June 2, 2012. It started out looking pretty gray and we hoped the weather would hold out. It was the Quick and Dirty Boat Race, a fundraiser race at the Anacortes Waterfront Festival. Mike Baldwin, Roland Reetz and Josh Baldwin showed up with 20 bucks worth of materials ($20.12 to be exact) to compete against several other teams. The objective? Use the provided 1/4 plywood and 2x4s, 6 hours, and a lot of duct tape to build a seaworthy vessel for Josh and Mike to race at 5pm. The boats would be judged on a variety of factors, including originality, seaworthiness (or lack thereof), and bribes to the judges.
Being in the competition for the first time, the Quantum team elected to go with a traditional design, somewhere between a canoe and a rowing shell. It’s a good thing that Quantum had built a pirate ship playhouse earlier in the year for the SICBA Playhouse Challenge- a lot of the same techniques were used!
When launching time came, success! The boat floated! As boats jockeyed into position and the race began, a big problem became apparent. Josh’s fixed oars were intended to provide some serious steam (Josh is a former rower); however, the design didn’t allow the oars to come far out of the water, so if the boat happened to be leaning to one side, the oar blade would catch and pinwheel the boat around. The result? The Quantum team rowed hard and sailed fast, but took a zig-zag route down the course that added a considerable length to the race. The Quantum team finished far from first (but floated!).
Plans are already being made for next year, and insiders whisper that the team is trying to sneak a gas-powered inboard into the design. Check out the pictures!