Young sailors will soon be showing off their homemade crafts by taking to the sea — or at least, the waters of the Ronny Ferrel Hannibal Aquatic Center — to see whose designs can stay afloat.

The eighth annual Hannibal Parks & Recreation Department Cardboard Boat races will be June 22 at the aquatic center.

Registration deadline for the Cardboard Boat Races is June 20. Youngsters team up to build their best cardboard boat and attempt to ride in their boats for as long as possible before the boat sinks. Boaters are tasked with building a functional craft with only cardboard and duct tape. Emily Hultgren, aquatics director at the Hannibal Aquatics Center, said the event is fun and unique for her staff and the participants. She said creativity and teamwork are the top requirements for a successful sail.

Boat check-in is 10 a.m. June 22, with the first launch at 11 a.m.

Each boat must have two passengers, ages 6-16.  Rules are on the Hannibal Parks & Recreation website,, and available at the HPR office, 320 Broadway.

Trophies will be awarded to winners in the following categories:

  • Fastest Boat
  • Titanic Award
  • Best Decorated
  • Can’t Believe It’s Cardboard
  • Tom and Becky’s Choice

Hultgren said the lifeguards at the Hannibal Aquatic Center help participants get into the boats and make sure they make it safely to the other side, while also serving as judges for the contests. Signup is available at