2023 Boat Building Make-Off Recap

Ahoy Jamestown and TotalBoat family! We could not let the moment slip by without sharing a quick recap of our inaugural Summer Make-Off Boat Building Challenge! The event was truly special, as it successfully brought together our boat building community with our maker community (which includes talented woodworkers, DIY'ers, and engineers).


After reading this blog, make sure to check out the video recap on our YouTube channel (watch it here!) that documents the entire weekend, including what the event was about, how it went, and who ended up taking the victory!






To recap: The 2023 TotalBoat Boat Building Make Off challenged nearly twenty makers across the country in a competition to build a boat over a weekend. Each team was only given four sheets of plywood plus unlimited TotalBoat supplies. The event concluded with an exciting relay race between the four teams.





The weekend was full of shenanigans- of course- but also packed full of camaraderie and teamwork. It was beautiful to see the boats come together with creative innovation by the hands of experienced boat builders and artistic makers.

Shown above is TotalBoat Marine Flotation Foam being used for various technical and aesthetic purposes. From filling up a kayak to become an outrigger (The Swingers), to a pineapple figurehead (The Swingers), to Pirate hats (The Winners), to a wolf figurehead made in combination with Razzo Mineral Casting Compound (The Sexy Banana Vikings).


For fiberglassing, The Sexy Banana Vikings tinted High Performance Epoxy with Yellow Pigment Dispersions, to kick start their banana colored boat. They finished by spray painting it yellow and using Elixir Enamel Topside Paint for the details.



Teamwork makes the dreamwork!

Note worthy mention: a TON of Thixo Fast was used on all the boats - from gluing, securing joints, too creating fillets!


Race day photos compliments of Drew Lederman Photography


As TotalBoat President, Mike Mills, states at the end of the video, one of the best things about this weekend was introducing many of these makers to building boats. From using the good ol’ stitch and glue, fiberglassing, laminating, using epoxy to make joints, all techniques that they may have never done or even seen before.

We hope you enjoyed following along on our social channels and found a few new makers to follow! This was only the beginning, we can’t wait to see what happens next year!


Total fun. I suspect this to be an annual thrilling event.

mark wholey

Amazing – what a great event – the Total Boat team excels at making a user friendly product combined with knowledge staff – you folks contribute in a huge way to the boat building community to make boat building fun, accessible and inspirational. Wish I could have been there!

Joan Barrett

Very cool event. How about a real dragon boat festival for Jamestown? In fact, we have a plywood stitch-glue dragon boat kit design that your locals could build as a community project. We could do both in tandem. Feel free to call or email me. Mike K. (813) 600-8642

Mike Kerkmann

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