Local students participate in the Build-A-Boat Challenge at Harborfest


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Harborfest is back at Town Point Park with the 26th Ultimate Build-a-Boat Challenge.

This year the competition consists of 20 teams.

Some of the teams are from Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Newport News Shipbuilding, Hampton High Maritime Academy, a teenage sibling duo and students from Old Dominion University.

It is a hands-on experience for Hampton High School Maritime Academy students Kadin and Caleb.

“It’s a fun opportunity to come out and build a boat and get a chance to test drive it,” said Kadin, a Hampton High senior who plans to study audio engineering.

Each team was given three sheets of thin plywood, cable ties and Sikaflex marine glue to build a boat in four hours.

“Wood is something my grandfather used to work with a lot, something I’m really excited to learn,” said Daniel Erdogen, president of Old Dominion University’s American Society of Naval Engineers.
“My grandfather’s woodworking skills were above average. My father doesn’t work with wood, but his metalworking is out of this world!”

Mike D’Amato, an events coordinator for the American Society of Naval Engineers, tells 10 On Your Side that this competition is great for students.

“It’s a great thing for the kids. It gives them the opportunity to interact with the people working in the industry today!”

The boat parade starts at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, followed by the regatta from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m

Prizes will be awarded for Best Design, Fastest Build, 1st-3rd place race results, Whimsical and Fan Favorites.

“It’s a family event,” added D’Amato


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