KEY WEST (CBSMiami/FKNB)  —  Handmade vessels of thin plywood and duct tape competed Sunday in Key West’s annual Memorial Day Weekend Schooner Wharf Minimal Regatta.

Each of the 31 teams who took part were required to build a boat out of a single sheet of 4-by-8-foot plywood, two 8-foot-long two-by-fours, a roll of duct tape and a pound of fasteners.

As hundreds of spectators cheered them on, team members attempted to steer the regatta’s short course while keeping their craft afloat longer than their competitors. Many got “that sinking feeling” soon after launching, but a few vessels proved surprisingly seaworthy.

Some teams focused on costumes and clever designs. Standout entries included a circular “flying saucer” paddled by a “space alien” in a bright pink wig, a miniature Viking ship piloted by a “warrior” with horned headgear, and a bright yellow “banana” whose captain went down with his ship.

Prizes were awarded for the fastest boat, most creative design, best paint job and best costumed entry. The dreaded “sinker” awards recognized teams with the least seaworthy vessels.

The Florida Keys News Bureau contributed to this report.


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