Raingutter Regatta: The boys form a block of wood into a boat, decorate it, and race the other members of the Pack by floating their boat in a water filled raingutter and blowing air into the sail of their boat.
Raingutter Regatta Boat Specifications:
Hull: No longer than 7" or shorter than 6 1/2"
Mast: 6 1/2" from deck to top
Keel: Supplied in kit
Rudder: Supplied in kit
Sail: Supplied in kit
The actual "race" will be divided into age categories: Wolf, Bear and Webelos. Each age group will race amongst themselves. The race will involve two lanes of "rain gutters". The boys are to blow air on the boats in order to advance them through the water. Hands are only to be used to upright a turned over ship, and are not to be used to advance the boat. In addition, boys should not use their faces, lips, hats, nose or other bodily parts to move the boat - just the air in their lungs!
The Raingutter Regatta is similar to the pinewood Derby except that the models are miniature sail boats. Although the seas are only 10-foot lengths of raingutter filled with water, and the ships a mere 7 inches long, the race is a very exciting event. Each boy will build his own boat with supervision and help from parents and leaders the day of the event. He also provides the wind for the sail with his own lung power.
The regatta boat kit, available from the Scout Shop, has a pre-shaped balsa hull, metal keel and plastic sail. The hulls are sanded and shaped, and are colorfully painted. Hull and sail are then decorated with decal kits (also available at the Scout Shop). The boats race in pairs on raingutter courses propelled by the boys blowing into the sails with a drink straw.
Tips from 1999 Raingutter Regatta:
- The bottom edge of the sail needed to be about 1/2 inch above the deck of the boat. If the sail was too low the corners rubbed against the gutter or dipped in the water. If the sail was too high the boat was top heavy and tended to tip over.
- The boats sailed best if they were balanced with more weight to the rear. This elevated the bow of the boat, and when they were blown, they ran almost even.
- The keels needed to be placed about 3/4 of an inch behind the mast. Don't follow the instructions in the kit.
- The rudder should be placed touching the keel.
- Blow evenly with the straw at a point about 1 inch from the bottom of the sail. Blowing the boat down one edge of the gutter rather than letting it "tack" back and forth seemed to be the fastest.
- Use "Krylon" spray paint -- it dries in about one minute on the balsa wood hulls.
- Try to learn how to make double elimination brackets for odd numbers of boats before the race.
- Don't have the race on a 100° day.
- Have fun!!
The following image are Copyright 1996 Boy Scouts of America