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1-5 PM

Pioneer Works presents the third annual Red Hook Regatta, where hundreds of spectators will gather on Valentino Pier to watch homemade boats navigate the rough seas of New York City’s shipping harbor. To kick off this year’s race is the launch of Hope Floats, a robotic raft that calls your Congressperson on your behalf around the clock.


Valentino Pier
Near the corner of Coffey Street and Ferris Street
Red Hook, Brooklyn 11231

The Races

Boat Race

The main event features 3D-printed, radio-controlled boats. Teams will compete to transport “cargo” (foam containers with metal plates) from “Stevedores” on the beach to designated “crane operators”, who will be receiving the cargo on the pier using fishing rods equipped with red magnetic hooks. Each cargo container picked up by a crane constitutes one point for that boat’s team, and the boat with the most points is the winner.

A 3D-printed boat from the 2016 Regatta.

General DIY
Boat Race

The General DIY category of boats lifts the 3D-printing restriction and allows teams to compete with the material of their choosing. In the past, teams have raced thermoformed boats, tupperware boats, foam boats, and trash boats. We expect to see more innovations this year. Note that the size limit still applies.

A vacuum-formed boat from the 2016 Regatta.

Kinetic Boat Race

TFor the li'l skippers in attendance, we'll provide a kid-friendly tank and some special boat-making supplies so even the youngest tyke can be a part of the boating action. Last year we featured origami boats, and this year we'll be stepping it up with some even cooler ship-building materials.

The Rules


The deadline to register your boat and pick up an electronics kit was Sunday, September 10, 2017.

Material Requirements

For the 3D-Printed Boat Race, all boats must have a 3D-printed hull and must be majority 3D-printed. Parts that are not 3D-printed may be used when necessary (for example: water seals, mechanical parts).

For the General DIY Boat Race, All boats must be homemade but there is no restriction on materials used. This race allows boats using laser-cut components, 3D-printed components, plastic, foam, wood, and more.

Size Limit

Boats in all races must fit within a 2’x2’x2’ box


Electronics kits will be provided by Pioneer Works and include:

  • 4 Channel Receiver/transmitter pair
  • Motor and propeller
  • 7.4V 3300mAh Battery
  • Speed Controller
  • Steering Servo
  • Deck plate for access to electronics

Teams may replace or upgrade any elements of this kit if they wish.

How to Enter

The 3D-printed boat race and a DIY boat race are free and open to the public to enter. Kits are provided free of charge to all teams, but supplies are first-come first-serve.

Download support materials for your team.


The Red Hook Regatta was conceived as an initiative within our Civic Journalism program. The Regatta subsequently evolved into a major neighborhood event that purposefully connects Red Hook’s rich history as a shipping port to new technologies like 3D modeling/printing, electronic circuitry, and digital game design. At its core, the Regatta embodies a form of storytelling and media production that connects a community to its history, environment, and culture as well as the current-day issues that it faces.

Jesus Benitez and Laurenzo Reed (of the Red Hook Initiative's Digital Stewards Program) collaborated with the Pioneer Works education department to create the Red Hook Regatta in June 2015.



Yes, we will host activities for all ages throughout the day at Valentino Pier including carnival games, food, and music.

The deadline to register your boat and pick up an electronics kit was Sunday, September 10, 2017.

You can pick up an electronics kit in the Tech Lab (3rd floor) at Pioneer Works, located at 159 Pioneer Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231. Please email us at to schedule a time to pick up your kit.

By train: Take the F or G train to Carroll St. Valentino Pier is a 25 minute walk from there.

By NYC Ferry: Take the new South Brooklyn Ferry to Red Hook/Atlantic Basin and walk a short 10 minutes to Valentino Pier.

By Bus: Take the B61 bus to Van Brunt St./Coffey St. and walk 5 minutes to Valentino Pier.

Pioneer Works
159 Pioneer Street
Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY