Every year vessels of all shapes and sizes are created from empty beer cans for the annual Darwin Beer Can Regatta. Despite their builders' best efforts, not all of them float. This four-oared boat was designed by Lutz Frankenfeld, founder of the first Beer Can Regatta in Darwin in 1974. It is built from more than 2000 beer cans donated by the local yacht club. The cans are taped together end-to-end to keep water out of the pop-top holes.

Frankenfeld used a combination of Victoria Bitter and XXXX Bitter cans to pattern the boat in the Australian colours of green and gold. The Viking-style bow, Greek galley stern and Southeast Asian lateen sail reflect the multiculturalism of the Australian community, while the figurehead acknowledges the regatta's sponsor, the Lions Club. In regatta competition, decoration earns as many points as buoyancy and speed.


  • Title: Beer Can Boat
  • Creator: Lutz Frankenfeld
  • Date: 2000
  • Location: Darwin
  • Type: Boat
  • Significance: This beer can boat is important in representing the unique character of the Darwin population as a frontier town, and in celebrating the authentic Australian character - the larrikin.
  • See institution's online collections: http://www.anmm.gov.au/collections
  • Medium: Beer cans, aluminium, wire netting mesh, bamboo, calico, plastic straps, tape
  • Dimensions: 1430 x 3610 x 1390 mm
  • Credit line: ANMM Collection


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