If you are in the UK you may well have been stopped from getting on with the odd jobs list on your boat by the horrible weather. Well here is something you may like to consider … why not enter the Water Craft Cordless Canoe Challenge which will see competitors racing canoes powered only by old power tools!
Inspired by a suggestion from Donna Hatchett, the Beale Park Marketing Manager and with the support of Makita, the leading manufacturer of power tools and the Electric Boat Association …“The plan is to encourage amateur and professional hobbyist boat builders to gather together all those discarded old cordless tools and with a bit of ingenuity, if not persuasion, invent a craft that is capable of completing the course in record time,” says Kevin Brannigan, Marketing Manager at Makita UK.
Competitors must take a canoe, which you are welcome to build yourself, and propel it solely through the use of power tools! Provided they remain under 5m in length, crafts can be modified in any way you like. Suggestions include using a drill to drive a prop shaft or a Thai-style long-tail rig. Or how about Jigsaws that waggle diving flippers seal-style, or an angle grinder with fan attachment?
To make the whole Challenge more about invention than buying power, the cordless tools must use the batteries they were supplied with – we’ll provide recharging facilities between races – and their total equivalent new value should not be more than £400. Some readers will be regular viewers of Scrapheap Challenge on TV. Others may have visited Power Tool Drag Racing. I should stress right here that our Cordless Canoe Challenge will have few similarities with either. Our primary aim is to avoid the horrendous health and safety issues of a testosterone-fuelled phalanx of badly controlled craft rampaging between other boats on the lake. Ours will be a much more relaxed event, more like the electric equivalent of the umbrella skiff races at the Trad Boat Rally. Thus we propose a knockout tournament between pairs of boats drawn by lot. Their course will likely be an out-and-back dogleg around two buoys, with some hopefully exciting action around the turning mark right in front of the beer tent. This turning mark will necessitate entrants being able to slow their boat down and make a proper steering system essential…
This competition is sponsored by Makita and takes place on 10-12th June at this year’s Beale Park Boat show at Reading, UK.