Rain Gutter Regatta

Where: November Pack Meeting/Roosevelt
When: November 12, 2015
Cost: Free for Scouts (boats handed out at October Pack Meeting)

Rain Gutter Regatta Tips

  1. Parental help is not only allowed but encouraged. Remember that this is a team effort, the Scout should do as much meaningful work as possible.
  2. It is very important that the mast and the sail are securely glued in place. Otherwise, the sail rotates when in use resulting in a very slow boat and a very frustrated Scout.
  3. Use a coping saw for making shaping cuts for the hull. Final shaping is best accomplished with medium or fine grit sandpaper.
  4. Whatever hull shape you decide to build try to keep the bottom of your boat as flat as possible. A flat-bottomed boat tends to rise up out of the water. A rounded bottom and sides tend to cause the boat to dig into the water.
  5. Any accessories placed on the deck, such as cannons, figures, or a deckhouse, will raise the center of gravity of your boat. This means you must add weight to the bottom of your hull or keel to keep your boat from capsizing. Remember, a lighter boat is generally faster than a heavier boat.
  6. If you place the mast according to the BSA instruction sheet your boat will tend to dig its’ nose into the water. Move the mast towards the stern — this will tend to cause the bow of your boat to rise out of the water when you blow against the sail.
  7. Bring the sail as close to the deck as possible. You may even cut a groove into the deck and glue the sail in place. Try to curve the sides of the sail towards the stern to provide a space to trap your breath. The sail can be held in place by glue, staples, or by running strong thread from the corners to small nails at the stern.
  8. Instead of a sail you may construct an open-ended cabin to catch your breath. The cabin can be made out of the sail material, sheet balsa wood, foam board, or whatever material you wish to use. You may even glue a Styrofoam cup to the boat to act as your sail. Remember to follow the sail area instructions in the Official Rules.
  9. Use wood putty to fill any dents, gouges or holes
  10. Use sanding sealer to provide a smooth surface. Follow the directions on the sanding sealer. Usually, several coats are required.
  11. You may paint the sail as well as the hull. Use waterproof glue and paint. Nothing is more disheartening than watching a boat fall apart during a race.
  12. Practice with your boat before the race. Use a bathtub or wading pool to check your boat’s stability and seaworthiness. Practice blowing on your sail until you can keep your boat going in a straight line. Remember, if you blow on the right side of the sail the boat will turn to the left and if you blow on the left side of the sail the boat will turn to the right. Long, steady streams of air are the best. Don’t hyperventilate and make yourself dizzy!
  13. Let your imagination be your guide when designing, building and decorating your boat.
  14. Have your parents check out Raingutter Regatta sites on the Internet for tips, ideas, and designs.

The Cub Scout Motto is not “Win, Win, Win”.


If you “Do your best” designing, building, painting, and racing your boat, you are already a winner!