Rules and Procedures

  • Vessel must be pre-registered and carry a Flotilla Vessel ID Number on the port side forward.
  • You will be notified in advance of the date, time and location for a mandatory Captains’ meeting that takes place typically the night before the Flotilla. Anyone who misses the Captains’ meeting without prior consent may be disqualified. Additional rules and procedures may be addressed at this time.
  • Staging area for parade participants is the ICW north of the drawbridge onto Wrightsville Beach.
  • Parade lineup will begin at 5 p.m. Participants should be prepared to cast off at 5:45 p.m. Any text votes cast before 5:45 will not be counted.
  • Parade instructions will be issued on VHF Channel 68 and/or by local hailer. Monitor 68 at all times.
  • Travel at a continuous “no wake” speed. Stay within 200 feet of the boat in front of you.
  • No spins or turns anywhere on parade route. Please keep a steady speed. Route takes approximately 55 minutes.
  • Parade route will proceed south on the ICW passing below the Wrightsville Beach drawbridge, turn east through Motts Channel, then take a northward turn entering Banks Channel, which will take the fleet down the entire length of Banks Channel to the Coast Guard Station near Masonboro Inlet.
  • The judges’ reviewing stand will be located on the Blockade Runner Pier. Captains should bring their vessels within 100 feet of the reviewing stand but do not stop/turn/spin.
  • Parade is not complete until all vessels have cleared the Coast Guard Station. Parade vessels should then turn through Shinn Creek or otherwise dim parade lights and avoid the active parade.
  • By law, no fireworks of any kind are allowed.
  • Please use common sense, be respectful of other parade participants, and be respectful of other boaters.

Prize & Entry Categories

A breakdown of prize values and boat entry categories can be found below:


– Best in Show – $5,000
– People’s Choice Award (most text votes) – $1,500
– Best Powerboat Over 31′  – $750
– Best Powerboat 23′ to 31′ – $750
– Best Powerboat 22′ and under – $750
– Best Sailboat – $750
– Best Costumes and Crew Spirit – $750

Fees and Terms:
– $25 per boat (Non-refundable)
– Boats must complete the entire parade route to be eligible for prizes and awards.
– One prize per boat. In the event a boat meets the criteria for more than one prize, they win the prize of greater value and the second place boat wins the prize of lesser value.

Entry Tips


9 helpful tips:

1) General: Parade I.D. Numbers MUST be displayed on the PORT beam, for judging and emergency identification.

2) Judging: Your boat will be judged from the PORT side only. When you reach the judges, travel nearer the judges stand. The center of the channel makes the boat more difficult to see. Make sure your number is clearly visible so that parade viewers will know who to vote for!

3) Design: A design is the first step in successful decorating. Keep the design simple, concentrating on the basic theme you select. A good simple idea, effectively carried out will have the most impact on judges and spectators. Many colors of lights can be used but a single color or white is quite effective. Determine the number of crew aboard and consider making their costuming an integral part of your design. Costumes can be rented, or made simply of muslin or cotton and painted. What can work well is to have all members dressed in a single color, white or black, and use accessory items like hats, vests, large ties, belts, etc. … to match your theme.

4) Decorations: Decorations do not have to cost a lot. Plywood, heavy cardboard reinforced with wood stringers, or foam core can be used for signs, props or backgrounds. They can be painted with non-soluble paints, glittered, or covered with decorative sheeting, aluminum foil, mylar or plastic sheets. Under good floodlights these can look great. Large flat areas should have holes or flaps cut in them so they do not act as sails. Sailboats can make use of their rigging to haul displays and light strings aloft.

5) Safety Tips: Check your boat’s ballast weight when fully decorated and with crew aboard and balance accordingly. The use of a walkie-talkie is helpful from deck to skipper. Have one person in charge of the CO2 fire extinguisher by the power plant.
6) Generators: If generators are to be used, determine how large a generator you will need. Don’t underestimate the wattage, as your lights will be dim. Rentals are available. Place on a piece of carpet and hold down with 2×4’s.

7) Lighting: You may also want to place your lights out from the side of the boat. 2×2’s can by used as outriggers to carry flood lights secured at one end and extended approximately 6′ from the hull. Strings of lights and other decorations can be easily and safely fastened to rails, deck fittings, etc. Make sure that none of your lights shine directly on the skipper. The glare might make it difficult to see other boats.

8) Special Effects: Special effects and animation can be as varied as your budget, but you might consider the following:Balloons Color Wheels For Spots, Fog Machines, Bubble Machines, Ideas without motors or power requirements:
– Kid Power
– A crew member pulling a rope, block and tackle, lifting a lever, turning a crank that moves props, etc.

9) Music: Choose music to fit your theme and mood. Place your speakers on the PORT side where your audience will be.