Recycle Raingutter Regatta

Official 2018

Recycle Regatta Guidelines

CUB SCOUT PACK 617 Maineville, OH

April 28th Time:TBD Camp Friedlander

    So what’s a Recycle Regatta? A Recycle Regatta is much like a Rain Gutter Regatta, the sailing equivalent of the Pinewood Derby, except boys make their boats from
    recycled materials instead of kits. We didn’t want to have to rely on prefabricated kits. Those are fun to build, but they don’t get you engaged. Boys like to build stuff and
    tinker and play.

General Guidelines

  • Cub Scouts must make their own boats, however parental help is welcome.

  • Boats must primarily be made of recyclable materials, things we would normally throw away.

  • All boys will use a straw provided by the pack at the race to blow his sail boat down the track. 
No hands may touch the boat during the race, except to right a sunken or tipped boat.

  • If the sail boat tips over, the boy may right the boat and place it in the exact same spot it tipped 
over, not ahead. If this is not followed, out of fairness to the rest of the boats, the boat will be 
disqualified. Judges have the right to rerun questionable races.

  • Judges will have the final say. Remember this is not life or death and they are just volunteers. 
Have fun and do it with grace!

  • Guidelines are subject to modification by Regatta Chair prior to but not during the race.

  • The race is open to all Cub Scout Dens registered to Pack 617. Additionally we are inviting the Webelos who just crossed over to Boy Scouts as our guests.
  • Each scout may enter only one boat in the competition.

  • Boats that have competed in a previous regatta are not permitted.

  • If a boat becomes damaged and can be repaired in a reasonable amount of time (2-3 minutes), 
the race will be run again. Added non-functional decorations that fall off during competition will NOT be reattached during racing. 

  • Scouts will race with other scouts from their same rank. Tigers will only race Tigers, etc. There will also be a Pack champion determined by a run off of the 1st place winners of each den.

  • The race will involve two lengths of a rain gutter filled with water. (One boat in each length.)
  • The race begins once the official starter has placed the competing boats against the back wall of 
the gutter and commands the scouts to "GO!"

  • On the starter's command, the scouts will blow into the sail of their boat in order to advance 
them through the water. The boat can only be propelled by blowing into the sail. Once the race 
has started, the scout CANNOT touch his boat with his hands.

  • If a scout's straw, face, lips, hat, nose or other body part touches the boat, the boat must be 
returned, by the scout, to the starting position to continue racing.

  • The first boat to cross the finish line is the winner of that heat. The finish line official will have 
the final and only say in determining the winner of that heat. In the unlikely event of a tie, the racers will be given a chance to catch their breath, then that heat will be rerun.

  • The race will be run as a double elimination format, with the winners of each heat advancing until the third, second, and first place winners are determined for each rank.

  • First place winners in each rank will compete in the overall Pack competition.

Boat Specifications

  • Boats must be made from materials that would normally be tossed in the trash or recycled. Electric motors, pre-made boat parts, or any other form of propulsion besides the sail is not allowed.

  • Total Boat Length: No longer than 7" or shorter than 6". The boat body CANNOT be wider than 3-1/2". The boat must remain a single hull boat. Multi-hull catamarans and boats with stabilizing out-riggers are not allowed.

  • Mast: Height limit is 6” to 7" (maximum) from deck to top. Masts may not be extended, but may be decorated.

  • Depth: The maximum depth (how far underwater) the boat can be is 1 1/2”. The water will not be that deep and we don’t want the hull or fin to touch the bottom.

  • Decorations such as sailors, cannons, etc. may be added. All such decorations must be firmly fastened to the boat, and may not be placed in such a manner as to change the boat dimensions as listed above. Bowsprits (large spars projecting forward from the stem) are not allowed, as they extend the overall length of the boat, providing an unfair advantage.

  • The boats will use the same numbers that the boys had for their Pine Wood Derby Cars, and should be easily visible by the judges during the race.

