On July 25th 2015 teams of four gathered along the Delaware River in Frenchtown, New Jersey to parade handmade boats for a charitable cause.
The rules were simple: boats must be handmade without any preexisting boat parts.
Four teams entered the float. They spent half of the summer working on their boats and preparing for the the reveal. Some groups carved and sanded, while others used found objects to keep their creations afloat. Wood, plastic drums, and piping were just some the materials used.
All of the groups!
Elizabeth Gilbert contributed $1000 towards donations to the charities chosen by the participants. Cap Roberts donated another $1000 towards the selected charities.
Trophies were made for the coolest boats selected by a panel of judges.
Team Steinbeiser hand-carved a canoe from a solid piece of white pine, paying tribute to the Native Americans that once traveled the Delaware. Hours of chiseling the wood with bare hands resulted in a beautiful creation. These skilled craftsmen’s streamline canoe helped to raise money for the Frenchtown Food Pantry.
The Farm Boys celebrated their agricultural background with their farm themed boat. Reminiscent of a paddle steamer, the boys created their own paddle wheel from a plastic drum, small metal sheets, and a bike on a pulley system to propel their boat through the water. The Farm Boys chose to have their share of the charity money go to the JPS Memorial Fund, which funds scholarships and assistance to pediatric cancer patients.
The Farm Boys
The Penetrators took a different approach for their boat and created something similar to kayak with a stabilizer. Using six plastic drums, pool noodles as arm rests, and piping to stabilize the weight, the Penetrators made their way down the river. They crafted their own beautiful and hand-painted paddles and came in Hawaiian themed wear. The Penetrators chose to have their portion of the charity fund go to The Upper Black Eddy Fire Company.
Rift Raft created a raft. Using a bike and a wooden paddle wheel, the team peddled their raft along the Delaware. Homemade pontoons were used to keep their wooden frame afloat. Everything in the boat was 100% recycled materials. Rift Raft chose to donate to The Frenchtown Food Pantry.
This first year event was a great success. It was fun creating the boats, getting everyone together, and doing something for a great cause!
If anyone is interested in participating next year, please shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org . We’re going to have prizes, more boats, and the best thing of all is that it’s fun!