Handmade sailboats regattas | Brazil

Name in Original Language

Regatas de canoas artesanais

Area Where Played



In states where, the demographic density is bigger on the coast and the production of wind power is higher in comparison with other states of Brazil, a significant parcel of the population survives by artisanal fishing, once it corresponds to 70% of Brazilian fishing.
Over the centuries, men from this part of the country have built their boats with wood to sail along the sea to get their food and living.
At their leisure time the fishermen promote races between them with their boats. The kids from the communities watch their family sailing and started to build toy boats and to promote their own races.

Detailed Description

Brazil is the country with the largest diversity of boats in the world due to its gigantic coast and its multiple rivers basins, beside the fact that it has a big range of woods.
With all this favorable elements, it is natural that many cultures in Brazil have developed their own boats, and that people all over the country uses it to different kind of things, such as transportation, fishing, tourism, religious events and, of course, entertainment.
Each boat has its own peculiarity and adaptations made by those who learnt to build it since they were just children, observing and helping their relatives, applying creativity to make all necessary arrangements.


When we speak of boats, the rule is to make it float and sail. There are no specific rules establishing weight or length of the boats.
The regattas are more like a game then like a professional competition, so the rules are simple enough: once defined the path, the boat that cross the end first wins.
The children’s regattas happen with boat toys built by them. They use old Styrofoam boxes to shape the hull of the boat. The mast is made with twigs and in it a plastic sail is sewn. The rudder is made with a piece of metal. Before the race begins, each contestant places a small amount of mud in one side of the boat to counterbalance with the sail. After that, everybody let the boat sail according to the wind. It is allowed to do small corrections during the race using little nudges on the sides of the boat.