    Boat Assembly Tips:

  • Recycle Regatta Materials

The following materials work well:

      Hulls: juice boxes, slabs of foam insulation, 8-ounce water bottles, 20-ounce soda bottles, Capri Sun pouches

      Masts: straws, skewers, small dowels, pencils

      Sails: construction paper, index cards, cut-up cereal boxes, small chip bags, Capri Sun pouches

    • These materials do not work as well: newsprint and other materials that can get waterlogged, and thick pieces of foam, which stick to the gutters and make a mess when broken.

    • No Sharp Materials will be allowed!

      Boat Specifications

    Boat Shape: Flatter bottoms are recommended, to maximize stability. A streamlined looking boat is almost always top heavy and capsizes.

    Mast: Install mast approx. 2 to 2-1/2" from bow 
(front of boat). Use epoxy or hot glue to install into place.

    Sail: Attach with masking tape or hot glue. The bottom edge of the sail needs to be about 1/2 inch above the deck of the boat. If the sail is too low, the corners of the sail 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.

        Painting and other decorations: Sailboat may be painted and decorated how the scout wants, as long as it doesn’t violate the basic dimensions laid out for the body of the boat. Make sure the boat is painted at least 24 hrs. prior to the race to make sure the paint is dry.

Inspection and Registration
  • Each boat must pass a technical inspection and be registered before it may compete. Technical inspection and registration of boats begins 30 minutes before race time and ends 10 minutes before race time.

  • Boats that have not registered by the cutoff deadline will not race.

  • Ungentlemanly or unsportsmanlike conduct by any participant or spectator will be grounds for expulsion from the competition and/or the race area. 

    Rewards and Recognition

  • The most important values in Recycle Regatta competition are parent/son participation, good sportsmanship and learning how to follow rules. The Pack Leadership is responsible for recognizing and encouraging these qualities in addition to traditional racing awards.

Here are the tangible awards that each boy may receive:

Every participating Scout will receive a Rain Gutter Regatta participation patch.

Boats will be judged by a Rain Gutter Regatta Committee and will received awards for the following categories:

• Anchor Award - Most Un-floatable Boat

• RUMBA Award - Most Realistic. Stands for Realistic, Understandable, Measurable, Believable, Attainable

• Funny Bone Award – Most Humorous

• Psych-Out Award – Most Intimidating

• Flying Dutchman Award – Most Historical Boat

`        • Fit n’ Finish Award – Best Detail

• What Were They Thinking Award – Most Unusual or Strangest Shape

            • Cub Master’s Choice – Exactly what it says!

    Ribbons or pins will be awarded to the first, second and third-place finishers in each rank.

        Trophies will be awarded to the first, second, and third place finishers overall in the pack.

Sportsmanship – “How should I act?”

Two things the Rain gutter Regatta requires each participant to learn are 1) the craft skills necessary to build a boat and 2) the rules that must be followed. Even more important, though, is how we act and behave while participating in the Rain Gutter Regatta or any other group activity. This is called sportsmanship.

The first thing to remember about sportsmanship is that everyone's skills are a little different. Your craft skills may be just developing, while someone else may be more experienced. Parents have different skill levels, too. Whether or not you feel that you have good boat building or racing skills, remember, you and your friends are individuals first and racers second. This idea is often called having respect for others.

The second thing to remember is to follow the rules. Without rules, there would be no Recycle Regatta. You will never know if you are really good at doing something unless you follow the rules. This is often called being honest.

The third thing to remember about good sportsmanship is that there are winners and losers in every competition. You accept this when you choose to compete. There may be times when you win and feel happy, and times when you lose and feel unhappy. Being a winner is easy, and losing is sometimes hard. If you win, you must not brag or gloat. If you lose, you must not feel jealous or bitter. To be a good sportsman, you must be able to say, "I did my best" and be satisfied with the results. You must also be able to appreciate and feel happy for someone else when he runs a good race or builds a neat boat.

Good Luck!

Below is a sample of what kind of boat you can build.  What is not pictured here is there are some bottle caps inside the "hull" to add weight to the bottom of the boat.  Black duct tape is holding the mast in and is also wrapped around the edges of the container.


Chad Toennis,
Mar 16, 2016, 11:46 AM
Chad Toennis,
Mar 16, 2016, 11:46 AM
Chad Toennis,
Mar 15, 2016, 3:12 PM