Raingutter Regatta Rules and Tips



1.      There are no design restrictions. The boat design may be traditional (see attached BSA instruction sheet), a catamaran, trimaran, hydroplane, barge, raft, houseboat, etc. Only the basic material supplied in the kit may be used for the hull (the part that touches the water). The sail, mast, rudder, and keel may or may not be used -that is up to each builder. Deckhouses, cannons, rigging, decorations, etc. may be of any shape, material or weight as long as they do not violate the overall length, width and area specifications listed below and they do not interfere with the proper running of the Regatta.

2.      The hull and decorations must be at least 5 inches and no more than 7 inches in length. The hull and decorations may not exceed 3 1/2 inches in width. The keel and/or rudder (if used) may not extend more than 1 1/2 inches below the hull. The "sail(s)" (whether an actual sailor cabin, cup, etc or any combination thereof on the deck of the boat) may not exceed 20 square inches (2 square inches more than the sail provided). There are no height or weight restrictions.

3.      Auxiliary propulsion aides such as motors, propellers, etc. are prohibited.

4.      The boat must be constructed during the current year by the Scout/parent team.



 1.      Boats will be submitted to the Harbormaster prior to the beginning of the Regatta. The Harbormaster will inspect each boat to ensure that the entry meets all specifications and then assign a race number. A Dockyard will be available to make any needed modifications to boats that do not meet the official rules.

 2.      After registration the boat will be placed in the Marina. After registration only the pilot and designated race officials may touch or handle the boat.

3.      A practice course will be provided for the pilots. Pilots may practice with their boats at any time prior to the beginning of the Regatta or after any race related repairs. No more than one boat is allowed in a practice race lane at any time.

4.      Modifications may be made to a boat before or after registration but before the start of the Regatta. A member of the Admiralty Board, to ensure the boat still meets all Regatta rules and specifications, must inspect all modifications. After the Regatta begins the Dockyard may be used only for repairs.


1.      Pilots will compete by rank in a series of elimination races. Each pilot will participate in a minimum of 4 races, twice in each lane. The winners of each rank will compete in the Final Four.

2.      Prior to each heat the Commodore will announce boat numbers and lane assignments. Pilots will take their boats from the Marina and place them in the designated lane. The Commodore and/or Admiralty Board will make sure that the bows of the boats are even with each other.

3.      At the command to begin the pilots will propel their boats by blowing against their boat's sail. First boat to the end of the racecourse is the winner. Two members of the Admiralty Board will judge the results of each heat. If they cannot agree on the winner of each heat that race will be re-run.

4.      Racers may propel their boats only by blowing on them. A pilot may touch their boat only to free it if the boat becomes wedged against the side of the raingutter or if the boat capsizes. Any forward motion given to a boat through it being freed will result in a re-race. Any other contact with the boat, mast, or sail by any part of the pilot's body, clothing, or hair will result in a re-race.

5.      Pilots must keep their face, clothing, and hair out of the water at all times. Any contact with the water will result in a re-race.

6.      Any pilot who causes more than two re-races in a heat will forfeit that heat and receive a last place ranking for that heat.

7.      If the boat becomes damaged and is unable to race when called the pilot will receive 5 minutes to make repairs. If the boat is not ready to race after 5 minutes the pilot will receive a last place ranking for that heat.

8.      An Outlaw division is available to pilots whose entries cannot be modified to meet the Regatta rules listed above. If a pilot makes more than one boat then the pilot must choose which boat will be their official entry; the other boat will be entered in the Outlaw race. The Outlaw race is also available to leaders and participants who are not members of Pack 713. There are no restrictions on the Outlaw race except that they must fit within the rain gutter.

9.      Awards will be given for 1st through 4th place. Additional judging categories are Most Nautical, Most Creative, Most Colorful, Best Finish, Most Patriotic, and Judge's Choice. Selected leaders and parents will evaluate judging categories. All participants will receive a Rain gutter Regatta patch.

10. All rulings by the Harbormaster, Admiralty Board and the Commodore are FINAL.



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.      If you wish to build a traditional BSA entry, use the provided instruction sheet to construct your boat. Please note that the washer used for the keel needs to be moved further aft than the directions indicate. Also, 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.      A catamaran design can be easily made by laying out and cutting the traditional shape, then, cutting the boat evenly in two on a centerline from the bow to the stern. Join the two hull sections using dowels, craft sticks, or sheet balsa (available at hobby and craft stores). Remember to follow the length and width instructions in the Official Rules.

Hint: Catamaran designs are more stable and faster than the traditional BSA design

5.      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.

6.      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.

7.      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.

8.      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.

9.      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.

10. Use wood putty to fill any dents, gouges or holes

11. Use sanding sealer to provide a smooth surface. Follow the directions on the sanding sealer. Usually, several coats are required.

12. 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.

13. 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!

14. Let your imagination be your guide when designing, building and decorating your boat.

15. 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". It's DO YOUR BEST. If you "Do your best" designing, building, painting, and racing your boat, you are already a winner!


Jul 17, 2008, 8:08 PM