As excitement around the NCAA men’s basketball championship game winds down, local attention is now shifting to another rite of spring: Forsyth Tech’s annual Cardboard Boat Regatta, which will take place on Friday, April 24 from 8 – 9:30 am at the Piney Bluff Boat Launch Ramp at Belews Creek off of Rt. 158 East (driving directions below).

This year, five teams of two students each, all of whom are in their second-year of the Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) program, will compete in the event. Participation in the regatta is a requirement of the Strength of Materials course. Students apply what they have learned in the program to designing, engineering and building their boat, a project that represents one-quarter of their semester grade.

Students must design and construct boats from nothing more than corrugated cardboard, duct tape, liquid nails and waterproof paint. The boats must be able to survive a quarter-mile water journey to and from a buoy in the lake, with the student designers as crew, and return safe and dry to the shore. Students have the option to use a small motor to propel their craft through the water.

The annual boat regatta has been a tradition of the college’s MET program for around 40 years. MET faculty don’t see the finished boats until the morning of the regatta.

The rain date for this event is Friday, May 1, rain or shine.

The media is encouraged to attend. The event is free and open to the public.

Directions from Winston-Salem to Piney Bluff Boat Launch Ramp at Belews Creek:

  • Take Business I-40 east to exit 8, Reidsville Road exit.
  • Follow NC 158 east approximately 10 miles.
  • When you reach the intersection where Piney Grove Road turns right and Kernersville Road turns left, turn left onto Kernersville Road
  • Travel until you reach NC 65, Belews Creek Road.
  • Turn left onto NC 65 and travel ¼ miles.
  • Piney Bluff Access will be on your left.


About Forsyth Tech
Forsyth Tech ( provides students with flexible educational pathways to a competitive workforce for the community and global economy. The college offers: associate degrees, diplomas and certificates in more than 200 programs of study; programs that promote personal and professional development with non-credit courses and seminars; and customized training for business and industry. Forsyth Tech is the fifth largest community college in North Carolina and serves more than 35,000 students with approximately 1,500 full and part-time faculty and staff.