Cub Scouts from Webelos Pack 209 and Boys Scouts from Troop 201 launched the annual Rain Gutter Regatta on Monday, July 9, at Shell Point Baptist Church using real rain gutters and catamaran boats built from official wooden kits.
Each kit came with two hulls and a plastic center to hold them together. A reshaped plastic sail was mounted to the center with a stick. Scouts then used old-fashioned lung power to blow air through a straw to propel their boats through the rain gutter to the finish line.
To give everybody a fair chance the regatta was a double-elimination format.
The boats used to be carved from a block of soap with the scout’s official Cub Scout pocket knife. The soap already floated and could be easily “sailed” through a trough filled with water.
Later the boats were carved from a balsa wood form and raced down rain gutters.
Today they come in a kit with catamaran, mast and sail, according to Allison Palfrey, Den Leader for Pack 209. “The scouts just have to sand the wooden hulls and paint them and decorate the sail,” Palfrey said.
Photo above: Sometimes it’s all in lane choice as these two Cub Scouts found out the hard way. For some reason boats in the left lane traveled freely and much quicker while boats in the right lane dragged when they came into contact with the vinyl rain gutter. Photos by Bob Sofaly.