Below are 9 helpful tips for boat entry:
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.