The National Boatbuilding Challenge is returning to Belfast on Saturday, Aug. 20, during the Belfast Harbor Fest, sponsored by the Belfast Rotary Club. The competition was a huge success in Belfast in 2007, 2008 and 2010.

Belfast is one of several cities on the boatbuilding challenge circuit. Beaufort, N.C. and Georgetown, S.C. are two of the others. The challenge competition in South Carolina has been held for more than 20 years.

The challenge in Belfast involves two-person teams building a 12-foot wooden skiff in under four hours, followed by a rowing race. Teams are judged on how quickly they complete construction, the quality of the craftsmanship and their speed on the water in the two-man relay rowing race.

For the $150 entry fee, each team receives plans and building materials, a workspace and competes for a $300 first-place prize, $150 for second place and a $50 gift certificate for third place. Teams provide their own tools, worktables and oars, which can be made beforehand.

The competition will begin at 10 a.m. at Steamboat Landing in Belfast. For more information or to register, visit or call David Crabiel at 322-5805.

And if you aren’t a boat builder, admission to the festival is free and the National Boatbuilding Challenge is fun to watch.

The Belfast Harbor Fest is a weekend-long event celebrating all things marine related. Friday night there is a “Launch Party” to kick off the festival with music, food and locally-brewed beer.

In addition to the boat-building challenge, Saturday features a 5K race, pancake breakfast, a children’s area and a classic boat show. Nautical-related vendors and exhibitors will be displaying their wares for sale, along with giving demonstrations on various crafts and trades.

On Sunday, there will be a Habitat Lobster Gala from noon to 3 p.m. Tickets are $25 for the fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity of Waldo County and be obtained by calling the office, 338-2344.