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Mariners participate in annual Memorial Day weekend tradition in Florida

KEY WEST, Fla. (NBC, KYMA/KECY) - Intrepid mariners tried to stay afloat in vessels made of mere bare bones materials during the Shooner Wharf Regatta in Key West.

The offbeat regatta is a Memorial Day weekend tradition in the Florida Keys.

Rules of the event require each team to build a boat out of plywood, duct tape and fasteners. Even caulking the boats is forbidden, though team costumes were encouraged.

A crowd of spectators gathered on the dock to cheer on the boat captains.

Standout entries included a miniature pirate ship with a mermaid figurehead and a tiny Titanic replica that quickly capsized.

Prizes were awarded for the fastest boats, most creative designs, best paint jobs, best costumes and sportsmanship, as well as the least-seaworthy vessels.

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