Home Raingutter Regatta

 Raingutter Regatta


The Raingutter Regatta (Boat Regatta) is a racing event held by Pack 1116 every year in November that is the sailboat equivalent of the Pinewood Derby. The sailboat kit consists of a seven-inch (178 mm) long balsa wood hull, a 6-1/2 inch mast, plastic sail, plastic rudder, and metal keel. Within the basic design rules, Scouts are free to paint and decorate their sailboats as they choose.

The races are held with a double elimination within Tiger, Wolves, Bears, and Webelos. Once there is a winner for each level in the Pack they race each other to determine the fastest Boat in the Pack.



Raingutter Regatta Rules/Guidelines:

Rules/guidelines to follow for the race.

Building the Boat

  1. Boats must be made from the BSA Raingutter Regatta kits. Your den leader should have given you one of these. If for some reason you need a replacement, they can be purchased at the scout stores.
  2. Generally, you may follow the instructions included in your boat kit, except as noted below.
  3. Adherence to the boat dimensions contained in the instructions are required. Other guidance is optional. For example: two coats of acrylic gloss enamel paint are not required, just suggested.
  4. Except for glue, paint, and other finishing materials, only the materials contained in the Kit may be used. Finishing materials mean decals, small figures, clay forms, and other decorative elements that are intended to enhance the boat’s appearance but not improve its performance in the rain gutter race.
  5. The keel and rudder supplied in the kit must be used in their supplied size and shape.
  6. Sail must be installed right side up (large part of the sail is at the BOTTOM) and raced that way. Gluing the sail in position is highly recommended.
  7. Minimal trimming of the sale as indicated in the instructions is permitted.
  8. All entries shall be single-hull boats. The following boat designs are not allowed: split-hull boats, pontoon boats, single hull boats with outriggers.
  9. Absolutely no weighting of the boats allowed, including "decorations" that add significant weight (and thus a stability advantage).
  10. Boats should be designed and built by Scouts with minimal adult help. Mom and Dad should ASSIST with supplies but not MAKE the boat.
  11. Place your name on the bottom of your boat. You do not have to apply racing numbers but may do so if you wish.

Racing the Boat

  1. All races will be held one Scout against another, 2 boys at a time among scouts of the same rank. The Regatta is a double elimination contest, so all Scouts will be guaranteed 2 chances to race. After 2 losses, Scouts will get to cheer on their friends.
  2. Awards will be given to the First, Second and Third place boat in each rank.
  3. The first place boat from each rank will then race in a final competition to determine the First, Second, and Third place overall winners in the Pack.
  4. Scouts are only allowed to power their boats by their own wind power (drinking straws not allowed). Scouts using hands, etc. to move their boats may be disqualified.
  5. Scouts will be required to keep hands behind their backs while racing.
  6. No touching of the boat is allowed during the race even if it gets stuck. The race judges are the only people allowed to touch the boat during the race.
  7. There are often tears from the younger Scouts when they don’t win. Encourage them to Do Their Best! If your son gets frustrated after losing his race, try to distract him and get him to cheer on his friend.



Participation Certificate  of the Raingutter Regatta (All Scouts)
"Judges Choice" award: Most Patriotic (Tiger, Wolves, Bears, and Webelos)
"Judges Choice" award: Most Boat like (Tiger, Wolves, Bears, and Webelos)
"Judges Choice" award: Most Artistic (Tiger, Wolves, Bears, and Webelos)
"Judges Choice" award: Most Funky (Tiger, Wolves, Bears, and Webelos)
The Fastest Boat in each rank (First Second, Third)
The Fastest in the Pack (First Second, Third)


Regatta Tips:

Here are some tips that you may find helpful when building and racing your boat.


You may want to pick which award you want to try to achieve before construction.

Most Patriotic

  • Design the boat with American flags or a theme with a military service.

Most Boat like

  • Look at some picture of boats and design it like your favorite one.

Most Artistic

  • Make your boat look like a nice painting or use nice colors and stickers that make it look like something besides a boat.

Most Funky

  • Go crazy with paint and stickers and other items that can be glued to make it look cool, aka funky...

For speed

  • Do not round the hull into a V as with a normal boat. The flatter and wider the hull the more stable the boat will be.
  • Test the boat in the sink or bathtub to check for a balanced design in the water.
  • Secure sail at a 90 degree angle to the hull and allow it to "catch" the most air possible thereby promoting speed.
  • The bottom edge of the sail needed to be about 1/2 inch above the deck of the boat. Use non-water soluble glue to secure sail low on the mast. If the sail is too low, the corners rub against the gutter or dip in the water. If the sail is too high, the boat is top heavy and tends to tip over.
  • Use "Krylon" spray paint -- it dries in about one minute on the balsa wood hulls.
  • Wax the hull.

Racing Techniques

  • Don’t blow too hard or the boat will turn off course into the side of the rain gutter. Blow evenly on the sail and often.
  • Practice how to steer your boat in the bathtub before the race.


Other References:
Tips from Boys Life Magazine
Regatta® Checklist for Cub Scouts