The neons themselves are completely water proof, but the wiring, battery and transformer had to be protected somehow, the battery had to be readily accessible so it could be connected and properly sealed moments before racing, and the piece had to be able to withstand a bit of a bashing.
Here's what we came up with! (More images by Angus Mackay)
Sarah M's 'Boaty Floatilla', with battery hidden in the hull
Handsome Wil's 'Bomb Boat', with battery taped into the side bottle
Sasha's 'Framed Bulb Floatilla', with battery taped on the underside of the frame
Billie's 'I-don't-know-what Floatilla', with the battery taped to the neck
My 'Bottle Boat', with the battery floating behind in a sealed jar
Richards 'Suspended-By-Balloons-So-It-Can-Hardly-Be-Considered-A-'Boat', Lightning Floatilla', with the battery suspended in the balloon strings
This is us connecting our batteries just before dusk
Our Floatillas in action!!
Unfortunately, a couple of the Floatillas sank within seconds, and another few had electrical issues. For some reason, Sasha's light would go out when it touched the water, and would relight the second she pulled it out. Richard's Balloon Floatilla skimmed beautifully over rocks that the rest of ours got stuck on, but also tended to go cheekily upstream, back towards the starting line, when the breeze wasn't working in it's favor.
By the end there was lots of tromping through the cold stream in bare feet in the pitch dark to rescue sinking or stuck Floatillas, or - in Richard's case - to coax the Floatillas in the right direction.
The whole night was great fun regardless!