The Digital Ship program was heavily involved in the 26th Annual ASNE-SIKA Build-a-Boat Competition, held at the Norfolk Harborfest June 10-12. We were there to support two separate teams: the ODU ASNE Student Chapter and Hampton High School Maritime Academy. Digital Ship also co-sponsored this event, along with ODU’s Batten College of Engineering and Technology, and many local industry partners.
To participate in the competition, teams submitted their designs two weeks in advance of the competition and were supplied with construction material kits on site. It was free to enter the competition and net proceeds from sponsorship go to support naval engineering, maritime education, and promotion programs to include ASNE scholarship funds.
Hampton High School Maritime students, Caleb Kilcrease (11th) and Kadin Alden (12th), and their instructor Conner Dunn worked as a team to complete the challenge. Other students in the Maritime Academy witnessed the design and construction process and were able to give feedback and support. The team was supported by Jim Disomma (Board Member for Youth Sailing Virginia/sailor/boat builder) who came at the request of Hampton’s partner, Rosemary Hobart with Youth Sailing Virginia.
As Virginia weather is often unpredictable, on the day of the race, a large storm front crossed through Downtown Norfolk, causing the race to be postponed. The following week, the teams met at the Sandbridge/Back Bay area of Virginia Beach to compete. Thirteen of the seventeen teams participated, including all three ODU representatives and the Hampton High School team.
The Build-a-Boat challenge combines creativity, engineering design, craftmanship and boat handling skills in a unique event that is both challenging and entertaining. This is a great way to promote awareness of naval engineering, shipbuilding and ship repair professions that are the life blood of the Hampton Roads region.
Awards were presented at the end, which included medals, bling, power tools and more! Hampton High School won an award for fastest boat build and were awarded trophies.
Race results were as follows:
WAVY TV-10 even came out and did a story about the Build-a-Boat competition. You can see that here: https://www.wavy.com/news/local-news/norfolk/local-students-compete-in-build-a-boat-challenge-at-harborfest/?fbclid=IwAR2NZB7Xgdawr1xyTTjTbgsBLjNFJAdkL7pDKX1cH6uCYRiKRJbT3ScxQp8