the materials.

I've wanted to do this since it was obliquely referenced in a Wired article years ago, but the last few years have been bad for this kind of resource-intensive effort. I'm really, really jazzed about this. Like [livejournal.com profile] randomdreams said, we never did get a Scrapheap Challenge team put together, but this won't be far off. I expected to come back bruised, splintered, soaked and grinning like an idiot.


It's April 30, way up on the Sunshine Coast north of Vancouver. Should be a lot of fun, if people want to come up to watch, but it's about a five hour drive from Seattle, including the ferry. We'll probably try to head up the night before and get a hotel room for the night.

Pictures (and maybe video of an impressive capsize) will be posted here after the event, of course.