NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Harborfest is back at Town Point Park with the 26th Ultimate Build-a-Boat challenge.

This year the competition is made up of 20 teams.

Some of the teams are from the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Newport News Shipbuilding, the Hampton High Maritime Academy, a teenage sibling duo and students from Old Dominion University.

It’s a hands-on experience for the Hampton High School Maritime Academy students, Kadin and Caleb.

“It’s a fun opportunity to come out and build a boat and get the chance to like test it,” said Kadin, a Hampton High Senior with plans to study audio engineering.

Each team got three sheets of thin plywood, zip ties and Sikaflex maritime adhesive to make a boat in four hours.

“Wood is something my Grandfather used to work a lot with, something I really want to learn how to do,” said Daniel Erdogen, the Old Dominion University American Society of Naval Engineers President.
“My Grandfather’s wood working skills were out of class. My Father doesn’t do wood working but his metal working is out of this world!”

Mike D’Amato, an event coordinator from The American Society of Naval Engineers, tells 10 On Your Side this competition is great for students. 

“For the kids, it’s a great thing. It gives them a chance to interact with the people that are in the industry today!”

The parade of boats starts Sunday at 2:30 p.m., followed by the race from 3 to 4:30 p.m. 

Awards will be presented for best design, fastest built, race results from 1st – 3rd place, most whimsical and fan favorite. 

“It’s a family event,” added D’Amato